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"KISS OR KILL"
(1997) (Francis O'Conner, Matt Day) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Moderate Heavy Moderate Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Moderate Moderate Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Two small-time criminals go on the run in Australia after they accidentally kill someone.
PLOT:
Al Fletcher (MATT DAY) and Nikki Davies (FRANCIS O'CONNER) are lovers and small-time criminals who prey upon married, traveling businessmen in Australia. Nikki seduces those men, drugs their drinks, and the two then steal their belongings. When one of their victims dies, however, they go on the run with a videotape the man was carrying that shows legendary Australian football star and now sports store owner, Zipper Doyle (BARRY LANGRISHE), involved in child pornography.

As Al and Nikki make their way toward Perth, little do they know that Doyle and local detectives Hummer (CHRIS HAYWOOD) and Crean (ANDREW GILBERT) are separately on their trail. Things get more complicated along the way when several people are killed and everyone concludes the couple is responsible. Al begins to think that Nikki committed the murders while sleepwalking, and Nikki thinks Al did so while robbing the people. With their pursuers closing in on them, and not knowing whether they can trust each other, Al and Nikki's future seems uncertain.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's not likely that this small Australian film will be of much interest to many kids.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For some graphic sexuality, violence and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • FRANCIS O'CONNER and MATT DAY aren't good role models since they're small-time criminals responsible for a man's death. They also run from the police and steal someone's truck.
  • CHRIS HAYWOOD and ANDREW GILBERT play standard issue detectives who we don't know much about.
  • BARRY LANGRISHE plays a football legend turned child pornographer.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 3 out of 10
    This odd little Australian film wants to be a thrilling, lovers on the run movie and while it gets the second part right, the film is far from thrilling. Shot in a strange, film school type style that utilizes a great deal of "jump cuts" -- where within a shot the view jumps as if some film has been cut out -- the movie feels as haphazard as the editing. For a pair of criminals who initially appear to be "smart" at what they're doing, they turn out to be rather stupid, and perhaps that's the point of the film.

    What it does, though, is make the audience lose whatever interest it had in the characters. For instance, after being careful not to leave fingerprints at the accidental murder scene, Nikki throws the dead man's credit cards and photos from his wallet out onto the highway -- with her fingerprints all over them. Later, they steal a couple's truck -- which the police obviously will look for -- while their earlier vehicle was not, we assume, on the stolen vehicle list. The film also turns stupid -- or better yet, lazy -- by allowing the police and Doyle to too easily track down and find the lovers in very remote sections of Australia. Similarly, it takes Al too long to take action after he thinks Nikki has killed several people in her sleep.

    Overall, these elements and others give the film a sloppy feel, and bits of humor -- usually between the two detectives -- are lame and not that funny. The big part of the film that's supposed to make us follow along with bated breath is whether Nikki, Al, or someone else is responsible for the murders. The plot device just doesn't work, though, as not enough teasing elements or suspicion and tension are created to make us really care. Instead, we just sit back and watch these characters go through their motions.

    The performances are decent, but not great (although O'Conner did win the best actress award at the 1997 Montreal Film Festival for this role), and Barry Otto (who was tremendous in the little seen "Cosi") is vastly underused as a stranger who catches a ride with the couple and reroutes their trip. While the idea of having lovers on the run who don't know whether they can trust each other probably sounded very exciting on paper, it's execution here on the big screen is rather poor. We give "Kiss or Kill" a 3 out of 10.

    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Several categories stand out for parents to be cautioned about. There are at least 120 "f" and "s" words heard throughout the film. A brief, but graphic sexual encounter is twice seen playing on a videotape and does show bare breasts and movement. Several people are killed during the movie by having their throat slits (along with one accidental, but toxic poisoning), but we see none of the actual murders (but do see the bodies). Additionally, a mother is set on fire in front of a young girl, and we see that scene twice.

