Robert Rath, who lives in Portland, Oregon, is a professional hit man. He does his business via the electronic superhighway, making contact by fax modem and collecting his money by wire transfer. Ten years ago, Robert fulfilled a contract to kill Russian crime boss Nicolai Tashlinkov. Now, Robert has been given a contract to kill crime boss Alan Branch, but someone else shows up and kills Branch, stealing the contract from Robert. Robert soon discovers that it was vicious rival hitman Miguel Bain who stole the contract. Bain is as ruthless as Robert is principled. Robert won’t fire randomly into a crowd, for fear of killing innocent bystanders. Bain treats civilians like they’re the next best thing to body armor. Robert is by now getting tired of killing people, so he wants to retire. But he decides to take one more job, the target being a Seattle woman named Electra, who is a surveillance expert and information thief who will be selling a floppy disk of stolen data to a group of Dutch buyers led by a man named Remy. Before Robert can do anything, Bain shows up and kills the four Dutch buyers. Robert, who has the disk, declares himself retired and becomes Electra’s protector because Bain is determined to kill Robert and Electra and get the disk.
Working briefly as an actor in the late 1950s, American director Richard Donner first wielded the megaphone for a group of TV commercials, then graduated to the weekly western Wanted: Dead or Alive. Some of Donner’s best early work was concentrated on the fantasy anthology Twilight Zone, including the imperishable 1963 episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” Donner also worked for Hanna-Barbera, directing several episodes of “Danger Island”, a component of the 1968 kid’s series The Banana Splits; there was, however, very little that was “kiddie” about “Mystery Island,” a hallucinatory symphony of hand-held camerawork. A film director since 1961 Donner turned to movie work full time with 1968’s Salt and Pepper. The Omen (1976), a demonic-possession opus, was Donner’s first major moneymaker, leading to his directing assignment on the first Superman film in 1978. Superman was popular enough to inspire three sequels, the first of which contained so much uncredited Donner-directed footage that… read more