Deary and confusing murder drama set in 1988 West Berlin
**SPOILERS** Just too hard to follow with too many sub-plots makes
"Killing Blue" fall apart long before the movies unsurprising
conclusion. That's about as exciting as an attack of insomnia.
Berlin homicide inspector Alex Glass is having a bad time with his
conscience after he mistakenly shot and injured a little girl in a
blotched attempt to arrest a fugitive in a Berlin apartment house.
Upset with himself and his work Glass starts to drink and goes into a
deep depression over his actions that crippled the girl for life. Glass
secretly buys her gifts and presents to make up for what he mistakenly
did to her. Even his new assistant Shirley May notices Glass' ugly
demeanor with him treating her worse the the criminals that he deals
with every day.
It's then that something happens that changes Glass' attitude when he
becomes involved with the drug death of Ennis Warner. That leads right
to Berlin District Attorney Michael Karstens doorstep who's daughter
Monica was Ennis' best friend. Being very close to Karstens as both a
friend of the lawman Glass took a personal interest in Ennis's death.
Finding that Ennis was a street hooker and druggie Glass tracked down
her supplier lover and possibly murderer a small-time thug named Jack
Miskowski. It turns out that Miskowski was with Ennis the night that
she overdosed.The movie then takes a left-turn when high-priced hooker
Lisa comes on the scene and Glass, after saving her from a over
demanding customer, starts getting it on with her. Only to later find
out, from a photo in Lisa's hotel room, that she and Miskowski are
lovers as well as being involved in his drug and prostitution racket.
It also comes to both Glass and Karsten' attention that Karstens'
teenage daughter Monica is a junkie and is also getting her drugs from
Miskowski just like her late friend Ennis did. Michael in trying to get
Monica away from Miskowski's clutches tries to stop her from meeting
him but loses track of her only to find Monica the next day at a
construction site strangled to death. Miskowski now Monica's suspected
killer gets away from Glass and the Berlin police in a sting operation
they set up for him.
It's then when the movie really turns upside down with Michael secretly
meeting with Miskowski at an empty train station. With what at first
looks like an exchange is about to be made between the two Miskowski
gets a knife in his gut killing him with Michael taking off with a
briefcase that the drug dealer had on him. In his car Michael finds out
that he was doubled-crossed by the conning Miskowski but it's now too
late for him to make things right for himself. Since Miskowski is no
longer around to tell him where the "real deal" really is.
Murder blackmail and a major plot twist are the main ingredients to
this convoluted police crime drama. That has the victim change into the
real villain in the film as we see that he's not the goody goody two
shoes that we thought that he was a the start of the movie.
Michael Karstens had very serious mental and emotional problems that he
acted out some time ago and Miskowski somehow got a hold of a number of
photos, or took them himself,that he was blackmailing him with. It also
came out, unknowingly at the time to the audience,that Monica also knew
about her step-father's secret life that in the end lead to her murder.
It was Inspector Glass who had an idea of what was the real reason for
Miskowski's death. By him keeping it from the public is what brought
Michael out in the open and thus expose his reasons for not only
killing Miskowski but the real and unnerving reason to why he did it..
Schlock Around the Clock
This review contains some spoilers, but I will do my best to avoid giving
away important surprises.
The American video box for `Midnight Cop' features a bunch of shots of
Morgan Fairchild, a few smaller ones of Michael York, and one of Frank
Stallone. This led me to believe that these three were the most important
characters. In actuality, the real star is the title character played by
Armin Mueller-Stahl. Stahl wasn't a familiar face in America when this was
distributed on video in 1989, which is probably why the box doesn't show
picture, but even its description avoids mentioning the central character
much as possible. That's too bad, since Stahl is a good actor, and in this
movie he is in most of the film while Fairchild is more of a minor
character, in my opinion. As the movie was rolling along, I was enjoying it
for the most part, and figured it would be a sleeper hit. It wasn't great
thanks the editing. While scenes in the movie were nice and gritty without
being so glum that they make you ill, transitions were poor and it looked
like the editor stuck scenes together using a jar of elementary school
paste. However, I was still enjoying the cinematography and familiar but
interesting story. Then something went terribly, terribly wrong.
Stahl plays a Berlin homicide police commissioner (though he acts more like
a police detective). He is living with the mental trauma of not being able
to see his own daughter anymore and the guilt of accidentally crippling a
little girl in a shootout. He ands his new assistant (played by one of the
screenwriters) get wrapped up in a strange murder case of a young woman
is killed with an overdose of heroin and gets Vaseline rubbed on her face.
Stahl believes the killer to be drug dealer Frank Stallone. To try to get
Stallone, Stahl starts warming up to prostitute Morgan Fairchild. But the
deeper he gets in the case, the more he starts to believe someone else is
behind the murder and is trying to frame Stallone. There is more to the
plot, but I do not wish to discuss it for I would have to reveal some
aspects I should not give away.
That all sounds good, right? So what the heck happened? What caused it to
sink like a stone? Well, for one thing there are the performances. Frank
Stallone is actually very good as the dealer. He doesn't have enough screen
time, but I could tell he is better at playing a bad guy than he is at the
hero, such as his role in the lousy `Terror in Beverly Hills.' Michael
playing a district attorney, is also very good in his role. Stahl is a
bag. When he is doing cop stuff, he seems uncomfortable and unsure of how
act. But when he is expressing emotion, he is very good. Fairchild, though,
is sos bad she stinks up all her scenes. An annoying thing about the movie
is the setting. I know it was filmed in Berlin, but you wouldn't be able to
tell by using your ears. Stahl speaks with a German accent, York with a
British accent, and everyone else with an American accent. They needed to
either move the filming location or get and all-German cast. Or at least
actors who could use a German accent. But the final thirty minutes really
kill the good experience. I knew who the real killer was before the first
murder took place. But the crucial answer as to why the murders are
happening is never pinpointed. There are about three different theories
thrown at you, but they don't make any sense when you try to group them all
together or apply the motives to the second killing. There are two other
things that are dreadfully wrong, too. One is the really terrible and
unbelievable love angle between Stahl and Fairchild. Come on! Who are they
trying to kid here? The other is the pitiful final scene, completely
unnecessary and totally contrived. Combined, these elements take what could
have been a 6 or a 7 and lower them to a 4. And of course, there is also
vendor with a ladybug stuck to the top of his bald head, but I'll let you
see that one for yourselves. Zantara's score: 4 out of