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The Vagrant (1992)

  Tags: 90's, Bill Paxton, Chris Walas, Colleen Camp, comedic, Marc McClure, Marshall Bell, Michael Ironside, Mitzi Kapture, Patrika Darbo, slasher, the vagrant

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Chris Walas
91 minutes
Bill Paxton, Michael Ironside, Marshall Bell, Mitzi Kapture, Colleen Camp, Patrika Darbo, Marc McClure

This is a little-known horror-comedy that come out of the early 90's starring Bill Paxton. I rented it as a kid and remembered really enjoying it. When the opportunity to revisit the movie came up, I gladly took it. Now, having viewed it a second time, I have to say that I wasn't the least bit disappointed. The film marks the directorial debut of FX genre-vet Chris Walas (Scanners, Gremlins) and follows an ambitious ass-kisser named Graham (Bill Paxton), who works at a boring desk job. Graham decides one day to finally buy a house, but unbeknownst to him, the former tenant (a crazy-lookin' bum) doesn't take too kindly to its new owner and starts playing mind games with him. The bum kicks up the ante after getting arrested for public urination (thanks to Graham) and adds murder to the mix, which the local police begin to suspect Graham as being the culprit.

The film is pretty much played out with the bum playing various little mind games with Bill Paxton's character, eventually forcing him to question his sanity. The movie reminds me a lot of another fairly underrated film -- Of Unknown Origin -- which had a similar theme of a man, with a decent job, who slowly goes insane after a large rat moves into his newly-renovated townhouse. As far as the comedy goes, it's actually quite funny. From the over-sex realtor, the goofy best friend, the over-dramatic Paxton, and the ridiculous police squad (head by Michael Ironside), each group of characters offer their own interesting quirks and comedic elements. Let’s not forget Marshall Bell as the crazy-looking bum, who steals every scene he's presented in.

There's some decent gore in the flick, but nothing too over-the-top. We see body parts in a fridge and some bloody deaths later on. This isn't the type of movie that requires a high body count or a lot of on-screen gore, as it's more character driven than anything. The story is interesting, the characters are fun, the comedy works, and luckily the film's ending doesn't suck. The film is predictable, but still enjoyable none-the-less.

A good fairly unknown horror-comedy, with an interesting premise and a lot of quirky characters. Although predictable, it still manages to be an enjoyable watch. Worth a check.

Posted on July 11, 2009 - 3:52am | FrighT MasteR