Bad Movie of the Week

One of a series

The title says it all, 2 Days in the Valley, from  1996. The Valley, in case you missed it, is San Fernando Valley, north of Los Angeles. I’m not going to rewind the plot with overtones of Pulp Fiction, which came out two years before. The intersection of the two is a menagerie of plot threads and associated characters, intertwining and eventually coming together to produce a conclusion of sorts. This is a current offering on Amazon Prime Video out of Rysher Entertainment and distributed by MGM. Details are from Wikipedia.

Lots of people die.

The opening shows two assassins, Lee Woods (James Spader) and Dosmo Pizzo (Danny Aiello), as they first stake out a house occupied by Becky Foxx (Teri Hatcher) and her previous husband Roy Foxx (Peter Horton). You’re not going to  see much of Roy, because he’s the first one killed. One of the hitmen jabs Becky’s lovely rear end while she’s sleeping, putting her out of commission while Lee and Dosmo torment then shoot Roy.

Cut to another thread. We see Teddy Peppers (Paul Mazursky) at the end of his rope. His career as a TV producer has gone completely dry, and he plans to  kill himself. But first he needs to walk his dog.

Meanwhile it’s time for Lee and Dosmo to settle up. And wouldn’t you know it, there is no honor among hitmen. Come daylight and the two are parked overlooking The Valley, where Lee puts a bullet into Dosmo’s belly. Then he sets his stopwatch to count down one minute, at the same time setting a one-minute timer on a bomb in the car trunk. Lee has a thing about one-minute. All his victims are given one minute to  live.

As Lee’s sexy sidekick Helga Svelgen (Charlize Theron) gives him a ride away from the site, the bomb goes ka-boom. Possibly the most expensive part of this movie. The producers had to  waste a car.

Back at their digs (actually a cheap motel  room) Helga opens up. We hope to  see more of her.

And we do. Makes the movie.

Meanwhile, Dosmo was not killed by the shot to the belly. He was wearing his trusty bullet-proof vest, and as Lee casually walked away from the time bomb, Dosmo not so casually rolled out the passenger side door and down a nearby slope.

Down the slope he winds up at the home of art dealer Allan Hopper (Greg Cruttwell), where he takes Hopper and Hopper’s assistant Susan Parish (Glenne Headly) hostage. He cooks dinner for them.

Now we learn that Becky is in on the hit. Back with Lee and Helga, she informs Lee he is going to need to return to her house and retrieve the $30,000 bounty he earned by offing Roy, both to get rid of a financial drag (she was paying alimony to  him) and to collect on a huge life insurance policy.

After Lee heads out to retrieve the loot, and also to kill the two police officers guarding the murder scene, Becky and Helga have it out. It gets physical. Then a gun is produced. It gets deadly. Helga is mortally wounded while Becky flees.

Things converge back at Becky’s house, as Lee kills the two cops, scoops up the money, then makes plans to kill another cop arriving to investigate further. But Helga shows up, dying, and distracts Lee. Dosmo shows up. Teddy shows up. Dosmo takes another slug to the vest, and Teddy uses the pistol he had previously planned for himself to kill Lee. Dosmo scoops up the $30,000 and departs for New York with Susan. Becky retrieves a car she has stashed and drives off scot free (because Lee and Helga are dead, and Dosmo is never going to talk). Becky’s ultimate destination is never revealed.

The plot has deliberate quirkiness. Lee’s obsession with a one-minute timeout seems pure artifice. Also the bomb in  the car. For all the skin shown in the movie, nobody gets humped.

The film enjoyed a box office of $11 million, and I do not know how much it cost to make. I’m guessing not much. I figure somebody said, “Here’s $2 million. Go make a movie and get back to  me in the morning.”

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One thought on “Bad Movie of the Week

  1. Pingback: Bad Movie of the Week | Skeptical Analysis

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