1986, Movie, R, 107 mins


Rollie Tyler (Brown) is an ace New York-based special-effects man who specializes in doing the gore effects for horror films. Between pictures he is approached by government agent Lipton (De Young) from the Justice Department's Witness Protection Program. Lipton wants to hire Brown to fake the assassination of Mafia kingpin Nicholas DeFranco (Orbach), who is about to testify against members of his gang. If the gang thinks DeFranco is dead, it will make it easier for the Justice Department to protect him from potential mob "hits" until he has the chance to squeal in court. Although apprehensive, Rollie takes the challenge and concocts an elaborate plan for "assassinating" the mobster. Unfortunately, soon after the deed is done, Rollie realizes that the whole thing was a set-up, and now his employers want him dead.

This is a slick little thriller that benefits greatly from its clever use of special effects. Australian actor Bryan Brown is fine as the effects man who finds himself embroiled in an often-confusing plot, and Brian Dennehy lends his usual solid support as the New York cop trying to make sense of it all. Director Robert Mandel has a nice flair for light comedy and never hesitates to go for a laugh when the absurdities of the script call for it. The action sequences are well staged and the twists and turns of the convoluted plot will keep viewers guessing. A competent and unpretentious entertainment. leave a comment

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