In Self Defense (1987)

TV Movie   |  Not Rated   |    |  Thriller


In Self Defense (1987) Poster

A witness (Linda Purl) is terrorized by the killer (Billy Drago) against whom she testified.


5/10
102

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30 October 2001 | petershelleyau
aka Hollow Point
This TVM directed by Bruce Seth Green has a teleplay which presents the Los Angeles police and the court system ineffectual in the prosecution of criminals, and thereby supports the "Death Wish" vigilantism of the gun-lobby. However writers Robert Crais and David Peckinpah also support the police's stance on citizens owning guns with their claim that most guns are mishandled. The title is explained by a hole in the tip of a bullet which gives it greater striking power, and whilst this applies to the .32 automatic that Linda Purl obtains for self-protection from the attentions someone she has witnessed, it doesn't really double as an effective metaphor for Purl. The problem stems from her acting choice, where she plays her character as a woman with a small emotional range. Perhaps we are to take the cue from her reluctance to commit to her boyfriend who is conveniently absent as an airline pilot, her job where she works with children with developmental disorders, or her overuse of shoulder pads. Purl begins with sociopathic smiling, which soon gives way to Green indulging her in extended reactions, though thankfully her confrontation with Billy Drago as the bad guy has some flawed bravado. It's also probably no coincidence that Yaphet Kotto as the police detective towers over Purl, or that Kotto has a maniacal intensity as well as an odd haircut. The treatment features a security lock being installed (and approved by Kotto) that is easily opened by Drago, a cat after a bowl of Thai fighting fish, Purl having a double nightmare/hallucination, and also a funny edit from a man confidently defending Purl then a cut to him with a bloody nose. Drago has a subtextual relationship with his buddies that hardly seems to coincide with his interest in Purl, and which is represented by rock music.

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