Dean Koontz's Mr. Murder (1998) (part 11 of 11)
As all this is going on, Paige is running around aimlessly with the rifle. Outside the mill, Drew, Jr. picks up an empty shell casing and sniffs it [?]. We cut back to Marty trying to stand up. Howling with pain, he drops his jacket, which falls down a few levels. In response to this, he heads off and finds someone else’s jacket and puts it on [?]. Quite coincidentally, at that same moment, Alfie walks up and finds Marty’s jacket, and puts it on.
Marty’s daughters then run into Alfie, who they immediately believe to be Marty, because he’s wearing Marty’s jacket and a gold ring. “Ooh… my babies,” Alfie coos. “Daddy’s here now!” Which really should have immediately tipped them off that something’s wrong. Regardless, he takes them both by the hand and they all run off.
We cut to some SWAT type figures scrambling around. One of them is telling Lowbeck that they’ve tracked Marty up to the cabin, and they believe he’s holding his family hostage. Lowbeck, however, is now a total convert and completely believes Marty. He insists that “the double” killed Marty’s parents and that his family aren’t hostages. He says he wants to get to Marty, but in a friendly, non-sniperish sort of way. Del Rio appears and stops him. She just got a call from “Washington”, and the blood tests show they were getting “those strange readings because it was old blood. That simple. Blood that had been stored in less than perfect conditions, for as long as two months!” So, it would appear that storing blood for two months can lead a scientist to conclude it has “regenerative properties”. You learn something new every day, huh?
After hearing this, Lowbeck simply nods to the SWAT commander and tells him to send up a sniper to take out Marty. Okay, so what was the whole point of this Lowbeck character, anyway? He spent most of the movie going from being completely skeptical of Marty’s story to believing the whole thing. Then, with one sentence, he changes his mind and orders Marty killed. Once again, we have a character that might as well not even existed in the first place. Am I the only one who thinks they deliberately put in pointless filler so they would have something to cut out of the VHS version?
Meanwhile, in the mill, Marty, Drew, Paige and Alfie are pretty much wandering around aimlessly shooting at each other. Drew spots Alfie with Marty’s kids, and the two of them have a brief gun battle. The daughters ask who Drew is (Alfie’s answer? He’s one of the “bad guys”), but at the same time aren’t particularly curious as to where “Daddy” suddenly got a handgun.
We see Marty spying Alfie from one of the upper levels in the mill. He jumps down, and instead of moving out of the way, Alfie simply shields his face [?] as Marty lands on top of him. Alfie’s gun goes sliding off, and Marty’s older daughter picks it up and points it at them both. Here’s the moment you all knew was coming, the moment you’ll find in any movie, TV episode, or book dealing with the “evil twin” scenario, where the duplicates stand side by side and do one of those “No, shoot him! He’s the fake!” scenes. In order to decide what to do, Older Daughter yells to both of them, “What rhymes with ‘psychosis’?” Because, as we all know, non-writers don’t have the ability to rhyme.
Marty spots Drew hiding nearby, and starts acting like Alfie in order to trick Drew. Older Daughter asks what Paige’s maiden name is, and Marty feigns ignorance and gives the wrong answer. Alfie says “Simpson”, which somehow turns out to be the right answer. [?] When did Alfie learn this, exactly? This convinces Drew that Alfie is really Marty, so he starts shooting Alfie, sending him tumbling into some big plastic tubes. Drew runs up and grabs Older Daughter, and commands Marty (who he thinks is Alfie) to grab the little one. Paige runs up but Drew tells her to put down the rifle and go stand with Marty’s daughters.
Just then, in a poorly executed stunt, Marty tackles Drew. Drew gets the upper hand on the situation, but, instead of just shooting all of them, he decides to savor the moment with a menacing tag line or two: “We’re almost done here,” Drew says. “Three bullets, three tragic deaths, and then we can go home.” Also, he decides to pull out a second gun [?] and cock it superfluously. Just then, Alfie springs to his feet and runs over, screaming, “Leave my babies alone!” He plows into Drew, sending them both crashing through a tin wall to the ground below. Luckily, they both turn into stiff mannequins before they hit the pavement.
