This moron joke masquerading as an action pic about taking responsibility for one's actions is strictly for men who scratch their crotches in public. Heavily dependent on special effects, it will appeal primarily to macho types fond of sadistic jollity.
Sociopathic career criminal Joey (David Keith) blames everyone else for the backlash created by his homicidal acts. When his pregnant wife Mary (Patricia Scanlon) is killed during their robbery of a convenience store, Joey vows revenge on Michael Silvano (Martin Kove), the customer he holds
responsible. Subsequently, Joey is executed in prison, but then returns from the dead by supernatural means.
Already distraught by talk of divorce from his wife Grace (Laura Johnson), hotheaded Michael is ill-equipped to outsmart the resurrected Joey. Pursued by Joey and his pack of demonic hounds, Michael manages to elude him in the cab of taxi-philosopher Roland (Kelly Perine). Michael receives backup
from ex-cop pal Lockhart (Paul Koslo) after Joey wreaks more havoc in a biker bar.
Joey takes Grace and her son Alex (Thomas Ian Nichols) captive. Lockhart and Roland accompany Michael to Alex's high school, where Joey drowns Roland in a toilet. Lockhart prevents Joey from hanging Alex in the gym by shooting down the rope. By tossing a flaming football into the science lab where
Joey is holed up, Alex and Michael temporarily halt the fiend by setting fire to him.
Michael tracks Grace to a theater where Joey has re-created the scene of his last crime, casting Grace as his own deceased wife. Reenacting the robbery and shootings, Joey realizes that it was he himself who shot Mary. As judge and jury, Joey sends himself back to Hades.
Perhaps a nasty thriller could have been culled from this ghost story about a felon who won't let mortality stand in the way of getting even. Certainly, better resurrection schlockers have been made about hard-to-kill convicts (SHOCKER, PRISON). But while it is a veritable junk-heap of horror pic
ideas, JUDGE & JURY really offers only enough viable narrative for a student short; it pads its running time with demolitions, sick brutality, and macho posturing. Even if one ignores its almost pagan idolatry of football and ripples of homophobia, the film does little more than offer instant
replays of Michael and Joey's contretemps. Logic is, of course, an early casualty. How can a mere mortal be an ongoing match for a supernatural nutcase? Since the contest is so uneven, all JUDGE & JURY can do is wallow in scenes of torture as hellish Joey knocks some of the nasty temperament out
of Michael. (Graphic violence, extreme profanity, substance abuse, adult situations.)
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- Released: 1997
- Rating: R
- Review: This moron joke masquerading as an action pic about taking responsibility for one's actions is strictly for men who scratch their crotches in public. Heavily dependent on special effects, it will appeal primarily to macho types fond of sadistic jollity. S… (more)