Killers (1997)

Rating: D+

Dir: David Michael Latt
Star: Kim Little, Paul Hogan, Erica Ortega, Scott Carson

A biker gang head for a warehouse to buy some stolen drugs – only for the real owners to show up there, intent on getting their property back. That’s straightforward, simple and could go in to a bunch of different directions. However, the end result doesn’t quite manage to be satisfactory, and eventually peters out into disinterest. There is something of a potentially interesting character arc in the heroine Heather (Little), who starts off being there simply “to get high,” and ends up demonstrating rather more of a survival instinct than most of her compatriots. The gangsters also manage to avoid the usual cliches, with their leader being a well-spoken individual, rather than speaking in Soprano-esque cliches, and that enhances the threat level.

On the down-side…well, just about everything else, to be perfectly honest. There never seems to be adequate focus to the story, which blips around between groups, and even characters within the groups, without apparent purpose, and the way people behave also seems to be in accordance only with cinematic logic. Especially in the second half, the film progresses without dialogue, which isn’t necessarily a problem – however, there isn’t anything to replace it, such as action, or even tension. As a result, the potential inherent in the set-up evaporates steadily; by the end, even I, who thinks Reservoir Dogs is over-rated, was wondering why the DVD sleeve was invoking Tarantino’s debut. Five years later, this would get a sequel, which is somewhat surprising – actually, it’s significantly more entertaining, with a better script. Go straight for that, and you won’t be missing much.