1998 / Director. Albert Pyun. Movie # 32
Albert Pyun told me that POSTMORTEM was amongst the films he's most proud of because it was one of his few exercises in mainstream filmmaking. It proved to people that he wasn't just a B-movie director and he was capable of breaking free of that mould. It is by far his most accessible film and possibly one of his more controlled and restrained. Charlie Sheen stars as a retired American forensic detective living in Scotland. He lives in a remote house isolated from people, struggling to escape the demons of his previous case. Shortly after a tabloid TV program attempts to muckrake him he receives an obituary via fax of a girl who's still alive. The next day she is found dead in his yard and he is arrested for her murder. As the bodies pile up he is dropped as a suspect and asked to lend his expertise on the case. POSTMORTEM plays out very nicely. It's an understated film and underrated. During the mid to late 90s after a decade of bankable titles and before he made his big comeback on television, Sheen hit a slump and pumped out a string of direct to video releases. Movies like BAD DAY ON THE BLOCK, NO CODE OF CONDUCT, LETTERS FROM DEATH ROW and of course POSTMORTEM. No surprises when I say that I actually like those films and POSTMORTEM is easily the best. It has a decent script, a good story and solid performances. Notable actors such as Gary Lewis, Stephen McCole and Ivana Miličević lend extra confidence and combined with a dreary Scottish atmosphere and good cinematography it strikes a chord. It feels very much like an instalment of PRIME SUSPECT and could be easily mistaken for one. When it comes to Albert Pyun's films I prefer him working in a cultish B-movie realm but a film such as this goes a long way in subduing his critics. It is slightly overlong with an inflated end-scene but that's about as far as I'd want to go with criticisms. I have seen POSTMORTEM a few times and it's strength far outweighs it's negatives.
Terrible American trailer. Does the film NO justice!