Cold Blooded

Director: Wally Wolodarsky
Screenwriters: Wally Wolodarsky

Institute History

  • 1995 Sundance Film Festival


One of the common perceptions, even verities, about the nature of American independent production is that it lacks a sense of humor. That’s just one of the reasons why Wally Wolodarsky's Cold Blooded is such a pleasure to discover. First-rate comedies are rare, regardless of what arena they emerge from, and Wolodarsky's feature debut is exceptional for its fine writing, performances, timing, and above all for its black humor.

Cosmo, played perfectly by Jason Priestley, is a low-level bookie who is suddenly promoted to be a hitman—an offer he can’t refuse. Placed under the supervision of an experienced professional, Steve (in a hilariously restrained performance by Peter Riegert), Cosmo discovers that he has an innate ability: he’s the perfect, unemotional, talented killer. And his natural flair for his job quickly establishes him as someone invaluable and leads to requests for his services. But it also leads to a dilemma, for as he attempts to enjoy a social life, indeed to fall in love, he must confront the inevitable limitations that his profession imposes.

Absolutely terrific dialogue; deliciously perverse, dark sensibilities; and a biting, yet romantic, wit and style make this debut film an absolute must. Additional plaudits go to the female leads, Janeane Garofalo and Kimberly Williams.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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