Writer/director Bishop, son of the old Rat Pack member Joey Bishop, looks set on founding his own pack with this spoof of gang warfare. Whereas Sinatra's pack made sneery, slick movies together, Bishop can organise his material and he shares his jokes. Gang boss Vic (Dreyfuss) is released from mental hospital, but finds his turf threatened with ambitious weeds like mortician MacLachlan, who longs to see everyone professionally, and his own once-faithful caretaker, Byrne. The new blood presents him with a commemorative straitjacket at his welcome home party, so the chances of détente are slim. Vic is also preoccupied with settling scores with his former hitman Nicky (Goldblum), who took up with his mistress once the boss was banged up. There's byzantine plotting, trade-offs and double-bluffs aplenty, plus an amusing ritual in which rival hitmen duel to the death from facing executive desks. The leads play up enthusiastically with the brass ring shared by Goldblum and Barkin's shifty moll Rita. There's a conveyor belt of faded or fuddled walk-ons from the likes of Pollard, Pryor, Reynolds and Anka, while the soundtrack is vintage cuff-shooting crooner. Fair fun.
Cast and crew
Michael J Pollard