Kiss or Kill (1997)

Genres - Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller, Road Movie  |   Release Date - Nov 14, 1997 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - Australia  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Set amidst the eerie desolation of the Australian outback, Kiss or Kill is a superior reworking of vintage film noir materials from the veteran director Bill Bennett. Its lovers-on-the-run story focuses on Nicole (Frances O'Connor) and Al (Matt Day), a pair of petty thieves running a scam targeting married businessmen; when one of their victims accidentally dies, they flee his hotel room, absconding with his briefcase. The case contains a videotape of Zipper Doyle (Barry Langrishe), a national soccer hero, molesting a young boy; Nicole and Al soon take off for Perth, intending to blackmail Doyle -- never suspecting that he, as well as the police, are already in hot pursuit. As the two make their way across the country, they leave a trail of dead bodies in their wake; both Nicole and Al begin to suspect that the other is a murderer, and as their journey continues, their paranoia only grows. A similar feeling of mistrust and dread informs virtually every interpersonal relationship in the film, effectively gnawing at our own perceptions and expectations; a stylistically aggressive picture, brimming with jump cuts and inventive camera work, its distinctive take on the noir tradition is fresh and exciting.

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Keywords

crime-spree, blackmail, incrimination, on-the-run, Outback, police, pursuit, video-tape