Dean Koontz's Mr. Murder (1998) (part 7 of 11)
And now, the thrilling conclusion of Dean Koontz’s Mr Murder! Part two begins with a replay of the ending of part one, with Marty chasing after Alfie’s car on foot, and both of his daughters in the back seat screaming. Alfie finally gets the bright idea to actually speed up and Marty loses them.
Just then, Paige drives up behind Marty and stops the car. Marty jumps in on the driver’s side, then makes Paige climb over the gearshift and get into the passenger seat before they can resume pursuit of Alfie. Not exactly the tack I would have taken while in a chase, but that’s what he does. He goes after Alfie’s car while Paige screams at him the whole time that he’s “sick” and he needs help. After a thrilling low-speed car chase, Marty finds Alfie’s car parked on the side of the road. Running over to investigate, he finds it empty. He then utilizes his Spidey Sense to ascertain that Alfie and the girls have run into the backyard of a nearby house, and immediately follows after them.
We cut to Alfie and the two girls, walking through an outdoor maze [?]. Alfie assures them he’s not going to hurt them as he waves a gun around about six inches in front of their faces. He tells them to stay put while he goes back for Mommy. Instead, Alfie spies Marty nearby, and goes chasing after him. As soon as he’s out of view, however, the daughters decide it’s a good time to beat it. Alfie calls off his pursuit of Marty when he notices they’re missing, and goes chasing after them instead. As he calls out their names, we see them hidden under a walkway trying to remain quiet. The older kid even has to stifle the younger kid’s sneeze, making the younger one look like something of a liability at this point.
Alfie runs into Paige, who thinks he’s Marty. Strangely, she doesn’t wonder where he got the raincoat from, or why he’s decided to comb his hair differently in the last two minutes. Alfie tells her to call the kids’ names (creepily referring to them as “my girls”) so that they’ll come out. Paige, however, still believes them to be at Vic and Kathy’s, yet calls out their names anyway. Why not humor him, right? The girls hear her and come out of hiding.
Paige runs to them, and then Alfie, for no apparent reason, spins around and takes off in the opposite direction. Paige wants to know why the girls aren’t at Vic and Kathy’s, and they reply that some man came and took them. Showing himself to have impeccable timing, Marty appears at that exact moment. The girls ask about the man who looks exactly like him, but before he can answer, Alfie appears with his gun pointed at Marty, and we see the shock register on Paige’s face.
Marty tells Paige to take the girls and vamoose, but as she leaves, she throws a big potted plant in Alfie’s face. Alfie, still the professional hit man, starts firing wildly when confronted with this deadly ceramic assault. In super slow-mo, Marty tackles the stunned Alfie and the two wrestle around in the dirt. Alfie slugs Marty a good one and runs off.
Marty chases after him, but before he gets far, a big bearded guy with a rifle appears on the porch. He immediately recognizes Marty and lowers the rifle. Marty tells Bearded Guy to call the police and ask for our Token Skeptical Plainclothes Detective (whose name, by the way, is Lowbeck).
Meanwhile, Paige loads the kids into the SUV and pulls off. Alfie comes sprinting out, and in case the raincoat and bowl cut hairdo don’t give it away, one of the girls screams, “That’s not Daddy! That’s the other one!” Alfie catches up with the car and reaches through the window to grab the steering wheel. He doesn’t appear to be running at this point, making it seem a lot like he’s on one of those hoverboards from Back to the Future Part II.
Paige, unable to shake him off, decides the best course of action is to drive the SUV up onto to the curb and crash it through a glass bus stop shelter [!]. Despite appearances, this is a fantastic decision, considering it’s been a whole two minutes into this installment and we haven’t had a shot of something flying through glass yet. This finally dislodges Alfie, who tumbles off into a row of garbage cans.
Meanwhile, the SUV is not only still running, but doesn’t appear to have the slightest scratch on it. One of the girls spots Marty running up behind them, so Paige then decides to take the SUV in reverse back through the smashed shelter [!] to pick up Marty. You’d think there are a couple of other routes she could have taken that would have been easier on the car’s axles. Alfie, still conscious, watches all of this, and silently skulks away.
So, Marty again forces Paige over into the passenger seat so that he can drive, which, given the maneuvers we just saw, is probably a good idea. The kids again ask Marty where Fake Daddy came from, but Marty says he doesn’t know.
