film reel image

film reel image

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Nightshade 2022 * * 1/2 Stars


"I want you to know that I love you very much". Uh-oh. Someone's housewife has gone a little cray cray in the City of Angels. She's the antagonist in a cop thriller a la the "voodoo that you do". 

So yeah, Nightshade is said cop thriller and my first write-up for 2022. Call it police procedural dread that's two years removed from Body Cam

Nightshade stars Lou Ferrigno Jr. and well, he's the son of Lou Ferrigno. Lou Ferrigno Jr. is not a bad actor but he seems miscast as a sleuth-hound with disturbing nightmare issues. He appears more like a model for Men's Health Magazine. Hey at least Ferrigno Jr. emotes more than his dad ever did (the occasional hulking out and green makeup don't really count as emoting). 

Anyhow, Nightshade is an 80s stoner pretense coveted by a director who has seen one too many movies by other directors (David Lynch, Francis Ford Coppola, David Fincher, Alex Cox). With Nightshade, Landon Williams styles it up for the masses. Employed by the lens he uses and the ominous music by Benjamin Burney, Landon's film is acid trip noir while featuring enough Apocalypse Now fan shots to form a drinking game.

Dark and saturated while harboring a nanosecond cameo by Jason Patric and supporting work from Dina Meyer (she just gets sexier with age), Nightshade is about a detective (Ben Hays) whose trippy dreams and psychic leavings help him try to nab a brutal killer. 

Look for a twist you don't quite see coming and plenty of fuzz cliches (the frazzled partner battling demons, the angry captain, the token, odd buddy cop couple). In truth, Nightshade's outcome doesn't bode well and that might be its strongest asset (talk about a Karma Houdini). It is not the first great flick of 2022 but it is the first flick of 2022. Call it a "night". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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