Directed by: Damian Nieman
Written by: Damian Nieman
Studio: RKO Pictures
Official Site: www.shademovie.com
March 26, 2004 (limited)
Plot: In the shady atmosphere of an underground gambling club, LA's card sharks come out to play. Deception and trickery is the only rule in a game where nothing is as it seems, and everyone has a poker face. The hustlers get hustled, and a fortune rests on every deal. In the magic hour on a desert hig... (more)
Plot: In the shady atmosphere of an underground gambling club, LA's card sharks come out to play. Deception and trickery is the only rule in a game where nothing is as it seems, and everyone has a poker face. The hustlers get hustled, and a fortune rests on every deal. In the magic hour on a desert highway, a black speedster races towards the shimmering lights of the City of Angels. The driver's hand effortlessly holds and cuts a deck of cards over and over; a magician performing his tricks. This is VERNON (Townsend). The card mechanic. Vernon's old flame TIFFANY (Newton) is the kind of woman who will cut out a man's heart if it will earn her a fast buck. Her fellow conman-in-crime MILLER (Byrne) shoots for any deal that has a payout; be it a petty hustle or a sophisticated scam. This is a hard-edged crew with a common goal: to beat the ultimate card mechanic - THE DEAN (Stallone) - a man for whom players will drop their entire bankroll, just to say that they have taken a seat at his table. But The Dean's table doesn't come cheap. Vernon needs a hundred grand to buy his way in; small change to the high rollers that play in this hand. His particular line of credit comes in the form of a poker game and a greedy card player named JENNINGS.
However, in the illusory world of underground gaming, nothing is as it seems. Although clever with the cards, Jennings is foolish enough to play with someone else's cash. Suddenly the crew is being pursued by dangerous thugs and a vengeful gangster. To further complicate matters, Tiffany and Miller have personal agendas of their own. Miller is planning a future with Tiffany, but she still carries a torch for Vernon, and has her own ideas for pushing Miller swiftly out of the picture. Is the loser actually the loser, or is it just another maneuver in the mechanic's master scam?