Picks and Pans Review: Traces of Red

UPDATED 11/30/1992 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/30/1992 at 01:00 AM EST

James Belushi, Lorraine Bracco, Tony Goldwyn

This is a thriller that will have half the audience giggling in disbelief while the other half is heading to the exits. Belushi plays a Palm Beach cop whose testimony in a case involving a dead hooker has marked him for death. Someone is sending him threatening quatrains sealed with a vermilion lipstick print. While he and partner Goldwyn scratch their heads, dead female bodies keep turning up, faces and lips smudged with that same shade of red. There's little to go on—no clear motive, no fingerprints—but lots of suspects: a guy with a vendetta against Belushi for putting his brother in prison; Belushi's sometime lover, Bracco, a widow who is financing the Slate Senate race of Belushi's brother; even Goldwyn and his wife.

Traces of Red is primarily notable for its piling on of absurdities and witlessly hilarious dialogue such as "It's my fault an innocent woman went to jail. Don't think I don't think about it every day of my life." (R)

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