Retroactive (1997)

Louis Morneau directs Jim Belushi, Kylie Travis and Shannon Whirry in this woman caught in a timeloop with a Texan psycho killer she hitches a ride with.

Groundhog Day. Triangle. The Endless. More often than not a hero stuck on repeat for 90 minutes makes for pretty glorious popcorn. I’m gonna make a few bold statements. While nowhere near as gold standard as the Bill Murray classic, this is an action thriller variation on that theme which sits comfortably on the silver podium. In my experience the best direct-to-video release ever. I remember renting it from Variety Video in Greenford and it was well worth the £3.50. Sexy ladies, dusty road mayhem, high octane explosions, Outer Limits-style sci-fi trappings. It is a film that marinated in my memory banks as a low budget blast ever since. And half my life further down the line it actually exceeded my fond expectations. A couple of great 90s character actors pop in and out. Shannon Whirry, queen of the VHS Basic Instinct rip-off, here keeps her clothes on for once and is just as hot and unpredictable. Kylie Travis lacks star power but is equally pleasant on the eye, her de-facto heroine making things hella worse every time she gets another shot at trying to make things right. The script evolves the peril and the urgency with neat twists each respawning. But man of the match is Jim Belushi. Yeah… I know… unqualified praise for the lesser Belushi sibling! Often an obnoxious comedy presence in middling fare, he kinda settled into being a DTV big fish with hokey thrillers like Traces of Red and Gang Related once his box office power dwindled. This though is his finest hour as an unctuous man in black, ready to kill and quick to temper. He proves a constant threat for our pneumatic avatar… the kinda villain you love to hate. 88 Films are selling this on Blu-Ray currently and if you like B-Movie carnage of the stamp of The Hitcher or Hard Rain then Retroactive is a tenner well spent. A risk I concede as nobody seems to sing this forgotten gem’s praises but I’ll vouch that it genuinely is a supercool night in!


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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