Manhunter (1986)

For good measure, I revisited Michael Mann's MANHUNTER (1986), the 
lesser-known thriller that introduced the character of Hannibal 
Lector some years before THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.  Adapted from 
Thomas Harris' novel "Red Dragon," MANHUNTER centers on a FBI 
forensic specialist (William Petersen) whose ability to enter the 
mindset of a psychopath is renowned.  The plot has him returning to 
duty, months after a mental breakdown, to help catch another serial 
killer (Tom Noonan).   

MANHUNTER is less theatrical and, to a degree, less polished than 
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.  The sound recording is hideous and the 
editing is quite jerky at the end-- that weird, psychedelic finale 
set to Iron Butterfly's "In-a-Gadda-Da-Vidda."  Baby.  All of 
which, of course, translates into a vague unease that is arguably 
more disturbing than anything in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.

Pay attention to the cast and you'll see two comedians in straight 
roles:  Cabin Boy Chris Elliott and the guy who plays "Bulldog" on 
TV's "Fraiser."  In addition to Lector, played here by British 
actor Brian Cox, the characters of Jack Crawford and Dr. Chilton 
also appear in the next film.  And, for you trivia buffs, who is 
the only actor to appear in both MANHUNTER and SILENCE OF THE 
LAMBS?  Frankie Faison.  (Rated R, 120 min.)

Grade: A-

Copyright 1995 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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