Saturday, October 24, 2009

Body Count

(Lionel Shenken, 1986)
On the surface this looks like a fairly nondescript entry in producer Shenken's made-for-Hamilton-TV oeuvre, lacking both high concept and flamboyant weirdness while suffering the usual lapses in script, performance and direction. Nonetheless, this time there's actually something to lapse from: the narrative is remarkably coherent by the usual Emmeritus standards, the actors generate an impressive amount of interest, and the direction is focused and terse. Strictly formulaic Canadian action-movie stuff, suffused with unintended camp, and yet the site-specific miniaturism of the cheeseball SVHS production somehow gives added texture (if not depth) to the pervasive born-loser fatalism. From cop to cabbie to cashier, these characters are really going nowhere, and that we can call them characters at all places this a good cut above the norm.

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