Relentless (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

Relentless (1989)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A man who fails to make the grade as a Los Angeles cop goes on a killing spree as the dangerous "Sunset Killer," to show the dupes who wouldn't hire him. He uses all his cop smarts to try to elude all who dare try capture him.
R (adult situations/language, violence)
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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Judd Nelson
as Arthur 'Buck' Taylor
Robert Loggia
as Bill Malloy
Leo Rossi
as Sam Dietz
Meg Foster
as Carol Dietz
Patrick O'Bryan
as Todd Arthur
Mindy Seger
as Francine
Ron Taylor
as Capt. Blakely
Beau Starr
as Ike Taylor
Harriet Hall
as Angela Taylor
Ken Lerner
as Arthur
Frank Pesce
as Marra
Roy Brocksmith
as Coroner
Mindy Seeger
as Francine
Matt Bolduc
as Young Buck (age 7)
Lou Bonacki
as Desk Sergeant
Edward Bunker
as Cardoza
Nay K. Dorsey
as Elevator Man
Joe Flood
as Art Wicker
George Gallo
as Medical Examiner
John F. Goff
as Dr. Park
Jon Greene
as Detective Captain
Paul Hertzberg
as Police Photographer
John Homa
as Spencer
Jason Lustig
as Computer Operator
Vic Manni
as Detective
Brendan Ryan Barrett
as Corey Dietz
Laura Tracy
as Young Mother
Ingrid van Dorn
as Lab Technician
Dan Vogel
as Furillo
Michael Weiner
as Young Buck (age 12)
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Critic Reviews for Relentless

All Critics (5)

Violent but undemanding suspense yarn.

Full Review… | September 3, 2015
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Nelson gives one of the most gripping performances of his career

August 17, 2008

...director William Lustig tries his best to infuse the movie with a decent amount of style.

Full Review… | November 10, 2004
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for Relentless

Other than an unique bit of casting that was the film's one selling point, there's nothing all that noteworthy about "Relentless", a fairly routine serial killer movie that I nevertheless enjoyed to a certain degree. It's great fun seeing Brat Packer Judd Nelson break out of the teen genre playing a sadistic killer, and even though he's only given a handful of dialogue, it's a good performance. The guy is dealing with a lot of issues, but Nelson makes the character work with mannerisms and body language. Also good in one of his few starring roles is Leo Rossi as the lead detective on the case, fresh off his memorable turn in "The Accused" the year before. He's convincing in the part, and a commanding presence that holds the entire picture together. There's nothing special about the story, and with one possible exception, the murders are routinely filmed. However, William Lustig is a premier B-movie director who knows how to handle this material. After all, he directed one of the most gruesome serial killer movies ever in "Maniac". This one emphasizes story over gore, but the similarities are definitely there, and Lustig manages to get a few effective shocks in. The best scene involves the murder of a female songwriter, and the finale is pretty exciting as well. Despite the fact that it may feel like you've already seen this movie, "Relentless" does manage to offer up a few surprises along the way. The lead performances alone make it worth seeing, with Nelson surprisingly good at adding menace to his thankless role.

Timothy Sanders
Timothy Sanders

William Lustig is a big name in the cult film world. Not only has he directed classics like "Maniac", "Vigilante" and "Maniac Cop", but he also founded Blue-Underground Entertainment, a company specializing in releasing cult films on the home video market in quality editions. Seriously this guy bleeds "Kvlt". In the late 80s, like most directors that got their start in the cult film circuit, Lustig gave a stab at the mainstream market by directing two films, "Relentless" and "Hit List" for Cinetel films. Though at the time more people saw these films than his earlier efforts, today they are the forgotten entries into his filmography due to the fact they lack the eccentricities and bombastic approaches to violence and gore that fans praise his earlier efforts for. The plot is a pretty standard "killer on the loose" connect-the-dots formula. We have a brash young rookie detective (Leo Rossi, whom fans may remember for playing the jackass paramedic in the original "Halloween II") teaming up with an indifferent veteran (Robert Loggia) in order to catch a serial killer with daddy issues (Judd Nelson) whom kills his victims by having their own hands do the dirty deed. The audience can predict every turn in the plot, especially when the killer gets personal with detective Dietz's family. William Lustig has always managed to acquire dynamic cast members and "Relentless" is no different. Judd Nelson makes a memorable portrayal as our killer, Loggia is likeable as ever and Meg Foster delivers as the detective's wife. Relatively unknown actor Leo Rossi surprisingly makes what would be a rather routine detective character engaging with his arrogant Brooklyn heritage. Rossi makes the character flawed and with that more interesting. I really wanted this guy to blow our creepo away! Though the cast is good, what makes "Relentless" really stand out is the keen eye for style provided by Lustig as he makes the film look better than it really is. Even with his style one can tell Lustig is being subdued no doubt due to pressure by the producers trying to make a marketable film as it just lacks the trademark gore and violence that punctuated all of his notable efforts before. I just wanted the film to be more graphic, to go the extra mile that fans have come to expect from Lustig. Even the trademark Lustig extreme stunts are kept to a minimum with a high speed race home being the highlight "Relentless" on the surface is just another "to catch a killer" film as the plot has nothing really special to set it apart from other films in the genre but Lustig's stylish directing and the strong cast makes it worth a watch, especially for Lustig fans. Despite it's routine plot and toned down "play it safe" kills, "Relentless" was a massive hit on home video following it's short theatrical release and gave rise to three sequels. That in itself is a feat not many films are able to succeed at.

Eric Reifschneider
Eric Reifschneider

Never had seen Judd Nelson in a role like this before so was interested in seeing how he did, he was ok he definitely made you think he was mental.

Timeen   *
Timeen *

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