Kiss or Kill
Credits: Directed by Bill Bennett and starring Geoff Revell, Julie Sobotta, Andrew S. Gilbert, Matt Day, Max Cullen, Chris Haywood, Syd Brisbane, Frances O`Connor, Barry Langrishe, Barry Otto and Jennifer Cluff.
Details: (MA15+), 96 mins, Australia, English
Synopsis: Nikki and Al are lovers and partners in crime - small time. When a routine con job goes badly astray, they hit the road across the barren Nullarbor, carrying a stolen video that implicates a famous sportsman in child sex. With the city cops - and the threatened sportsman - on their trail, they overnight at a motel. By morning, the motel owner is dead. Murdered. Next day, they get a lift from a stranger, who takes them home and lets them stay. By morning, he and his wife are also dead. Murdered. As they begin to suspect each other of the multiple killings, the cops are closing in, helped by an Aboriginal tracker.
A fantantastic cast, snappy editing, and an intriguing sript make this a rewarding cinema experience.
After a somewhat unfortunate excursion to Hollywood, Bill Bennett is back on very top form with Kiss Or Kill, a tantalising, innovative thriller which unfolds on the Nullabor Plain. Al - Matt Day, and Nikki - Frances O`Connor - both of them terrifically good - are partners in crime. Their latest caper has gone sour; their victim is dead, and they`ve got their hands on evidence which proves a celebrated sportsman, Zipper Doyle - Barry Langrishe - is involved in particularly nasty criminal activity. The pair head for Perth, with the cops and Zipper on their tail: but along the way, people they encounter wind up mysteriously dead. Is one of them the killer?
Bennett has lots of fun exploring notions of trust and truth and succeeds in making his characters - and the viewers - trust just about no-one. He`s achieved this with improvised dialogue, which for once works brilliantly and gives the marvellous cast lots of room to breathe. Apart from the leads, it`s great to see a colourful cast of character actors - Barry Otto, Chris Haywood, Jennifer Cluff, Max Cullen, Andrew Gilbert and others - in fine fettle. Bennett also dares to give the film a jagged, abrasive look via disorienting jump cuts and, instead of smothering the whole thing with music, opts for no music at all. The result is both stylish and original, but it`s also very intriguing and suspenseful. A major new Australian film.
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