HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sorry to Bother You
Last Days, The
Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, The
Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story
Once Upon a Time in London
King Lear
Under the Silver Lake
Satan's Mistress
Border
Lemonade Joe
Earth Maiden Arjuna
Sons of Katie Elder, The
Soldier, The
Mr. Topaze
Aquaman
One, Two, Three
Bad Times at the El Royale
Caretaker, The
Old Man and the Gun, The
Song of Bernadette, The
Creed II
Anna and the Apocalypse
Return of the Hero
White Reindeer, The
Lizzie
Wicked, Wicked
Faces Places
Strange Woman, The
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Sky Bandits
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Devil's Sword, The
Leprechaun Returns
Man in the Wilderness
Mug
Love Me Deadly
Look Away
J.C.
Filmworker
Sixty Glorious Years
   
 
Newest Articles
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
   
 
  Guilty as Charged Short Sharp ShockBuy this film here.
Year: 1991
Director: Sam Irvin
Stars: Rod Steiger, Lauren Hutton, Heather Graham, Lyman Ward, Isaac Hayes, Zelda Rubinstein, Irwin Keyes, Michael Beach, Mitch Pileggi, Michael Talbott, Terrance Ellis, Ricky Dean Logan, James Dybas, Shawn Thompson, Gale Mayron, Bill Randolph, Earl Boen
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: There have been reports of power surges in this area of Los Angeles and electricians have been called out to investigate, as they occur at the same time, twelve midnight, and for the same duration. What the authorities do not know is the reason for the mystery, and that is because Ben Kallin (Rod Steiger) keeps his operations undercover, and underground for that matter, for he has established a way of securing justice for those who believe murderers have gotten away far too lightly. Nothing less than a life for a life will do for Kallin and his cohorts, so to that end they have constructed an electric chair in a basement room: perfect for unofficial executions.

Guilty as Charged was given a small cinema release back in 1991 and then slipped into the oblivion of some dark recess of a video store, but for those who did actually watch it a minor fanbase was built up among the viewer whose sense of humour chimed with the movie's own. It was at times goofy, at others satirical, but most memorably the script by Charles Gale (best known for Ernest Scared Stupid, of all things) went to some very grim places, yet you could be forgiven for not noticing how pitch black the tone was growing since it was really all over the place, with a plot to match. The cast were certainly eclectic, and that contributed to the overall feeling of "what did I just watch?" once it was over.

That it ends with a cheesy wink to camera from supermodel turned actress Lauren Hutton was some indication that you were not intended to take the movie seriously, yet on the other hand there were selected points throughout which seemed to be tackling the morality of the death penalty from both sides of the argument, for and against, and lampooning each of them. The notion that mankind can judge for themselves who should be given the most extreme punishment possible was not considered lightly but did not ignore the arrogance of that, whether there was a God as ultimate judge or not - Kallin is a very religious man who makes sure his victims repent as they sit on his customised death chair (it is decorated with huge wings to make the passing more... heavenly).

But is Kallin a misguided dogooder - he wants to salve the broken hearts of the victims' loved ones as much as meting out executions - or is he a deranged vigilante whose outward meekness and sweetness belies a very sick mind? Gale and his director Sam Irvin either were not sure themselves or were determined to have the viewer draw their own conclusions, and you would prefer to believe they trusted us with the intelligence to consider the pros and cons weighed up before us, with a wacky comedy flavour to offset the fact that most of the characters were deranged or criminal. One of those criminals is who ends up in Kallin's cells is Hamilton (Michael Beach), who is genuinely innocent of the murder charge he has been landed with, not that the vigilantes believe his protestations.

The actual culprit is governor candidate Stanford (Lyman Ward), a corrupt official who was about to be exposed by his mistress so contrived to frame petty thief Hamilton as the killer when he knocked him out. This dilemma is what the story revolves around, as Kimberly Adams (Heather Graham, fresh off Twin Peaks on TV), an assistant in Stanford's office who works for the parole board, wants to back his zero tolerance policies but has a conscience which tells her rehabilitation is always a possibility for the wrongdoers. That is until she is nearly killed herself by one of her charges and is saved by Kallin, who shows her what he has planned: so off-kilter are these characters that they don't see much wrong with this amateur death penalty until something jolts them out of their complacency, as seen in the race against the clock finale. Steiger offered a proper performance this time (he often lapsed into self parody by that stage) and was backed by some canny performing which sold a deceptively complex theme, with Isaac Hayes particularly funny. Not perfect, but awkwardly hard to shake. Music by Steve Bartek.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1142 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Shrimpton
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: