WALLANDER - FACELESS KILLERS (1994): This 3.5 hour adaptation of Hennig Mankell's 400 page novel of the same name may be a little too long for its own good, however it does set up the rest of the films in the series (all nine Wallander novels), which are a more subdued 90+ minute affairs. The always great Rolf Lassgård plays Wallander, in a performance that many consider not only the best Wallander, but one of Lassgård's best period. In a remote snow-covered farm house, an elderly couple have been brutally tortured, the husband murdered and the wife left for dead with a noose around her neck. Before she dies in the hospital, the wife says the men that attacked them were "foreigners". So starts an investigation that sparks controversy over Sweden's liberal immigration policy and sets nationalist supremists on the hunt for immigrants. Voicing similar questions of racism and hard-line immigration reform as we have heard over the past decade in the US, this film, thematically, feels very much like a US film and could easily be retooled to be set in America. Even the protagonist, Wallander, is an overweight alcoholic, who's wife has left him for a more successful man and who's daughter barely talks to him. How American is that? Uncanny. Then again this is actually a little bit of a downside when doing a 209 minute movie. After about the first dozen scenes with Wallander being his own worst enemy by getting stupidly drunk and being a jackass, I started actually feeling his ex-wife and daughter had damn good reason to want to keep their distance. Even so, it's worth the watch and honestly, I'll take this over the toothgrindingly histrionic BBC adaptations with Kenneth Branagh sobbing his little eyes out at the slightest provocation.
KING OF THE STREETS (1986): Absolute and total insanity from low-rent director Ed Hunt - a Canadian, no less! This movie is so freakin' deranged, I don't even know where to begin. It's got an educational break-dancing party, motivational graffiti, a generous and friendly homeless guy! More? Ok, it's bloody, violent, sleazy as hell, loaded with nudity and a positive Jesus message! Seriously, I haven’t seen anything that schizophrenic in a long time. If you haven't read Will's review, do it now, then see the movie!