The Last Hand (1995 or something) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This film is also known as After the Game.

Tuna's comments in white:

The Last Hand (1995, 1997, 2004) was completed and copyrighted in 1995, released on German TV in 1997 as After the Game, and is now in the US on DVD. IMDB scores this 2.0. Interestingly, over half the votes are perfect 10s, and 9% of the 10s are from people who gave no demographics. The median score is actually 10, but IMDb makes a mathematical adjustment for ballot-stuffing.

A man wins big in a Monday night poker game in Elko Nevada. On the way home with the money, he is shot and killed, and the car blows up. His son comes to town to find out what happened. The police have no interest in calling it anything but a drunk driving accident.

The people in the game all figure prominently in the plot, so let's run through them quickly. The casino owner, the brother of the murdered man, another casino owner the owner #1 is deeply in debt to, and that man's wife (Susan Traylor). Pay close attention to an ugly briefcase, because each time it is opened, the contents change among women's underwear, coke, and lots of money. The casino owner's girlfriend, Hudson Leick, also figures prominently in the story.

Start Spoilers

Traylor is evidently sleeping with the casino owner, her husband, the dead man, and pretty much everyone else in town. Leick, it seems, also plays around a lot, but ends up in the company of the son of the dead man. Everybody wants the coke, the money, and the deed to the casino, which is almost as elusive as the magic suitcase. One by one, everyone is killed except the son of the dead man. We see him hitchhiking out of town

But then the son is picked up by his dead father. We then see the son dead, being put into the coroner's wagon. Then they see Hudson Leick hitchhiking as well. The son says, "Again?" The father answers, "The game is never over."

End Spoilers

The only comment at IMDB says:

"A film noir murder mystery from the camp of Hitchcock, Welles, and Kubrick. ""After The Game" is a film that was influenced by the Coen brothers':"Blood Simple", Wim Wenders':"Wings Of Desire", and Shakespeare's: "Hamlet". It deals on the surface with greed, murder, deceit, lust, and revenge while on a subtler level it explores the spiritual world of Karma, and the afterlife. The world as we know it is only an illusion, much like a movie. I hope "After The Game" provokes thoughts that both tantalize and enlighten."

Indeed, pretty high praise for writer/director Brewster MacWilliams. I would have been even more impressed had that not been written by  

Scoop's comments in yellow:

I love Tuna's review. Oh, Brewster, dude, you are so BUSTED!

The DVD box says:

"A film noir murder mystery from the camp of Orson Welles, and Stanley Kubrick. The Last Hand stars Robert Dubac, Lou Rawls, and Frank Gorshin."

Well, at least he left Hitchcock and Shakespeare out of that one (how did he miss Tolstoy and Kurosawa?) but Frank Gorshin and Lou Rawls were not exactly "stars". The Riddler was in the opening scene and did a wild overacting gig as the murder victim, after which he was just the dead guy that the plot revolved around, marked most vividly by his total absence until the absurd ending which Tuna mentioned. Poor Lou Rawls, once an A-list singer, seems not to have managed his money when he was making it, because he now seems desperate for any work he can get. If you watch this movie without knowing he is in it, then someone informed you of that a week later, you'd never remember who he was, just a bit player in a minor movie. Bob Dubac was the star, and had some talent, but apparently never worked in films again, so I'm not sure why one would use his name to promote the film.

Tuna's favorite plot gimmick was the confusing suitcase, but my favorite was the ever-present knife.

Scene One: the Evil Dude lynches Our Hero from a barn door, but does not snap his neck, and leaves a knife stuck in the barn, with which Our Hero simply cuts himself down.

Scene Two: just a few hours later, Our Hero ties up the Evil Dude's legs and leaves him in the desert to rot. Having learned absolutely nothing from his own rope-and-knife experience just a short time earlier, Our Hero leaves a knife within reaching distance of Evil Dude. The SAME knife that he himself had just used to cut his own ropes.


Susan Traylor- breasts

Hudson Leick - breasts (two scenes)

Scene Three: now this is weird. See if you can follow me. The Other Evil Dude comes out to where the Evil Dude has been left to die in the desert, and taunts the tied-up Evil Dude before shooting him, delaying just long enough so that Evil Dude, now only pretending to be tied up, uses the magic knife to slit the throat of his tormentor. Apart from the silliness of the whole thing, there are two big loopholes in that logic (1) nobody told Other Evil Dude where Evil Dude was tied up in the desert, or even that he was out there. How the hell did he find him, or even know to look for him? (2) apparently, after Evil Dude freed himself with the magic knife, rather than walking into town, he simply lay in the desert pretending to be tied up, hoping someone would find him so he could use the ol' "pretending to be tied up trick", despite the fact that there was absolutely no reason to expect anyone to come looking for him, let alone find him. Of course, his completely illogical strategy worked, and the Other Evil Dude was kind enough to do a bunch of talking and tormenting before shooting him, or the ol' "pretending to be tied up trick" would have been fatal.

I just have to say that it really takes a dedicated mobster to wear a black suit with a black shirt and gold chains in the desert. (Right. Evil Dude himself.)

I also have to say that I liked the movie much more than Tuna did. I agree with Tuna about the ending, and I agree with Tuna about the weakness of the confusing and illogical script (we only scratched the surface of plot and continuity problems), but I think ol' Brewmac did show some talent as a director. Several scenes are storyboarded very imaginatively, and he created some nice noir lighting effects. The opening scene is an uninterrupted tracking shot all the way through a casino into the back room where the big-shots are playing. He didn't maintain that quality consistently, but there were some flashes of real pizzazz for such a low budget film. It's too bad Brewmac thought he was a writer. If he had directed someone else's script, he might have made a career for himself.

DVD info from Amazon

  • The transfer is a rather poor 4/3 effort with no features.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 2.0/10. It isn't that bad, but there aren't enough legit votes to get a score.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even 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. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). 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. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a D- (both reviewers). Tuna says, "There is lots of shooting excitement, too little sex and nudity, and way too many characters to keep track of along with the elusive briefcase. This would have just been another D effort, except for the ending, which deserves a half grade removed, so D-." Scoop says, "OK, I admit I only watched the movie to see The Evil Callisto's breasts."

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