17 November 1998 | Digger-8
An Infinitely Diggable Flick
This is a really interesting movie that I thoroughly dug and enjoyed. It's part intense character study, part paranoid suspense-thriller, part chase movie. The setup is this: John Scardino is a police crime & accident scene photog who is emotionally numb inside and moonlights as the lens man for an extortion ring, taking dirty snaps of compromised businessmen in their undies with a saucy hooker named Lorraine in sleazy motel rooms. Suddenly, Scardino starts seeing the blackmail crew from his night job turning up as corpses in his day job in seemingly unrelated homicides. Scardino is the only one who notices the connection, but he can't say squat without revealing his involvement in a criminal enterprise! He rediscovers his emotional inner self by getting major league heebie-jeebies trying to figure out who the killer is. He's taken so many snaps over the years, it could be just about anybody. No one can be trusted! Halfway through, the movie explodes open and turns really grisly and intense--be prepared!
The acting--by Peter Gallagher, Frances McDormand, John Lithgow, Jack Black, Geoffrey Lower, John Kapelos, Charlie Spradling and Lee Arenberg--is great and infinitely diggable. The dialogue is really wry and darkly funny, as is the music. And the movie's look has a kind of Edward Hopper-film noir thing going that I also really dug.
Not a lot of people saw this flick when it first came out. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, then went straight to HBO. Which is weird, because it's so good. This one's a real find. Go forth and dig it!
--Richard Terhune, The Movie Digger