Film Review: ‘The Poison Rose’

It is 1978 in the City of Angels and the hard-drinking washed-up sleuth Carson Phillips is having another boozy day through its atmospheric streets.

There is a hint of innate coolness and self-deprecation in his elongated voiceover intro — you might even briefly mistake Carson, played by a one-note John Travolta, for a Philip Marlowe or Jake Gittes type.

But “The Poison Rose,” an astonishingly listless neo-noir wannabe from director George Gallo (writer of 1988’s “Midnight Run”), is not the deliberately poor “Chinatown” imitation it starts off as — that could have been perversely daring, maybe even somewhat entertaining.

It in fact becomes something a lot worse, when Carson heads to Galveston, Texas, in search of a missing person, at which point, viewers are taken hostage by this mix of mysterious exes, confusing accents, and desperately labored plotting.It all starts promisingly enough, with an attractive femme dressed in a seductive pose and

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