The sixth anniversary of a diamond heist is cause for celebration in this pulp thriller but things get ugly when it turns out that nobody has the loot.
The film opens with Fish getting out of prison for the diamond robbery. He was the only one to get caught and he opted to stay quiet about his confederates. He calls home. His child answers but gets confused saying her daddy left for work. His wife takes the phone but simply hangs up on him when she realizes who is on the line. Things start to look up when he notes a chauffeured Limousine waiting for him but looks can be deceiving.
He is piloted to a drab warehouse wherein a special feast has been arranged. It’s all courtesy of Duke. He was the mastermind behind the job and has invited the other team members for a celebratory meal served over a human table(the titular woman). Each course reveals more of this stunning beauty as they eat but all eyes are on Fish as everyone wants to know where he ditched the swag before he got arrested.
The gang is a gruesome lot . They include: an evil dandy, Crow; a brutal bruiser, Max; and nervous coke freak ,Francis . We learn that Max has already tortured and killed the policemen who initially nabbed Fish and both claimed they didn’t get their hands on the booty before they expired.
Duke reveals that the true reason for this get together is to give each member of the gang a minute to torture Fish. It’s all based on something his abusive father did to punish him as a child. Duke relays this story in a chilling monologue which also reveals that he takes this system seriously and they must obey it. They must stick to the timed format but otherwise all rules are suspended . Duke has even provided a handy bag of tools that include everything you need to inflict monstrous amounts of pain .
What follows is excruciating as the men try to illicit the information from Fish . Apparently this calls for copious amounts of lawn nails, wet socks stuffed with broken glass, and dental instruments as the men go to work on the hapless Fish. Sadly he appears as clueless as he is susceptible to pain so they also have to take a few breaks when he passes out.
This gives the movie time to show the heist scene. We witness how much these goons enjoyed hurting the poor slobs at the diamond wholesaler and the botched getaway that caused all of this confusion. The whole time this goes on you start to forget about the silent witness to all of this mayhem who stoically lays there while the men grab food off her torso with increasingly bloody hands.
If you have figured out that this won’t end well then sit back and enjoy as these sadistic monsters turn on each other like wild dogs scrapping over a fresh kill.
This is a perfectly pitched thriller that will appeal to film loves of all things pulp. The cast is a fan boy’s dream with Tony (Candyman)Todd leading the way as the calculating Duke. Mark Hamill is on hand as the nasty nebbish Crow. He has a field day as this mousy miscreant who has a fondness for human teeth which he extracts while cackling with the high pitched laugh he employed playing ‘The Joker” in several Batman adventures.
Andy Mackenzie is also good as the dim Max and Noah Hathaway(that little kid from ‘The Never ending Story”) begs sympathy as the tortured Fish who spends most of the film expressing extreme discomfort. Look fast for more cameos from Michael (Aliens)Biehn, Sonny (The Streetfighter)Chiba, Danny (Machete)Trejo, and Jeff(The Marshall) Fahey.
Best lines: “You need to think of her as an edible plate.”
“Let me get this straight. You can kill a man with your bare hands but you can’t use chopsticks?”
Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.