Two thumbs way, way down:

Scoopy's comments in yellow:

Forget about reading "Harlot's Ghost". Here's the real CIA story right here.

I don't know if the film is as bad as Tuna said, but it is surely bad. Real bad. More important, it has two of my favorite kinds of bad:

1. Stupid bad.

I thought The Skulls was the most illogical script ever written until I saw this one. But this takes the cake for continuity and logical flaws.

First Example. My favorite. At the end of the movie, the female CIA agent goes to a guy to get false identity papers. When she goes to the clandestine meeting to pick up the papers, he says "that's a new look for you. I wouldn't have recognized you." She is wearing an blond wig, a look which is also unfamiliar to us in the audience. She's had straight black hair except for her disguise in the opening scene. Five minutes later they show her burning those forged papers (she knew they were a CIA plant), and the camera zooms in on them. Her new passport, shown in flames, looks exactly like the disguise she was wearing! Now, explain to me how the forger did that.

Second example. Not once, but twice, Joe Estevez says to Our Heroine, "we need a plan", and then says "you go that way" or something like that. Now I ask you, "how is that any different from what they would have done WITHOUT a plan?" I suppose, given a strict literal interpretation, "going" somewhere is a plan. It is a different plan from "staying" somewhere. But it sure isn't much of a plan. I might not have noticed this if they had done it once, but they did the exact same thing twice in five minutes, as if they forgot which scene they were filming and just recited some familiar dialogue.

Third example. From earliest infancy, Our Heroine was raised by a single female surrogate parent, and never knew she was actually the daughter of the CIA's top assassin. The false mom and the daughter have a loving and supportive relationship. It turns out that this woman was a hooker turned into a CIA operative. Uh-huh. "Here's your assignment, Mrs Phelps. For the next 25 years, raise this girl in a loving way and nurture her, because we know she has the genes to be a good field assassin. We'll call you when we need you."  The girl never suspects, but when she confronts her "mother" at the end, mom says something like, "you know the worst part of raising you? All those cute little hugs and sweet little walks in the park. Not to mention those fucking Smurfs". Then she blasts her away. Unfortunately, she is only a trained hooker, and daughter is a trained assassin, so daughter took the precaution of removing the ammo from mom's gun.

Fourth example. How did she get that ammo from mom's gun? She overheard a phone conversation between mom and the CIA assassin leader, in which Mr Leader said to mom, "don't forget to keep your gun nearby". Up until that point, she had no idea that mom owned a gun. She then killed Mr Leader and headed home to face mom in the scene described above. Now I ask you again, how did she get the bullets out of mom's gun?

I suppose I could recite most of the script in this section, and that would be a mighty long review, so I'll close it out there. I think you have the idea.


2. Pretentious bad

I like this kind of bad even better than stupid bad. The Joe Estevez character is fond of reciting pseudo-profound and pseudo-poetic dialogue like "what is truth? There is no truth". At one point he's breaking in a bunch of assassin-trainees (I guess they have to wear a paper "trainee" hat, like at McDonald's), when he gives them a long drill-instructor interrogation focused on why they joined the squad, and he finally gets them all to respond properly. 

"Why did you join?"

"To serve my country, sir"

"Don't call me 'sir'! And you could have served your country elsewhere. What shit. You joined because you're scum and you like to kill. Now why did you join?"

"Because I like to kill, sir"

"Don't call me 'sir'!"

"Because I like to kill"

"Then why didn't you become a butcher"


"It's because you like to kill PEOPLE, and you want your country to sanction it"

"Yes, sir"

"Something wrong with your hearing, boy? Don't call me 'sir'! Now why did you join?"

"Because I like to kill people, si .... Um, I mean, because I like to kill people"


Ya gotta love the way they portray the CIA. Such true-to-life dialogue that they must have had an actual CIA assassin leave the company to write the script. Well, at least until they killed him. Interestingly enough, they didn't kill the director, Gerald Cain. 

Or maybe they did. He made this movie in 1993, and has not been seen or heard from since 1994. Hmmmmm .....

I know Tuna feels that the film has no merit, and he is certainly right, but it is so jaw-droppingly bad that its inherent foulness is, ipso facto, pretty darned fascinating. I wouldn't suggest watching this alone and sober, but for a gathering of stoned frat guys on Bad Movie night, this could be a lot of fun. I am surprised that MST3K never discovered this one, because it is absolutely their kind of movie.


Suzanne Ager demonstrates the CIA's patented "close your eyes" assassination technique which proved so effective against Castro.
Tuna's comments in white:

Fatal Justice (1993) is a straight to vid CIA soap opera. 

Seems the CIA consists of assassins, including those trained from birth for the job, Russian Mafia, people who have a love of killing, and several competing factions. They spend all of their time in the US, killing other CIA assassins. The rest of the film is taken up by people double-crossing other people.  


Our hero, Suzanne Ager, shows her breasts. The part of the unknown prostitute is played by Ashley Chappell, who also shows her breasts. 

Even the nudity is a rip-off. Suzanne Ager exposes her breasts twice. Once in a dark, dark scene further obscured by a blue filter. The second time behind a room divider. The only clear exposure comes from the obscure hooker.

DVD info from Amazon.

no widescreen version

 no features

Plot: F
Acting: F
Photography: F
Art Direction: F
Score: F
Action: F

Hmmmm ... I think I see a trend here. Give this stinker a very wide birth.  

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 4.8, 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is an F.

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