Stone Cold Dead (1979)

Genres - Crime, Thriller  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - Canada   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Stone Cold Dead is the kind of crime-themed programmer that makes up in atmosphere what it lacks in surprises. The script isn't the most original depiction of city sleaze around and relies on a lot of stock situations that any fan of cop shows will find familiar. That said, the characterizations are suitably colorful for the genre and the film benefits from a well-chosen cast. Richard Crenna offers a solid, professional turn as the obligatory world-weary cop hero and Paul Williams is an offbeat yet worthwhile choice for the crime kingpin, bringing an eccentric charm to the characterization. There is also nice supporting work from Belinda Montgomery as tough vice cop who quietly pines for Crenna and Linda Sorenson as an upscale call girl who unwittingly holds the key to the film's mystery. Director George Mendeluk makes effective use of his urban Canadian locations to create a convincingly gritty atmosphere (the opening montage set to Bob Seger's "Fire Down Below" is a highlight) and keeps things rolling along smoothly as the story goes through its paces. In short, Stone Cold Dead isn't innovative or surprising but it acquits itself as a blend of crime film and mystery in its own workmanlike style.