From its laughably contrived opening sequence to its typographically challenged end credits, this mob-theme exploitation pic is an amateurish, virtually unwatchable mess. Apparently no one told director-producer-star Sartaj Khan that even the schlockiest AFM companies stopped making this kind of grade-D erotic thriller five years ago -- and with good reason.

From its laughably contrived opening sequence to its typographically challenged end credits, this mob-theme exploitation pic is an amateurish, virtually unwatchable mess. Apparently no one told director-producer-star Sartaj Khan that even the schlockiest AFMcompanies stopped making this kind of grade-D erotic thriller five years ago — and with good reason. Too awful for even a straight-to-video release, pic’s graphic sex scenes might earn it the odd airing on latenight cable.

Pic’s over-complicated yet painfully predictable plot has two businessmen hiring good-hearted mob boss Julian (Khan) to kill a software magnate. But rather than simply blow up his car, Julian plans to get to the honcho by romancing his attractive assistant (Miki O’Brien).

Meanwhile, the evil businessmen hire a rival mobster to kill Julian once the job is done, setting a gang war in motion.

The violence, while copious and often in slow-motion, is mercifully low on gore. Pic features a number of sexual couplings, including a topless encounter between the two female leads that borders uncomfortably on soft-core. In fact, with its listless dialogue, uninvolving storyline and cheapo production values, this two-hour vanity production has all the appeal of a porn movie without the sex.

All's Fair in Love & War

Production

A Star Land Entertainment presentation. Produced, written by Sartaj Khan, Steven Halpern. Directed by Sartaj Khan.

Crew

Camera, David Worth; editor, Richard Brummer; music, Gene Ober; production design, Nancy Walker; costume design, Ariella Normington; sound, Pat Chuck; assistant director, Halpern. Reviewed at the Laemmle Royal, Santa Monica, Aug. 9, 1996. Running time: 119 min.

With

Julian ... Sartaj Khan Isabel O'Hara ... Miki O'Brien Vinnie Mastrantonio ... Bill Trillo Tony ... Christopher B. Aponte Haggerty ... William Night Boston ... Tony Pressman Diane ... Angela Mia Nicole ... Jenny Z Billy Ray ... Jerry Mullen
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more