SilentAssIf you trawl through bargain bins and second hand shops for films, one of the lessons you learn pretty quickly is not to believe the front cover boasts regarding the prominence of the supposed “stars”. Silent Assassins is a classic example of this rule. In the picture you’ll see that Linda Blair is given second billing, and pictured looking all feisty and stern with a pistol in her hand… whereas, in the film itself, she scores roughly eleven minutes of actual screentime, playing the hero’s rather housebound, buzzkill girlfriend. To be fair, she does actually shoot a pistol to kill a bad guy, so the picture isn’t a total lie… but it is still very, very misleading. Thankfully, the disc was dirt cheap, and I guessed in advance that she wouldn’t be participating very much, since she only appears in one of the five screenshots on the back of the box. The rest are a total sausage-fest.

In case you’re curious, the story follows LAPD Detective Sam Kettle (no, really, that’s his name) as he attempts to track down and rescue a missing biochemist, who holds the formula to a devastating biological weapon in his brainbox. Kettle is accompanied by the two producers and fight choreographers for the film, Jun Chong and Phil Rhee, who play the kick-ass uncle of a little girl who was kidnapped along with the biochemist, and an arrogant yuppie black belt, who has a personal score to settle with the baddies. It isn’t a terrible movie… the fights are actually quite good fun, and pretty slick… but it’s very dated, and the plot creaks quite loudly in places. For example, you know that bit in this sort of kidnapping flick where the hostage finds some clever way to stall for time and piss off the kidnappers? Well, here the biochemist does that by turning the keyboard of their computer over (the one he’s supposed to be typing his formula up on), causing the monitor and hard drive to burst into flames, for no apparent reason. The biochemist casually comments that it was a common fault with that particular model. Eh!? A keyboard that sparks spontaneous combustion when inverted? Yeah, I’d definitely call that a “fault”…

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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