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Federal Protection Reviews

Nothing distinguishes this witness protection thriller from dozens of other films — it's just another tag team match with the feds and a reformed crook on one side and mean mobsters on the other. Betrayed by one of his bagmen, chop-shop specialist Frank Carbone (Armand Assante) sees only one option: Squeal on his back stabbing paisans and go into exile. Federal agents relocate Frank to Little Rock, Arkansas. Although the Mafia whacks Frank's tattletale pal, Gio (Carl Alacchi), back on the East Coast, Frank doesn't sense any peril from his new neighbors. Next door, discontented suburban housewife Leigh Kirkendall (Angela Featherstone) learns that her husband, Denny (David Lipper), is sleeping with her sister, Bootsie Cavander (Dina Meyer). Virile stranger Frank looks like a remedy for Leigh's heartache; unfortunately for Frank, Leigh has confided in Denny her suspicions that Frank is hiding from the Mob. As Leigh and Frank fall in love, Bootsie sets the wheels in motion for her bonanza; having discovered that there's a Mafia bounty on Frank's head, she persuades Denny to contact some mob types. But while trysting at a motel, Bootsie and Denny are interrupted by two sadistic gangsters who aren't interested in paying for information. Keeping her eyes on the prize, Bootsie pushes one mobster out the window and when the other shoots Denny, she finishes off the shooter with a high-heeled kick to the head. Figuring that she might be able to jack up the price, Bootsie arranges a public rendezvous with plenty of police presence. But when the mob finally gets wind of his whereabouts, Frank refuses to run; payback time arrives as the principal players run out of hiding holes. Method actor Assante fills in the script's dull spots with his over-ripe line readings and hammy facial expressions. But aside from his scene stealing, this stool pigeon action bash is right off the assembly line.