Thursday, January 7, 2010

Nightmare Boulevard (2004)

Nightmare Boulevard

Written by Nicholas Celozzi & Anthony Calabrese
Directed by Mark Jones

Amy Martin...Claudia Christian
Jerry Martin...Corbin Bernsen
Millie Martin...Vanessa Lee Evigan
Steve Sterns...Nicholas Celozzi
Detective Perry...Ron Perlman
Detective Jackson...James Van Patten
Pet Shop Girl...Danika McKellar

What do Winnie Cooper, an L.A. Law lawyer and that Dick Van Patton guy have in common? Answer: Their hey-days are all over and they have been reduced to this, a “psychological crime drama” that steals its cues from every similarly-themed film that came before it, with an utterly terrible title song and ridiculous background score (is that “Chopsticks” I hear?).

No sooner than her spoiled and delectable daughter Millie ships off to college with her metrosexual boyfriend, and her husband Jerry goes away on business, does the MILFy Amy Martin strip down and jump into bed with the supposedly studly Steve Sterns, her divorcee friend’s latest boy toy. Two-timing doesn’t really begin to describe Steve, nor does obsessive or slightly unbalanced. Insane fucking psycho killer—that’s a little closer to the truth. Amy tries to keep her secret kept, her family together and her life, um…alive, while Steve proceeds to go bat-shit crazy.

Detective Perry and his partner Jackson are in charge of investigating the recent rash of murders cropping up around town, including the latest victim—Steve’s ex-girlfriend. But the M.O.’s don’t quite match up, meaning that there may be two different killers, acting together or independently of each other.

What we have here is a Fatal Attraction clone with gender role reversal and a canine in jeopardy as opposed to a rabbit. The only weak links in the acting chain are Nicholas Celozzi as Steve Sterns and James Van Patten as Detective Jackson. Corbin Bernson and Ron Perlmen turn in great performances as would be expected, and Claudia Christian's performance as Amy is passable if a bit restrained. The plot is rather murky and slow-moving, only setting up the basic premise and coasting from there. It’s the occasional drunken camera work and amateur action scenes that make this feel like a straight-to-late-night-Cinemax feature, bogging it down to where it belongs: The B-movie bargain bin.

The truth about Steve will come as no surprise to anybody even remotely familiar with the genre, but the one-two punch which immediately follows was a decent enough twist. Unfortunately, however, the filmmakers went in for the kill and killed only themselves with a waste-of-time, cop-out ending. Pretty much everything else is only more recycled garbage that has been done many times before, and been done much, much better.

Wait for it to crop up on basic cable. Hell, it’s probably already there.

AKA: Quiet Kill

Rated R
82 Minutes
United States


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1 comment:

  1. well that sounds just awful.

    what isn't awful Jonny is i just gave you and your blog an award. come by and get it when you get a chance.


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