Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Trouble is My Business, Private Eyes, Dames, and Murder

Such a sweet gal....Christina (Cloris Leachman). Her fate, a tortuous one, couldn't have been her fault. Filled with hopes and poetry, this lady ends up hanging naked in a warehouse with henchmen gawking at her corpse. What those henchmen did to her...well, use your imagination. Her death gives Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker), a flawed man at best...a seedy private eye at worst, a chance. Mike knows he's a heel, but with Christina's death...a chance for redemption. Believing Christina entrusted him with her eternal virtue, Mike is charged. Doing right by this sweet girl, who is now on the other side of eternity, trumps everything else including the nuclear annihilation of Los Angeles. Yep, 1955's "Kiss Me Deadly" may be the perfect Film Noir movie. Modern day film makers are incapable of making a film that could hold a candle (...or a small nuclear spark) to it. But wait! Let's not speak too soon, hence Tom Konkle's "Trouble is My Business," to be released in a few days.
Katherine, "...a face that would launch a thousand ships, and a body that would bring them back," walks into private eye Roland Drake's (Konkle) office. She has a job for him. Loud and violent pre-marital sex follow, and in the morning Drake wakes up in a pool of Katherine's blood. Katherine may be a dame, but her sister is a dame and a half, hence Jennifer (Brittney Powell) walks in. Jennifer hires Drake to find her missing dad...and Katherine, of course. No sex yet, that will come, but gun fighting and throat slashing will also be present at this loud and violent first meeting. Drake is a disgraced private eye, probably responsible for a sweet girl's why would Jennifer and Katherine want to hire him?
Yep, loud and violent...a theme is developing.  Drake also searches for redemption. He almost saved Christina....excuse me...Nadia (Ksenia Delaveri).  He is blamed for her demise, a sweet girl she was. The Russian mob, a huge diamond, and police corruption all stand in Drake's way as he searches for the missing peeps, and tries to protect the sultry Jennifer.  Uh oh, Detective Tate (Vernon Wells) is on the case for the LAPD. He would love to see Drake in pieces. With Jennifer in his life, Drake gains purpose again. As Jennifer reveals herself to be quite dangerous, Drake is only drawn further into the spell she casts.  As the plot progresses it is apparent that Drake's redemption holds the key for fighting an evil that has enveloped 1947 Los Angeles.
The comparison to "Kiss Me Deadly" might not be a fair one, but it is the film that I kept thinking of while watching "Trouble is My Business." Tom Konkle and Brittney Powell had a nuclear spark going that could power a city for a week or make it a crater in an instant. Vernon Wells conveyed dread and evil so well that every time he was on the screen we saw the blood and carnage before it actually happened. Will Drake find Jennifer's dad and sister? What horrors occurred that resulted in Nadia's death that propel Drake to the role of a white knight on a crusade? Can Jennifer, the sultry blonde vixen, be trusted? The dark corners of Los Angeles and femme fatales are plot devices that seemed to have died with the film noir era of the 1950s. Thanks to Tom Konkle (star and director), "Trouble is My Business" has given Film Noir a much welcomed rebirth.
For more on "Trouble is My Business," click on the following links:
Official Film Site
Trouble on IMDB
Trouble on iTunes

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