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Outside Ozona

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The ironies in this gently comedic and gory thriller, which takes place over the course of one night in the career of a serial killer, are gorgeously contrived and--rare among recent genre benders--not the sole point. The lives of the killer, a reluctant late-night DJ, and several travelers on a Texas interstate who happen to be listening to his call-in show converge at plot points that are idiosyncratic as well as self-consciously generic; writer-director J.S. Cardone demonstrates a gift for enlivening conventions other filmmakers barely seem to realize they're exploiting. With Taj Mahal, Robert Forster, Kateri Walker, Kevin Pollak, David Paymer, Penelope Ann Miller, and Meat Loaf. Esquire. --Lisa Alspector

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.

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