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This Larry Cohen-scripted thriller reworks the old idea of the symbiotic relationship between cop and killer, adding a new twist. LA Detective Meechum (Dennehy) is a burnt-out wreck whose sideline as a crime novelist has dried up since his wife's death. Sleazy, amoral hit-man Cleve (Woods) steps out of Meechum's past and offers him the dirt on his ex-boss, major league criminal turned legitimate corporation boss Madlock. The deal is that Meechum gets to write again and Cleve gets to be the hero of a hard-hitting exposé of Madlock's bloodstained past. Tough action, hardboiled dialogue and a tightly constructed script keep the action brisk and bloody, while the jaundiced sideswipes at American capitalism are laced with cynicism. Sadly, the potentially explosive confrontation between Dennehy and Woods never quite lives up to expectations; but Flynn's lean direction achieves a gritty B movie edge as the sparks fly and Dennehy moves towards a grudging respect for his manic alter ego.

By: NF

Release details

Duration: 95 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Flynn
Screenwriter: Larry Cohen
Cast: James Woods
Brian Dennehy
Victoria Tennant
Allison Balson
Paul Shenar
George Coe
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