Murder by Contract

By on February 9, 2012

Claude is a strapping young man who enjoys working out, spending time alone in his apartment and ordering meals from the same restaurant. He has no history of trouble with the law and no chance of ever making it out of his dead end job and into some real money.

He also has the intelligence, ambition and emotional control to make big bucks as a hit man. When he impresses a local “handler” with his calculating ice cold demeanor, he gets his chance.

A string of successful hits lands him a prize contract in Los Angeles. The cold, ruthless hit man finally becomes unglued when he finds out that his latest target is a woman. It’s her femininity that worries Claude: women are unpredictable, they don’t do what you expect.

This odd, quirky little film is a triumph over budget limitations. Director Irving Lerner makes the most of LA locations, interesting camera setups, a witty screenplay and a well-chosen cast. The film subverts conventional expectations at almost every turn and the script is peppered with many amusing and even thought-provoking observations on Claude’s ‘business’.

Besides the wit and visual interest, there is also a superb musical score by Perry Botkin played entirely on guitar.

The scenes of Claude working out in his apartment were the inspiriation for some of the scenes in Martin Scorcese’s “Taxi”.

Vince Edwards turns in a very effective performance as Claude, an educated, philosophical hit man.

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