Viva Las Nowhere
**/**** Image B+ Sound B Extras B
starring Daniel Stern, Patricia Richardson, Lacey Kohl, Sherry Stringfield
screenplay by Richard Uhlig and Steven Seitz
directed by Jason Bloom
by Walter Chaw A bizarre cross between Psycho, Something Wild and Tender Mercies, Jason Bloom's Dead Simple is one of those derivatively named direct-to-video productions that attempts the black comedy genre with a reasonable amount of aplomb and wide-eyed enthusiasm. It's a Very Bad Things farce of escalating atrocities, and though Dead Simple never achieves the kind of sustained comic brilliance and continual nastiness of that movie, it does manage a few edged moments and keen performances from a cast that includes legendary bug-eyed hambones Daniel Stern and James Caan.