Michael Cudlitz's first leading role is the sole selling point of this repellent character study.
Character actor Michael Cudlitz’s first leading role is the sole selling point of “Dark Tourist,” a well-acted but rote and ultimately repellent character study of a psychologically disturbed loner. Bleak and ponderous picture feels much longer than its 80-minute running time and manages none of the lurid pull of its varied influences, including “Taxi Driver,” “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” and “The Crying Game.” Unsurprisingly, limited theatrical exposure was a dead end, while simultaneous VOD release seems a better bet to attract feel-bad junkies.
Yonkers security guard Jim Tahna (Cudlitz) visits the rural California hometown of one of his favorite killers, Carl Marznap (Pruitt Taylor Vince), and forges disquieting bonds with two locals: a widowed waitress (Melanie Griffith, a warm, welcome presence) and a seductive prostitute (Suzanne Quast, credible in a physically demanding role). Director Suri Krishnamma (“A Man of No Importance”) and actor-turned-writer Frank John Hughes adopt a serious-minded approach to potentially exploitative material, opting for escalating dread over graphic violence as Jim retraces Carl’s steps. Yet the lack of any deeper insight or meaning shines through in the abundance of expository voiceover and predictable, simplistic payoff.
Film Review: 'Dark Tourist'
Reviewed online, West Hollywood, Aug. 30, 2013. Running time: 80 MIN.
A Phase 4 Films release of a Vision Entertainment Group presentation in association with Suzanne DeLaurentiis Prods. and House of Huge. Produced by Zachery Bryan, Adam Targum, Suzanne DeLaurentiis, Michael Cudlitz, Frank John Hughes. Executive producer, Rick Matros. Co-producers, Stephen Fromkin, Ivan Kavalsky.
Directed by Suri Krishnamma. Screenplay, Frank John Hughes. Camera (color), Ricardo Jacques Gale; editor, Justin Guerrieri; music, Austin Wintory; production designer, Gershom Hyldreth; set decorator, Yuki Nakamura; costume designer, Maria Lorenzana; sound, Alexander X. Hutchinson; supervising sound editors, John W. Frost, Patrick O. Bird; re-recording mixer, Frost; visual effects, KromA; stunt coordinator, Cole McKay; line producer, Jude Tucker; associate producer, Mark Holder, Alex Matros; assistant director, Antonio Grana; casting, Dori Zuckerman, Lorna Johnson.
Michael Cudlitz, Melanie Griffith, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Suzanne Quast.