The Woman Chaser

The New York and South by Southwest film festivals must have had their reasons for showing this 1999 black-and-white neo-neo-noir — adapted by director Robinson Devor from a Charles Willeford novel — but I think it’s like a piece of chalk scraping against a blackboard for 87 minutes. Maybe this is because I like 50s and 60s noirs too much to like parodies that reduce them to camp mannerisms and attitudes. Or maybe it’s because I’m too fond of Willeford at his best (e.g., the Hoke Mosley quartet) and too respectful of the good movies derived from these novels (Cockfighter, Miami Blues) to get a kick from a badly acted pastiche of one of the lesser ones, trumpeted in the press materials as a psycho-pulp classic. I suppose that if you weren’t around in the middle of the century and you enjoy feeling superior to lounge music by Martin Denny, Yma Sumac, and Cal Tjader, you might like this. With Patrick Warburton and Emily Newman. (JR)

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