A femme fa­tale gets a comic spin

Los Angeles Times - - AT THE MOVIES - — Noel Mur­ray

Femmes don’t get much more fa­tale than Liza, the sexy, shame­less crim­i­nal An­naLynne McCord plays in writer-di­rec­tor Trent Haaga’s comic noir “68 Kill.” As shrewd as she is mean, Liza’s such an ex­treme char­ac­ter that she throws Haaga’s movie out of bal­ance. When­ever she’s not on the screen, the en­ergy flags.

In this twisty, twisted film (adapted from a Bryan Smith novel), Matthew Gray Gubler stars as Chip, a per­pet­u­ally di­sheveled blue-col­lar schmo who one day learns that his girl­friend, Liza, doesn’t just like to play rough in bed but is also a mur­der­ous psy­chopath who’s roped him into a plan to kill and rob their land­lord.

Chip tries to shake her off, but at each turn he runs into yet an­other dom­i­neer­ing gal with loose morals, who uses him for sex and crim­i­nal mus­cle. “68 Kill” isn’t meant to be re­al­is­tic. It’s perched halfway be­tween pulp fan­tasy and es­ca­lat­ing night­mare.

The story suf­fers di­min­ish­ing re­turns as it un­winds with in­creas­ing vi­o­lence and ab­sur­dity. Or maybe it’s just that “68 Kill” puts the best ma­te­rial up­front, in the halfhour or so that Chip spends dis­cov­er­ing he’s been sleep­ing with a su­per-vil­lain.

Re­gard­less, this movie de­serves to find an au­di­ence among the grind­house-minded. Those who pick through ev­ery mo­tion pic­ture search­ing for the “prob­lem­atic” will want to steer clear of “68 Kill.” But fans of wicked women may have a new cult fa­vorite. “68 Kill.” Not rated. 1 hour, 36 min­utes. Arena Cinelounge, Hol­ly­wood.

IFC Mid­night

AN­NALYNNE McCORD brings a lot of en­ergy to “68 Kill” as the crim­i­nal Liza who en­snares her boyfriend in a plot to kill and rob.

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