Andrew Howard is Jon, brutally effective hit man for The Tattooed Man (David Calder). Hehates himself, but loves father-figure Calder, and so he goes about his murderous business,seeking refuge in drug-induced oblivion after work. Then he runs into a old friend from school,is welcomed into his family, is tempted by the sheer normality that he sees there, and begins tofall in love with his old pal’s wife (Geraldine O’Rawe). Hit man and Tattooed Man are soon ona deadly collis…on course.
If there is a male equivalent of the Hooker With A Heart Of Gold cliche, it’s the Hit ManWith A Conscience. That’s what we have here, tricked up with references to Kafka and Sartreand other cheerful folk. Of course, just because something is a cliche, that doesn’t mean it won’twork, and The Killing Kind (aka Mr. In-Between) has a lot of grim, gritty stylegoing for it. Howard is good as the emotionally dead, blank-faced Jon, though at the same timehe seems a bit young.
The 2.0 sound is put through some pretty energetic paces. The music makes some verycreepy front-to-rear moves, and the same is true of the sound effects. The front/rear placementis consistently good. That said, this is a film of many silences. There is some environmentcreation, but not a whole heck of a lot. The dialogue is undistorted, despite plenty of shouting.On the other hand, the dialogue has a tendency to get buried in the music and sound design, oftenmaking the lines hard to understand.
There is a neat, gritty, grimy, steely tone to the colours. The image is sharp — it could bepushed just a touch farther, but is still pretty damn good. the flesh tones aren blacks are excellent,with only very minor grain. There are no visible problems with edge enhancement. The aspect is1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen.
Two commentary tracks here: one by director Paul Sarossy, a very soft-spoken and self-deprecating individual (interesting to hear how he wishes he could have done some thingsdifferently); and one by writer Peter Waddington and producer Bob Portal, who have a lot to sayabout the film’s themes and technical challenges (don’t watch the commentaries before screeningthe film). The Lions Gate logo gives you trailers for The Killing Kind, ShatteredGlass and Serial Killing 101. The menu’s main screen is scored and has a slide showform of animation.
The story may not be blazingly original, and it could be seen as pretentious. It still has somevery effective aspects to it.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Writer and Producer Commentary