Last Rites

  • 1998
  • 1 HR 28 MIN
  • R
  • Action, Science Fiction

This made-for-TV flick tries to squeeze a flabby capital-punishment sermon into a stretched-out girdle of suspense. The scenarist would have us believe that a serial slayer could survive an electri-frying date with Old Sparky and reawaken a changed man. Although he's a confessed thrill-killer, Jeremy Dillon (Randy Quaid) loses all memory of his sadistic...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This made-for-TV flick tries to squeeze a flabby capital-punishment sermon into a stretched-out girdle of suspense. The scenarist would have us believe that a serial slayer could survive an electri-frying date with Old Sparky and reawaken a changed man. Although he's a

confessed thrill-killer, Jeremy Dillon (Randy Quaid) loses all memory of his sadistic past after a botched electrocution in prison. Having cheated death, Dillon now suffers from Excedrin headaches and seems to have acquired clairvoyant powers: He can map the locations of buried corpses and

kidnapping victims for the FBI. Or is Dillon just obtaining inside crime info from other convicts? It's up to psychiatrist Dr. Lauren Riggs (Embeth Davidtz, SCHINDLER'S LIST) to determine whether Dillon is the Real McCoy or as phony as a Psychic Network spokesperson. This dubious salute to

lightning power denounces the death penalty while egging on the audience to anticipate homicidal recidivism from Dillon. In this kind of hopped-up, insincere polemic, the viewer is asked to applaud Dillon's humanitarian gestures while secretly digging the film's implied violence. The overall

message is that capital punishment is at best a flawed dispenser of justice; unfortunately, there are no such deterrents for opportunistic TV movies. Still, LAST RITES moves at a fast pace and keeps one guessing about Dillon's unverifiable amnesia. It's just that the mind reels at the thought of a

Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacey surviving execution as transformed fortune-tellers.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: R
  • Review: This made-for-TV flick tries to squeeze a flabby capital-punishment sermon into a stretched-out girdle of suspense. The scenarist would have us believe that a serial slayer could survive an electri-frying date with Old Sparky and reawaken a changed man. Al… (more)

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