Crimewave (Blu-Ray/DVD Combo)
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In a slapstick spoof of hitmen and crime stories, the head of a security systems company is bumped off by two gonzo exterminators who have gone from stomping out pesky varmints to stomping out human targets. The exterminators go after the partner who hired them and his blatantly obnoxious wife (Louise Lasser) and, in the meantime, frame a poor security guard (Reed Birney) for the murder of the company boss.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Crimewave" has rather incoherent story that has flashes of dark comedy, style and romance. It is a tribute to 1940's film noir, although the story is set in 1983! The cast is good, Campbell is a hoot in his supporting role as a cheap womanizer. Since this movie was hard to find for years. In the last ten years or so... "Crimewave" has become an cult classic of sorts. It is still far from a perfect movie but it has plenty of Raimi's touches.
Blu-ray has an pretty good 1080P anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) transfer and an decent DTS 2.0 HD Mono Sound. Blu-ray includes commentary track by Bruce Campbell and moderated by Michael Felsher, three featurettes:interviews with the two cast members and Producer of the movie, photo gallery and the original theatrical trailer. DVD is included as well, but the sound on the DVD is Stereo! comparing to the Blu-ray!!!
"Crinewave" is pretty good movie, it has a lot of style, some heart but not much of a premise. It is a exercise in style. Grade:B+.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As Far as I know, and according to Bruce Campbell's commentary, this film was never actually (or at least widely) released in movie theaters. We all caught up with this on tape and on cable, back in the 1980s. I still have my VHS copy, which I've watched at least 20-30 times over the years, it being one of my very favorite Raimi Movies. I'm the guy who can literally quote chapter and verse from the dialogue. You need to now this about me, because today I ran the SHOUT! FACTORY Buy-ray edition for the first time (a thing of real beauty!), and it turns out this is sourced from a print that is actually more than SIX MINUTES longer than the version I've known and loved for so long. While not pointed out in the packaging, advertising, or even in Campbell's commentary, there are two scene extensions and one entire five minute sequence that were cut from the original release version, and appear here for the VERY FIRST TIME in darn-near 30 years. For die-hard fans, these scenes are as follows:
At 42:29, there is an additional bit of dialogue as Nancy complains about her bad night with Vic, just before she's hit with the mud.
At 51:51, there is an entire additional scene that last almost five minutes, depicting Vic returning to the apartment and being "rejected" by Nancy, who he can't really see, because she's behind a door, bound and gaged by Arthur Coddish. Vic then walks out of her apartment, glum and rejected. It's actually a crucial missing bit in the film, kind of the turning point, in which Vic thinks he's been spurned by the girl of his dreams, but of course it's one big "bedroom farce-style" misunderstanding. In the original release cut (and also in this version), the deleted scene is later referenced on the bridge, just after the film's climax, when Vic says "I went in your room and thought you didn't care about me." I always wondered what he was talking about back in the day, because that scene NEVER HAPPENED in the original release version.
And, finally, at 1:11.04 . . . there is a final scene extension, just before Arthur Coddish is killed, when Vic tries to trick him before the overpass hits. I won't spoil it, but it's a pretty lame joke.
CRIMEWAVE was the first major feature for all involved after EVIL DEAD. The film was written by Raimi and two other quirky directors, the Coen Brothers. The movie was largely filmed in Detroit and the lead character was originally written specifically for Bruce Campbell (you can just picture how much better the movie would have been with Campbell in the lead role instead of the no name they cast instead). However, that was before Tinsletown took over. Campbell was scrapped as the lead, but Raimi kept him on in a supporting role. A new beginning and ending was filmed because "audiences just won't get it otherwise" and Raimi and company lost some editing control over the final product. The film was also plagued by all sorts of conflicts and from what I've gathered wasn't the most pleasant of shoots.
The end result is CRIMEWAVE, a quirky little dark comedy that if left alone would have been much better. The movie itself is full of humor on a variety of levels. The direction is intriguing and the acting is campy. The film would probably be PG by todays standards and only contains a handful of "foul" language and largely "cartoon" violence.
If you are a fan of Raimi, the Coens, or Campbell, this film is a must see. Also, if you like dark comedies full of slapstick humor you will probably enjoy it.
Reed Birney is adoribly innocent & dorky playing Vic in the lead role. But Brion James & Paul Smith stole the show playing the pest patrol baddies...getting rid of pesty people too. The cast is sweet, but the comedy is a silly dark crazy adventure. This movie is a classic funny movie. If you haven't seen it, give it a try...it'll be a dorky zanie ride! Even my 78 year old dad loved it for laughs, and he's got every new movie released!