The Killing Jar (film)
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|The Killing Jar|
|Directed by||Mark Young|
|Produced by||Jonathan Sachar|
|Written by||Mark Young|
|Running time||90 minutes|
Several people are gathered at a diner—Noreen, a waitress (Amber Benson); Lonnie, a cop (Lew Temple); Jimmy, the owner (Danny Trejo); Billy and Starr, a couple on their way to elope; John, a salesman; and Hank, a quiet man. A radio is playing, and the group hears of four family members murdered gruesomely in the next county over.
Noreen, shocked, talks to John (Harold Perrineau), who reveals his wife died two years ago. She goes back to the counter and talks to Lonnie and Hank (Kevin Gage), complaining about her lazy husband. A man in a black leather jacket (Michael Madsen) comes in and sits. When his order of steak is denied, he gets angry, and Jimmy (Trejo) yells for him to leave if he doesn't like it. Noreen overtly summons Lonnie to the back area, suggesting that the man could be the killer.
Lonnie does not believe her, and the man approaches them to ask for more coffee. Noreen spills it, betraying her nervousness, and Hank asks Lonnie to check the man out. Questioned, the man is antagonistic, belittling Lonnie. Angry, Lonnie pulls a gun and demands answers, asking the stranger if he drives a black truck, but Hank confirms the man drives a red truck. Lonnie apologizes, and the man pays and leaves.
The enigmatic man returns with a shotgun and a handgun. After killing Lonnie and Jimmy, he points the shotgun at Noreen's face. Noreen pleads for her life. The man assembles the five remaining characters demanding their wallets, keys, and cellphones. Noreen tries to keep a cellphone, but gets caught. Hank is ordered to drag Lonnie's body out and reluctantly concedes. Hank shares with the others that there are likely only eight bullets in the man's handgun and seven shells in the man's shotgun.
Hank wants everyone to rush the man, but John is too cowardly and refuses. Greene (Jake Busey) enters, and the man threatens him. Greene stays cool and flippant, asking him if he finished the job, and gives him a suitcase of money. He tries to leave, but the man won't let him, saying he's not Smith. Greene is handcuffed to a chair, and the man asks about Smith and the money, but Greene doesn't want to answer, so the man beats him. When the shotgun is aimed at his crotch, Greene comes clean: He's a businessman who was buying up land to build a shopping mall, but one man wouldn't sell.
Worried about his partner wanting his money, Greene hired Smith to persuade the holdout. Smith killed the man, his wife, and his kids, the deaths that was aired on the radio. With no heirs, Greene could buy the land from the bank. After hearing this, the man kills him in revenge, as he knows he'll be blamed for the crime. The man now alludes that one of the captives is Smith, and that he wants to know which one of them is him.
John volunteers to talk. However, the stranger decides to interrogate Hank first, beating him and sitting him down un-handcuffed. John plots with Noreen to get the gun away. Hank reveals he's an ex-soldier and claims he's married, but the man shows him his wallet with a condom inside. Hank doesn't want to talk about it, so he's shot in the leg. In pain, he admits he has sex with men at truck stops and claims he's Smith if he'll stop shooting, but the man kills him. Noreen asks him, and he says he just came in to get something to eat and "just snapped".
He tells Noreen that killing people isn't his job, it's a hobby, no matter what information they have, he'll get it out of people, one way or another. John (handcuffed) after being threatened, admits to be Smith and turns the questioning around, revealing the man is ex-military booted out because of psychological issues and for being mentally unstable. With the situation now reversed, the man bargains with John, who refuses to let him go without all the money. Smith tells him that if he takes the money and runs to any part of the country, the mob will find him and kill him.
The man panics, kills the couple, and tries to shoot John, at which point Noreen comes from behind and cuts his throat. John asks Noreen for the key, but she takes the handgun, not trusting him, as she knows he won't go to prison because of his mob connections. John taunts her, saying she doesn't have the guts and that she's out of bullets. He also tells her that her life is meaningless, that she's afraid of change, and she agrees with him. But Noreen, good at counting, knows and proves she has one left, killing John. Rather than calling the police, Noreen takes the money and runs, despite Smith's warning.
- Michael Madsen as Doe
- Harold Perrineau as John Dixon/Smith
- Amber Benson as Noreen
- Jake Busey as Greene
- Danny Trejo as Jimmy
- Kevin Gage as Hank
- Lew Temple as Lonnie
- Patrick Durham as Patron #1
- Lindsey Axelsson as Starr
- Talan Terriero as Billy
The film performed poorly with a 14/100 rating on the review aggregator website, Metacritic. Furthermore, on Rotten Tomatoes the film received zero positive reviews based on seven sample write-ups.