Exterminators -- Film Review

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AUSTIN -- Revenge isn't all that sweet in "Exterminators," a payback fantasy in which little satisfaction, and fewer of the intended laughs, result from a campaign of "he had it coming" killings. Boxoffice prospects are slight, though known faces in the cast might help home video a bit.

Veteran "Scrubs" cinematographer-director John Inwood brings little to the project, but Suzanne Weinert's leaden script is no asset. Although the 91-minute movie doesn't drag things out, the minutes do not exactly zip by.

Heather Graham, whose dish-sized specs don't make her any more credible as an accountant, plays a wronged woman whose one-time violent outburst lands her in rage therapy. There she meets plenty of women whose boyfriends or husbands drove them to extremes, some of whom haven't yet lived up to their full vigilante potential: One drunken night, a few of them -- including Stella (Jennifer Coolidge), the only borderline-credible character onscreen here -- semi-accidentally run an abusive fella off a cliff. When that leads to a surprise cash windfall, they decide to start offing bad guys for hire.

Graham remains deliberately unaware of her friends' side business while she starts a courtship with the cop investigating the first death. But even the addition of a meddlesome IRS agent can't generate enough tension for us to worry about anyone getting caught. Meanwhile, what we see of the revenge biz offers neither vicarious kicks nor the black comedy audiences were promised.