Perfect Strangers (Blind Alley) Reviews

  • Apr 30, 2012

    A really cool concept on the thriller genre about a toddler who witnesses a gang murder, leading to the hitman shacking up with the boy's mother in an attempt to figure out what the toddler knows and see if the young boy is capable of identifying him. Typical of Larry Cohen, this is an offbeat thriller that has some great atmosphere and mood, but it's a really tight story of the moral repercussions and consequences which unfold beautifully. Cohen really uses the young boy to his advantage, focusing on the boy's face during key sequences to illicit this sense of uncertainty to what exactly the boy recalls/knows about the murder. There are some great off-kilter sequences between the boy and the hitman, where he tries to explain the situation to the young boy-they are both hysterical and great at showing the mental exhaustion which the hitman is going through. The mother is such a great character, who clearly is trying to be a strong women, and I really found myself invested in her journey as a character-though, most of the film is definitely from the Hitman's perspective. Hell, every character in this film is very multi-dimesional-the mom, the ex-husband, the hitman etc., and the film beautifully comes together in a wonderful finale. The film uses the New York locations to great effect, paired with some great sound design to create a nice little time capsule of 80's New York. This has got to be Cohen's most emotionally resonant film, which is much more a tight narrative than some of his more off-kilter work.

    A really cool concept on the thriller genre about a toddler who witnesses a gang murder, leading to the hitman shacking up with the boy's mother in an attempt to figure out what the toddler knows and see if the young boy is capable of identifying him. Typical of Larry Cohen, this is an offbeat thriller that has some great atmosphere and mood, but it's a really tight story of the moral repercussions and consequences which unfold beautifully. Cohen really uses the young boy to his advantage, focusing on the boy's face during key sequences to illicit this sense of uncertainty to what exactly the boy recalls/knows about the murder. There are some great off-kilter sequences between the boy and the hitman, where he tries to explain the situation to the young boy-they are both hysterical and great at showing the mental exhaustion which the hitman is going through. The mother is such a great character, who clearly is trying to be a strong women, and I really found myself invested in her journey as a character-though, most of the film is definitely from the Hitman's perspective. Hell, every character in this film is very multi-dimesional-the mom, the ex-husband, the hitman etc., and the film beautifully comes together in a wonderful finale. The film uses the New York locations to great effect, paired with some great sound design to create a nice little time capsule of 80's New York. This has got to be Cohen's most emotionally resonant film, which is much more a tight narrative than some of his more off-kilter work.

  • Jul 20, 2011

    Larry Cohen is a fabulously underrated writer and directer and this is another of his little gems. This is not one of his more celebrated films, like "Black Caesar", "It's Alive", or "Q The Winged Serpent", but it still delivers Cohen's trademark smart concepts with exploitation sensibilities. This time it involves hitman who has a 3 year old witness one of his hits. The crux of the film is whether or not the hitman will kill the child to keep himself in the clear. With Cohen, you really do not know how the film is going to end and that's where the film gets it's strength. There are no real stars in the film, but the always great Ann Magnuson has a nice supporting role and I could have sworn I fleetingly saw Illeana Douglas. Well worth watching low budget film. Oh, and Dobber/Patrick Starfish Bill Fagerbakke also plays a mafia thug in the film.

    Larry Cohen is a fabulously underrated writer and directer and this is another of his little gems. This is not one of his more celebrated films, like "Black Caesar", "It's Alive", or "Q The Winged Serpent", but it still delivers Cohen's trademark smart concepts with exploitation sensibilities. This time it involves hitman who has a 3 year old witness one of his hits. The crux of the film is whether or not the hitman will kill the child to keep himself in the clear. With Cohen, you really do not know how the film is going to end and that's where the film gets it's strength. There are no real stars in the film, but the always great Ann Magnuson has a nice supporting role and I could have sworn I fleetingly saw Illeana Douglas. Well worth watching low budget film. Oh, and Dobber/Patrick Starfish Bill Fagerbakke also plays a mafia thug in the film.

  • Apr 26, 2011

    Mob hitman is pressured to ice a two-year old 'witness' to a hit. Rather unpleasant and unsure how seriously this was meant to be taken. I generally hold Larry Cohen to a higher standard; although his social commentary is still ever-present. Helped by NYC locale.

    Mob hitman is pressured to ice a two-year old 'witness' to a hit. Rather unpleasant and unsure how seriously this was meant to be taken. I generally hold Larry Cohen to a higher standard; although his social commentary is still ever-present. Helped by NYC locale.

  • Jul 12, 2009

    A more subtle and centrist political message here from Cohen, but the thriller elements are undercut by a meandering and convoluted plot.

    A more subtle and centrist political message here from Cohen, but the thriller elements are undercut by a meandering and convoluted plot.

  • Jun 02, 2009

    The movie has a hazy screen to it...the slowness of it and that made me quite sleepy..

    The movie has a hazy screen to it...the slowness of it and that made me quite sleepy..