Identity

Once again it's time to pay tribute to another dearly departed, the ubiquitous 90's villain and occasional villain, Ray Liotta. Although he had a memorable turn as one of Hannibal Lector's victims, we thought he got much more screen-time in the twisty 2003 thriller, Identity.

Having not seen this one for a while, we were happy to discover that this remains a fun, tight (not to mention star-studded) spectacle today. R.I.P Ray Liotta, and thanks for the years of pleasure you've brought us.

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Identity (2003)

Episode 303, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Todd: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd

Craig: and I’m Craig.

Todd: Well, Craig, it comes several times a year when. Famous is actor dies and we decide to pay tribute by digging up a horror movie. He or she did. And, uh, reviewing it last month, Ray Liotta died in his sleep while filming a movie down in the Dominican Republic.

I don’t think a cause of death has either been determined or released yet. Yeah, but, uh, he was sadly only 67 years old and I grew. Really enjoying watching Ray Liotta, I think, uh, my first, I, I mean, I saw a field of dreams. He was Shoeless Shoe Jackson and field of dreams. I remember seeing him there. And of course, uh, he was in good fellas in 1990, which was a, a great role.

But, um, I remember him the most from a 19, I think 1992. Thriller called Unlawful Entry. Mm-hmm did you ever see that one? Mm-hmm yep. Where he’s the cop that, oh God, he is terrifying in that movie. Yeah, it is so good. And he always had this way of playing these, these nice guys with this sort of dark edge to them.

Right. Even though he had a variety of roles throughout his career, pretty successfully, didn’t get too pigeonholed into one particular kind of role, but there was this stretch in the 90’s where he was that creepy bad guy. right. Or he was the guy you thought was really nice and charming at first and then turned out to be the bad guy.

Yeah. So we, we dug out a movie of his, uh, from 1990 called Identity, uh, a movie that I saw a while back and. Absolutely loved. I, it was so twisty. It was so fun. And it’s chalk full of stars. It’s been decades since I saw, I mean, I don’t think I’ve seen it since the nineties, uh, until until yesterday. How about you, Craig?

When did you first see this movie? You said it came 

Craig: out in 1990. I’m pretty sure it was 2003. Oh God. 

Todd: You’re right. 2003. 

Craig: Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know. I know I didn’t see it in the theater, but I do remember seeing trailers for it and, uh, The lead in the movie is John QSAC and this was kind of, you know, John Q Sack’s heyday too.

Yeah. And I remember the trailer just looking, you know, mysterious and suspenseful and good people in it. Of course, I already said John QSAC Ray Otis, second built Amanda Pete fairly early in her career. Alfred Molina. Yeah. clay Deval. I I’m, I’m just going. The cast list, but there are, you know, John C McGinley, Jake Busey, Rebecca DeMornay, you know, these were pretty big names.

Um, maybe not, I don’t know if you know John QSAC, I guess, and Reta probably pretty a list at this point. Um, but tons and tons of recognizable. People. And so I was intrigued and I, I remember liking it. And, uh, I remember at the time it being very twisty and not really knowing what was going on mm-hmm and I, I don’t think that I have ever watched it since, but even watching it this time, having not seen it in 20.

Um, I remembered what the twist was and if you go into it, knowing what the twist is, it’s actually projected mm-hmm, pretty heavily in hindsight. It doesn’t really seem like it should have been that difficult to figure out. Uh, yeah, it’s true, but still an enjoyable movie. Good performances. Well made well shot and.

Suspenseful and keeps you 

Todd: guessing. I don’t remember this being a movie that that was like major headlines. I mean, I’m sure it came to the theater, but I don’t remember it getting a huge buzz or huge reaction. I just remember, uh, people, it seemed to be one of those films that got a better life on video maybe.

And I had actually, because of that always assumed that it was. Straight to video movie, which doesn’t make a lot of sense for a production, just chalk full of all of these stars and the director of the movie. Uh, James Mangold. I mean, gosh, I mean, before this, he did Colan girl interrupted Kate Leopold after identity.

He did walk the line that Johnny Cash biopic three, 10 Yuma night and day. Logan and the Wolverine and now he’s finishing up post production having directed and co-produced Indiana Jones five. Yeah. So, uh, he’s very accomplished. The movies is quite good. The writer of identity is the same guy who wrote and directed Jack Frost.

and I don’t mean the Michael Keaton Jack Frost. Right? I mean the one we’ve done straight to video, the one that we’ve done that. . Yeah, it’s very goofy. I, I love that episode by the way. I, I enjoyed watching that movie anyway. I did too. It was fun, but yeah, he wrote this movie and it’s very twisty. It’s very intricately plotted.

It’s just one of those. Keep you guessing thrillers. Like what in the world is going on? And it just revolves around all of this, uh, activity that happens as these different characters come to converge on a hotel, out in the middle of Nevada in the middle of the night, just before that happens, we get a credit sequence over a psychiatrist who is, uh, or psychologist.

I never know which is which right, but he’s, he’s listening to some tapes clearly of one of his patients. And then he gets a phone call calling him. To, uh, the judges chambers in the middle of the night, again, because his patient is about to be executed, but his request for a stay of execution has been granted.

And, um, so they’re going to sort of like discuss it out with the judge and the lawyers and everybody else involved in the case, uh, to see if they will allow him to, 

Craig: because I, some new evidence has been discovered like this is very last minute. Like he was scheduled to be executed tonight. Um, but there’s been some new.

Submitted. That won’t necessarily clear him and, and all of this is vague. Yeah. You don’t really know. Right. And you kind of hear things in like, like you said, over the credits sequence, we’re seeing like, um, news clippings and files and things. And, and we kind of hear the doctor who I think’s name is mall.

And he’s talking presumably to his patient and talking about his patient. And he says something like his mother was a prostitute. He was a child found in a local motel. And then you hear him ask, do you understand why you are talking with me now? Yeah, he is supposed to be good with headaches. I, I need something more than aspirin.

You know what I mean? You remember the murders?

I remember that Columbia is the capital of South Carolina.

