QUICKSAND: NO ESCAPE (TV) (director: Michael Pressman; screenwriters: Peter I. Baloff/Dave Wollert; cinematographer: Jacek Lascus; editor: Millie Moore; music: Paul Chihara; cast: Tim Matheson (Scott Reinhardt), Donald Sutherland (Murdoch), Timothy Carhart (Charlie Groves), Felicity Huffman (Julianna Reinhardt), John Finn (Lt. Detective Griffith), Jay Acovone (Lt. Towers); Runtime: 84; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Peter I. Baloff; MCA/Universal Home Video; 1992)

"Donald Sutherland's menacing performance as a corrupt sleazy blackmailer private detective, gives the film all the props it needs."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz 

A made-for-cable thriller that's competently directed by Michael Pressman ("Boulevard Nights"/"Some Kind of Hero"/"Dynamite Women") and very watchable. Writers Peter I. Baloff and Dave Wollert keep it standard procedural crime drama fare until the twist at the climax. Donald Sutherland's menacing performance as a corrupt sleazy blackmailer private detective, gives the film all the props it needs.

Upstart workaholic straight-arrow architect Scott Reinhardt (Tim Matheson) has a pretty wife Julianna (Felicity Huffman) and two small children, where he lives happily in a beautiful home in the Hollywood Hills. His partner in their architect firm, Charlie Groves (Timothy Carhart), bribes an LA city commissioner to get a big architectural job bid. This leads crooked Vice Squad cop Towers (Jay Acovone) to stop Scott late at night on Mulholland Drive and blackmail him for $5,000 in hush money. They tussle and Towers is accidentally killed when he slips on a rock and his head is bashed in. The next morning's TV news reports that Towers died from a bullet to his head. Soon Scott encounters the sinister Murdoch (Donald Sutherland), who shakes him down for a $100,000 to coverup the bribe and murder. Murdoch says he has the audio tape of Towers witnessing the bribe of the city official and with that evidence the cops would have the motive for the murder if he should turn it in. A harried Scott sees no easy escape from this mess and adjusts to becoming an animal like Murdoch to survive, as in the end he learns why Murdoch knows so much about him and figures out a way to get Murdoch out of his life. Scott's solution to his problem is amoral, to say the least, but it leaves him in the clear though not with a clear conscience.

REVIEWED ON 7/2/2011       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"