18 May 2008

Portrait of A Hitman

Portrait of a Hitman
United States - 1977
Director- Alan A. Buckhantz
Program Hunters Inc., 1983(?), VHS

Before the film there is a preview for a lousy looking film called Cat In A Cage, starring Sybil Danning.
Some guys in a helicopter chatter at each other as they track down a coyote or a wild dog, and take potshots at it. When they hit it, they land and one guy gets out to make sure its dead, but Jack Palance, standing nearby in his western shirt kills him.

At home some time later, Jimbuck (Palance) paints a crappy portrait of his wife, refusing to answer her innocuous questions with anything but steely brush-offs. Nevertheless, she is seduced and is somehow coerced into a lovemaking montage with the sandpapery Palance.

Receiving a call from his contractor, Mafioso Max Andreiotti (Rod Steiger), Jimbuck finds that his next hit is to be his old buddy Dr. Bob Michaels played by Bo Svenson.

Later, Bob and Jimbuck race around the mountains in their fancy sports cars and over some drinks Jimbuck comes clean. Insults accusations and dull dialogue are unleashed, and when Jimbuck storms out, Bob sticks around to pressure Jimbucks wife into another raspy sex montage.

You would think that catching the two of them going at it would seal the deal for old Jimbuck, who seems like he’s just about to nuke the whole world anyway, but nope. He refuses to make the kill, instead tracking down the hit contractor; one fake accented “black-pimp” caricature Richard Roundtree as “Coco”. There is a gunfight in which it is difficult to see anything, and Jimbuck returns to Mafioso’s house to beg for a way out of the lifestyle.
An awkward strip club scene is inserted here to fill out the boob-quotient, and the whole movie is played again in a quick yellow flashback. Which leaves me wondering; why, if they can edit all the garbage out of this shit for a 90 second montage, did they expect anyone to sit through the whole boring hour and a half just to see a bunch of rich snobby racist white people drinking champagne?

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