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Messenger of Death (1988)

Charles Bronson , Trish Van Devere , J. Lee Thompson  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Bronson, Trish Van Devere, Laurence Luckinbill, Daniel Benzali, Marilyn Hassett
  • Directors: J. Lee Thompson
  • Writers: Paul Jarrico, Rex Burns
  • Producers: Menahem Golan, Pancho Kohner, Patricia G. Payró, Richard Driscoll, Yoram Globus
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: February 4, 2003
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007GZRH
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,029 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Messenger of Death" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In a sleepy Colorado town, a horrific crime has been committed…and only one man can bring the killer to justice! Action hero Charles Bronson stars as a crime reporter on a relentless search for the truth in this "crisply directed" (Los Angeles Times) suspense thriller! Could a simple feud between brothers lead to the brutal massacre of an entire family? Garret Smith (Bronson) travels to a remote Rocky Mountain town to investigate and uncovers far more sinister motives. As he gets closer to the bizarre truth, Smith unravels a plot of greed, revenge and religious zealotry. But can he get to the bottom of the murders before an "avenging angel" visits him with an equally deadly message?

Charles Bronson stars in yet another tale of murder and vengeance. After the brutal massacre of a Colorado family, reporter Garret Smith (Bronson) investigates the blood feud between two brothers of an isolationist Mormon sect, only to uncover a conspiracy that leads to the heights of Denver society. Messenger of Death aspires to be some mixture of Witness and Chinatown; the movie has a workmanlike structure, but there's not much inspiration to be found. Bronson, puffy-faced and graying, isn't doing much more than earning a paycheck. Also featuring Trish Van Devere and Daniel Benzali. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was IN this movie! January 5, 2005
Although this B-film was a bomb, it was fun and a learning experience to participate in a movie. It's great fun to see yourself onscreen, even if you have to fast-forward through the first ten minutes of gore. It kind of ruined movies for me for a couple of years because I would analyze how a scene was shot and the 'magic' was gone. However, I will treasure my copy of the film forever because a dear friend who has since passed away is standing next to me in the train station scene (I'm the lady in the camel hair coat and black hat). The most redeeming thing about this film is the scenery. Shot in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, the views are breathtaking. Makes you want to vacation in Colorful Colorado!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Above average by Bronson standards February 27, 2006
Be warned, this review may be biased. You see it was partly filmed in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, my home of twenty five years. In one scene Mr. Bronson's Garrett Smith, a Denver reporter solving a brutal family murder, is walking downtown speaking with the local sheriff when a large Chevy truck passes them. I'm happy to report that truck (mine) and its driver (my dad) are both alive and well. While Mr. Bronson is sadly not, fans of the square jawed tough will certainly enjoy this film. It may not be "Death Wish", or even "Mr. Myjestyk"; "Evil That Men Do" though, it is not.

The plot centers on a massacred family in the Colorado hills. The husband/father is the lone survivor and the head suspect. Everyone suspects foul play, but no one is Aticus Finch enough to confront it, which sometimes puts Bronson in some absolutely ludacris situations. If I told you that there was a shootout involving two sides of a family with multiple deaths, your last guess as to the man who would sue for peace would be Charles Bronson--but he does. In this regard his character is equivelant to his Danny in "Great Escape"; he uses his brain to solve problems and lets everyone else blast away. Yes, we're thinking of the same Charles Bronson.

