25 user 14 critic

Relentless (1989)

Two Los Angeles police detectives, cynical veteran Malloy and cocky rookie Dietz, hunt for a serial killer, an ex-cop named Taylor, who randomly chooses his victims from a phone directory.


William Lustig


Phil Alden Robinson (as Jack T.D. Robinson)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Judd Nelson ... Arthur 'Buck' Taylor
Robert Loggia ... Bill Malloy
Leo Rossi ... Sam Dietz
Meg Foster ... Carol Dietz
Patrick O'Bryan ... Todd Arthur
Ken Lerner ... Arthur
Mindy Seeger ... Francine
Angel Tompkins ... Carmen
Robert Madrid ... Swarthy Cop
Beau Starr ... Ike Taylor
Harriet Hall Harriet Hall ... Angela Taylor
Frank Pesce ... Marra
Ron Taylor ... Captain Blakely
Roy Brocksmith ... Coroner
G. Smokey Campbell ... Terrell


Sam Dietz, a New York cop recently reassigned to Los Angeles, joins the hunt for a serial killer who seemingly picks his victims at random from the telephone directory - but the closer he gets to cracking the case, the more personal the stakes become. Written by Ross Horsley <explodo@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Killers aren't born. They're made. Judd Nelson is Buck Taylor. And Buck Taylor is...Relentless See more »


Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Joe Spinell was originally cast to play the role of Captain Blakely, but died shortly before filming was to begin. See more »


Sam Dietz: [referring to another policeman at the station] Is that the jerkoff?
Malloy: No, that's another one.
Sam Dietz: How many jerkoffs you got around here?
Malloy: Got exactly eight. I hope you don't make it nine.
See more »


References Giant (1956) See more »

User Reviews

The Sunset Killer
25 September 2011 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Two Los Angeles detectives (one a veteran, the other a rookie) work the case of a psychopath who is killing people in the Sunset Blvd. area of L.A. The film is not a whodunit. The script's POV alternates between the Sunset killer (played by Judd Nelson), and the two cops (played by Robert Loggia and Leo Rossi).

The only mystery is at the beginning, with the killer's motivation. But that clears up as the plot moves along. The film offers a fair amount of suspense, as the killer pops into scenes unexpectedly to assault his victim. Some of the drama involves feisty banter between the two detectives, with the rookie showing insight and unorthodox determination, while the veteran seems slightly bored and wants to follow conventional police procedures.

Though fictional, the overall story is believable enough that something like this could happen in real life, if the dreadfully clichéd ending had been excised and replaced with an unexpected and more potent climax.

Visuals are dark, consistent with the thriller genre. Cinematography is conventional but competent. I really liked the opening credits' sequence with that overhead perspective that traverses a stretch of Sunset Blvd. Acting is competent.

"Relentless" manages to present a more believable villain than what we typically see in fictional serial killer scripts. And the plot steers clear of silly absurdities that plague similar films. I just wish the ending had been stronger and more original.

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Release Date:

30 August 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Relentless See more »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,838,177, 4 September 1989

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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