Fay Forrest (Joanne Whalley) and her boyfriend, Vince Miller (Michael Madsen), make their living stealing from the mob. After their latest job results in the death of a made man, Fay decides that she needs to escape from the abusive Vince. She runs away to Las Vegas, where she looks up a small-time, financially strapped P.I., Jack Andrews (Val Kilmer). She hires Jack to help her fake her death, offering to pay him $5,000 upfront and $5,000 after she’s dead. Jack is reluctant to get involved but he also has a loan shark threatening to break every bone in his body. Jack helps Fay fake her death but then Fay leaves town without paying him the second $5,000. Even worse, both Vince and the mob quickly figure out that Fay is not actually dead and join Jack in trying to track her down.
Predictable but entertaining, Kill Me Again is an early example of the type of modern neo-noir that would become extremely popular in the 1990s. In his directorial debut, John Dahl shows some hints of the style that he later brought to films like Red Rock West and The Last Seduction. Val Kilmer was miscast and a few years too young for his role but Joanne Whalley (or Joanne Whalley-Kilmer as she was known when Kill Me Again was filmed) fully inhabitanted the stock role of the sultry femme fatale who can never quite be trusted. Michael Madsen goes all out as Vince, giving an early version of his performance in Reservoir Dogs.
Fox recently released the 2nd trailer for James Mangold’s Logan, and we finally get more an idea of what one of my favorite Marvel characters has to offer, with a little bloodshed. I’ve been waiting for some confirmation that the girl is actually Laura Kinney (a.k.a. X-23), and this trailer pretty much removes all doubt with her dual blades. So far, it’s looking interesting, though I’m not sure how it all fits into what’s become of the X-Men Timeline. Hopefully, those answers will come when the film premieres in early March (in the U.S.). Enjoy.
While you’re at it, if you’re looking to learn more about the character, Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men-The New Age: The Cruelest Cut covers Issues 450-454, with the first two showcasing X-23 as a feral assassin up against the X-Men. You can also find Kinney in Marvel vs Capcom.
Robert Mitchum puts the pedal to the metal as a moonshine runner at odds with both the Feds and gangsters in THUNDER ROAD. This is Mitchum’s most personal picture, not only starring but producing, writing the story (and two songs!), and, rumor has it, doing much of the directing. His notorious independent streak comes through in his character Luke Doolin, a Korean War vet who believes in the right of individual ownership, whether on his land or in his car, and free market enterprise, without interference from outsiders or the government. That’s right, Luke Doolin is a true Libertarian hero!
He’s also the best damn driver in River Valley, Kentucky, as we see in the opening scene, speeding down the backroads, eluding police with the greatest of ease. The Doolins have been making moonshine for generations, with daddy Vernon running the still, baby brother Robin the family mechanic, and mama Sarah praying for…
I know I say it a lot, but it is all in the video. Is Elvis still alive? The pressures of being that famous. The fact that we didn’t know Elvis that well. We certainly know that outfit, but it told us about as much about Elvis as Rosebud did Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane (1941). I particularly love how they copy the ending of Citizen Kane. In that movie, we are dropped outside the gate the movie started on because we never got to know the person, but just visited a place that houses a collection of stories. Here, we also never got to know the person, and in the aftermath of his death, we only have memories, records, memorabilia, and theories that he isn’t just an influence on every musician out there, but literally out there somewhere. I also love how the articles about him go from dignified goodbyes to a mix of hope and outright exploitation of his legendary status. You get the same transition as the music video visually goes from a museum to wide-open spaces before we are tossed back to the museum, and finally the sled.
Jimmy Murakami of Heavy Metal (1981) fame directed it.
The only other person I found who had a notable credit was producer Michael Algar who produced some episodes of the 1987 TMNT TV Show.