The River Murders DVD Review: All Kinds of Awful

I vaguely recall a time wherein actors Ray Liotta, Ving Rhames, and Christian Slater were slightly admired — maybe even revered — for their contributions to the film industry. Well, two of ’em were appreciated. OK, one. No, wait, I think the jury’s still out on that. Nevertheless, the quality of moving pictures that the three aforementioned performers have been appearing in has dwindled over the years. Actually, maybe “sunk” or “plummet” would be more appropriate. Well, whatever verb, adjective, or noun you may choose to use in order to describe the sense of class inhabiting movies like The River Murders, you can be assured of one thing: it won’t be a favorable one.

In The River Murders, the latest film to show off the invisible acting skills of Liotta, Rhames, and Slater, brings us the dark, dank, and dumb tale of a serial killer who seeks out the former lovers of homicide detective Jack Verdon (which sounds too much like Jack Burton), played here by B-Movie automaton Ray Liotta. Seeing as how all the victims have had a tryst with Ray, his superior, Ving Rhames, has to treat him as a suspect — but allows him to roam around freely anyway (they’re both cops, after all). Meanwhile, condescending FBI man Christian Slater shows up to investigate the killings, but mostly just paces back and forth frantically, shouting a lot and behaving like a regular sleazeball in general.

Speaking of sleaze, the film’s murderer (Michael Rodrick) is a vile creature, removing the wedding bands from each one of his prey and forcefully implanting them up their bajingo areas. As he continues to violate and assassinate these ladies, Slater asks Liotta how many women he has slept with, to wit Ray divulges the most disgusting aspect of this entire film: “Uh, I dunno…about a hundred?” Let’s pause for a moment so that you, the reader, may find a nice large image of Ray on the Google and stare at his face for a few seconds. Now, try to imagine a hundred women voluntarily meeting, greeting, and then depleting Ray’s “Little Liotta.” Horrific, isn’t it?

I’m not the least bit sorry for inflicting that horrific mental image upon you, by the way: think of it as an apposite analogy for what I had to endure by watching The River Murders.

Good night, and pleasant dreams. Bwah-ha-ha-ha!

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Luigi Bastardo

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