Death Toll


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This film seems to have been intended as a gritty street drama about the inflated crime rate in New Orleans.

Death Toll is atrociously bad, and it's not really possible to point to a single responsible element. It's just bad from top to bottom. Begin with the script. There are all sorts of conflicts established: the police versus the drug lords; gang vs gang; wife vs mistress; mayoral candidate vs mayor; and the time-worn feds vs local cops. Most of these conflicts are mentioned briefly and left unresolved. Not only is the script disjointed and arbitrary, but it seems to end at some random point. One of the feds is shown to be corrupt and decadent, but that storyline is left hanging. The mayor's electoral opponent is introduced, appears in two scenes, then is dropped. The lead cop's wife is jealous of his beautiful female partner, and that ends unresolved. En route to the inconclusive ending, several scenes have absolutely nothing to do with the rest of it and could easily be dropped, although the entire film is only 81 minutes long

The only nudity, for example, comes from Christina Boutte, who plays one of two girls having a three-way with a corrupt federal agent. The nudity is completely gratuitous in that the scene is completely stranded, and almost completely unrelated to the film. It has nothing to do with any scene that comes before or after. The girls appear in no other scenes, and the agent's relationship with them is never used in any way to develop any subsequent scenes. One presumes that the entire scene was tacked on to give the film some bare flesh. In addition to the three-way sex scene, there are several scenes with unnecessary or undeveloped characters, and there are several puzzling monologue scenes with DMX, all of which consist of him standing alone in a room and spouting philosophy to the camera.

And the script is one of the film's strengths.

The direction is no better than you could do with your home camcorder, a few of your friends, and the free version of Microsoft Moviemaker. The sound is filled with echoes, and the conversations are sometimes incomprehensible, a problem compounded by a musical score which sometimes drowns out the dialogue. Of course, it's just as well that you can't hear the actors because when you can hear them you cringe in embarrassment. The only performer in the movie who delivers a professional performance is Lou Diamond Phillips, and you tend to feel empathy for him because he must have realized that nobody else in the cast could deliver even a single simple line credibly, and that made it hard for him to do his best when interacting with them. I wonder how long he was involved with this project before he started wondering if he could break his contract. I'll bet LDP had a long heart-to-heart with his agent after this one.

Purely an amateur effort. The worst film I've seen in years.


* widescreen








  No major reviews online


2.8 IMDB summary (of 10)


Straight to DVD.


Christina Boutte shows everything in the three-way sex scene. The other girl, Bridget Hall, shows a bethonged behind.


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Our Grade:

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