This quickie from Roger Corman tries to make the most of its weak novelty of taking place in the Latino community of Los Angeles. Ethnicity gets smeared over KISS ME A KILLER's hackneyed plot like hot sauce; here's an erotic thriller that intercuts its gratuitous nude scenes with
gratuitous shots of rice and beans cooking on the stove. Call it "The Caballero Always Rings Twice."
The Circle Club is an East LA lounge owned by blustery, middle-aged Anglo Jake (Guy Boyd) whose lovely but stifled young wife Teresa (Julie Carmen) waits the tables. When the club's headlining salsa singer faints away drunk, a handsome patron named Tony Montero (Robert Beltran) suddenly takes the
stage and croons canciones so well that Jake hires him at once. In no time Tony seduces Teresa, and the two copulate all over tables and kitchen counters. Tony asks his lover to run away with him, but Teresa doesn't want to abandon the bar biz. So they conspire to murder Jake in an alleyway
outside. But the victim survives the shooting, and Tony throws off suspicion by claiming the gunman was Ramon (Ramon Franco), one of his old homeboys. After an oblivious Jake returns home from the hospital Tony and Teresa try again, and this time they succeed in killing the poor chump and making
it look accidental. No sooner has Teresa taken over management of the Circle Club than Ramon visits and blows away her dear Tony as revenge for that earlier frame-up.
It's listless film noir from first-time director Marcus DeLeon, with suitably dark photography and good actors getting by in underwritten roles. Even though he's supposed to be overbearing, Guy Boyd's character comes across as the warmest and most likable of the bunch, leaving an unspoken and
uncomfortable impression for the viewer that Jake's marked for death because he's older and/or white. Tony remains a cipher about whom nothing insightful is learned. Carmen is basically a symphony of sulks, though she's got a good gimmicky moment when, as a dutiful Catholic, Teresa confesses to
her priest that she's going to rub out her husband. The padre, bound by the confidentiality of the confessional, spends the rest of the movie glaring at her in silence.
KISS ME A KILLER came and went rapidly in theaters in 1991, mainly playing in urban centers with large Hispanic or Latino populations. It surfaced in home video's cultural melting-pot the next year, but retained its barrio beat with a soundtrack full of original songs by Marcus Loya, performed by
Robert Beltran. (Violence, profanity, substance abuse, adult situations, sexual situations, nudity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1992
- Rating: R
- Review: This quickie from Roger Corman tries to make the most of its weak novelty of taking place in the Latino community of Los Angeles. Ethnicity gets smeared over KISS ME A KILLER's hackneyed plot like hot sauce; here's an erotic thriller that intercuts its gra… (more)