The Death Merchant
- 1h 27m
A nasty "businessman" strives to get a deal back on track after an archaeologist removes a computer chip from an artifact before it is stolen.A nasty "businessman" strives to get a deal back on track after an archaeologist removes a computer chip from an artifact before it is stolen.A nasty "businessman" strives to get a deal back on track after an archaeologist removes a computer chip from an artifact before it is stolen.
Perhaps The Most Risible Mess That One Will Have Viewed.
A sensate audience will probably prefer a struggle with typhus than having to watch more than once this remarkably shoddy attempt at making a crime melodrama; a strong reaction to the film, it shall be admitted, yet from its beginning frames until its ending, there is no moment of able craftsmanship in it, but rather substandard performances from among members of its cast and crew. Ludicrous Lawrence Tierney is dusted off to play in the lead role as Ivan Yates, a powerful dealer in illicitly obtained nuclear arms who has sold an advanced missile guidance system microchip that he has managed to garner, only to have it stolen from him before he can make delivery to a "terrorist" buyer, the latter having already transferred funds to Ivan's Swiss bank account. Yates, made grumpy by this embarrassing incident, begins to murder United States Naval Intelligence agents, and others, for no especial reason discernible from within an essentially incoherent screenplay. To accomplish his felonious deeds, Yates relies in the main upon a duo of homicidal as well as pulchritudinous female assistants. An understandably bewildered young man, accompanied by an almost awake girl friend, and supposedly holding some sort of law enforcement position with the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, is assigned to solve the multi-jurisdictional killings instigated by Yates. That Department, the City's smallest, has no enforcement function or capability, this being typical of the grotesque inaccuracies that riddle a cartoonish production. The work is witlessly opened with its climactic storyline scene, after which comes what leads up to that point in the narrative, including the climactic scene repeated in toto. Direction is unskilled, editing is inefficient, camera-work is amateurish, but it is the execrable sound quality that is the very worst element of the movie (guns that fire with mismatched sound, or no sound at all!; consistently sloppy synching; oft unintelligible dialogue; an intrusive and overloud score) including a great deal of mumbling and bumping about in the background by crew members. Special effects are comically inferior with atrocious use of squibs. A few capable players are here who ostensibly had no other casting choices available (it is, after all, a job) but there is nothing of merit for them within the script. There is, however, a modicum of pleasure gained by recognizing several veteran stuntmen who are on board during one sequence, seen tossing one of the principal characters into a trash dumpster, a location into which the print of this draff (overstretched after its initial few minutes) should also have been deposited.
- Jun 9, 2006
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