A well-dressed Stranger (Robert ‘Bronzi’ Kovacs) wanders the mean streets, ventilating those that plague society with their evil ways. He also acts a modern day Robin Hood as he takes the ill-gotten gains of those he dispatches and provides for a young woman and her crippled child by anonymously leaving fat stacks of cash in their mail box to ease his troubled mind. Soon our dour hero has a run in with a real shit heel named Tyrell (Richard Tyson), the meanest son of a bitch to ever stride the Earth, which leaves a fire for revenge burning deep in his coal-black heart. Soon the Stranger is in for the fight of his life and the death toll will be rather large as vengeance has it’s day!
I’m just going to lead off with this; Writer/Director Rene Perez is a mother fucking genius! What he has created with Death Kiss is simply the greatest Cannon film never made! Bullets fly, blood sprays to the sky by the gallon, and scumbags are mowed down in droves…all by a hero that is the spitting image of Charles Bronson, and is every bit as cool. The Stranger, brought brilliantly to life by Kovacs, is a man of few words, but his thousand yard stare speaks volumes…as does his penchant for explosive violence. Adding to the ambiance is Daniel Baldwin as Dan Forthright, a radio personality who is as sick of the crime as the Stranger, and acts as a bridge between acts, and Tyson’s portrayal of Tyrell; a villain so amazingly over-the-top despicable he almost defies description. Among all of the carnage, and my lord is there glorious amounts of that, lies a strong emotional element as well, as Eva Hamilton’s performance as Ana, a single mother with a troubled past, adds a nice touch of depth to the goings-on.
Special mention must be made to the excellent action set-pieces as well; with the strand-outs being a showdown in a junked car graveyard where the camera zooms in and out of the shells of automobiles as the actors run and gun furiously, and an epic battle in snow covered woods. Speaking of environments, the aesthetics of Death Kiss are helped immeasurably by the fact that nearly every scene takes place under steel-grey clouds creating a cold, unforgiving feeling to the locations. Finally the score (also by Perez) is a masterpiece of bluesy guitar and smooth synths…again, the ’80’s are alive and well in this one folks!
On the negative side of things…I want a sequel right now! Pleaaseee?!!
There isn’t much more I can say about Death Kiss; if you love Bronson flicks, Cannon films, action, and more blood shed than I have seen on screen in a damn sight then this is a picture you must see right away!
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