Urban Cinefile
"So they looked at me: d'you wanna kill....? yeah, I'll kill 'em, doesn't worry me."  -Temuera Morrison on his role in The Island of Dr Moreau
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Sunday, October 15, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

SENSITIVE NEW AGE KILLER

SYNOPSIS:
Ever since he was a boy, Paul Morris (Paul Moder) has wanted to be a hitman like his hero The Snake (Frank Bren). There's just one catch - he only wants to kill bad guys. Now married to Helen (Helen Hopkins) and with a young daughter to provide for, Paul is now struggling to succeed in his chosen career - unaware that his trusted partner George (Kevin Hopkins) is secretly a crazed pervert who wants to get Paul killed so he can marry Helen himself. Paul's life is also complicated by his relationship with Matty (Carolyn Bock) a policewoman who has agreed not to arrest him in exchange for regular sex. Whatever setbacks he encounters, Paul remains optimistic, convinced that his career will take off if he can only score that 'one big hit.' With his dreams of scoring the big hit that will make his future secure Paul must negotiate personal entanglements and the rivalry of legendary hitman "The Snake" (Frank Bren) who also has his sights set on securing the bounty.

“Sensitive New Age Killer is an entertaining if somewhat uneven black comedy that can be enjoyed by audiences able to approach cinema without snobbery. The premise is an amusing one - a dedicated suburban dad and hired gun who wants to secure his family's future by making the big hit he's always dreamt of. Things get off on a bright note as our good-natured but somewhat gormless hero executes a successful hit only to be bailed up by policewoman Matty (Carolyn Bock). "What kind of arrest is this" he protests as the lady law enforcer forces him to strip. "Show me your arse" she barks before handcuffing him to a bed and initiating her own torrid "interrogation". Bock's performance as the ball-busting cop who blackmails Paul into weekly dalliances is one of the film's highlights and she delivers some very funny lines with considerable style. The cheerful mix of domestic sit-com complications and humour from the lower depths works nicely as the harrassed Paul tries to deal with the usual problems young marrieds face while keeping the voracious Matty satisfied and getting the skinny on a drug dealer whose bounty is going to solve everyone's problems. Also chiming in successfully is a sub-plot involving Paul's boyhood hero Colin Adder aka "The Snake" (played by the impressively sinister Frank Bren) who shows up in a flea pit hotel with the same game plan as Paul. Less engaging are diversions into the sexual fetishes of Paul's deceitful partner in crime George (Kevin Hopkins) which are a bit of a groan and slow the pace down. Despite the low budget and variable performances (Paul Moder is convincing as the harried family man but not as a hitman, no matter how sensitive he's supposed to be) Sensitive New Age Killer delivers plenty - particularly during a couple of spectacular shootouts that are as well executed as you'd expect in a big budget actioner. SNAK is the work of Melbourne director Mark Savage who has made little-seen but frequently astonishing short films for a number of years. His screenplay (co-written with David Richardson) has a few too many flat spots to be completely successful; his ability to stage exciting action sequences is highly impressive. SNAK won't be to everyone's liking but it's sufficiently goofy, grisly and energetically done to make the visit worthwhile.
Richard Kuipers

“Good ideas inhabit the script like ghosts and although fun conceptually, Sensitive New Age Killer suffers from insufficient baking time; another six or eight drafts with a tough script editor may have rescued it. It ends up rather flat, with insufficient dynamics and a plodding feel - despite its appealing score (perhaps the best thing about it). The lines aren’t quite funny enough, the set ups are as loose as uncoiled rope and the payoffs aren’t paying. An edgier, darker tone might have served director Mark Savage better to effect the intended mood of bizarre meeting the ordinary. The oversized shootouts signal what might have been, but the rest of material tends to weigh down the performances.”
Andrew L. Urban

”This shot-on-a-shoestring local action comedy is a genuine curiosity item - and a labor of love for director Mark Savage, who struggled for years to bring his vision to the screen. Unfortunately, his sense of what makes a good movie is witlessly puerile: Sensitive New Age Killer might have been conceived by a gang of twelve-year-old boys after a steady diet of John Woo shoot-outs, soft porn, and the 'Bargearse' segments on The Late Show. As so often when Australians try self-consciously to make 'trash' or 'cult' cinema (e.g. last year's Cut) any potential suspense or excitement is vitiated by a refusal to take genre conventions seriously. Instead we get endless unfunny mugging and a level of credibility that wouldn't pass muster in a three minute TV skit. Savage shows a fair amount of pizzazz when it comes to splattering someone's guts against the wall, but despite some sharp cutting and adroit stuntwork it'd be overstating the case to see him as an action whizkid on the level of Robert Rodriguez (or Mad Max's George Miller). And however often he uses that two-guns-firing-on-the-run routine, the adenoidal Paul Moder is definitely no Chow Yun-Fat. Still, the film has energy to spare, and I'm willing to believe Savage is a talent; maybe next time he'll get to show what he can do with a real budget and a real script.
Jake Wilson

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 2

TRAILER

SENSITIVE NEW AGE KILLER (MA15+)
(AUS)

CAST: Paul Moder, Kevin Hopkins, Helen Hopkins, Carolyn Bock, Frank Bren

DIRECTOR: Mark Savage

PRODUCER: John Brousek, Mark Savage

SCRIPT: Mark Savage, David Richardson

CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Richardson

EDITOR: Robin Brennan, Anthony Egan

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ralph Moser

MUSIC: Paul Jamieson

RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Tidepool Films

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 31, 2001

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Entertainment

VIDEO RELEASE: January 4, 2002







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017