Clean, Shaven (Lodge Kerrigan, 1994)
Kerrigan, since this debut film, has gone on to work with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Which should give most aspiring filmmakers hope, because after watching Clean, Shaven, someone obviously saw through the film's glaring problems to get at the potential that equally obviously exists underneath. You're not going to find it here, though.
Peter Winter (Peter Greene, from The Usual Suspects, Judgment Night, Pulp Fiction, etc.) is not a very nice guy. He also happens to be severely mentally ill; nothing is ever said about what it is he's got, though it becomes quickly obvious that schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder are two of his major problems. Upon his release from a mental institution (which you will only know if you read the box description), he finds that his wife has left him and put his daughter up for adoption (which is revealed very far into the film, but you will know if you read the box description). While he searches for his daughter, a police officer, Jack McNally (Robert Albert), is trying to tie Winter to a series of murders that seem to happen whenever he's around.
After reading that plot synopsis, one thing should be very clear: if you don't read the box description, you will have no earthly idea what's going on in this movie. Sometimes that works very well (like in Memento). Sometimes it acts to the film's great detriment. Someone should have given Kerrigan a kick in the continuity a few times while he was making this film; too much of it doesn't add up until the final few scenes, and by that time, it's far too late. Greene's performance is almost painful to watch, but everything going on around him plays second fiddle; thus, the movie seems like a too-long character sketch into which a plot was thrown as an afterthought. Greene's performance alone isn't enough to carry the weight. **