The Killing Hour
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Poised somewhere between a serial-killer horror film and an old-fashioned murder mystery, Armand Mastroianni's smartly plotted The Killing Hour doesn't quite reach its potential but offers an entertaining ride to the climax. A handcuff killer is running around New York and the NYPD's best hope lies in a psychic artist who sketches death scenes from the eyes of the killer. Norman Parker is a genial New York cop and part-time standup comic who falls in love with artist Elizabeth Kemp, while muckraking talk-show host Perry King exploits her for ratings at the expense of her safety: the killer is out there and he's still hunting. The opening murder scenes are vivid and accomplished, economically realized with style and suggestion, and similar scenes sprinkled throughout punctuate an otherwise flatly directed drama. The film is invigorated by NYC location shooting, an inventive screenplay, quirky, character-rich performances by the always reliable Joe Morton, Jon Polito, and Kenneth McMillan in small roles, and an engaging, understated lead by Parker.
The DVD also features entertaining audio commentary by Mastroianni and fellow director William Lustig--who reminisce about the old days as exploitation auteurs making pictures on the streets of New York--as well as deleted scenes that illuminate the hard choices directors make, sacrificing detail for pace and rhythm. The picture's title is explained in those cut moments. --Sean Axmaker
- Never-Before-Seen Uncensored Director's Cut
- Deleted Scenes
- 4.5" x 7" Original Theatrical Poster Replica
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Top customer reviews
This film is kind of like EYES OF LAURA MARS as it would have been directed by Bava or Argento. But I will say that director Armand Mastroianni (HE KNOWS YOU'RE ALONE, which featured Kemp) can accomplish so much while showing so little in terms of the murder sequences! In fact, the pool murder, cast in an ominous red glow, looks like something Argento or Bava would have come up with. Also, the music score (by Alexander Peskanov, who scored ALONE with his brother Mark) resembles something Pino Donnagio would have composed for DePalma. And after all, why go for graphic violence when you have such fine performances, especially from character actors Kenneth McMillan and Joe Morton? This thriller is definetly worth your time!
In terms of extras, there's a fun and insightful commentary by Mastroianni and then Anchor Bay head Bill Lustig, who talk about how the film came to be (William Friedkin was involved) among other things. We also get five deleted scenes (obviously cut to speed up the movie), one of which ended up in the trailer. Best of all, it's an unrated director's cut! Don't miss it!