I remember that there had been, you know, Six murders, uh, at an apartment complex. And that’s, that’s it like, it’s all just kind of very vague. I mean, and, and if you’re not really listening, those things will just kind of roll past, but ultimately even those little details. Suggest kind of what is going on the, the movie.

And I remembered this, uh, it, it starts out with you hear somebody quietly reciting a verse of a poem. Wow. Um, and as, and as soon as I heard it, I remembered it. Like, I, I, I paused the, uh, movie and, and typed it down from memory that’s, you know, 20 years ago that I saw it. And for some reason, yeah, it is stuck with it is stuck with me, me too, as I was going up the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there.

He wasn’t there again today. I wish I wish he’d go away. just,

just so creepy. It is so creepy and it’s just one little verse, uh, of a poem and it, a character in the movie claims to have, have written it, which isn’t true. It was, uh, preexisting poem, but, um, it is spooky and sets a, a good kind of mysterious atmosphere, which is appropriate because this is a mystery, but part of what’s kind of jarring about it is that it cuts between these two stories.

And for much of the movie, I would say a good three quarters of the movie. I mean, really nothing is confirmed until the last 15 minutes, but I think you kind of start to pick up on what’s going on before that, but immediately, you know, after that very brief segment about this murderer and his stay of execution, then we cut to this entirely different story, which is set in the desert of Nevada or California.

I don’t remember. Um, I know that it was shot in Lancaster, uh, in the desert in Lancaster, California, which I’ve, uh, visited it’s it’s very near Los Angeles. Um, and it is beautiful, uh, desert out there, much of it. I think the majority of it was shot on a sound stage. It was the same, an elaborate set on a sound stage, this motel that they erected.

And it was the same sound stage that the Emerald city. From wizard, Oz was shot on . 

Todd: It it’d have to be pretty big. It seems like they constructed a whole motel. Yeah. Uh, here on the sound stage, cuz uh, the whole movie pretty much takes place at night in the middle of a 

Craig: rainstorm. So Uhhuh and it’s raining the whole time heavy.

I would think that that would just be miserable to be wet for. Weeks and weeks filming. And I, I, I guess , the actors were pretty regularly sick. Like , they just kinda kept passing colds back and forth because they were in these wet conditions all the time. Oh man. But it’s, it’s very atmospheric, almost even a little dreamlike, which is fitting ultimately,

but we have this whole almost annoyingly large. Cast of characters, like, yeah, I was trying to keep, I was trying to keep track of everybody who was there and I knew it was an ensemble piece, but they just kept showing up. I’m like, oh my God. Like, all right, that’s enough. , 

Todd: let’s get to it only annoying for guys who are trying to keep track of names and things for a podcast.

Yeah. 

Craig: True. But even, even if not, it’s still quite a few characters. Um, that’s. To keep track of, and it’s also a lot of characters to build intrigue for. Um, yeah, they have to be spread pretty thin because there’s so many of them and it’s only an hour and a half 

Todd: movie. It’s true. But you know what, one thing I think that’s really a strength of this movie is it gets into the intrigue pretty quickly.

And by the, I would say by the time 10 or 15 minutes are finished, you kind of feel like everybody’s got a little dark secret. Yeah. Everybody’s a little shady, there’s something going on, you know, you don’t quite know with each person what might be going on, but you get, just get a sense that nobody’s right.

Right. And I think the movie it’s, it’s a function of the writing obviously, and the plotting, but it’s really clever. And I think that really, if you didn’t have that element, if the movie had taken too long to build up the intrigue and the suspense, I think it would’ve worn hard on me and I. Another thing you have to do, right.

Is to introduce all these characters in an interesting way, Uhhuh and you know, before we realize anything SHA is going on, I think once again, a really great device is employed here where the, the events leading up to this night where they all converge are kind of told in a reverse chronological order, Uhhuh out of sequence.

Right. And. Yeah. And I, I thought that was so cool. You know, there’s this man in a hotel room, just sitting there, it’s, you know, raining outside. He’s watching like wheel of fortune on TV and there’s a bang, bang bang on the door. And this guy burst in holding a woman in his arms and he’s like, she’s bleeding, she’s bleeding quick, you know, can do you have a phone?

And then there’s like a freeze frame. That was an, that was an interesting choice too. I’ve never seen this before where there’s like a, like a two second freeze. Of just the frame mm-hmm and that’s what leads us into the flashback. Mm-hmm not like a flash to white, not like a sh kind of sound effect or a cross fade.

Just that was odd. It was very jarring anyway. Yeah. And that leads us into a quick little flashback of this guy, nervously driving down the road in the middle of the day or in the evening, he’s got his wife in the front seat. This guy’s name is George mm-hmm and his wife’s name is Alice. And they have a little boy in the back seat named Tim.

you get the sense right away that this guy’s a little, a little mousey, a little, um, nervous. Yeah. They, they seem to be lost or something. Oh yeah. They get a flat tire. They get a flat tire by the sign of the road. And when he comes down to, uh, check out what was causing the flat tire, he sees that it’s a woman’s.

Extremely sharp, high heeled shoe. Yeah. In the meantime, it’s starting to rain outside and Timmy’s inside looking at the window and his mom is on the road side of the car. Kind of like smiling at him under an umbrella, kind of puts her hand up against the window and then suddenly boom gets completely wiped out.

I think before she, he gets wiped out, though, we see where the stiletto came from. 

Craig: Yeah. I mean, it, it keeps, it cuts back and forth to these different characters, kind of just connecting. And it’s not even like it’s connections between the characters. It’s just kind of showing how this, this series, they’re all connected through this series of events.

Mm-hmm the mom gets hit, you know, obviously we already knew she was gonna be injured. So when she was standing there at night in the rain, on the side of the road, I’m like lady. You are gonna get wiped out like you, right. You seem like a nice lady, but maybe don’t stand in the middle of the road, you know?

Yeah. At, at night in a rainstorm. Yeah. The, it, it turns out that the shoe had flown out of the luggage of another character. Amanda Pete’s character, whose name is Paris. Her backstory is nebulous as are all of them. Like mm-hmm we just see her. With a middle aged man. She’s got him chained up in a bed, but like in a sexy way, but it kind of seems like maybe she’s conning him, like she’s gonna Rob him or something, which we don’t really see 

Todd: happen.