    The lead characters aren't good role models as they're criminals responsible for a man's death and then run from the police and commit other crimes and then get away with all of that in the end. Also, a character is involved in child pornography where we see him get into bed with a young boy (both are in their underwear, but nothing else happens). While it's doubtful many children will want to see this film, you should check out the material beforehand should they and/or you have any desire to do so.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Nikki has a martini in front of her while setting up a guy for a robbery. Later, she and the man drink champagne and he states that it's going to his head. She also slips him some sort of drug (in tablet form) that's supposed to knock him out, but this time it kills him.
  • Nikki and Al have wine with dinner.
  • The detectives drink beer.
  • Al and Nikki drink beer as they celebrate being free.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a hotel manager whose throat has been slit and is a bit bloody, but not as bad as one would expect.
  • Later we see a couple who've been killed the same way and they're just a little bloodier than the first victim.
  • Nikki's leg is bloody after she's been shot and Al's a little bloody after helping her. Doyle is very bloody after being thrown from a car.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Someone is responsible for killing several people.
  • Obviously, Al and Nikki have both as they set up and rob businessmen (and are responsible for one death) and later steal a truck. Al also steals a necklace from a local jewelry maker.
  • A man tries to rape Nikki after she refuses his advances.
  • Doyle and a businessman are into child pornography (as seen on a videotape where Doyle crawls into bed with a child).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Nikki, as a little girl, sees her mother doused with gasoline and then set on fire (we see it twice).
  • A man tries to rape Nikki after she refuses his advances.
  • Nikki's arm catches on fire (from a small burner under some food), but it's quickly put out.
  • Nikki, who's sleepwalking, throws gasoline on Al and prepares to light him up but he stops her.
  • Doyle holds his gun on Nikki and Al as he tries to find the videotape, and then again as he has them drive down the road. Nikki then speeds up, Doyle shoots her in the leg and they crash into a police car. Doyle's presumably killed and Al and Nikki are injured.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Knife: Used to slit several people's throats (not seen).
  • Handgun: Used by Doyle to shoot at and/or threaten Al and Nikki.
  • Handguns: Held by the detectives on Al and Nikki when they're arrested.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Bitch" and "Whore" (toward women), "Pissed" (drunk), "Bastard," "Idiot," "Slut," and "Smart ass."
  • A woman is doused with gasoline and then set on fire.
  • Nikki slips some sort of drug into a guy's drink to render him unconscious, but instead it kills him.
  • Al gives the finger to a trucker who nearly runs them off the road.
  • Al skinny dips in a large body of water.
  • Al and Nikki steal an older couple's truck.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 95 "f' words, 25 "s" words, 7 slang terms for male genitals (the "p," "d," and "c" words), 8 asses (4 using "hole"), 1 hell, 1 crap, and 7 uses of "Jesus" and 1 use of "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see part of Nikki's stocking-covered butt (and g-string) when a businessman tries to rape her.
  • Doyle is into child pornography and is seen on a videotape getting into bed with a child (both are in their underwear). Later on the tape (seen several times), a woman undresses (we see her bare breasts and butt) and she and Doyle have sex with her on top and there's graphic sexual movement.
  • We see Nikki in a low cut bra and underwear.
  • Al's bare butt is seen as he skinny dips.
  • Al runs his finger along Nikki's cleavage.
  • SMOKING
  • Both Nikki and Al smoke quite often throughout the movie.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Nikki, as a little girl, sees her mother doused with gasoline and then set on fire.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Child pornography.
  • Sleepwalking and what someone does, or is capable of doing, during that.
  • Al and Nikki get out of jail on a technicality and later we find that the charges against them for drugging and killing the first man were dropped and they get off scot-free. At the end they tell us the rules about getting away with murder: Never leave prints and only kill pedophiles.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Nikki, as a little girl, sees her mother doused with gasoline and then set on fire.
  • Al and the businessman they're trying to set up get into a pushing fight that ends when the man punches Al.
  • Nikki slips some sort of drug into a guy's drink to render him unconscious, but instead it kills him.
  • A businessman tries to kiss Nikki and she punches him in the gut and tries to leave. He then grabs her and throws her to the bed, preparing to rape her, but then falls over dead.
  • Nikki cuts open a briefcase with a hatchet.
  • A hotel manager is found with his throat slit.
  • Al rushes up to a trucker, whom he thinks earlier tried to run him off the road, and punches him several times. The man grabs a pipe to defend himself and Al pulls out his knife, but it ends there.
  • Doyle opens fire on Al and Nikki, hitting their stolen truck.
  • Al, finding Nikki with two more murdered people, punches her and ties her up in their truck.
  • Later, Nikki holds a knife to Al's throat thinking he's an intruder.
  • Nikki, who's sleepwalking, throws gasoline on Al and prepares to light him up but he stops her.
  • Al tries to attack a detective who's questioning him after he calls Nikki a "whore." The other detective then puts a stranglehold on Al until he calms down.
  • Doyle holds his gun on Nikki and Al as he tries to find the videotape and then again as he has them drive down the road. Nikki then speeds up, Doyle shoots her in the leg and they crash into a police car. Doyle's presumably killed (after being thrown from the car -- not seen) and Al and Nikki are injured.



  • Reviewed October 1, 1997

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