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Johnny (Damon Lowry) has lost not only his money gambling but also that
of his girlfriend Kate (Charlotte Coleman), which would be bad enough as
it is (in fact se tosses him out), but then he also owes quite some dough
to the mob ... which means that before long, 2 gangsters are on his trail.
On the run, Johnny decides it would be a good idea to hire on as an
assistant for a punch and Judy act, run by Silva (Tom Waits) & Laura
(Julia Britton), where he can hide in a bear costume. And he finds
accomodations at an artists' supply store, run by cold-hearted Mrs J
(Isabel Ruth), who has for some reason shut down operations of the store,
but still has him help her keeping inventory every day, as a sort of
Soon, Johnny gets friendly with Silva, & especially Laura, but
Silva has some sort of mystery as well ...
When Johnny learns that the gangsters have raped Kate & thrashed
her appartment (both off-screen) to learn where he is (she didn't even
know), he wants revenge &, together with Silva, blows up their house
... but that doesn't help, soon the gangsters have found him (despite his
costume) & make an attempt on his life.
It turns out that Johnny & Silva are kindred spirits, as Silva,
once a prizeboxer, has gone into hiding too with his Punch and Judy show,
having stolen a mere 20 million Pounds from the mob ... but somehow Mrs J
has found out about Silva & blown the whistle on him ... 6 he is shot
dead - Why ? Because Silva consorts with Mrs J's daughter Laura, whom she
wants in the family business of running the artists' supply store.
Laura is not very pleased & thrashes the store.
Johnny is meanwhile found out by the gangsters & badly hurt, &
only Laura can save him from being killed as well. She takes him to an
airplane graveyard where they make love, but after that he sneaks out on
her ... & almost falls prey to the gangsters again, only to be saved
by ... Silva, of all people, who has only staged his death to escape the
mob for good, & now he fakes Johnny's as well, but on the condition
that he returns to Laura.
A blend of gangster film with the poetic aspects of street performers
... which despite some good sequences just doesn't come to life as the
direction seems to be unable to really bring the poetic aspects of the
story to life, so what could ahve been romantic or intended kitsch just
remains stale, deriving the fim of any real momentum, instead giving it
the I-wanna-be-an-art-film-look. A pity, rather.