Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Killing Hour (1982)

Also released as The Clairvoyant, this is one of the most forgotten thrillers I know. Armand Mastroianni had something going for him after the interesting He knows you're alone and followed up with this sister-movie to the John Carpenter-scripted The Eyes of Laura Mars. While it never reaches to that level of quality, it's actually a very nice little movie. Elizabeth Kemp plays Virna Nightbourne, a art-student who starts draw visions of murders. The goofy cop Larry Weeks (Norman Parker) get's interested in her, but also the up-and-coming tv-personality Paul 'Mac' McCormack (Perry King). But the murders continuing and soon the killer get's closer and closer to Virna and her friends...

This was more or less marketed like slasher (remember, this was 1982), but it's more of a serious little dialogue-driven thriller with no blood, gore and spectacular effects. What it has is a very good script and a nice bunch of character actors. Norman Parker looks like Robert De Niros weird little brother and his cop-partners is Jon Polito (who is SO fucking slim here), Joe Morton and the great Kenneth McMillan. Watch out for Antone Pagan as Gonzales. Who is Antone Pagan? Have you seen The New York Ripper? He's the one of the perverts at the restaurant... yep, the toe of silver-scene!

So the actors are great. We know that. But good actors need a good script, and we have one of these here. At least if you don't except an action movie and tons of murders. Mastroianni works with his story carefully and never looses sight of the characters. The ending is fabolous and quite unexpected. I was guessing until the end who the killer was, and it's a good thing.

So, while not a perfect movie, it's a very competent thriller that has been forgotten because people think it's a slow-moving and boring slasher-movie. It's not that, just a slow-moving thriller and if you enjoy a nice New York-setting and an even nicer whodunnit, this is your movie.

No comments: