STUDIO: New Line
MSRP: $19.97
RUNNING TIME: 93 Minutes

The well had definitely run dry by the time Cabbie of Re-Animator came along…

The Pitch

“Let’s start with a drug raid gone bad, shoot a bunch of cops and blow them up, get the whole thing on tape, chase the guy who made it to hell and back, hook him up with a hot nurse, have the CIA be behind the whole thing, have Joe Don Baker running around in cowboy gear shooting at people, everybody double cross everybody else and throw a few car chases and explosions in to cover all the bases.”

The Humans

Horror flick veterans like the guy from Re-Animator (Jeffrey Combs), the guy from Aliens (Lance Henriksen), the chick from Hellraiser (Ashley Laurence), two character guys from Maniac Cop II (Leo Rossi and Charles Napier), another guy from In the Mouth of Madness (David Warner), and one from Leonard Part 6 (Joe Don Baker).

Even though he was hot off his appearance in The Dukes of Hazzard remake, unfortunately Joe Don’s Walker, Texas Ranger remake wasn’t quite as well received…

The Nutshell

Jeffrey Combs is Bill Knight, a cop show producer who is covering a drug raid by the New Orleans P.D. that goes horribly wrong when all of the cops get used for target practice by the bad guys and then barbecued. David Warner is the corrupt CIA agent who ordered the shooting and Lance Henriksen is his boss and head of a cadre of agents who are running dope. When it’s discovered that Knight’s tape of the whole thing will identify the guilty parties, both the police and the CIA are after him to recover it. While on the run, Knight hooks up with a shapely nurse (Ashley Laurence) and meets up with a rogue agent (Joe Don Baker) who is out to “fix” the mess his colleagues have made. There’s more than one double cross and explosive car chase along the way as everyone makes a mad dash to get Knight and his tape and Knight fights to not get dead.

The Package

The look of this movie is surprisingly good and despite being low budget, it’s ably written and directed by B-movie vet David Prior. The film is offered in both Dolby 5.1 and Surround and there’s old school crashes and explosions that both look and sound good. This is a bare-bones offering as there’s no special features. And by the way, I don’t know where they got the artwork for this DVD cover, but it sucks. Henriksen is not blond and sports his pre-Millennium jet black hair in the flick and Rossi is a minor character. Combs fans should be screaming that Jeffrey – who is actually the star of the piece – isn’t featured at all.

To not include this screenshot would definitely be a felony…

The Lowdown

After some recent Racks that bit ass, I was expecting this to be yet another bad offering to add to my “sell” pile, but I was surprised by how much I was into Felony (I’m still going to sell it, but I did like it). This is definitely a B-movie and I wouldn’t think that the budget was north of more than a few million. But the filmmakers got their money’s worth as there’s some good stunt work and pyro going on here, as well as a gallery of name stars. The plot in itself is fairly preposterous, but it’s pulled off with enough panache to be passable. And you can never get enough of Joe Don Baker running around in cowboy gear and a hand cannon. Combs plays one of the few straight roles I’ve ever seen him in. I doubt he’s ready to take over for Van Damme or Seagal in the action hero genre, but he’s not altogether unbelievable here. Hellraiser fans can get their fix here as Ashley Laurence co-stars as well. Lance Henriksen plays another New Orleans baddie (Hard Target anyone?) and Cory Everson slinks around as his evil babe.

"Look, we’ll get back to that whole 12-cops-murdered-in-a-hail-of-unholy-gunfire thing in a minute. So you’re telling me that C2 tastes just like Coke but it only has half the calories?"

Felony isn’t going to win many awards, but it doesn’t really aspire to be more than what it is, a forgettable yet nonetheless entertaining little action flick. There’s a couple of ridiculous twists at the end, but they’re not bad enough to kill the flick, except possibly for how Warner gets his comeuppance. I was thinking that this was a new offering, but the film was actually made almost 10 years ago, and there are a few mullet holdouts from the early ‘80s to prove it. Not worth buying but okay for a decent rental on some lonely night when you need and explosion, car chase and nudie bar fix.

6.5 out of 10