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Author Topic: Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective aka The Raven Red Kiss-Off (1990)  (Read 196 times)
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« on: May 31, 2017, 01:19:38 PM »

Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective aka The Raven Red Kiss-Off (1990): Marc 'Dan Turner' Singer is hired by Hollywood studio exec Danny Kamin to keep an eye on his wife, movie star Tracy Scoggins, who's being blackmailed. At a set for her latest movie, directed by Brandon Smith whom she has an affair with, he hooks up again with an old flame. But as they're kissing, someone shoots and kills her, with his gun. Everybody on set thinks Singer did it, and he runs off, wanting to find his old flame's killer himself. But when someone takes another shot at him at his apartment, he realizes the killer's after him, and he suspects the reason might be linked to the blackmail case...

I've read a bunch of uber-prolific pulp author Robert Leslie Bellem's stories including a couple of Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective ones and they're a hoot, a lot of fun. Crazily enough this is only the second Dan Turner movie, the other being 1947's 'Blackmail'. So I really wanted this to be a pleasant surprise... But the acting is pretty mediocre and Scoggins doesn't even get to that level. The directing and lighting is pedestrian and flat. The script is a toned down version of Robert Leslie Bellem's original hard-boiled character and racy stories (but at least the dialogue and one-liners are not too modernized and still contain plenty of old school words).

At the same time tho, despite its obvious low budget, the producers and people responsible for the sets and props performed quite a bit of magic. They managed to come up with a decently convincing recreation of the mid to late 40s, which looks quite nice. And purposefully or not, this movie has an equally spunky and bubbly female cabby as those from 40s noirs 'The Big Sleep' and 'Two O'Clock Courage', esp the latter, who ends up playing a big part in the movie. The opening credits make it seem like this was meant as some sort of feeler/pilot for a potential TV movies series, but if so, that never materialized as this movie went straight to video. I can't say Singer makes for a convincing Dan Turner, but I also wouldn't've minded seeing more Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective movies. Not recommended but I still had some fun with it. 6/10

Watch it or download it before it's gone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khTZdRBTutU

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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2017, 10:17:20 PM »

I'll check it out, thanks. I agree, I'm not quite sure if Singer is right for the role.

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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2017, 09:56:57 PM »

I presume this one was a pilot for a TV series, wasn't it? Anyway I agree to a T with the opening review. With better scripts and actors they could have done a great job, much better than that made with, say, the mediocre Powers Booth's Chandler series, as the whole productive concept was good. For a TV production this was excellent visually. It is apparent that Turner's lines lack the bite originally given to the character by Bellem and so the actor playing him cannot be failry judged, though in some dialogues it is apparent he could have given the original character his due. 6/10

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