Either I’m under the spell of Sir Christopher Lee, the late great character actor, or this movie was actually pretty enjoyable.
An aspiring writer teams up with his literary hero to solve a murder mystery they discovered while researching a new project. Let’s dig into 1989’s MURDER STORY, directed by Eddie Arno and Markus Innocenti!
As I See It
Coming from the nascent music video world, Eddie Arno teamed up with comedy writer Markus Innocenti to make an uninspired story enjoyable.
We’re basically dealing with a murder mystery film, with Sir Christopher Lee (Willard Hope) leading his charge, Tony (Alexis Denisof), down a path of destruction as they use newspaper clippings to feed their content. But they stumble upon a true crime, real-life conspiracy, and murder.
There are some deep conspiratorial themes and dialogue here, and it’s not all necessarily wack-pack shit. Some of it has been proven over time or completely plausible and accepted by now as highly possible.
A government scientist who has come up with an alternative energy source is whacked for trying to siphon cash from the capitalists. It’s the Nikola Tesla story/myth without pure brilliance and open-source power supply.
This features perhaps the worst on-screen kiss I’ve ever seen. They kiss like they’re performing blindfolded CPR.
Lastly, you would think if the government went through the trouble of hiring someone for their clean up and wet work, they would have a substitute on standby.
At this point in this column, if you don’t know who Sir Christopher Lee is, you should be real Saruman. You’re a real piece of Dooku. FU Man…chu.
Finding himself in bit parts in the films of Stanley Kubrick (Full Metal Jacket), Dick Donner (Superman, The Omen), the creepy kid’s tale Return to Oz, Screamers, and William Peter Blatty’s underappreciated The Ninth Configuration, Bruce Boa perhaps most famously featured in The Empire Strikes Back as General Rieekan.
Of Gratuitous Nature
Ostensibly, the entire film is a propaganda ad for the fifth estate and how essential it is to the country’s operation in a fair and equal manner. The real lie in that is how easy it is for a “journalist” to claim themselves a part of the fifth estate.
Sir Christopher Lee’s demeanor was made for roles as such. The authoritative writer channels the sith to be both stern and guiding.
Ripe for a Remake
There is a reason that so many movies are about writers, the process of writing, becoming a writer, or knowing a writer. You write what you know, and most writers know about being a writer and not much else.
It takes a unique level of brain power and focus to be a full-time writer and leave room for hobbies or other character-defining traits besides being able to drown a bottle of scotch as if it’s lubricating the keyboard strokes to prevent a friction fire. Point is, we can come up with other shit.
No progeny to report.
Where to Watch
Released by Severin Films as part of their “Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee” box set, along with Uncle was a Vampire, The Secret of the Red Orchid, Dracula and Son, and Dark Places.