14 December 2014

THE VAGRANT/1992/BILL PAXTON

I caught this film on a thing here in China called PPTV on our iPad. It is some sort of streaming software and has TV shows and movies of different sorts that have had Chinese subtitles added to them. I did not expect much from this film as the user ratings were a bit low really –as they are on IMBD- but I was really surprised and enjoyed this effective little black comedy and thriller from Director Chris Walas (more known really for his special effects work) and producer Mel Brooks. The film stars one of my favorite actors Bill Paxton as yuppie analyst Graham Krakowski who is certain he is going to that big promotion at the office he works at and so purchases a home. The place is a fixer-upper but Graham is pretty sure things are going to work out and even his gold-digging girl friend Edie (Mitzi Kapture) should be pleased. What Graham does not realize is that the house comes with it own homeless vagrant who refuses to leave or let Graham have any peace. Graham is quickly revolted by the one-eyed bum (played to full creepy effectiveness by Marshall Bell) and becomes obsessed with knowing where the vagrant is at all times. He is constantly calling 9-11 with complaints and soon realizes the guy must have some sort of access to his house. He goes into a state of near paranoia as he sets up a security system in his house and is not sure at times if he is dreaming when he sees the creep in his house at night.

Things get more complicated and tense for Graham when he begins to wonder not only if the bum is a local serial killer but whether he himself is the killer and the bum is a figment of some sort of psychosis he is suffering. Detective Barfuss (played by Michael Ironside in a rare and well done comedy role) does not believe there is any vagrant and is sure Graham really is the very serial killer he has been searching for. Well of course things only get worse and worse for Graham and things with the girlfriend don’t work out. Nor does the coveted promotion after his horny real estate agent is found in his refrigerator in a serving tray. He manages to garner the mercy of a jury and avoids murder charges and ends up a white trash trailer park manager. But of course the vagrant is not done with him as there is more to the bum than simply being a homeless derelict. The film is really well done and Bill Paxton in particular is great in one scene after another as the tormented yuppie who has no clue as to why his once predictable life is now one nightmare after another. Check it out.






No comments: