STONE COLD DEAD (1979)
Article 3449 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-15-2010
Posting Date: 1-23-2011
Directed by George Mendeluk
Featuring Richard Crenna, Paul Williams, Linda Sorenson
What it is: Crime drama
A serial killer is on the loose who snaps pictures of the victims before killing them. A policeman investigates while dealing with pimps. corrupt cops, and various lowlifes.
Despite the presence of a serial killer, this is definitely more of a crime drama than a horror thriller. In fact, the movie loses focus on the main plot thread so often that I began to wonder if it was more interested in giving us a snapshot of the seedy milieu than telling a story. However, since the characters and situations never become more than cliches, I eventually came to the conclusion that the movie is just too distracted to tell a story. Still, a few things stand out. I’ve decided that Paul Williams is an ideal choice for creepy little lowlifes, as he is here. Also, it’s one of the rare times where a song on the soundtrack of the movie actually shows a direct influence on the editing; Bob Seger’s “The Fire Down Below” is actually illustrated visually as it plays, and though it’s an interesting touch, it starts to feel a bit too easy and obvious. And, finally, the oddest touch of the movie is that the main cop has a Rube Goldberg device to feed his fish, a bizarre touch that seems out of place in the movie. The rest of the movie is blahsville.