Harry Mitchell, an L.A. manufacturer with a fancy car, a nice house, and a wife running for city council, has his life overturned when three masked blackmailers appear with a video tape of Harry and his young mistress. He's been set up, and they want $105,000. To protect his wife's political ambitions, Harry won't go to the police; instead, he shines them on and then doesn't pay. They up their demands, so he goes on the offensive, tracking them down and trying to turn one against the other. Their sociopathic leader, Alan, responds with violence toward the mistress and menace toward Harry's wife. Will Harry let up and pay off Alan or can he find some other solution? —<email@example.com>
Sleazy and effective thriller
I've always liked this John Frankenheimer film. Good script by Elmore Leonard and the main reason this wasn't just another thriller is because of Frankenheimer. His taut direction and attention to little details make all the difference, he even hired porn star Ron Jeremy as a consultant! You can make a case that its the last good film Roy Scheider made. I've always said that Robert Trebor gave just a terrific performance. Clarence Williams III got all the publicity with his scary performance and he's excellent also but I really thought Trebor stood out. Frankenheimer may not be as proud of this film as others but it is an effective thriller full of blackmail, murder, sex, drugs, and real porno actors appear in sleazy parts. What can you say about a film that has Ann Margaret being shot up with drugs and raped? A guilty pleasure to say the least. Vanity has a real sleazy role and a very young Kelly Preston makes an early appearance. A classic exploitive thriller that shouldn't be forgotten.
- Jan 26, 2003
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