Posts tagged "Joel Soisson"

Girl Missing (Review)

Girl Missing

aka Forgotten
Girl Missing
Written by Philip Fracassi
Directed by Joel Soisson

Girl Missing
Girl Missing is another Lifetime flick featuring dangerous family secrets and a woman in trouble. Is there an evil man? Of course! There is also murder and a mystery child, and even a bit of atmosphere. It suffers from having few enough characters that the obvious outcome stands out too easily, though the actors try to make up for it by giving great performances.

A young girl is found wandering the forest with no memories of where she came from. 15 years later, she’s turned into Francesca Eastwood and is known as Jane (as in Jane Doe, I’m guessing!), and is a struggling artist collection rejections from galleries and living with her childhood orphan friend, Finch. Things change when she gets a letter about a possible parent match.
Girl Missing
Meets her “mom”, Sylvia Knowles, and both of them are all smiles and giggles over the objections of the case worker, Gwen, who points out the DNA test hasn’t even come back yet. No bother, Jane agrees to go visit Sylvia for the weekend, Sylvia convinced she is her missing daughter, Savannah.

It turns out Sylvia is loaded. As in billionaire loaded. And Jane/Savannah’s dad is dead from suicide, Sylvia having married the charming Carlo in the intervening years. If you sense some sort of twisted inheritance plot coming up, congratulations! Besides the obvious direction that turns, Jane occasionally spies a young girl running around the estate. The girl is played by the same actress that played young Jane, and we skirt across spooky right to psychological, as she’s the manifestation of Jane’s missing memories.
Girl Missing
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3 comments - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - December 24, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (Review)

Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence

Maniac Cop 3
Written by Larry Cohen
Directed by William Lustig and Joel Soisson

Maniac Cop 3
The final chapter of the Maniac Cop trilogy is a disappointing finale that fails to live up to the standards of the prior two films, but does sort of make up for it with the last reel and the simply crazy stunts. While Maniac Cop 2 was Frankenstein meets The French Connection, Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence is Bride of Frankenstein meets The French Connection!

Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence had a lot of problems getting made. The original script from Larry Cohen focused on Santería rituals and had a black detective lead character. Funding for the film require presale rights money from Japanese distributors, who were very happy with the prior two entries and were mysteriously dragging their feet on this installment, but wouldn’t give the exact reason. When the suggest was made to bring back white actor Robert Davi, suddenly the Japanese distributor was on board for funding. So…yeah. That meant the script had to be heavily rewritten to switch out the character, thus changing some supporting characters. They started shooting with only 70 pages of script (which is ~70 minutes of film, but probably less), not enough for a full feature. The producers were frantically trying to add pages as production went on, and an increasingly distracted and annoyed William Lustig (who was also working on a different film as producer at the same time) was losing interest in Maniac Cop 3. This eventually lead to him leaving production and Joel Soisson stepping in to film the scenes needed to pad out the running time. Which means the Frankenstein theme extends to the film itself!

The padding is obvious in a few cases, scenes seem to go nowhere or go on far longer than they should, and a few others are repetitive and just repeat the same information or give us extra evidence certain people are jerks. It becomes a distracting mess, and Maniac Cop spends most of his time hanging around a hospital killing whoever stands in the way of saving his promised bride, another cop who was shot in the line of duty. She’s supposed to be resurrected as his bride, but he keeps characters from pulling the plug on her, which is sort of weird. Maybe the Santería priest who brought Maniac Cop back from the dead needed some time to recharge?
Maniac Cop 3
I saw Maniac Cop 3 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in their Bay Area Now 7 program, under the Invasion of the Cinemaniacs! heading, specifically the part curated by Jesse Hawthorne Ficks of Midnite for Maniacs, who hosted two William Lustig triple features (a sextuple feature?) spread across two days. All three Maniac Cop films screened on Saturday night, while Friday featured Maniac, Vigilante, and Hit List. William Lustig returned for the second night of screenings and gave some more entertaining Q and As, some of which is peppered into the Maniac Cop reviews.

Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence again takes place soon after the prior entry. The dirt is barely shoveled into Matt Cordell grave before he’s raised again by a Santería priest, who needs the Maniac Cop for “dark days” ahead. What exactly those dark days are, we will never know, because nothing like that happens.
Maniac Cop 3
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - August 23, 2014 at 7:45 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,