What follows is a complicated (sometimes silly) view of Mormonism, corruption in city politics and family feuds. Worth the price of admission though, is the film's pure 1980's small town Americana texture. Cars are very, very ugly and there were more STDs than SUVs at the time of filming. Vehicles also are, along with everything else, brown. Clothes, hairstyles, houses and buildings, all brown and all better left a score ago. Let's call it an ugly decade and move on huh?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bronson searches for a mass murderer. March 12, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
An investigative reporter (Charles Bronson) tries to unravel the mystery behind the assassintation of an entire Mormon family. An above average murder mystery with action scenes, Messenger of Death is flawed only by an ending so abrupt it's nearly comical. Still I recommend it to the former action superstar's fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bronson Vs. The Mormons! November 5, 2003
After a string of sleazy action flicks with Chuck(Evil That Men Do, Murphy's Law, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown), director J. Lee Thompson seemed like he wanted to do something a little different with his next Bronson picture. Messenger Of Death is a little more on the drama/suspense side than action. Sure it's got bits of action here and there, but most of the film has Bronson trying to get to the bottom of a brutal murder. It's not terribly exciting, but it certainly isn't a bad film. I guess I'm just used to the vigilante Bronson, which is unfortunate coz he's capable of more than that. But this movie won't give you anything you haven't seen before, although it certainly makes mormons out to be a creepy bunch. Bronson really doesn't turn on the Bronson until the last five minutes or so of the film, but he does it with that flair we all love. All in all, not too bad, but it's main function will be to make your Bronson collection larger.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful plot twisting action drama February 23, 2003
Charles Bronson is in my opinion the best action movie star because he didn't LOOK the type. he didn't have over-bearing muscles and a majority of his characters were appealing to the "common man" who felt helpless in the face of the system. on this tale, Charles plays a reporter named Garret Smith who investigates the brutal murder of two women and a group of little children. the murder opens up this movie and we see who does it so this isn't a mystery figure to the viewer that Charles is looking for. the fun is watching how the police and the newspaper are going to solve the case. Charles wouldn't be the same without some tough love and he dishes it out as only he can. the movie ended without a wrap-up or a conclusion. it simply ended with a murder...i won't say who. the entire movie is based on a family feud, mormons, relgious zealots, the Colorado Water Company, and two outsiders who stand to gain from the family feud. it's a complex story and it's the kind of Bronson film most people wouldn't like because it requires a person to think like a criminal or an illogical person. most viewers generally root for the cop or the good guy, right? when you deal with oddballs and deranged killers like Bronson does in mostly all of his movies, the "good guy" HAS to do things illogical or things that don't make sense in order to get in the mind of a crook and therefore solve the case as the movie progresses. having said that, "Messenger of Death" is one of Bronson's last great action movie. this movie came out in 1988 and i think that 1989 was his last big year as far as the box office goes. i could be wrong but after "Kinjite" in 1989, i can't recall any other movie of his pulling the sort of money at the box office one requires to make to land in the Top-20 list? i'll do some research on that subject later on. meanwhile, catch this movie because it's entertaining and that's the key element.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Reporter Smith is on the trail of the killer
Messenger of Death (1988). Rated "R". Running Time: One hour, 31 mins.
Directed by J. Lee Thompson. Written by Rex Burns (novel), Paul Jarrico (screenplay). Read more
Published 3 months ago by James McDonald
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a Watch
Classic Bronson.
If you like any his other films from this time period.....You are sure to enjoy this one.
Published 6 months ago by STEVE MERCER
4.0 out of 5 stars Messenger of Death
Any Bronson movie is great and this is one of his classic best. Action is nonstop and plot is realistic.
Published 7 months ago by BarbaraKButler
5.0 out of 5 stars Bronson movie
It's your basic good over evil. The violence to a family is not for every one. But it is important to the story. I liked the movie, but then I'm a Bronson fan
Published 7 months ago by Joyce
4.0 out of 5 stars okay
As expected, we can see action, a story, lots of dead people and a happy ending, typical of a Bronson film.
Published 8 months ago by bisdak
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Seeing
I never heard of this Charles Bronson movie, but it's worth the price of admission. Decent action and good plot .
Published 8 months ago by Gen. Custer
4.0 out of 5 stars 'BRONSON AT HIS GOODNESS"
Published 9 months ago by C. Frost
5.0 out of 5 stars Miss you,Charlie
I am a Charles Bronson (nee: Charles Buchinsky) fan so,of course, I'm biased. That being said Charles Bronson was convincing in any role he took from Joe Valachi to an author (St. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Francis Christopher Hall
3.0 out of 5 stars Well acted but plot drags
The plot and action seem to move too slow for me. I have enjoyed many other Charles Bronson movies but this one is a pass for me.
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic!
This is another great classic by Charlesl Bronson. The plot is well written and very suspensful. Super and great movie!
Published 10 months ago by Kiki4kooky
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