REVIEWS: Action & Thrillers — July 19, 2011 at 6:57 am

REVIEW: Carnival of Wolves (1996)

“Carnival of Wolves” is not really an action movie, to me it seemed more of a crime thriller type of film. This supposedly was a U.S.-Japanese production, as the director is Japanese, and our lead is also Japanese (Toshiya Nagasawa).

The story is simple: Four strangers (war veteran Bob (Mike Norris), unemployed musician Kuroda (Toshiya Nagasawa), street preacher Johnny (Stoney Jackson), and a local bartender Sergio (Forrest Montgomery) agree on robbing a local casino, and as usual, everything goes wrong (although they do manage to rob the place), and soon they are hunted down one by one by the Japanese, who own the casino.

As far as the acting goes, its pretty mediocre, but in this particular case, you actually care for the characters. And for me, personally, it was a pleasure seeing a film with so many familliar faces.

Aside from the mentioned “4 strangers”, there’s also an eye-candy Gail Harris as the stripper, “One-Eyed Jack” played by everyone’s favorite Sonny Landham (who was starting to slowly get out of shape, yet in this film looks somewhat okay), and Joe Estevez (who looks cool in almost every film he’s in) as the bar owner.

The film was obviously a low-budget production, however the more you watch on, the less you think about it. In fact, the story of the movie is something that can happen anywhere in the world – a bunch of nobodies, losers, strangers team up for something, something that will someday lead them to either big money or big troubles.

One thing is when you’re broke and have to earn even a little money, and the other when you’re broke, and greed for “fast money” simply takes you over, and you cant control it. This is when the troubles start knocking on your door.

As the story of the film develops, we get to see how these four strangers (after they manage to rob the casino) split the money, and what they do with them.

In the unexpected ending of the film, we see that sometimes its better to walk away from something shiny, rather than burning yourself to death. The ending soundtrack of the film is absolutely fantastic, and sad. If you can find this movie, give it a try.


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