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Killer's Kiss (1955)

  • Crime Drama Thriller
  • The film revolves around Davey Gordon, a 29 year old welterweight New York boxer in the end of his career, and his relationship with a dancer and her violent employer.

  • $75,000
  • Description

    Ready to catch a train to his hometown, a washed-up boxer tells us about the strange and twisty events that happened to him the past couple of days.




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    Classy, Feverish, a Mess? The second feature film directed by future critical darling Stanley Kubrick, Killer's Kiss isn't a particularly good film. With its very basic "B" film noir plot, choppy editing, post-dubbing and "interesting" acting from the unknown cast, the film should really be a chore to get thru. However, it represents a worthwhile investment of our time for two main reasons. One is of course to witness the early work of a most revered and talented director. The other is because of some indelible images that exist within the piece, images crafted around authentic New York locations. The plot revolves around Davey Gordon (Jamie Smith), a 29 year old New York boxer at the end of his career, and his relationship with a dancer and her violent employer. Love, violence and revenge all crammed into one sweaty New York weekend. Kubrick co-wrote the screenplay with Howard Sackler, he also edited, co-produced and photographed the picture himself. All financed by cash generated from friends and family of the novice director. While there is nothing to write home about in the writing, certainly there is no hint of the creative writing flair Kubrick would show later in his career, it's with the visuals and to a lesser extent, the sound work, that Killer's Kiss shows that the powerful director was quick out of the traps. The whole film comes across as some feverish fairy-tale, one which at frequent moments shifts to some sort of surrealistic nightmare. The effects aided by the use of negative film stock and the tilting blend of opposing character scenes. Sexual aggression segues with a brutal boxing match, a ballerina dancing sequence takes one away from the hustle and bustle of the loud streets. Streets where bizarre fez wearing musicians prance about gaily, and where shadowy figures follow men down alleyways to enact a brutal crime. All distorting, memorable stuff, capped off by an axe fight in a mannequin factory, the dismembered parts used not only a weapons, but also as a point of reference to the weird thematics laid down by Kubrick. With stark black and white imagery augmented by the harsh music, and Kubrick dallying with close ups and low angle camera shots, Killer's Kiss is never less than engrossing from a technical viewpoint. Think of it like that weird dream you had when you had taken too much cough syrup that time, and you will be half way there. 6/10



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