Concealed Weapon (1994) from Tuna

Concealed Weapon (1994) is a straight up thriller, not an erotic thriller, despite the presence of a topless Lisa Boyle in a small role as a Polish immigrant who is murdered in the intro to the film.

The title, Concealed Weapon, doesn't have any relationship to the plot at all. The film seems to have an alternate title of The Art of Murder, which does relate to the plot. Apparently there is a market research study which shows that a two word adjective/noun title is the way to sell a film from video shelves, and "Weapon" is one of the recommended nouns. This is far from the first time I have watched an unknown film that had a decent original title, but went straight to video and oblivion with the adjective/noun combination.

An actor arrives in Yugoslavia for a choice part in a film to be directed by a deported American director who feels this deportation places him in the same league as Chaplin and Polanski. Just before Daryl's arrival, however, the director is killed by white slave traders. We learn early on that the actor will also be dead within 24 hours. How do we know this? Because of the premature revelation of the ol' "plastic surgery creates an evil twin" gambit, a near cousin to the ever-popular "multiple personality/evil twin" plot device.


  • Lisa Boyle shows breasts, when the American who brings the forged immigration papers that are supposed to get her group into the US demands sex in exchange. She swallows a 45 slug rather than have sex with him. Talk about rejection
  • Julie Baltee, as a stripper/girlfriend of the bad guy shows breasts and buns
  • Karen Stone shows breasts and buns in a good old shower scene.

The premise is not that bad -- it has been used in many decent films, and the idea of identity theft to fool immigration is a clever slant on the theme. Unfortunately, the effort was marred by an excess of voice-over narration, a superfluity of characters, uneven acting, and a complete lack of  suspense, which resulted from the revelation of the the ending in the first 5 minutes. I don't know if the spoiler was intentional, or just very a clumsy insertion of clues.

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The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a low C-, and that is giving extra credit for trying. It is obvious that the film makers were trying to make a real film with almost no budget.

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