Deadly (1991)

  |  Crime

Deadly (1991) Poster

"Deadly" is set against a backdrop of simmering racial tension in a remote Australian outback town.


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8 April 2013 | PeterMitchell-506-564364
| Deadly, a movie that'll leave a temporary sting in your tail
Needing a change of scenery, as well as trying to move on, in the wake of a recent bungle, that got cool guy cop, Tony Bourke (Jerome Ehlers) boozed up, after accidentally shooting down a teen junkie, he's assigned to this case, out in the Territory. It involves the supposed hanging of an aboriginal, which points more to murder. Of course, initially striking out with the black fellas in this outback town, he soon forms a friendship and alliance with close members of the deceased, where certain suspects come into play in one of the better black folk movies, sadly this one small fry, not as acknowledged as others. What we have before us is true life. Take the big buffoon, (Bruce Venables- always used as a small part player) a hater of the black fella. He is Ehler's pickup from the airport, who purposely almost runs down a drunk black guy, staggering along the side of the road, until Ehlers takes the wheel from him. I really found Venable's attitude disgusting in this, as it was repellent. It was good to see later, he got some of his just desserts, Ehlers commenting favorably on his new look. The dead prisoner, shared a few secrets with one of the townswomen, played by an actress of ageless beauty. It was great, Ehler's first night there, where he and the local Seargeant, let loose, got a bit drunk and reenacted the scene in the prison cell, as like on the show Murder Call. God, alcohol makes you do stupid things. He uncovers more, as the movie goes on in a sharp nifty thriller, with some electrifying moments, the funeral scene hangs in my mind, especially, where the brother of the deceased really takes it personally, throughout the film, a great acting strength, not just to himself but the film. He delivers a great line near the end to the culprit. The raw dialogue spouted from the black fellas mouths, as is the acting, is true to life, you almost feel you're there. Deadly is a very realistic movie, steered by a cool performance from the likable Ehlers, where I'm glad I saw much more of him, in other stuff later. I must say the scene with him and Lydia Miller (Backlash), alone in the motel room, dragged on a little bit, Miller, who's so good an actress, opening up to him, giving her own personal account of an ugly event, many years prior, that brings forth such charged anger from an actress of such believability and professionalism. It just got a bit too much. Deadly does run familiar paths with another cop/black fella pic, years later, the disappointing Dead Heart, but this is one film that should be sought out. Hunt it down, please.

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