Freaky Deaky: Tribeca Review

Kim Simms
Elmore Leonard adaptation overdoses on '70s kitsch but never gets its freak on.

NEW YORK — A goofily retro stew of Elmore Leonard double-dealing and broadcast TV-friendly sleaze, Charles Matthau's Freaky Deaky is just about diverting enough for a midday rerun slot on cable.

Set in 1974 Detroit, but looking like it was photographed last week, the pic opens in an all-green den where shag-carpet steps lead to a hot tub with a throne built into it. The crime lord sitting there is about to be blown up -- a murder bomb-squad detective Chris Mankowski (Billy Burke) won't knock himself out trying to solve.

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He'll be forced to piece it together eventually, though, when a leggy blonde (Sabina Gadecki) involves him in a dispute with wack-job heir Woody Ricks (Crispin Glover at his wack-jobbiest, which is less amusing than it may sound). Ricks is being targeted by demolitions-freaks Robin Abbot and Skip Gibbs (Breanne Racano and Christian Slater), dimwits with vaguely revolutionary pasts and vast carnal appetites that somehow always get sated off screen.

Burke's too-cool-to-care attitude is appropriate for his lazy-cop character, but odds are good the audience will share the sentiment. They'll surely identify with bright spot Michael Jai White, who as Ricks's bodyguard Donnell is just biding his time, trying to position himself to come out ahead when inevitably somebody either sends his boss up in a cloud of dynamite or yanks his fortune out from under him.

Production Companies: Matthau Media, Eyde Studios, Final Cut Productions

Cast: Crispin Glover, Billy Burke, Michael Jai White, Christian Slater, Sabina Gadecki, Breanne Racano, Andy Dick, Roger Bart, Bill Duke

Director-Screenwriter-Producer: Charles Matthau
Executive producers: George Eyde, Louis Eyde, Nathaniel Eyde, Robert Cantrell, Steven M. Berez, Donald Zuckerman, Lee Greenberg
Director of photography: John J. Connor
Production designer: Tom Southwell
Music: Joseph LoDuca
Costume designer: Ingrid Ferrin
Editor: William Steinkamp
Sales: Ben Weiss, Paradigm
No rating, 92 minutes