On the Dark Side

Hollywood’s infatuation with Jim Thompson’s gritty novels continues: “The Kill-Off” is now in a one-week run at the Monica 4-Plex to qualify for Oscar consideration.

The year’s third Thompson adaptation--following “After Dark, My Sweet” and “The Grifters"--it was actually filmed back in early 1989 but couldn’t find a distributor until now.

“It’s a little film, and it’s a dark film,” says writer-director Maggie Greenwald. “It was a tough sell.”

Produced for under $1 million by Films Around the World and distributed by smallish Cabriolet Releasing, “The Kill-Off” is about nasty types who populate a New Jersey resort village.


Greenwald, who made her directorial debut with a direct-to-video comedy, “Home Remedy” (1986), will next direct Thompson’s “Savage Night,” about a reluctant hired killer, for Laurel Ent. on a $5-million budget.

“Some people consider them a male terrain,” she says of Thompson’s tough characters and scenarios. “But I don’t think that the dark side of life is exclusively male. Besides, he wrote some terrific female characters.”