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At least on DVD, anyway, and even the timely release of this little mystery thriller is suspicious, as the release date is 2012 on Amazon and 2010 on IMDb, and yet it looks like a straight-to-DVD turd from the mid-90s. Whatís the real story on KILLER BY NATURE? We may never know, but what we do know is that itís quite the slightly below average psychological thriller that doesnít do Perlmanís awesomeness any justice whatsoever.
On the one hand, itís a flick that essentially presents the age-old argument of ďnature versus nurtureĒ, posing the question of whether killers are bred by their environment, or if theyíre simply born that way due to genetics, their family tree, and so on and so forth. Thatís where Perlmanís Dr. Julian comes into the picture, being an advocate of the nature side, and using the latest case of a teenager with a sleepwalking problem to prove his theory. But is this teen, who has nightmares of killing women only to find them actually dead in the morning, the real killer, or is there something (or someone) else doing the dirty work? And how does the death row inmate nicknamed Mean Gene, played by Armand Assante, fit into this whole thing?
I put all those questions in the description here because thatís what the film tries to do, craft a story thatís full of twists, turns, and mystery. Unfortunately, KILLER BY NATURE isnít executed as well as it likes to think it is, delivering a film that has a lot of questions, but none of which you actually care about answering. Who is this guy and is this other dude actually killing people? MaybeÖ I donít know. And I donít care. And because I donít care, whatís the point? Oh, thatís right, there really isnít one.
Perlman does a decent job I guess (from what he has to work with) and long-lost star Assante manages to pull off his role quite well, delivering probably the best performance out of anyone else in the whole movieómaybe itís those damn crazy eyes of his, or because heís locked behind bars the whole time. Either way, he does a damn fine job. The teenager aka the filmís lead, played by Zachary Ray Sherman, shouldnít have ever been cast as the lead as he doesnít have the charisma or screen presence to lead a film and to make the audience give a crap about him. Heís just a whiny kid who overactsómaybe thatís the scripts fault, maybe itís his fault, all I know is that itís just bad.
The thing thatís the most striking about KILLER BY NATURE, besides it being released some 15 years after it was made, is that it sort of draws you in enough to pay attention and hold most of your interest all the way up through the end. The twists are spotted miles away and the way the story finishes up isnít all that surprising, but much like the crappy STD flicks from the Ď90s, thereís an odd sense of watchability at play here. Itís still not a good movie by any means, but still, itísÖ watchable.
Audio: 2.0 Mono rocked this puppy, but itís a SCREENER, so Iíd assume the audio would be fuller when itís the real McCoy.