Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 84 minutes
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The “Warm Blooded Killers” title is in reference to a pair of assassins for hire who are shown to be actually okay people who live regular San Fernando Valley suburban lives. So, I guess you can say that “Warm Blooded Killers” is a bit like “The Sopranos”, revealing a softer underbelly to a life of crime.
John Portenza (Mick Murray) and his sister Vicky (Constance Zimmer) are killers for hire. When not doing jobs for crime boss Vincent, John is busy planning his wedding with his stripper girlfriend as well as being wrapped up in his obsession of finding a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card and Vicky is busy engaging in Mr. Nasty Time with her pornographer boyfriend, Dutch. Problem is, Dutch winds up taping one of their sexual adventures and sells it to a cable company for their airing purposes. John finds out about this and decides to put an end to Dutch’s days. Later, Vincent approaches John with another job – to whack* the guy who killed his godson. His godson Dutch. Vincent thinks he knows who did it, so he contracts John and Vicky to put the guy down. Not knowing that Dutch was Vincent’s godson, John and Vicky are faced with the task of killing an innocent man or be killed themselves…unless they can come up with a plan that will set things right. Of course, things don’t work out that way and a mess ensues.
“Warm Blooded Killers” is an entertaining little film that unfortunately throws words like “whack” around too much. I don’t know, it just didn’t sound right coming out of characters who live in the Valley. It just made me wince every time I heard it. Not that I wanted them to say “dude” and crap like that, but people in the Valley just don’t talk like they walked off the set of a Scorsese film.
Entertaining as it is, “Warm Blooded Killers” has this odd feeling of being an innocent made for TV type of film. Ill-fitting elements causing a slight break in this feeling are the few on screen killings, major strong language and a little nudity. Other than that, the film plays like a light comedy you’d expect Alan Thicke to be appearing in. Even the film’s ending has this real hoaky, happily ever after wrap-up that wreaks of prime time television.
Oh well. The characters are fairly amusing to watch and the performances are decent, even though at times Mick Murray seems like he’s really trying to pull off his best Tony Soprano impression. Cute twists and turns pop up in all the right spots, keeping “Warm Blooded Killers” moving forward at a good pace. It’s just too bad that the twists are cute. I think maybe a little grittiness or darker humor would make this one stick more in the minds of its viewers.
Posted on February 26, 2002 in Reviews by Eric Campos
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