We cut to Lt. Lowbeck getting a statement from Beaded Guy. Lowbeck notices a bullet in a wooden post and asks Bearded Guy where Marty’s daughters were when the shots were fired. From the guy’s answer, Lowbeck somehow jumps to the conclusion that these shots were actually fired at the kids. Hey, who needs a forensics team, right? Lowbeck’s female partner asks Bearded Guy if it was Marty who fired the shots, or “the other man”. Lowbeck shoots her a dirty look, obviously because she’s deviating from the Skeptical Plainclothes Detective Handbook and actually (gasp) looking for evidence to support Marty’s story.
Bearded Guy’s cute son Joey walks out on the patio. With his cute lisp, he tells them he knows who fired the shots. “It was the Xerox Mr. Stillwater!” he says, putting his fingers together in the shape of a gun. “Bang! Bang!” Boy, is this kid cute.
This piques Lowbeck’s interest, until the dad points out that the kid’s also claimed to have seen a giant hamster named Broderick. Tough break for Marty, huh? Still, this kid sure is cute. Just then, Lowbeck’s partner hands him a cell phone, saying he’s got a call from the station. However, we see the person on the other end is Marty on a payphone. How exactly did this call originate “from the station” again?
Marty tells Lowbeck that Bearded Guy can now back up his story, but Lowbeck says he’s talking to him right now and the guy didn’t see anything. Lowbeck then tells Marty to turn himself in, because the only fingerprints they found at Marty’s house belonged to Marty, and points out that not even twins have identical fingerprints. (Well, a human clone wouldn’t have identical fingerprints, either, but who’s keeping track?) He says he’s going to put out a warrant for Marty’s arrest.
Marty hangs up and tells Paige that he’s going to turn himself in. But first, he’s going to take Paige and the girls to stay with his mom and dad, where supposedly they’ll be safe. We cut to Marty’s parent’s house. Their machine picks up, and Marty leaves the following message: “Where are you guys? Call me, okay?” Keep in mind he’s at a payphone when he leaves this message. Paige theorizes they may have gone up to “the cabin” and asks if there’s a phone up there, but obviously she’s unfamiliar with the chief use of “cabins in the woods” as plot devices. “It’ll be a cold day in hell when my dad puts a phone in that cabin!” Marty expositories.
We cut to an abandoned airport in (as the caption informs us) “Agua Dulce, Arizona”. A limo pulls up to a private plane as three Important People debark. These are the same people who were there for Alfie’s birth, if you can remember back that far. Drew and his all-purpose lackey Carl step out of the limo and greet them. One of them hands Drew the issue of Celebs with the article about Marty. He says they’ve checked the hospital records, and found that Marty gave a blood sample at the same hospital on the same day as the swimmer. “A $200 million top secret contract!” he yells. “A joint venture of the world’s leading genetic research institution and the United States Department of Defense! And you took the wrong test tube?” Because we all know how rare screw-ups are over at the Defense Department.
Another Important Guy fills in Drew (and the audience) on the whole story. He’s learned that Marty was just attacked by a man claiming to be “a lost identical twin” and makes a point of mentioning the attacker drove an Infiniti (Though this is nowhere near as obnoxious as the close-ups we get of the logo on Marty’s GMC Yukon ). He then tells Drew to find Alfie. They have one lead to go on: Marty’s parents live in Mammoth Lakes, with a house in town and a cabin in the woods. He hands Drew a map and tells him to head there now. One of the other Important Guys also has an idea: Since the cops think Marty’s gone crazy, if he does “something colossally insane” out of one of his novels, this will just confirm their suspicions. (After all, horror writers are such poor, poor misunderstood souls.) Important Guy then hands Carl a book.
Here we get a sample of Marty’s bestselling prose as Carl reads the first paragraph aloud. “Gavin locked all the doors. Man kills wife, children, then gets dragged off to jail. That, Gavin Charles Lumbacher was not prepared for. But, man kills wife, children, and then self, that was a headline he would be happy for the city to wake up to.” Drew, speaking for no one, says, “Sounds brilliant to me.” He then assures the Important People that Alfie will be found and dealt with, and they all take their leave.