Year Released: 1999
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 95 minutes
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The best way to describe Ozark Savage is to imagine John Woo and Jackie Chan meeting Quentin Tarantino, the three drop acid and make a low-budget indie film. Our lead and gun for hire, Lens Ozark (Dave Wilson) searches for a 9th century Chinese coin, containing the soul of an ancient sorceress, which entitles the holder to the island of Hong Kong.
Lens is hired by the evil Makeel (Elliott Grey) who has searched for centuries for the coin after it disappearance in 9th century China. Now set up as a present day organized crime figure, Makeel wants the coin before June 31, 1997, when the British turn the island over to the Chinese. Upon seizing the coin, Ozark is double-crossed by Makeel and his hired goons, the Malachi brothers. He’s killed and buried in a shallow desert grave. Ozark pays a visit to the devil, who now has possession of the coin. Upon stealing it back, the coin and an accidental nuclear explosion transports Ozark back to life on Earth. The coin, on its own power, fly’s through the air, eventually landing in the hands of prostitute, Desha (Stephanie-Matthews Diaz). Ozark, now without the coin and his payment, is out for revenge against Makeel. Ozark joins up with Desha, who has become inhabited by the spirit of the coin’s sorceress and together they set out to destroy both Makeel, the coin and anyone else who gets in their way.
Combining dark humor, violence and comic pratfalls, Ozark Savage is sort of an Americanized, Hong Kong action movie for the poor man. Influences abound in this film, at times blurring the distinction between homage and satire. Either way, director Matt Steinauer takes on the conventions of the gangster genre adding both his own flavor of fantasy and humor.
Posted on October 4, 1999 in Reviews by Brian Bertoldo
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