Coming to Blu-Ray & DVD Combo pack from director Sam Raimi, writers Ethan and Joe Coen along with SHOUT! Factory comes the 1985 comedy CRIMEWAVE.

This film tells the story of Vic Ajax (Reed Birney), a security man who is on death row for a crime he swears he didn’t commit. While on his way to the electric chair he re-tells his story of Donald Odegard (Hamid Dana) and Ernest Trend (Edward R. Pressman).

This company hired Ajax to put in cameras for safety. What happens next is not in his plans. While trying to woo cutie Nancy (Sheree J. Wilson) away from smooth talking Renaldo also known as “the Heel” (Bruce Campell) mayhem is happening!

Helen Trend (Louise Lassiter) keeps an eye on the shop and notices that Odegard is still at work. Sending her husband Ernest to check it out he finds nothing. That’s because The Exterminators have been there already!

Faron Crush (Paul L. Smith) and Arthur Coddish (Brion James) aren’t your average everyday exterminators. Yes, they get rid of bugs and pests…and rats of the two-legged variety. As Ajax begins to put the pieces together there is only one thing left to do…

…wait for a car full of nuns!

FINAL WORD: Birney is endearingly stupid as Ajax. Just a guy who is in love with a girl who’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. You know, things that happen every day! Birney holds his own to the very end with the innocence needed to pull this off.

Wilson is very cute as Nancy although I thought I was going to hurl when she became all doey eyed over Renaldo…really girl?

Pressman as Trend is a twitchy fellow and probably made so by his wife Helen played by Lassiter. Its nice to see her again as I fondly remember her from the MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN days of yore.

Campell is a complete schmuck in this role and does it so well. Playing the part of the womanizer with his one lines and creepy mustache – okay, it made me laugh!

The bad boys here are Smith and James. What’s even funnier is that Smith ends up playing a most atrocious villain in MIDNIGHT EXPRESS so perhaps this was his start. James also became somewhat of a bad guy in several films including ENEMY MINE (a personal favorite) and THE FIFTH ELEMENT (again a personal favorite).

Other cast include: Richard Bright as Officer Brennan, Antonio Fargas as the Blind Man, John Hardy as Mr. Yarman, Emil Sitka as Col. Rodgers, Hal Youngblood as Jack Elroy, Sean Farley is Jack Elroy Jr., and Richard DeManincor as Officer Garvey.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give CRIMEWAVE three tubs of popcorn out of five. This is a pretty funny nod to the crime noir films that I use to watch on Saturday afternoons. Granted they weren’t meant to be funny then but Raimi and the Coen’s have taken all that should have been funny then and added it here to CRIMEWAVE.

It is goofy and reminds me of a word I haven’t heard in many years – zany! Raimi makes quick work of the film not dragging it out. The writing is perfect for the 80’s and if you don’t take yourself to seriously then this is the film you should be watching.

SHOUT! Factory has more to offer of your favorite genre’s and you can see them all at

In the end – extermination is not just a business; it’s a way of life!

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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.

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