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Selection for the Weekend of
July 21 - 23, 2000

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     The Minus Man

This is one of those films where you either get it or you don't. Frankly, I liked it for all the reasons that others will run away. Think of this film as American Psycho without all the glamour.

Owen Wilson is Vann - a nice guy who works at the post office, is well liked by his landlords (Brian Cox and Mercedes Reuhl) and seems to have found love with a sweet lady at work (Janeane Garofalo). However, he is a demented drifter who likes to kill people. That doesn't get you far with the ladies. 

Vann feels a strange duty to kill off those who aren't happy with their lives. He's responsible for many murders, but he has never been caught. Lately, he has been getting more daring, breaking his own rules and leaving more clues.

Will Vann be able to control his murderous ways in this small town? Will he get caught?

Owen Wilson is the Wilson brother who can act. He is amazingly eerie and creepy in this film. While making the character appear to be harmless, even likable, Wilson hides Vann's psychotic need to kill. When it springs up, it shocks you every time.

Once again, Janeane Garofalo puts in a great acting performance. I have professed my admiration for Janeane many times on this site, but she continues to make good films and give strong performances. Here, she plays Ferrin - the lonely, single gal at the post office who thinks she has finally found a nice guy who is just as quirky as she is. It is sad to watch her fall deeper and deeper for yet another guy who will break her frozen heart, but that's because Janeane creates a likable, sympathetic character. She is your best friend who never finds the right person to fall in love with.

Will you get it? Besides a horrible use of Dwight Yoakum and another actor as detectives who exist only in Vann's mind, The Minus Man is a quiet, eclectic film that eases you into its dementia. Director Hampton Fancher avoids a driving soundtrack to create a film that sneaks up on you. If you want a loud, scream-filled horror film like Friday the 13th, go elsewhere. This one excites your brain, not your auditory senses.

If you like weird, offbeat indie films, get daring and rent The Minus Man.

Grade: A-

Directed and written by Hampton Fancher

Based on a novel by Lew McCarthy


Owen Wilson …………………Vann

Janeane Garofalo …………….. Ferrin

Brian Cox ……………………. Doug Derwin

Mercedes Ruehl ………………Jane Derwin

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