DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews
 
THE KILLING JAR (director/writer: Mark H. Young cinematographer: Gregg Easterbrook; editor: Mark Young; music: Elia Cmiral; cast: Michael Madsen (Doe), Harold Perrineau (Dixon), Amber Benson (Noreen), Danny Trejo (Jimmy), Kevin Gage (Hank), Lew Temple (Lonnie), Jake Busey (Greene), Talon Torriero (Billy), Lindsey Axelsson (Starr); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Mark Young/William Boyer/Patrick Durham/Jonathan Sachar; New Films International/Image Entertainment; 2010)

"Makes no sense and is unpleasant."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A cheap thrill thriller that is poorly executed and a bad watch. Writer/director/editor and co-producer Mark H. Young ("The Least Among You"/"Wicked Blood") strains to find a reason for making such a twisted grizzly story that makes no sense and is unpleasant. The direct-to-DVD offering takes place entirely inside an isolated truck-stop diner.

In the rural Silver Lake diner a handful of late-night patrons and staff are concerned when hearing the radio newscast that a farm family of four were slain in a nearby town.

When the foul-mouthed aggressive stranger named Doe (Michael Madsen), in a black motorcycle jacket, rubs the unhappily married 32-year-old waitress Noreen (Amber Benson) the wrong way, she shames the reluctant dopey police officer (Lew Temple) patron to question him. When the nervous cop's questions rub the stranger the wrong way, the trigger-happy psychopath kills him. From then on everyone in the diner is taken hostage by him and tied up as he systematically questions them. The fear is the crazy gunman, armed with a shotgun and automatic pistol, will kill them all. The catch is that one of the patrons is the professional killer who killed the farm family.

The patrons include a vapid young couple (Lindsey Axelsson & Talon Torriero) planning to leave the dead-end town. A jolly black traveling salesman (Harold Perrineau) just passing through, an infrequent patron named Hank (Kevin Gage), a slick guy (Jake Busey) looking in the diner for a business acquaintance named Mr. Smith and the diner chef-owner (Danny Trejo).

The thing here is to guess who is the hit man and who will walk away from this situation. That I don't care, indicates how dismal the story was for me.

REVIEWED ON 3/12/2017       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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