Blood Crime (2002)

'This ain't the city. Only God is watching.' This kicks off with a lift from an old Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode (Revenge): burned-out city cop Jonathan Shaech beats to death a guy his wife (Elizabeth Lackey) points out as the goon who raped her, but the woman then proceeds to identify several other passersby as the culprit. Then, it gets more complex if trite: the dead thug turns out to be the estranged son of the Sheriff (James Caan) of sticksville, and the two cops work the case, each with their own agendas to follow. Of course, it turns out that the hero only beat up the victim, who was finished off by a baddie (David Field) we can all safely despise and upon whom Caan finally drops a truck (!). It opens with flashy moderno noir biz and TV movie-level impressionist rape in the woods, then gets into police procedural stuff as incriminating bloodwork and contradictory evidence piles up. Clues include a cast-off Cuban cigar band, the fact the wife identifies the attacker as having a dog and a knife (they turn out to be his tattoos), a dropped fraternity pin (crooks in these parts leave stuff like that everywhere), bloodstains full of steroids, a was-it-or-was-it-not-locked truck door. Made for TV, but anamorphic on DVD. Shot in New Zealand pretending to be Oregon.

First published in this form here.

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