* * *
Directed by: Paul Aaron
Starring: Wings Hauser, Al Ruscio, Joyce Ingalls, Lincoln Kilpatrick, and Estelle Getty
Stoney Cooper (The Wingman) is an ex-cop who was kicked off the force for his rogue ways. Now living in New York, he is called back to L.A. by his old buddy Sam (Ruscio). It seems a serial killer is on the loose, killing people seemingly at random and leaving an X on their forehead. This “X Killer” claimed Sam’s granddaughter as a victim, and he wants revenge. Meanwhile, Stoney sees this as an opportunity to get back in the good graces of his estranged wife Eddie (Ingalls). The three unlikely partners all team up to put an end to the X Killer’s reign of terror, whilst dodging gangsters, lowlifes and the killer himself.
The ever-charismatic Wings Hauser once again shows why we keep coming back to his movies. He doesn’t disappoint - his likable and personable nature are shown off well in this film. Like other Wings movies such as Reason to Die (1990), the simple plot is basically Wings chasing a serial killer. His personality certainly carries this film. He’s backed up with some solid support, notably Al Ruscio and an amusing cameo from none other than Estelle Getty.
We’d be remiss if we left out Lincoln Kilpatrick as Hoxley, the disgruntled, classic stereotype: the Black Yelling Chief. He also played the BYC in the Gary Busey vehicle Bulletproof (1988). He’s had a long career (he’s since passed away), no doubt filling the role he was born to play (the BYC) many times over the years.
The soundtrack deserves special mention, especially the driving main theme, and the equally pounding end credits tune, “Keep On Fighting” by Jesse Frederick. Only in the 80’s could you get the car chases, seedy city scenarios, and music such as this, all tied together in a nice bow with Wings at the helm. It truly was a golden age.
Released on VHS in the U.S. on the Embassy label (later re-released under MGM’s budget-priced “Movie Time” banner), while this movie doesn’t have a ton of originality, it nevertheless should be on the Wings Hauser fan’s short list.
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