DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

DEAD BEAT (director: Adam Dubov/writer; screenwriter: Janice Shapiro; cinematographer: Nancy Schreiber; editor: Lorraine Salk; music: Anton Sanko; cast: Balthazar Getty (Rudy), Bruce Ramsey (Kit), Natasha Gregson Wagner (Kristen), Meredith Salenger (Donna), Deborah Harry (Mrs. Kurtz), Sara Gilbert (Martha), Max Perlich (Jimmie), Alex Cox (English Teacher); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: George Moffly/Christopher Lambert; Live; 1994)

"Despite its sleaziness, it's intriguing."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Writer-director Adam Dubov, in his directing start, bases his quirky crime drama on supposedly the real serial killer who inspired Charles Manson. Janice Shapiro is co-writer. It's co-produced by the actor Christopher Lambert. Though set in New Mexico, it's filmed in Arizona.

The psychopath serial killer Kit (
Bruce Ramsey) is an Elvis-loving wannabe Elvis, who wears makeup to make himself look like his idol. He's a con man and womanizer in New Mexico in the mid-60s, who is a phony and a liar. His spoiled rich girlfriend Kristen (Natasha Gregson Wagner, Natalie Wood's daughter), part of his followers, seems to be his match until he turns on her when she seems to be drifting out of his reach. She thereby becomes another of his female vics.

The life of Kit is told by his loyal follower Rudy (
Balthazar Getty, great-grandson of J. Paul Getty), who must choose between obeying the law or his master. The doltish sniveling Rudy after high school moved from the Midwest to Albuquerque, where the lonely guy hooked up with the slightly older Kit and was fooled into believing the man he admired cared about him.

Luminaries such as Deborah Harry and Alex Cox have bit parts.

Despite its sleaziness, it's intriguing.

REVIEWED ON 8/6/2016       GRADE: B

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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