Well, She takes his, um, he, she lights , she’s got a pile of whipped cream on his chest. Does this really happen in real life? I’m not sure. I guess everyone has their kinks, but, um, yeah, he’s got like a pile of whipped cream on his chest, I guess she’s like gonna eat it off of his chest or something and, and just a couple candles in there and she sings happy birthday to him and uses like his lighter, I guess it’s like a Zippo or something.

Yeah. But. It’s like gold, gold plated. And as she turns around, uh, and is going for something else, you can see her slip it into her purse. So, right. I think we do kind of see. Her Rob him a 

Craig: little bit. And then later you do see she’s got like a little, uh, case, a little leather case in her luggage. That’s got stacks of money in it and stuff.

So maybe this is what she does again, that’s that thing, like everybody’s a little shady, like mm-hmm, , everybody’s kind of hiding something in their luggage or being fishy about their past. And it’s, it’s not everybody, you know, the family, George and Alice and Timmy, they seem. Fine. Yeah. I mean just, yeah, have found themselves in this situation, but really everybody else, you wonder what’s really going on with them.

Mm-hmm but anyway, she gets hit turns out that, uh, John QSAC character ed is the person who hit her. He is a driver for a famous or somewhat famous. Actress named, um, Caroline played by Rebecca Deney. I almost didn’t recognize her. 

Todd: Um, I didn’t either. I honestly didn’t even recognize her until I saw the credits.

I, I, I, 

Craig: I think it’s just because she has dark hair and I’m used to seeing her with blonde hair. Yeah. That’s probably it. And she’s also, I don’t know if she’s just patted or what, but she, her breasts are really emphasized, so it looks like she’s got these great big. Knockers . I mean, she’s, she’s, she’s beautiful.

I mean, she looks great, but yeah, and I, I was also kind of surprised her role is, is pretty small. She’s the first one to get picked off mm-hmm we then see, you know, through different character perspectives, through Ed’s perspective and through Paris’s respective, we see that the road is washed out. Uh, phone lines are down.

Paris’s car breaks down. Ed ends up picking her up. She tells him the road’s flooded, but he tries to cross it anyway. And so then his car is stranded. They end up getting picked up by a young couple. Jenny played by clay, a Duval who. Uh, was pretty big, uh, in the nineties, kind of started out in teen roles.

Um, but is, is very much still working. You, you don’t know at first what their relationship is, but it turns out they’re newlyweds with a lot of tension between them. Uh mm-hmm his, his name is Lou. And so everybody begins, converging at this motel. Um, eventually. A police officer, officer Rhode played by Reta shows up mm-hmm in a very classic Reta.

Role. Yeah, he on several occasions played this kind of brooding dark cop, and that’s exactly what he is here. Uh, Reta by all accounts is a, was, uh, a family man. He described himself as a homebody. Yeah. Said that in his real life, he had never, ever been in a physical. Altercation, but he’s just got an air about it.

Yeah, he, he is charming. He’s handsome, but he’s also got kind of a rugged look, but at the same time, he’s got these beautiful, like piercing blue eyes. He does. And so he’s just one of those characters who he has a presence about him that works really well for. Certain characters and he’s a good actor. He, he studied acting.

Um, he was still in acting classes when he lobbied for and got, you know, one of his most notable roles in, in good fellas. And mm-hmm um, I, I think that he took the craft very seriously, even though he, he was not a method actor, you know, when asked what he learned about himself from playing the different characters that he’d played, he said nothing.

You know, like , um, that’s, that’s not what he’s in it for his, uh, theory on acting is really. What mine is too. And I think it just comes from an imaginative childhood. In my experience, you know, I grew up just playing, pretend with my sister all the time. We would just make up characters and scenarios and play them out.

And that’s what he says about acting, you know, it’s just pretending mm-hmm . It’s trying to figure out, you know, who your character is, but not personalizing it to yourself. Uh, he said that he thinks that actors who try to put too much of themselves into their roles end up being a little bit flat as, as actors, you know, it’s, it’s always just.

Some version of them. So, you know, uh, this is a guy who was thoughtful about the roles that he selected. He was offered a lot of roles in the same vein, big roles. He was offered Tony soprano and the Sopranos turned it down. Uh, Tim Burton offered him Batman. He turned it down. Um, so he was selective and he did wanna do a variety of, of things.

Uh, he did some things for the money. He did a family movie called Dumbo. For the money. He voiced a character in grand theft, auto grant, theft auto, uh, square pants, movie . Yeah. And, and yeah, I, I respect that too. You know, we’ve talked about other actors like that, like Michael Kane did jaws for, so we could have a vacation in Hawaii and build a nice house.

That that’s serious. Good for you. It’s a job. 

Todd: That’s I was just gonna say that people don’t realize acting’s a job, you know, Uhhuh, you do it to make money and you do it. And you know, how many of us can do something that fun , you know, to make money. So you, you could have some fun with it to have different roles.

I don’t know why people think, you know, This, of course we have later learned that, um, poor Bruce Willis is not in the best of health, but right, right. You know, he and Nicholas cage maybe is a better example, has just been doing a string of just goofy movies. Right. Just off the wall stuff. I mean, a guy who we typically think of is like national treasure and, uh, You know, con air and, and the rock, you know, this A-list action star.

And everybody says, oh, look at how far he’s fallen. What is he thinking? Taking all these silly roles direct to video. And I’m like, what, what do you mean? He’s an actor. This is what he does. He acts he’s like, why does he always have to. You know, sit around and twiddle his thumbs until someone calls him up for a, another Oscar shot type role, you know?

Right. Forget it. Right. Well, 

Craig: and just because, yeah, just because a movie is, you know, off the wall or different doesn’t NEC doesn’t just mean it’s bad. I’ve seen, yeah. Some of Nick Cage’s most recent stuff and yeah, it’s weird and bizarre, but it’s interesting. And would probably be really interesting to work on and, and Reta.

