Dean Koontz's Mr. Murder (1998) (part 6 of 11)
Next, we see Marty across the street from his house, hugging his daughters. Okay, what did I miss? Weren’t the cops just taking Marty into custody a second ago? Anyway, a bald guy walks up and tells the kids to go inside and see Kathy. Yep, Bald Guy is Vic of “Vic and Kathy” fame. Marty gives Vic precise instructions to not give the kids to anyone unless Paige is there. “Not even to me,” Marty says. Well, especially not to you.
Vic is understandably confused by this request, but Marty insists on it. “Only if Paige is with me, okay?” Walking away, Marty repeats “Only Paige” three more times, seeming to indicate that Vic is mentally challenged. Or maybe the screenwriter is, take your pick.
Meanwhile, Alfie is pulling up to a burger joint. With blood still on his shirt, he walks up to the drive-thru and asks a guy in a minivan if he can go ahead of him. The guy says no way, and starts to roll up his window. Alfie stops the window with a bloody hand and pushes it back down. He then holds up three warped bullets, saying that they were just inside of his chest. The guy in the minivan decides he’s seen just about enough and hightails it out of there. “I really appreciate it!” Alfie yells after him.
Finally, Alfie’s standing outside the burger joint with a big box of French fries. He grabs about twenty of them and stuffs them in his mouth, dropping all but about two of them. This puts Alfie on the same level as Cookie Monster in the ratio of food that gets into his mouth compared with the amount that ends up on the ground around him. He finds a pay phone and grabs the attached yellow pages. He then looks up, you guessed it, the name “Delorio”. Thankfully, Vic is the only Delorio in the book, or else this film might have had to blatantly rip off The Terminator even more than it’s already doing.
It’s now nighttime at Marty’s house, and forensics teams and uniformed officers are milling about. Marty and Paige are at the dining room table as a Token Skeptical Plainclothes Detective walks up, asking if Marty has a twin brother. Then he asks Marty if he knows the amount of a blood in a body about his size. Marty instantly knows the answer (five liters), because he’s a writer and everything, you know. The cop estimates there’s about two to three liters of blood around the house, meaning whoever bled that much would already be dead.
Then the cop consults his Token Skeptical Plainclothes Detective Handbook and points out that Marty has a new book coming out soon. “I’d imagine that if ‘Mr. Murder’ himself became the target of some mysterious killer, a glossy magazine article would be just the beginning of all the free publicity!” Paige points out that the detective is insinuating that Marty murdered his own daughters’ pets as a publicity stunt. The detective doesn’t waver, however, and reminds Marty it’s “illegal to file a false crime report”, which I think is chapter one in the Token Skeptical Plainclothes Detective Handbook. He says if they find all that blood is really from an animal, they’ll be able to determine “the exact species”, which I guess is supposed to be more impressive than simply being able to say if it’s human blood or not.
Later on, Paige finds Marty in his study, about to call his parents. “Maybe they had twins,” he says, “And the hospital told them that the other one died but they sold it in some kind of illegal adoption or something!” Yes, that’s likely. And then maybe the other twin woke up one day to find himself in a bathtub full of ice with his kidneys stolen. Paige says that she doesn’t really believe Marty, either. “Maybe you had another blackout,” she says, “And just went crazy or something!” She brings up how she learned that his doctor wanted him to see a therapist.
Marty, however, is standing firm. “I remember every second of what happened here today!” Me too, unfortunately. Then he tells her to get the girls and they’ll get out of there, promising to see a shrink if the police don’t catch the guy. Paige, for some reason, finds this to be a sensible plan.
We cut to Vic and Kathy’s, and the girls are having this “hilarious” exchange (Hold onto your sides, people!):
|Younger Daughter: I know who it was. It was Mrs. Sanchez.
Older Daughter: Daddy wouldn’t shoot the cleaning lady.
Younger Daughter: He would if she went berserk!
Older Daughter: No, no way. She’s too nice.
Younger Daughter: Nice people go berserk all the time.
Older Daughter: Name one.
Younger Daughter: Mrs. Sanchez.
Older Daughter: But she only comes on Saturdays.
Younger Daughter: You think when you’re going berserk, you care what day it is?
The doorbell rings and Vic finds Alfie at the door. Thinking he’s Marty, Vic lets him in. “I need my girls,” Alfie says, “I need them now!” Since this is the first time he’s seeing Marty’s daughters in person, we naturally get another slow motion shot of the girls as Alfie stares at them, slack-jawed.
Vic wants to know what’s happening, but Alfie just grabs the girls and heads outside. Vic demands to know where Paige is, reminding him about the plan to not let the kids go unless Paige was there. Alfie stops dead in his tracks for a moment, then tells the girls to go get in the car. “Whose car is that?” the older one asks. “It’s Daddy’s new car,” Alfie says, “I bought it today.” [!] The girls, thinking nothing unusual about this, hop right in.
Alfie explains to Vic that a deranged fan tried to kidnap his children, and that he had to shoot the guy, hence the appearance of the police. Vic stammers something about the cops, leading Alfie to utter a truly immortal line: “The cops don’t understand the problems of artistic people, Vic!” With that, Vic just lets all of them leave. Nice going, Vic.
Back at Marty’s house, he and Paige are in the garage. Marty tells her not to open the door, because “he could be standing right outside!” Um, so how exactly were they planning to leave, anyway? Marty then realizes he forgot something, so he runs back into the house. As it turns out, he almost forgot the book of stories he wrote for his daughters. We know this because the front cover is labeled “Stories for Charlotte and Emily”. (And, yes, we’ve known the girls’ names for a while now. But since I can’t tell which one’s supposed to be Charlotte and which one’s Emily, and since they’re never seen apart, I see no problem with referring to them combined as “Marty’s daughters” for the duration of this review.)
Meanwhile, Alfie is getting into his car with Marty’s daughters in the back seat. He tells them to buckle up (Safety first, right?) and turns the key, but the car won’t start [?]. The younger daughter keeps asking for Mommy, which finally sends Alfie flying off the handle. He contorts his face violently and yells at them both to shut up, which is their first clue that Something Bad is happening to them.
The two girls start crying and holding each other. “Be at peace, Charlotte,” Alfie tells them. “Be at peace, Emily.” Finally, he pulls off. Down the block, Marty recognizes Alfie’s car as they drive past. He sees his daughters are in the back seat, so he starts chasing after Alfie’s car on foot [!].
The girls see him chasing behind them. “It’s Daddy!” the older one says. “He’s not your daddy!” Alfie yells. For some reason, Alfie continues driving his car just slow enough so that Marty can keep up. As Marty runs frantically, the most horrific part of this movie occurs: The caption “To Be Continued” appears on the screen. And with that, we end part one.