This project initially had a short-lived release by Skouras Pictures in 1993 before moving swiftly to homevideo, hamstrung by a poor script and acting.

This project initially had a short-lived release by Skouras Pictures in 1993 before moving swiftly to homevideo, hamstrung by a poor script and acting.

Professional hit man Mark Cahill (Ben Cross) kills innocent bystander Catherine (Lenore Zann) during an assignment, and is tormented by the ghost of the dead girl, whose payback is apparently to annoy him until he snaps.

Show’s real action starts when businessman Larry Moore (Dave Thomas), hoping to rescue his ailing real estate corporation, hires Cahill to knock off his biz partner, Henry (Sean Mathieson), for the insurance money.

Initially, viewers are led to believe Larry is also targeting his trust fund-bearing wife, Beth (Shannon Tweed).

Beth has several lovers, including Henry; each sets his own plan in motion in hopes of short-circuiting Larry’s, and the guessing game as to how the film will end becomes one of the program’s highlights.

Scripter Richard Beattie succeeds in keeping as many balls in the air as possible. But he falls short on several counts, most notably in failing to give the cast any dialogue that doesn’t cover well-trodden ground.

Program’s only saving grace is Thomas’ comedic timing. His perfectly placed, straight-faced one-liners save the dreary story without sacrificing what little credibility it struggles to maintain.

The unexpected ending mixes several themes, some of which fly, but most hit the ground with a resounding thud.

Director Gail Harvey does the best she can with her material, but “Cold Sweat” seems little more than a low-budget film designed primarily for production-cost recoupment in foreign territories and homevideo.

Viewers may be comforted by the knowledge that at least the vid version has the nudity and language the theatrical release incorporated specifically to appeal to those marketplaces.

Usa World Premiere Movie Cold Sweat

(Thurs. (4), 9-11 p.m., USA)

Production

Filmed in Toronto by Norstar Entertainment. Producers, Peter R. Simpson, Ray Sager, Ilana Frank; director, Gail Harvey; writer, Richard Beattie.

Crew

Camera, Vic Sarin; editor, Nick Rotundo; production designer, Andrzej Halinski; art director , Jasna Stefanovic; sound, Richard Nicholl; music, Paul J. Zaza.

Cast

Cast: John Robinson, Dave Thomas, Ben Cross, Adam Baldwin, Shannon Tweed, Henry Czerny, Sean Mathieson, Maria del Mar, Lenore Zann, Ellen Dubin, Marc Strange, Jordan Hughes, Gino Giacomini, Richard Kovsky, Colin Simpson.
With a six-way double-cross and deadpanned one-liners dropped in during the heat of dramatic passages, "Cold Sweat" should succeed in keeping viewers' interest until the last cheesy moment.
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