Interesting wrinkle in Michael Jenning's screenplay, uncredited [based on a script by Jenning and pic's associate producer, Jeb Stuart] is a mixing and matching of two ethnic strains of the vendetta: backwoods Appalachian version and revenge Sicilian-style.

Interesting wrinkle in Michael Jenning’s screenplay, uncredited [based on a script by Jenning and pic’s associate producer, Jeb Stuart] is a mixing and matching of two ethnic strains of the vendetta: backwoods Appalachian version and revenge Sicilian-style.

These plot threads are set in motion when Bill Paxton, a Kentucky boy from the hills now working in Chicago, is ruthlessly murdered by mafia enforcer Adam Baldwin as part of a strong-arm move in the vending machines racket. Paxton’s older brother, Patrick Swayze, is a Chicago cop determined to find the killer.

Inferfering with Swayze’s efforts is the old-fashioned ‘eye for an eye’ vengeance demanded by eldest brother Liam Neeson. Picture climaxes with an elaborate war in a Chicago cemetery between Baldwin’s mafioso and Neeson’s Kentucky kin, matching automatic weaponry with primitive (but reliable) crossbows, hatchets, snakes and knives.

Next of Kin

Production

Lorimar/Warner. Director John Irvin; Producer Les Alexander, Don Enright; Screenplay Michael Jenning; Camera Steven Poster; Editor Peter Honess; Music Jack Nitzsche; Art Director Jack T. Collis

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1989. Running time: 108 MIN.

With

Patrick Swayze Liam Neeson Adam Baldwin Helen Hunt Andreas Katsulas Michael J. Pollard
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