Did you know some other stuff too? I, I remember he was in a movie. I don’t know if it was late nineties, early two thousands, but a, a, a movie called Karina Karina, which was a, a period piece that he did with, uh, I think it was set in the sixties. Um, he played a widowed father, um, of a young girl and, and he was kind of struggling to support his small family and, and, you know, take care of his daughter.

And he ended up hiring a housekeeper. Uh, played by Whoopi Goldberg and of course set against the backdrop of the sixties. Um, there was you. Racial stuff to, to deal with. If I remember correctly, they, his character would be Goldberg’s character formed a tight relationship that I think maybe even got romantic.

I don’t remember. Um, but it was, you know, it was a very soft piece. Mm. Nothing like he had done before. There was a cute movie. I remember, uh, liking it. He just seemed like an all around good guy. And on, you know, I look at TMZ every day and, and they. Do celebrity death announcements. And when I scrolled down and saw radio to dead at 67, It kind of, I don’t know.

I’m not, I’m not like a Reta super fan, but he’s just been kind of, so ubiquitous. Yeah. In my life he’s always been around. He’s always been there, 

Todd: like Rob Lowe kind of right. I mean, well, he just 

Craig: always, you always see him in stuff. I always put them in the same category. I, I think the most recent thing that I, I mean, He, he does several projects a year.

Um, one of the things that I remember him from most recently was he played himself in an episode of modern family and he played himself very humbly the characters in, uh, the show. Were going on like a celebrity homes tour and they thought they were at Barbara Streisand’s house. And it turns out that the star map was just really dated and she didn’t live there anymore.

And Ray lived there. And so they were all really disappointed that they couldn’t meet Barbara Streisand. It was just Ray Yoda. that’s hilarious. But he. But like, he felt bad for them. And so he like took them to Barbara Streisand’s house and , that is so funny and, and helped them talk to her through her driveway and her calm.

Uh, it, it was cute, you know, and he was playing himself in a very humble way. And I just got the sense that that was really the kind of guy he was. And so when I saw that he had passed away, I. Sad. Mm-hmm , he’s not a young man, but by today’s standards, he’s not an old man either. And yeah, I guess, you know, He goes the way we kind of all hope to go or at least I, the way I hope to go.

Yeah. In my sleep, you know, I hopefully he didn’t suffer, you know, again, I don’t think any cause of death has been released, but he was working mm-hmm . You know, so I, if he was struggling with something behind the scenes, he was doing it with dignity. Um, I’m sure that we’ll find out, maybe even before this episode airs, uh, his cause of death will be revealed, but sad to see him go.

But nice to kind of go back and look at him in one of his, uh, kind of classic type. Of roles here and he plays it well. Yeah, I really enjoy his performance here, much like the other characters, um, to some extent he’s flat, but that flatness kind of comes with the fact that you have to keep him a mystery.

You can’t lay out his character. It has to be revealed over time, revealed over time. And, and, and even ultimately in the end, you still have to kind. Question, you know, mm-hmm, nothing is ever really certain that’s. Right. But he, he shows up and he is transporting a prisoner. Robert Maine played by Jake Busey.

Jake Busey is Gary Buse. He’s son, right? Yes he is. Yeah. And I remember he looks a lot like 

Todd: Starship, troopers, Starship, troopers. He does. Yeah. He’s got that smile. He’s got kind of an evil smile about him. 

Craig: Uhhuh he’s a menacing guy too. Um, I’ve always kind of liked him. Um, he, he always kind of plays. Kind of a badass Uhhuh.

he’s a, he’s a big guy. Reta is like five, 11 and a half. Um, and I think Jake Busey is even taller than that. He’s a big guy. And of course, you know, here he’s a, uh, a convict in chains. So very menacing. The other thing that struck me as funny was this guy, Larry, who is the guy who’s running the motel. He’s having a good night.

he is this, this, this roadside motel in the middle of nowhere. And in a matter of about 20 minutes is completely booked 

Todd: that’s right. Does it happen every time it rains? He, he might have just got in the perfect spot. 

Craig: ultimately, you know, in the grand scheme of the movie, that kind of adds to the surreal.

Nature of it. Yeah. Again, which is fitting, you know, I I’m dancing around the twist, but there is a twist. This is not just some happenstance. These people are all here for a reason. It’s not an easily explained logical reason. Um, But, but ultimately it makes sense. It, it 

Todd: also is a little bit of shades of Agather Christie, right?

Oh, 

Craig: absolutely. They even reference it. 

Todd: Mm-hmm , it’s like everybody coming together, like, and then where they were, none, everybody comes together to an old mansion or something like that. This is just the old motel and they’re just stuck there. Uh, and then people eventually, well, Eventually people start dying, Jenny and, uh, Lou go back to their room.

Uh, and they’re little things, again, that kind of happen that eventually kind of turn out to be important. She looks at the room number and says, oh, six, well, at least we got a good number. And then as they slam the door, like the six kind of comes loose and it swivels down to make a nine. So Ray Leo’s there with the prisoner.

He goes into his room and he chains the guy to the toilet. Somebody asks about Timmy and uh, oh, John QSAC a character starts sewing. The wound cuz they can’t get to a hospital cuz there’s no way like everything’s blocked one way and the other way, 

Craig: so phones are down police radio, isn’t working mm-hmm they’re they’re completely alone.

Todd: Exactly. So he plays a nurse to, uh, the mother Alice. Um, she’s just knocked out basically and sews up her neck and he asks if Tim’s gonna be okay. 

Craig: Hey is the uh, little boy. Is he alright? I, I, he hasn’t said a word since the accident. I don’t know if he’s no, no, he, he didn’t talk much ever since then.

I’m a stepfather. His father two years ago, he, he left little temper 

Todd: problem. He witnessed some murders or something. His dad’s now in jail. And he hasn’t really spoken since then. And I’m actually his stepfather. 

Craig: This is when everybody, th there’s like a montage of shade, like, yeah, this is. Like Rhode the cop kind of OGLs Paris at the vending machine.

He’s being creepy on her. Yeah, 

Todd: she does for dinner. 

