Letters From a Killer (1998)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller, Prison Film  |   Release Date - Aug 21, 1998 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom, United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Buzz McClain

Every once in a while an indie B-thriller comes along that gives hope for the genre. This is one of them. There is not a dull moment in this action-driven murder mystery, in which the generous $26 million budget is entirely visible, as the peripatetic ex-con with a great name, Race Darnell (Patrick Swayze), covers considerable ground in cars, trucks, and on horseback. Many of the vehicles he rides in wind up in justified fiery explosions (thank heavens the horse was spared) as he speeds around the countryside trying to stop the next slaying. The success of the film must be credited to the tightly spiraling, brightly polished script (which has moments that recall Seven's murder-by-theme conceit), as well as to veteran director David Carson (Star Trek: Generations) and the cast, which seems to know it has something special. For his part, Swayze proves more than capable of shouldering the bulk of the work. One has to think that if Race had been played by Harrison Ford, Letters From a Killer might have found its way onto thousands of movie screens.