Deadly Famous follows washed-up child star Alan Miller as an adult. Bitter, narcissistic and psychopathic, he weaves back and forth between attempts to recapture his childhood glory, finding his perfect blonde arm-piece, stalking women, and serial killing. The end result is modestly interesting, although doubtful to send you running to any first releases of DVD. I’d be more likely to quantify this as thriller as it combines the mood of Blast of Silence with a blend of serial killer tropes while simultaneously writing some off-key love song to Los Angeles.
Daniel O’Meara plays Alan Miller; he has a lot heaped on him by the directors, and he gamely takes it on. Stephanie Jones is the domineering ex-wife, Abigail; Tiffany Adams is his competent and occasionally exasperated agent, Rhonda; Jackie Moore is the desired blonde, Pamela; finally, Brett R. Miller is his foil in romantic pursuits, Seth. All are competent, with a reasonable resumé of background and tertiary characters. Meanwhile, Eric Roberts (Camp Dread, Human Centipede III) has the fun job of playing…Eric Roberts, decadent and amoral friend to Alan Miller. This is the directorial debut for Jim Lane and Eric Troop, and they do a decent, professional job. They keep within their budgetary constraints and make everything look reasonably realistic, knowing when to cut the shots. If I were to guess, all the scenes, all the moods, seem as if they were consciously caught, for better or worse.
The primary problem I have with the film is that the entire sense of perception is laid on O’Meara’s table. This leaves a lot of the other actors with not much to do except to react to O’Meara. The audience needs to feel empathy for those characters, and I fear with the directors’ focus, this won’t happen.
As a catch-basin for several cinematic serial killer visuals, Alan Miller doesn’t disappoint, but occasionally gets ridiculous. O’Meara is sporting about it, but there is only so much one actor can do in one movie.
Despite its flaws, I never felt the urge to walk away (or even hit the pause button), and was always curious to see what came up next. It is a good library, Netflix or Redbox selection, but only if you feel patient with some of the more experimental outliers of the genre.
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