Craig: Huh? That don’t seem right. You got a better idea. I worked messing the service. Maybe the Don is open. I could whip something up. We got changed for a dollar. I

dunno. There you go.

You got a name?

Paris, Paris, huh? I get it. Never been. Well, you ain’t going tonight. 

Todd: Yeah. Right. It 

Craig: walks off. And that’s when we saw she has that small case of cash. Um, Larry seems to be shady, kind of hiding something. We see that, uh, Rhodes shirt has what I thought was cuz he is wearing a jacket, but at some point he takes it off.

Um, when he is alone in his room and we see that the, the shirt under his jacket has what I thought was a bullet hole. 

Todd: In, it looks like a hole with blood around it. Mm-hmm yeah. The, the manager’s hiding the stuff QSAC has taken some pills for something and the prisoner’s trying to work his way free. It looks like he’s about to do 

Craig: it.

Right. And Caroline, the actress, I, I really wish Rebecca DeSay got more screen time because I really like her, uh, a lot. Oh yeah. Uh, as an actress, but she just kind of plays your typical bitchy starlet, uh, in this. And she wanders out of her room looking for cell bars. She it’s. Course. So she tears down this shower curtain is like walking around under the shower curtain, and then she is murdered by an unseen hand.

Um, and that’s at a half an hour in, so of this hour and a half movie the whole first half hour. Is introducing all of these characters. 

Todd: And I didn’t think it was slow either. I mean, I thought it was kind of interesting. You’re clearly building up for something there’s clearly gonna be a payoff for everything that happened.

Right. So 

Craig: I had the patience for it. It, it only felt slow to me because it took me 45 minutes to watch the first half hour because I kept oh. Pausing to write down everybody’s character name and the actor name. Yeah. So I will, you know, after that, it seems to move. Pretty quickly, like ed finds her severed head in the dryer and they also find her room key in there, which, but it’s not hers.

No, it says it’s it’s number nine. Like she was. It’s the cop’s room key. Ultimately people keep getting picked off and every time somebody gets picked off, they find a key on their body. And it’s basically a countdown, you know, it’s, it’s in 

Todd: sequence, but that’s, that’s a pretty big moment when they realize that.

I mean, that’s pretty creepy. Like how would. All of these keys end up on these bodies in a countdown, especially because some of the people end up dying in what are clearly freak accidents. Right? So it, it, it starts to feel like, wait, wait, is something supernatural happening? And Jenny, at one point even suggests that once she says it’s a countdown, she says, do you think it has to do with the Bo with the, the dead bodies or, and she they’re like, what do you mean the burial ground?

Didn’t you read the, uh, the brochures and in the lobby. This was a, a Indian burial ground around here where the government had pushed all the Indians out here and they star starved and they couldn’t get any water and they died and then they just buried him here. So there’s this hint that maybe there’s something supernatural going on as well.

In the meantime, we keep bouncing back to this meeting. That’s going on in the judges. Chambers. And I think it’s around this point that they’re talking and, uh, they’re talking about how this, um, what’s the name of the guy? Uh, the guy’s name is the, the, um, prisoner, the prisoner Malcolm rivers. He says, Malcolm, you know, he has a dissociate personality disorder.

So there, you know, he has multiple, basically what we would call multiple personalities. And he was like, as you know, State, like we can’t put someone to death. If they were committed a murder that, you know, they were unaware or they were incapable, you know, kind of like the insanity type thing or the, he was mentally disabled and didn’t know what he was doing kind of thing.

And so, right. There’s you, you just get this sense that he’s needs to try to prove that to these guys in this room. And he says, and then one of the guys speaks up and says, well, we can’t do anything until, you know, the client gets here and he says, well, he’s on his. But we can talk about it now. And at that moment, I’m thinking, oh, so the prisoner that Ray Lato was transporting, played by, um, you know, uh, Busey is the guy.

So he’s wrapped up in this, in that he is now this murderer. He has arrived at the hotel. I think that’s sort of our first little red herring that’s thrown at us. Yeah. Um, because as soon as the first woman is killed, they go in and they notice the prisoners escaped. Right. And there’s an odd sequence.

That’s also very telling where he, I think it’s after the second murder he’s running, he takes off acro. Uh, you know, we see a shot of him taken off across the, the street and across a field, the 

Craig: convict. Right. And he 

Todd: sees, you know, he’s, he’s clearly going away from the motel. And he sees in the distance, some lights in another building.

So he goes to that and he goes inside and it’s, it’s like a kitchen, like a, kind of an eating, like a restaurant that has obviously not been used in ages. And, you know, chairs are up on tables and things. It’s a little dusty, but then when he goes to the, he hears a noise outside when he goes to the window, he sees he’s at the motel again, mm-hmm, , it’s just a building as part of the motel.

And he goes, what the hell as he looks? And he sees. Uh, slowly walking, you know, towards the, the door, they all think it’s him. Right. Because obviously he’s escaped. Right. Um, and so when they find the severed head and the second person who dies is, is it 

Craig: Lou? Lou? 

Todd: Yeah. Lou and Jenny. This is when we find out the Lou and Jenny.

Or just married, but she pretended she was pregnant and then she kind of admits, she wasn’t and he gets kind of mad 

Craig: her. She locks herself kind of mad. It’s really volatile. Like it seems like he’s, he’s violent and abusive. Yeah. And she’s screaming. Yeah. She’s screaming. He’s pounding on the door, but then all of a sudden it goes quiet.

Um, and she opens the door and just sees a silhouette of somebody with a knife. So she goes out, uh, Her back window. Meanwhile, everybody else comes to see what all the screaming is about and they go in and they find Lou dead, stabbed to death up against the wall. 

Todd: They find the convict inside that little restaurant or whatever, and they tie him up to a pole in there.

On a chair and he’s just being creepy and weird. Well, 

Craig: right, because the Larry is like hiding something. Like, it seems like he’s hiding something in one of the refrigerators and the sees and he is like, what are you hiding in there? And Larry’s like, oh, nothing. And he is like, it’s all right, Larry, we all have our secrets.

