Plot logic is nowhere to be found in LAST GASP, a supernatural thriller without any thrills.
Driven land developer Leslie Chase (Robert Patrick) slaughters a tribe of Totec Indians after they kill two of his crew at a Mexican building site. Their chief (Adrian Pavlovski) attacks Chase, who succeeds in fending off the attack and mortally wounding the chief. With his dying breath, the chief
passes his spirit on to Chase.
Six years later, Nora Weeks (Joanna Pacula) hires PI Ray Tattinger (Vyto Ruginis) to find her missing husband; the trail leads to a construction company Chase is running in Pennsylvania. Chase, possessed by the Totec spirit, kills Tattinger while in full tribal makeup--the same fate that befell
Nora's husband. Nora and her friend Goldie (Mimi Craven) decide to investigate on their own, but Goldie is won over by Chase's charm and becomes his lover.
When several bodies are discovered in a nearby cornfield; Nora becomes more suspicious of Chase and, reading up on the Totecs, comes to realize what's happening. Chase meets with her, reveals her suspicions are correct and tries to convince her to kill him, but she refuses, not wanting the chief's
spirit to pass on to her. After Chase apparently kills Goldie, Nora confronts him at his house and chokes him to death; he expires with the word "freedom." Goldie proves to be alive and well, but Nora is now possessed by the Totec spirit.
LAST GASP may set some kind of record for storytelling ineptitude; it appears to have been written and directed with the aim of avoiding any hint of tension or surprise. Because we know from the start who the killer is and what drives him, there's no mystery; because he's a jerk to begin with, the
viewer can have no sympathy for his plight; and because Nora and Goldie are depicted as equally foolish characters, there's no suspense when they become his targets.
The horror elements are negligible--there's a good deal of gore but no real terror--and a flashback to Nora's husband's murder is arbitrarily dropped in at the halfway point. The actors do what they can with their poorly conceived characters, but the film's best aspect is inarguably the
picturesque Romanian locations, which convincingly stand in for both Mexico and Pennsylvania. (Graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations, profanity.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: R
- Review: Plot logic is nowhere to be found in LAST GASP, a supernatural thriller without any thrills. Driven land developer Leslie Chase (Robert Patrick) slaughters a tribe of Totec Indians after they kill two of his crew at a Mexican building site. Their chief (A… (more)