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Roger Corman Presents: Suspect Device

Suddenly no one, including his wife, knows him. Dan fights back fiercely, beating up three or four goons at once. Platoons of suited agents chase him, and even the head of the CIA (John Beck) flies in for the occasion.

Suddenly no one, including his wife, knows him. Dan fights back fiercely, beating up three or four goons at once. Platoons of suited agents chase him, and even the head of the CIA (John Beck) flies in for the occasion.

As a plot device, his friend Jessica (Stacey Travis) pitches in to help him, and he’s on his way to New Mexico to see eccentric Dr. Flint (Jonathan Fuller), who knows everything. There’s a wobbly explanation for all the mayhem.

It’s sci-fi land, but secondary characters should develop some reaction to allthe killings. The overwrought TV film spends too much time on characters slugging it out — with either weapons or fists — as director Rick Jacobson pushes the brute force.

Too bad the Frankensteinian aspects aren’t more fully explored; explosions, ballistics and falling bodies aren’t fetching enough.

Howell rises above the material to make Dan sympathetic. Travis, as the attractive Jessica, is a winner, and Heidi Sorenson, as Dan’s wife, impresses. Fuller’s eccentric doctor earns points, and Beck give his usual dependable perf. Others in the cast suffice.

Production designer Nava doesn’t show much originality, nor does John Aronson’s camerawork. But John Gilbert’s editing is certainly purposeful.

Roger Corman Presents: Suspect Device

(Tues. (11), 9:30-11 p.m., Showtime)

Production: Filmed in L.A. by New Horizons/Hillwood Entertainment. Executive producers, Roger Corman, Chris Peschken, Chris Naumann; producer, Mike Elliott; director, Rick Jacobson; writer, Alex Simon; story, Rob Kerchner; camera, John Aronson; editor, John Gilbert; production designer, Nava; art director, Danielle Berman; sound, Christopher M. Taylor; music, Christopher Lennertz. #Cast: C. Thomas Howell, Stacey Travis, Jed Allen, John Beck, Marcus Aurelius, Jonathan Fuller, Jeff Allin, Heidi Sorenson, Mark Ginter, Cinda Lin James, Paul Eckstein, Bill Bolender, Betty Vaughn, Alex Wexo, Jill Pierce, Athena Stensland, Mike Elliott, Rick Shuster, Leonard Turner. Showtime's new weekly film series under the aegis of Roger Corman lifts off with a frenetic tale loaded with mindless shootings, pinging bullets, brutal (if dull) fights, cars on fire and countless bodies. Topped off with a nuclear detonation, "Suspect Device" works the gem of an idea through violence, foul lingo and monotony to a bomb; it's just what the bam-wham-slam lovers will adore. Government employee Dan Jericho (C. Thomas Howell) has been having nightmares about armed, uniformed men breaking into his L.A. house and wiping out everybody but, unaccountably, him. Same horrible dream happens at the office , and again he's spared.

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