F/X Murder by Illusion Film review

FXI didn’t set out to watch this movie, but got sucked into it, whilst flicking through the cable channels. The plot focuses on a special effects expert (Rollie), who is hired by the police to fake a mob killing of a gangster turned police informant.

It turns out though, that the cops are bent and after Rollie shoots the gangster, the bent cops try to kill him. Escaping their clutches, he finds himself on the run, his own life in danger, he seeks to clear his name.

I don’t want to explain any more of the plot, for fear of spoiling it for anyone who hasn’t seen it.

The movie has a zesty B-movie feel to it and I found it to be an enjoyable watch. Sure, it’s quite dated, nowadays Rollie would have been straight to an internet cafe to post an update of his innocence to Facebook. The film is very much a product of the mid-80’s, which is no bad thing as it adds to the films appeal.

The central performances are believable, as are the character motivations. The film is not without its flaws though, the action sequences are perfunctory and show little flair. Also, the actual special effects in the movie, which the protagonist employs, amount to little more than a bit of fake blood and some prosthetic work..

The plot twists are not particularly inspired and are drearily predictable, yet it feels churlish to complain about this when the film is such unpretentious fun. In conclusion then, this film is no classic and has no remarkable features with which to distinguish itself. That said, as a lazy afternoon movie, it is a competent, well-directed film, with a certain charm, that is derived as much from the central performances as it is from the period in which it was made.

Rating: 6/10

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