I’m sitting on a big one. Like mm-hmm, , there’s all these, you know, all these suggestions that there are things that we don’t know. And, and yeah, there are, and there are. And they’re, they’re all kind of eventually revealed, but even when some of the little mysteries are revealed, it just blows the mystery up even more.

Todd: Yeah. It’s very tense like that. Yeah. Ed, ed goes and gets some film cameras. Some of those old disposable cameras that we used to have. This is so cute, right? This movie that like cell phones were not . It’s so funny, like earlier in the film, when they pulled this woman over these, this couple over and he’s like, do any of you have a cell phone?

They’re like, no, we don’t. He’s like, we need a cell phone. Are you sure? You don’t have one? They’re like, no, we don’t. I’m thinking nobody in this day and age doesn’t have a cell phone. right. It’s not even a question. You would never be stranded anywhere. The best you could do is no signal, which, you know, obviously the actress had, it’s the same thing with the camera, right.

He had to go and find these disposable cameras. Because he turns out he used to be a cop Uhhuh . So he goes in, he starts taking pictures of the body and, um, a Paris keeps running out when ed who’s quite protective of her is like, what stop? You gotta be with me. You can’t keep running out. I told you not to go out.

And she hangs with him for a while and they chat a little bit. We learn a bit more about him and how he was on the force. And he just, uh, got jaded basically. And there was this moment where he tried to talk this woman off the ledge and he would been trained for this sort of situation. Supposed to tell her all kinds of nice things about who’s gonna miss her and all that.

But then he just kind of like in the, he, in the moment, He couldn’t think of anything positive to tell her she ended up jumping and then he realized that I don’t know he’s jaded and he needed to take a medical leave of absence, which is what he did. And, and she tells this story. I, I think it’s at this point, uh, of where she has these hopes and dreams of going to Florida and, uh, just opening an orange Grove and raising oranges and lemons and lime.

Actually, I think that comes a little later, but it 

Craig: comes later. Right. When, when, because eventually they try to, they think maybe there’s some connection between all of them, which there is, but they don’t figure it out immediately. They, they had left Larry guarding the prisoner, but when they, you know, they’re constantly coming in and out of.

Rooms and seeing other people moving from room to room it’s yeah. It’s kind of hard to keep track of where everybody is and where they’re supposed to be, but they see Larry out, which he’s not supposed to be. He’s left his guard post. And so they go in to make sure that the prisoner’s still there and he is, but he’s dead with a baseball bat, shoved all the way down his throat.

That’s so, and that was weird. It was weird. And I read that somebody, I don’t remember who it was. Somebody on the crew asked to keep that prop, uh, and did, and kept it in a closet in the building where they worked, I assume some sort of film, production building, but a maid found it eventually and it scared it to death.

And so he had to get rid of it or at least, or at least get it out of, uh, the building. Because Larry had been carrying around that bat, they assumed that he killed the convict. So they tie him all up. He’s swearing up and down. He didn’t do it. He’s also shady because he has the actress’s wallet on him, which he claims that.

I mean, we saw that he saw it when she was checking into her room, it was full of cash. So he claims that he only stole it after she was. Which is, you know, perfectly possible, but still shady enough that I would want him tied up to before they tie him up. They’re they’re threatening to, and he grabs Paris and holds a knife to her throat.

She kinda kicks back and they both fall into the. Freezer revealing a frozen dead body. So that’s even more suspicious for him. He runs off, takes off in the truck. The little kid Timmy is in the path of the truck. So his stepdad, George runs to try to knock him out of the way George ends up getting hit by the truck and pin to the wall and is immediately did.

Um, there’s no question about that. Yeah, that’s pretty 

Todd: brutal. Gosh, but then they all end up kind of in this hotel room and they’re all, there’s a whole bunch of, you know, back and forth chatter about who could it be and all this. And that’s, I think at the point where they, they discuss is this some kind of countdown, like with the keys being found on people, it doesn’t make any sense.

Tim goes into the other room to check on his mom and they just kinda let him do. Um, in the meantime, they’re just chatting and, uh, little, little things kind of come out where it turns out that each of the characters, like they, one of them shares a birthday with another one of them went to school near where the other person did.

And one of them grew up in a town where the other person was born and that kind of thing. And then, uh, they go into the room and they realized that the mother is. as, as, uh, ed is closing her eyes and Tim is crying and they lead him out of there. Ed looks down and sees a key is under the bed. Mm-hmm when he pulls it out.

It’s again, it’s the next number down. It’s like room, I don’t know, number, number six or number five or whatever. Mm-hmm and they’re like, this is crazy. How would this room key be on this body? And then they get the idea to go out and. the body of George George, who was hit by the truck in a freak accident.

Right. And sure enough, they pull out of his jacket, a room key it’s it’s five. And they’re like, what in the hell is going on? Because obviously that was an accident. Nobody caused that to happen. 

Craig: So ed tells Paris to take. Tim and Jenny and just drive. He, he she’s like, well, the road’s out. And he’s like, well, if you get to some place where the road is out, just turn around and drive back the other way.

And if the road’s out again, just keep going back and forth until Dawn. Basically, he just wants to get them out of there, which makes sense. Yeah. Not a bad plan in my opinion. Nope. but, but she doesn’t want to leave, but, uh, Jenny and Tim run the car ahead of her. And while she’s still kind of arguing about leaving the car explodes mm-hmm and they, they go and they run and they, uh, put it out with a fire extinguisher, but there are no bodies in it, which they think is really bizarre.

And, and then they start running around to where all of the other bodies were. And all of the bodies are missing and there’s no evidence of blood or violence or anything. It’s just gone. It’s unexplainable. And if you haven’t figured it out at this point, you ha there’s no logical explanation. Yeah. Um, for what’s going on, something bizarre has to be going on and Rhode Larry ed and Jenny are the only one that are left.

And that’s when they realized that they all have the same birthday and they check the IDs from the hotel records, all of them had the same exact birthday. Um, most of them, their last names are states, um, or some, uh, deviation of a state. And then this is kind of where we get the big reveal. Ed is kind of freaking out trying to figure out what’s going on and he recites the poem.

