Artie Logan (Charlie Schlatter) is a wannabe James Dean who keeps getting kicked out of school because he is such a rebel. His father, a judge, gives Artie one more chance. Artie can either enroll at Fairfield College or he can go to jail. Artie chooses Fairfield, where he meets and falls for the beautiful and popular Tally Fuller (Josie Bissett). However, no sooner does Artie show up for their first date than someone sets Tally on fire and crashes through a window. Artie is the number one suspect but Detective P.J. Decker (Christopher Walken) still gives him 24 hours to solve the murder and clear his name. Artie investigates and discovers that Tally was not the innocent, all-American girl that everyone thought she was. This leads to a nudity-filled flashback that explains why All-American Murder was an HBO mainstay in the 90s. It also leads to other people being murdered by snakes and hand grenades.
Despite some bloody murders and the presence of Walken and Joanna Cassidy in potentially interesting supporting roles, All-American Murder fails because it asks us to accept Charlie Schlatter as being a charismatic rebel. When Joanna Cassidy tells him that he’s a “renegade,” not even she sounds like she believes it. The murder mystery is intriguing but Artie is so obnoxious that you want him to go to prison whether he’s guilty or not.
All-American Murder was directed by Anson Williams, who is best known for playing Potsie on Happy Days. The Fonz could have framed Ralph Malph for this murder in half the time that it takes Artie to solve it.