Film Commentary [4-19-00]
Corruption on the Border - - Across the Line
Genre: Drama/thriller
Grade = B

Grant Johnson (Brad Johnson) is the Sheriff of Maverick County Texas. His brother Ty (Marshall Teague) runs the county. Grant is facing a tough re-election bid against the local hispanic used car dealer.

Miranda (Sigal Erez) is a Guatemalan woman who has fled her country with her brother and cousin from the clutches of the Guardia National because she made the mistake of standing up to the owner of the sweatshop where she worked. In her attempt to get across the border, she hides in a RV. The couple that owns the RV accidently witness the murder of drug dealers by corrupt members of the Border Patrol and Ty. They are caught and horrifically murdered to keep them quiet. Miranda witnesses the whole thing. Fleeing the RV she arrives in town and gets a job at the local cafe.

The bodies of the couple are soon discovered and the shocking murders of a couple on vacation hurts Grant's reelection efforts even more. He accepts his corrupt brother's help and gains a suprise victory. Attracted, Grant asks Miranda to dinner. She soon learns her brother and cousin have been framed for the murders and confesses what she has seen. Grant must now face that fact that his brother is not just corrupt, but a murderer as well.

This is a fairly professional production written and directed by Martin Spotle (a New Yorker) and cowritten with the star Sigal Erez. It is actually pretty derivative of Lone Star a much better film that deals with the exact same issues of illegal immigration, police corruption and racial change of the population along the Rio Grande.

All though virtually everyone in the film was an unknown, one suprise was the appearance of Adrienne Barbeau as woman in the RV who gives the most animated performance in the film. Brian Bloom gave a suprising good performance as the corrupt Border Patrol agent in both his viciousness and his comarodary with his green partner. There were two nude scenes of the star that were entirely obiligatory and were obviously tacked on for the sole purpose of having nude scenes. No correlation with the story at all. They could have at least made the effort to blend them into the story. But perhaps that was too much to hope for.

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