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The Traveling Executioner


What an odd jolt!

Rod Lott October 14th, 2011

Between 1977's "The Squeeze" and now 1980's "The Traveling Executioner," Warner Archive singlehandedly is keeping alive the legend that was Stacy Keach: that before too many bad choices and one coke arrest derailed his career, the actor was quite the screen sensation.

thetravelingexecutioner

With an old-timey setting that belies its subject matter, this odd-as-oddball black comedy casts Keach in the title role, traversing early 20th-century America in his Dutch-boy haircut and portable electric chair, going wherever the death-penalty gigs take him.

Rather than be menacing, he sends his clients off to death with — well, yes, a fatal dose of dosage, but calming talk of "fields of ambrosia." He also likes his whores.

Keach commands and demands your attention, but also earns it, chewing the fat of his unconventional anti-hero. Marianna Hill ("The Godfather: Part II") also makes quite the impression as the woman Keach falls for. I get it. —Rod Lott

 
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