short takes (1)

The Fan begins with a lot of class, in the person of Lauren Bacall. But the filmmakers have little on their minds except a series of gory thrills, which flood the screen with a regularity that's as precise as it is depressing. Bacall plays a Broadway star with a lot of admirers, including a psychotic young man who falls in love from afar, then decides to punish her "indifference" with murder. The apparent similarities to the recent killing of John Lennon point up the sad validity of this plot -- and underscore the need to treat it with far more insight than director Edward Bianchi and his colleagues show here.

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