Older Daughter, thinking that was her father, starts screaming. Marty however, jumps forward and reveals Older Daughter’s scarf still wrapped around his arm. He then says, “Halitosis.” You know, the word that rhymes with “psychosis”? Look, I didn’t write this stuff, people, I’m only telling you what I see. This convinces them it’s Marty (including Paige, who wasn’t even there for the “psychosis” question in the first place). The Older Daughter then sagely notes that in the end, Alfie tried to save them. Wow, it’s all so ironic, don’t you think?
Marty then pokes his head through the rip in the wall to assess the damage. He sees Alfie and Drew, both apparently lifeless. For no reason I can possibly fathom, Alfie is melting [!!!] like the Wicked Witch of the West.
We cut to SWAT teams entering the mill. Employing a unique strategy, the SWAT team members are all brazenly walking around in the open, and not even bothering to seek any kind of cover. We pan up to see Marty and his family are hiding on a catwalk. Luckily for them, these SWAT team members also appear to have been instructed not to look up.
Paige asks what the plan is. “We’re gonna head south,” Marty says. “That way it’s just nothing but open country. Then Mexico.” I didn’t know there was much “open country” between Mammoth Lakes and Mexico, but what do I know? Paige points out all of things that make this plan slightly difficult to pull off, including the fact that Marty’s been shot, they’ve got two kids with them, and the police will be looking for them. Marty is determined to do it, however, and then leads his family in a hummed rendition of “King of the Road” [!]. This seems slightly less than smart to me, considering the SWAT team is plainly within earshot. Nevertheless, they easily evade the police and escape from the mill.
Next we see blue waters, and it’s eighteen months later according to the caption on the screen. The caption also informs us we’re on the “north coast of Australia”. We hear a news report on the radio about a “shadowy group” connected to “two dozen [!] assassinations”. We also learn that this “shadowy group” included the Senator and the Attorney General, who committed suicide shortly after.
Finally, we pan over to Marty and his daughters relaxing on a boat. Paige runs up, calling Marty “Johnny”, and saying that “the Italian edition” came in the mail today. “Our forty-sixth country!” she exclaims. This turns out to be a children’s book with an Evil Santa on the cover, and it’s by “John Galt” with illustrations by “Ann Galt”. “It’s beautiful, Annie,” Marty says to Paige. Marty has changed his fashion sense, also, and is now wearing a Rastafarian-type cap.
Marty calls to his daughters (now named “Rebecca” and “Suzie”) to get ready. “Next stop,” Marty says. “Bora-Bora!” Hey, remember when they mentioned Bora-Bora earlier, in part one? Yeah, me neither. The music swells as the sailboat takes to the waves. We hear more of the radio report, which mentions that “mystery writer Marty Stillwater and his family have yet to be found. They are believed to be living somewhere in the Midwest.” Har har. By the way, does the fact that a horror novelist is still missing after eighteen months really qualify as “news”? And if they uncovered the “shadowy group” behind the Alfie project, why is Marty still on the run? Anyway, they all sail off into the sunset. End movie.
By the way, if I were Nathan Shumate of Cold Fusion Video, I’d be having an apopleptic fit right now trying to list all of the actors in this movie who have also appeared in Star Trek. Suffice to say, nearly everyone in this movie, save for the three “leads” (Stephen Baldwin, James Coburn, and Thomas Haden Church) have, at one point or another in their lives, appeared in a Star Trek spinoff. No doubt this is due to the presence of Junie Lowry-Johnson as the casting director, who most Trekkers will recognize as being responsible for casting on all things Star Trek since the premiere of The Next Generation. However, you don’t need to be particularly fanatical about Trek to notice that the director of this movie is one Dick Lowry, which just goes to show that nepotism is still alive and well in the television industry.