Relentless (1989)

R | 93 mins | Drama | 1 September 1989

Director:

William Lustig

Producer:

Howard Smith

Cinematographer:

James Lemmo

Editor:

David Kern

Production Designer:

Gene Abel
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HISTORY

A 10 Sep 1989 LAT news brief claimed that “Jack T. D. Robinson” is a pseudonym for screenwriter Phil Alden Robinson. The T. D. stands for “The Dog.” He reportedly wrote the screenplay in 1982.
       A 26 Oct 1988 Var news brief reported principal photography was scheduled to begin on 7 Nov 1988. It was completed by 27 Dec 1998, according to a DV news item of the same date.
       A 5 Oct 1988 DV article stated that the film’s budget was $4 million.
       The movie opened in New York City and Los Angeles, CA, at over 300 theaters on 1 Sep 1989 to mixed reviews and only garnered $3.2 million during its first weekend of release according to a 10 Sep 1989 LAT news piece.
       The following statement appears in end credits: “Special thanks to: Neon Stairway Sculpture by Paul Jacques Betouliere; Bob & Herman Hadler; Chrysler Motor Corporation; Mazda Motor Corporation; Rogers & Cowan Ford Showcase; Beepers provided by Continental Communications; Nouvelle Fashions by Susan Miller; Naturalife Clothing; Wayne Fitzgerald; Robert A. Ferretti; Sam ... More Less

A 10 Sep 1989 LAT news brief claimed that “Jack T. D. Robinson” is a pseudonym for screenwriter Phil Alden Robinson. The T. D. stands for “The Dog.” He reportedly wrote the screenplay in 1982.
       A 26 Oct 1988 Var news brief reported principal photography was scheduled to begin on 7 Nov 1988. It was completed by 27 Dec 1998, according to a DV news item of the same date.
       A 5 Oct 1988 DV article stated that the film’s budget was $4 million.
       The movie opened in New York City and Los Angeles, CA, at over 300 theaters on 1 Sep 1989 to mixed reviews and only garnered $3.2 million during its first weekend of release according to a 10 Sep 1989 LAT news piece.
       The following statement appears in end credits: “Special thanks to: Neon Stairway Sculpture by Paul Jacques Betouliere; Bob & Herman Hadler; Chrysler Motor Corporation; Mazda Motor Corporation; Rogers & Cowan Ford Showcase; Beepers provided by Continental Communications; Nouvelle Fashions by Susan Miller; Naturalife Clothing; Wayne Fitzgerald; Robert A. Ferretti; Sam Raimi.”
More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
5 Oct 1988.
---
Daily Variety
27 Dec 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
30 Aug 1989
p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
10 Sep 1989.
---
New York Times
30 Aug 1989
p. 20.
Variety
26 Oct 1988.
---
Variety
24 May 1989
p. 33.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Cinetel Films, Inc. Presents
A Hertzberg Hansen Smith Production
A William Lustig Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
"B" cam op
"B" cam asst
Steadicam op
Steadicam asst
Steadicam asst
Aerial photog
Still photog
Best boy
Elec
Louma crane
Zeus crane op
Dir photog, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Cam asst, 2d unit
Grip/Gaffer, 2d unit
Best boy, 2d unit
Cranes and dollys by
Still photo processing
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Apprentice ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser
Swing utility
Prop master
Leadman
Const coord
Standby carpenter/painter
Carpenter
Carpenter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward asst
Synclavier programming
MUSIC
Mus ed
Synclavier programming
Eng
SOUND
Prod sd by
Sd mixer
Sd mixer/boom op
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
ADR/Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
ADR mixer
ADR asst
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Asst spec eff
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Helicopter pilot
Makeup artist
Hair stylist/Asst make-up
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Exec in charge of prod
Loc mgr
Scr supv
Scr supv
Transportation coord
Transportation capt/Mechanic
Transportation co-capt
Driver
Honeywagon driver
Prod auditor
Asst auditor
Prod secy
Asst UPM
Intern/Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Studio teacher, Affordable Services Agency
Caterer
Caterer, Custom Catering
Loc security
Extra coord
Extras coord
Stunt mechanic, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Attorney
Completion guarantor
Insurance, Jules Berlin Agency
Insurance, Jules Berlin Agency
Pub, Solters-Roskin-Freidman
Pub, Solters-Roskin-Freidman
Financial services
Electronic media kit
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
DETAILS
Release Date:
1 September 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 30 August 1989
Production Date:
7 November--27 December 1988
Copyright Claimant:
Out of the Dark Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
19 July 1989
Copyright Number:
PA418538
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
93
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29644
SYNOPSIS

