Review: ‘The Mechanism’

Splatter vies with chatter in "The Mechanism," a blunt and bloody Yugoslav item about a stone cold contract killer and the captive couple who don't outwit as much as outlive him. Pic could click with novelty-seeking genre auds at midnight fest berths but is otherwise best suited to regional exposure and domestic vid.

Splatter vies with chatter in “The Mechanism,” a blunt and bloody Yugoslav item about a stone cold contract killer and the captive couple who don’t outwit as much as outlive him. Pic could click with novelty-seeking genre auds at midnight fest berths but is otherwise best suited to regional exposure and domestic vid.

On a snow-blown plain, dapper assassin Mak (Nikola Kojo) heads for a job whacking a heroin dealer with thickheaded protege Debeli (Gordan Kicic) in tow. First locals in his way are newly arrived schoolteacher Snezana (producer Ivana Mihic) and war-scarred cabby Janko (Andrej Sepetkovski); brutally raping the former and gleefully mocking the latter, he drags them along on an indiscriminate killing spree. While utter remorselessness of the hit man suggests a political analogy in play by scribe Gordan Mihic (who wrote “Time of the Gypsies” for Emir Kusturica), pic can’t hold a candle to either of helmer Djordje Milosavljevic’s recent scripts, “Wheels” (which he directed) and “Sky Hook,” both of which co-starred popular vet thesp Kojo, for keenly wrought metaphors about the human condition under siege. Tech credits are functional under obviously Spartan conditions.

The Mechanism

Yugoslavia

Production

A Horizon 2000/Centar Film production. (International sales: Center Film A.D., Belgrade.) Produced by Ivana Mihic. Executive producer, Miodrag Misa Djordjevic. Directed by Djordje Milosavljevic. Screenplay by Gordan Mihic.

Crew

Camera (color), Zoran Petrovic; editor, Marko Glusac; music, Aleksandar Sasa Habic; production designer, Goran Joksimovic; sound (Dolby), Milan Davidovic. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (competing), Sept. 1, 2000. (Also in Toronto Film Festival -- Contemporary World Cinema.) Original title: Mehanizam. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Ivana Mihic, Nikola Kojo, Andrej Sepetkovski, Gordan Kicic.
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