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Cult Cinema

FanTRASHtique #2 – Revisiting David Winning’s Sharp, Stylish Exploitation Movie ‘KILLER IMAGE’

It’s time for some TRASH folks! Welcome to FanTRASHtique and today, the focus is on terror…

This time we’ll start off with a little story. So, after making a list of films for the upcoming weeks, it occurred to Howard and myself that I actually have nothing to watch this week (the issues to come will be more well prepared). With that in mind, I went on a spiritual journey to where some of the worst films on earth dwell. That’s right, I poped along to Poundland. For anyone unaware of the concept, Poundland is the home of vaguely useful things, and things beyond your wildest imagination, all under the very affordable price of £1. You can imagine how their ‘entertainment’ section is somewhat dubious. I grabbed a basket and swiftly filled it with a stack of things that had vaguely recognizable names, and some trashy potential, and chose at random. The film for this week is Killer Image (1992) starring Michael Ironside.

Max Oliver (John Pyper-Ferguson) watches his photographer brother die at the whim of an assassin known as Luther Kane (Michael Ironside). Upon inspection, Max discovers his brother Ric’s photographs which explicitly show a powerful senator in a relationship of an intimate nature with a prostitute. Luther attempts to hunt down Max, in order to preserve his brother John Kane (M. Emmet Walsh) and his political career. As you’d expect, the plot can only go one way, as it boils down to an inevitable conclusion with Max and Luther.

I’m not entirely sure how to approach Killer Image, given how Street Trash went down but here it goes. Here lies is a stable movie. It has a basic plot that gets the job done, although it’s incredibly uninspired and thoroughly unspectacular. From the opening scene, you can pretty much infer what’ll happen for the next hour and a half. It’s also chock-full of those typical action logic flaws we all know and love. Here’s just a few from the opening scene:

– How on earth did Luther manage to both kill Ric, and shoot Max off his motorcycle using a silenced pistol from several hundred metres away?

– Why did Ric just stand there when he was being shot at?

– How do you shoot someone off a motorcycle without shooting the rider or motorcycle?

– Why would Luther just leave, knowing full well someone just saw him kill a man?

I know it’s generally a bad idea to look for sound logic in an action film of all things, but they slow begin to irritate after an hour or so. Ultimately my enjoyment boiled down to one thing in Killer Image, Michael Ironside. Everything is vaguely mediocre, and not in a funny way, more of a ‘this is mildly flawed’ way. However, Michael Ironside is a horribly underrated character actor, and his stiff-upper-lip assassin, Luther Kane, is quite the watch. I imagine as we continue FanTRASHtique we’ll encounter a lot of awful films that seem to balance themselves precariously on one well known actor’s performance. Killer Image is pretty much the epitome of that.

My conclusion this time is quite a toughie. Killer Image is full of niggling errors, continuity flaws, with an all-around average plot. The acting and shot composition was all fine, and there’s nothing I could really say is laughably bad. I think that’s the problem though. If it was laughably bad, Killer Image would actually be a lot more enjoyable. As it stands, I’d probably say just watch a simply better thriller or action film, and give this one a miss, unless you really love Michael Ironside.

Verdict: Killer Image is certainly watchable, but I can’t think of a reason why you ever would. At points I leaned towards a positive verdict, but just plain trash seems much more fair.

Not quite as vivid as my look into the bizarre and surreal world of Street Trash, but they can’t all be winners. Not to lose hope though, I’ve some much more ‘exciting’ movies lined up for the next few editions. That’s it for FanTRASHtique this time folks, until next time, stay trashy and we’ll leave you with a trailer for Killer Image. And don’t forget,you can follow us over on Twitter @FanTRASHtique where we warmly appreciate your recommendations for future reviews.

Where to watch Killer Image

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