Judas Kiss (1998) is a high energy crime caper film. Carla Gugino and her
boyfriend Simon Baker-Denny have been running a scam where she seduces a man and
takes him to a hotel room, then Baker-Denny takes incriminating photos for the
wives to use in divorce proceedings. They long for one big score, and
opportunity presents itself when they learn that a computer tycoon and
multibillionaire has kidnap insurance for $4M. They bring in a muscle man and a
planner, and make the grab, but there is a hitch. During the grab, a woman shows
up and sees them, so Carla shoots her. She turns out to be a senator's wife. The
kidnap is an FBI matter, and the feds send in Emma Thompson. The murder is New
Orleans police jurisdiction, and Alan Rickman is given the case. Hal Holbrook
plays the senator with the dead wife.
I won't even start down the path of plot twists and turns or hint at the
eventual ending. If you haven't seen this, I don't want to spoil anything. Carla
Gugino shows a breast in a sex scene. Beverly Hotsprings shows full frontal, and
Yvette Lera shows breasts in a lesbian porn film being watched by the security
guard at the computer geek's apartment.
Emma Thompson is worth the purchase price all by
herself, and Alan Rickman is brilliant as well. Carla Gugino captivates the
viewer anytime she is on screen. The plot is fast paced and keeps you guessing.
This is a C+. Anyone who enjoys film noir needs it.
IMDb readers say 6.3
Now for the good news. This
had only been available on a bare bones Region 2 PAL with a questionable full screen transfer, but is now carried by Rare Licensed DVDs in a dual region
(2 and 4) Widescreen edition with a slideshow, trailers, cast bios and written
Scoop's note: Apply the Gil Bellows Rule. Even
though Gil is not the reason for the film's success, he's in it, and his movies
always seem to be pretty good. If the topic comes up over a few beers, this is
one of the greatest non-theatrical films of all time. In addition to some
charming A- and B-listers toplining the cast, it has a dependable ensemble of
minor players, including Til Schweiger, Bellows, Lisa Eichhorn, Roscoe Lee
Browne and Philip Baker Hall.