From the beginning of the movie. And as he’s doing that, he starts to hear the voice of the doctor and then he flashes into. That meeting that, hearing that evaluation and the doctor, Dr. Malik is questioning him first. He asks who he is talking to, and then he says, this is a long time since, uh, I’ve talked to you, then he just lays it out.

This is where, and this is about 15 minutes out from the end. Um, and he just lays out precisely what’s going 

Todd: on. Yeah. He, he basically says to him, you know, well, ed is confused, right. And it’s cool. The way this is shot. There’s like a bright light on his. He just looks a little otherworldly and he says to him, 

Craig: did you recognize this man?

No. Well that man Edward is Malcolm rivers. He’s had a very troubled life. He was arrested four years ago and convicted of the murder of six people in a violent line page. Did this detective, please, Edward, listen to me when. With an intense trauma, a child’s mind, may fracture creating disassociated identities.

That’s exactly what happened to Malcolm rivers. He developed a condition that is commonly known as multiple personality syndrome. Why

are you telling me this? Because you knew that was, oh, one of 

Todd: his personalities. You have just been through this treatment to where all of your personalities are forced to confront each other. And, uh, you know, ed is saying, well, I was at a hotel where people are dying and he says, we knew there would be violence in this, you know, that’s, that’s normal, but he’s like, you will be executed, but we can stay the execution.

If you can convince the judge that the last person left, basically, if, as all of his personality slip away is not the killer. Right. Because then that means now that you’re safe and you’re not harm, you’re not gonna harm anybody. It’s such a. Convolute. It is convolute crazy I thing, but it’s fun. It’s super 

Craig: fun.

Yeah. The other thing that I think is interesting is that he’s talking to this guy and he’s not saying you have dissociative personality disorder. He’s saying. Malcolm has personality disorder. Yes. And you are just one of the personalities that he’s manifested mm-hmm , he’s basically telling him you are not real.

And, uh, ed is saying, no, I am real. I live in studio city. I used to be a cop, blah, blah, blah. He’s like, Nope. that’s just made up. Yeah. Look in the mirror. And he looks in the mirror and he sees Malcolm Malcolm, by the way, is played by. Pruitt Taylor, Vince, who is this portly bald guy who I know we have seen in at least one other movie that we’ve covered.

Um, but he’s, uh, easily recognizable cuz he’s got these super, super shifty eyes like his eyes just kind of flicking back and forth. All the time. He, he he’s good at looking unhinged. Um, and, and that’s, that’s what he sees. That’s what, um, ed sees when he looks and the guy says, Edward, I need your help. The killer cannot survive.

And ed kind of pops back in to the motel setting Paris. Meanwhile, Checks the cop car and sees that the radio has been disabled. Now, roads has been telling everybody that he’s been trying the radio periodically and is just not working. We see now that actually the, uh, radio has been completely disabled.

And then, I mean this late in the movie, we get the truth about roads. Which I thought was actually really 

Todd: clever. Yeah. She reaches into the glove compartment and pulls out two files and it turns out that both roads and that other guy are both prisoners. And then again, that freeze frame, and we get a flashback to those two being transported in the back of the car by, uh, an actual police officer.

The roads ends up having some sh taped to his leg, which he then pulls out and through this slit or something, some kind of opening in the back of the, the seat. He managed to stab this guy in the back. They pull the body out and they switch. Uh, well, he basically switches his clothes. That’s why the shirt that he was wearing had a blood stain and a hole in the back of it.

Right. That he covered up with his jacket. So, yeah, he was, they were both prisoners, but he was pretending to be the cop, uh, escorting the prisoner mm-hmm it was pretty, pretty smart, which. So, this is the interesting point. So now we all assume, okay, he must be the killer, right? And at this point, of course, it, it all wraps up quite quickly.

Ed grabs a gun and, um, Paris runs to him and tells him this. And Ed’s kind of like, I know. And at the same time, Leo’s character has a gun 

Craig: Rhode chases around Paris and Larry for a little while he ends up killing Larry. Um, well, 

Todd: Yeah. Yeah, but I mean, it’s like a Mexican standoff kind of thing. They both shoot each other.

Well, it’s not Mexican standoff. 

Craig: Well, that’s they both shoot each other very that’s well, that’s ed, Larry’s the hotel guy. Oh, you’re talking about the hotel guy, right? Yeah. He kill, he kills him first. Um, and then he really, you know, he’s waving guns at them and threatening to shoot them. He just wants the keys to the truck.

Paris has the keys to the truck, but she doesn’t want to. And eventually she runs away, runs into ed and Ed’s like, I got this and he just starts walking towards roads and they both raise their guns and they both shoot each other. Multiple times. Want me to keys to the truck? Ed

want me to keys to the truck? Stay there, stay there.

And, um, yeah, there’s a brief exchange between them. Like they, they almost embrace. I, I, it’s more really that they’re like falling together, but they almost embrace and they mouth words to each other. And originally there was dialogue, but they muted it out. Um, because they feared that it projected the ending to easily a wise choice.

So I’ll come back to that, right? Yeah. Roads dies. Ed falls to the ground, Paris comes and talks to him and, and she’s like, what did you see? Or something like that. And he says, I saw you in an orange Grove. And we also see, you know, it’s, it’s kind of fading back and forth between him and Malcolm, the dissociated personality guy.

And he’s saying the same thing I saw you in, in orange Grove. And so it seems like, you know, Jenny is the last one standing. The killer is dead. And so in the morning, Jenny is able to drive away in her truck. And, uh, we cut back to. The hearing. Um, and the judge decides that Malcolm’s execution will be stayed and that he will be transferred to a mental hospital because he’s no longer a threat.

The violent personality within him is dead. Jenny arrives at her orange Grove. Um, everything’s beautiful and peaceful. And she goes to dig, you know, in her Grove and she digs. The last key, the number one key and she looks up 

Todd: and Timmy is standing there. Mm-hmm he’s got her 

Craig: to menacingly. Yeah. 

Todd: Menacingly like Damien and the Oman.

