A thriller about a twisted acquaintance who wreaks vengeance on his good Samaritan pal, ONE GOOD TURN is a psycho drama as cliched as its title.
On an LA street, Matt (Lenny Von Dohlen) briefly spots Simon (James Remar), who pulled him from a bombed car in Panama City years ago. After private eye Santapietro (John Savage) locates Simon, a down-and-out drifter, Matt gives him a job and keys to his pool house. After Matt confesses that a
hooker died in his car when the bomb went off, his relationship deteriorates with his wife, Laura (Suzy Amis), who gets plenty of Simon's attention.
Santapietro discovers Simon has lied about his past, but the shifty drifter changes his story to avert Matt's suspicions. When his parole papers are accidentally delivered to the kid next door, Simon slyly engineers his death, inducing him to play a game of chicken with an oncoming train.
Aware that Matt's company is about to sell a new video game, Simon fiddles with a computer and renames the game's master file. Matt and Laura go on a romantic getaway, but Matt rushes back to LA, recovers the missing file, and discovers that it was Simon who tinkered with his terminal.
Meanwhile, Simon shows up at the vacation house, offering to cook Laura dinner. At the same time, Santapietro discovers that Simon was convicted of manslaughter. He calls the vacation house, and when Simon answers, he rushes to protect Laura. Just as he tells Laura about her murderous guest, Simon
kills him. Crazed, Simon tells Laura that Matt tried to buy his girlfriend, the woman who died in the car bombing.
When Matt returns, Simon shoots at the couple and tries to run them over. His car crashes, and Matt, returning a favor of long ago, tries to rescue his nemesis, but Simon locks the door and blows up.
A classic of straight-to-video suspense, ONE GOOD TURN has a few real moments of horror and tension, all provided by James Remar's creepy character. Unfortunately, this evil character has no depth. One minute he's an aimless drifter; the next he's a thoroughly calculating psycho hell bent on
vengeance. The finale, though marred by confusing editing, is fun, if only because this see-through story ends with a bang, not a whimper. (Violence, nudity, adult situations.)
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- Released: 1996
- Rating: R
- Review: A thriller about a twisted acquaintance who wreaks vengeance on his good Samaritan pal, ONE GOOD TURN is a psycho drama as cliched as its title. On an LA street, Matt (Lenny Von Dohlen) briefly spots Simon (James Remar), who pulled him from a bombed car i… (more)