Cinema: Gasser

Hollywood has put buzzers under theater seats, piped odors into the theater and sent ghosts jumping from the screen to sail over the audience's heads into the balcony. All that ingenuity cannot compare with the gimmick in Hard Contract. It is gas, cleverly concealed inside the dialogue by Writer-Director S. Lee Pogostin. For example: "God hardly ever comes to Madrid any more; he left with Picasso," and "Evil is a giant; good is when evil takes a rest."

Hard Contract's protagonist is a toothy, vicious gunman-for-hire named Cunningham (James Coburn). In the employ of an anonymous corporation whose business is murder, Cunningham...

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