Movie Information

David Saich's Scapegoat plays for one show only at the Fine Arts Theatre on Thursday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m.
Genre: Crime Thriller
Director: David Saich
Starring: Ben Puckett, Daniel Clancy, Cory Boughton, Jason Garcia, Paula Orr
Rated: NR

When local writer-director David Saich handed me a copy of his debut feature Scapegoat, he told me, “If you get a review in the paper before it screens, I’d appreciate it,” then added, “Unless you hate it. In that case put it in after its shows.” That was a possibly wise—albeit unworkable—idea; but as it turns out, he needn’t have worried. Scapegoat is one of the best, most stylishly made, and cleverest movies by a local filmmaker that’s ever crossed my path. It’s also one of the best acted (even Channel 13’s John Le acquits himself pretty nicely in a cameo role) and photographed. It’s a story about a man, John Capra (Ben Puckett), who specializes in manipulating evidence and will even take the fall for whatever crime you’ve committed—for a fee, of course. The premise is clever enough, but the development and convoluted nature of what happens when a really big score comes his way is even better. Is it perfect? No. It’s a little too long for its own good, for one thing. For another, that horribly generic title does it zero favors. But it’s all in all a pretty terrific little movie. See it.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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One thought on “Scapegoat

  1. swilder

    I hope this film gets more than the one showing I attended. There was a technical problem with the disc early on, and I felt really bad for Dave. But once the glitches ended, the audience enjoyed really great movie. I say that not because I know Dave and all the work he put into this effort, but because this film is far better than many I have seen with Multi-million dollar budgets. This movie proves that bigger is not always better.

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