After Arthur “Buck” Taylor, son of a deceased police officer, is turned down by the police academy as psychologically unfit for the force, he telephones Todd Arthur and leaves a message on his answering machine, threatening to kill him that night. Todd goes to the police, only to be told they are short on staff and to leave the machine’s cassette tape. Todd returns home, where Buck kills him with a steak knife. The murderer leaves a note reading, “Catch me.” The next day, Sam Dietz arrives at the station as a newly promoted detective. He and his partner, Bill Malloy, are assigned to Todd’s murder case. At the crime scene, Dietz figures out what transpired, but Malloy warns him to wait for laboratory reports before making any conclusions. Meanwhile, at the firing range, Buck remembers how his father, Ike Taylor, took him shooting when he was a small boy, and beat him for missing the target. Buck was also forced to run an obstacle course while his father fired bullets over his head. No matter how well Buck did, Ike would beat him for being too slow. Buck goes home and picks Angela Taylor’s name from the telephone book and prowls on her roof. Hearing a disturbance, she telephones police as he crashes through a skylight. Angela hides in a dryer machine, but Buck finds her and garrotes her with piano wire. Later, Dietz and Malloy find a note at the crime scene that reads, “What’s taking you so long?” Dietz begs Malloy to let him investigate the crimes instead of waiting for laboratory reports. ... +


After Arthur “Buck” Taylor, son of a deceased police officer, is turned down by the police academy as psychologically unfit for the force, he telephones Todd Arthur and leaves a message on his answering machine, threatening to kill him that night. Todd goes to the police, only to be told they are short on staff and to leave the machine’s cassette tape. Todd returns home, where Buck kills him with a steak knife. The murderer leaves a note reading, “Catch me.” The next day, Sam Dietz arrives at the station as a newly promoted detective. He and his partner, Bill Malloy, are assigned to Todd’s murder case. At the crime scene, Dietz figures out what transpired, but Malloy warns him to wait for laboratory reports before making any conclusions. Meanwhile, at the firing range, Buck remembers how his father, Ike Taylor, took him shooting when he was a small boy, and beat him for missing the target. Buck was also forced to run an obstacle course while his father fired bullets over his head. No matter how well Buck did, Ike would beat him for being too slow. Buck goes home and picks Angela Taylor’s name from the telephone book and prowls on her roof. Hearing a disturbance, she telephones police as he crashes through a skylight. Angela hides in a dryer machine, but Buck finds her and garrotes her with piano wire. Later, Dietz and Malloy find a note at the crime scene that reads, “What’s taking you so long?” Dietz begs Malloy to let him investigate the crimes instead of waiting for laboratory reports. Malloy refuses and Captain Blakely orders Dietz not to talk to the press. Dietz acquires a psychological profile of the killer from police psychologist Doctor Park. The next night, Buck strikes again and kills Arthur Taylor, a movie producer, with a corkscrew. As he leaves, he hears Arthur’s mistress calling him and strangles her. When Dietz and Malloy arrive at the scene, they find another taunting note, and Malloy notices the similarity in the victims’ names. The next morning, Malloy telephones Dietz to report two more murders of people with the name “Arthur Taylor.” The newspapers learn of the multiple murders and label Buck “The Sunset Killer.” It is reported that Dietz and Malloy are the detectives in charge of the investigation. Dietz and Malloy canvas all the “Arthur Taylors” in the telephone book to warn them they may be in danger. In a rundown weekly motel, they meet Buck. Malloy recognizes a picture of Buck’s father, and realizes he knew Buck as a boy. Dietz finds a revolver and suggests Buck keep it close until they catch the serial killer. After they leave, Buck puts his revolver in his mouth, but decides the police must kill him. That afternoon, Buck goes to Malloy's home and shoots the cop to death. Dietz thinks Malloy’s death is unconnected to the serial killer, until he opens his front door and finds a page from the telephone book with Malloy’s name and a message that reads: “If I’m so sick, why can’t you catch me?” He orders his wife Carol to take their son, Corey, to her mother’s house. With Dr. Park’s consent, Dietz leaks a phony psychological profile of the killer to the press, stating that he suffers from impotency. Hoping that he will go after Dr. Park, Dietz cons a police lieutenant into assigning him four men, and they stake out the doctor’s home. When Buck arrives at Park’s house, he spots Dietz’s car and walks away. An officer named Terrell telephones Dietz and plays him the answering machine tape from the first victim, Arthur Todd. Dietz recognizes Buck’s voice. When he and another policeman go to Buck’s hotel, they find a telephone book missing the page with Dietz’s address. Dietz tries to call home, but the telephone is off the hook. Dietz rushes home to find Buck pointing a gun at his family. He screams for him to drop the weapon, but Buck hallucinates that Dietz is his father and raises his pistol. Dietz empties his revolver into the man’s chest. As Buck bleeds to death, he pulls out a note that reads, “Thank you.” +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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