Yep. Got an ugly look on his face and yeah. And it turns out that all along Timmy was the killer and it just kind of shows again, a, a little bit of. Nebulous. But again, when you realize this is all happening in the head of a guy in the guy’s imagination, right? This 

Craig: isn’t a real kid. In fact logic, logically, it makes sense.

I mean, if, if he witnessed murders, when he was a kid and his personalities were fractured, when he was a kid, it would probably, you know, He might be the, yeah, that personality, that kind of frozen stunted personality. It makes sense that that would be the violent force, uh, in his mind, the, the flash, the flashbacks that they show are very, very brief, but as, as unbelievable as it is that this kid could.

In this Macia veian way plot all of this out. I believed it, you know, even just, just little things that we saw, like nobody questioned it when he walked into his mom’s room alone. Yeah. Um, we see that he smothered her to death in that moment. Um, he saw the guy who was trying to escape. He saw him get into the truck and started up.

So he ran. Into the path of the truck intentionally 

Todd: so that his dad would jump in there and push him away. Right. Right. He even supposedly led his mother to the window to get hit by the car in the first place, or like kept her there. You know? So again, these things might not really, and I guess. Hotwired a car to blow up cause it shows him walking away from the car exploding in 

Craig: the background.

And I knew that that was, I, I felt that they covered it well by making all of the bodies disappear, but this is a horror movie and anytime somebody dies off screen and you don’t. See them in the aftermath. It should be a major red flag, but yeah, exactly. Anyway, Malcolm Malcolms in the back of the transport vehicle.

There’s a driver and his doctor in the front and he becomes agitated and you hear him start to say, and then it flashes to Tim and Jenny together. They say horrors, don’t get a second chance. um, And then Tim kills Jenny Malcolm busts through the cage of the transport vehicle and kills, uh, Malik. And we just see the van, um, veer off onto the side of the road.

And then we hear the voice of Tim reciting the poem from the beginning again. And that’s it. The end credits. 

Todd: It’s a cool double twist. Uh, yeah, I enjoyed it immensely. I, I. And I’d forgotten the second bit. I remembered the, you know, the bit about this was all happening in his head. I had forgotten that it turned out that Timmy was the killer and it had that, all that Bleecker twist ending.

And I really, really enjoyed that. Yeah. You know, it’s funny too, because it made me think of something else. And when I was watching the movie, I was thinking, well, of course, you know, just because Ray’s character is not who he says, he. Doesn’t immediately make him the killer. Right? Right. Like, like logically that doesn’t fit, but doesn’t that follow the pattern of every single thriller movie you’ve ever seen.

Right. Yeah. It’s always somebody who’s not who they say they are. Who turns out to be the one who’s killing everyone. Well, and 

Craig: if it had been him, it would’ve been too obvious. Yeah. That bit of dialogue that they cut out, um, Reta kind of whispers into John Cusack’s ear. I didn’t do this. And ed says, I know, and then they both die.

Now. I don’t know what ed knew. 

Todd: Well, I think ed. Because ed is a part of, of, uh, oh, okay. That makes sense. I, I think ultimately, cuz again, this is still taking place in this guy’s imagination. Yeah. One guy to some degree. Yeah. He kind of, he kind of knows anyway, but uh, yeah, that’s, that’s also why I gave it a pass to where, you know, Tim could have killed all these people.

It’s it’s all just happening. This guy’s head anyway. So as long as it makes enough logical sense, it could work. Fantastic. Rail theta gets a lot of screen time in this. Yes, we had origin. Considered maybe doing Hannibal because he has a pretty notorious scene in there, but I think it’s a pretty short scene.

He’s kind of a minor character. And so we thought this was a media role of his horror roles. And like you said, he’s done a wide variety of roles, you know, you know, we were talking about him earlier. And, uh, when you just kind of talk about assumptions, I mean, he, he, I always thought he was Italian. I mean, he was, uh, his last name’s Leo.

He played these, you know, gangsters. He’s got this kind of New Jersey. Uh, accent. Yeah, typically. And, uh, when I was reading about him, I was surprised to find out that he was actually an orphan. He was left at an orphanage abandoned by his parents and it was, uh, his adoptive father was Italian. And that’s where he picked up that, that name.

And then, uh, I guess in. 1990 or two thou I guess somewhere in the two thousands, he actually hired a private investigator to track down his birth mother. And he found out he actually is of Scottish descent. And so that explains those, uh, piercing baby blue eyes that he’s got there. I guess but, uh, yeah.

What a great character, like you said, I feel, I feel similarly, like, you know, I didn’t cry tears, but right. I was like, oh, Ray Leo. Yeah. I just, he’s just always been around and I’ve always enjoy. Seeing him in movies and, uh, yeah, it’s just kind of sad that he’s not with us anymore, but once again, if, if I’m gonna find a way to the, the we’re all gonna go sometime.

Uh, going in my sleep would be, would be my top choice. I’m I think 

Craig: so. Yeah. And, and, and I say this all the time, you know, it’s, it’s sad that he’s gone, but, you know, look what he accomplished in his life. Uh, and, and not only in his career, but, um, you know, he, he was a family man. He was married. He, he had a.

Kid. And, um, I think that he was, uh, very well respected in the industry, not only as a performer, which I think that he was very much respected as a performer. Um, but just as a man mm-hmm , um, I think that he was well liked. I think that he was, uh, regarded as being very professional. Somebody that people wanted to work with.

This was a guy who was able to turn down rules, who was able to take the rules that he wanted was able to branch out and not many of. Have those kinds of opportunities and he sees them mm-hmm and I think that, uh, hopefully, you know, I’m, I’m sure that given the choice, he would’ve preferred to have more time with his family, but the life that he did lead was full, um, a good guy and I’m, I’m sure he’ll be missed.

Todd: Well, thank you again for listening to this episode. If you enjoyed it, please share it with a friend. You can find us online. If you just Google Two Guys and a Chainsaw podcast, you’ll find our website. You might find our Patreon page where you can certainly become a member. If you’d like Twitter feed and, uh, you’ll find our webpage two guys.red40net.com, leave us a message. Any one of those places, let us know what you’d like us to do in the future. And, uh, what you thought of this episode as well until next time. I’m Todd and I’m Craig with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.


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