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''Crime Wave'' is a 1985 film directed by John Paizs.

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''Crime Wave'' is a 1985 Canadian independent comedy film directed by John Paizs.


This very odd movie stars Eva Kovacs as Kim, a 13-year old girl in rural Canada. Kim is excited when Steven Penny (John Paizs) a would-be screenwriter of "color crime movies", moves into the apartment over the garage. Kim imagines that Steven is a Hollywood big shot, but Steven is an utterly incompetent writer. He keeps coming up with various ridiculous scenarios for his movie ''Crime Wave'', with idiotic beginnings and absurd endings, but can't come up with a middle.

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This very odd movie stars Eva Kovacs as Kim, a 13-year old girl in rural Canada.[[UsefulNotes/{{Canada}} Winnipeg, Manitoba]]. Kim is excited when Steven Penny (John Paizs) a would-be screenwriter of "color crime movies", moves into the apartment over the garage. Kim imagines that Steven is a Hollywood big shot, but Steven is an utterly incompetent writer. He keeps coming up with various ridiculous scenarios for his movie ''Crime Wave'', with idiotic beginnings and absurd endings, but can't come up with a middle.


* LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand: The town of Sails has been fenced off by the Center for Disease Control, so Steven starts walking through the corn fields, detouring around the road block. An energetic "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" plays over the soundtrack. But it's ten miles, and as it grows dark and Steven starts getting tired, the song slows down, coming to a cacophanous halt as he collapses.

to:

* LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand: The town of Sails has been fenced off by the Center for Disease Control, so Steven starts walking through the corn fields, detouring around the road block. An energetic "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" plays over the soundtrack. But it's ten miles, and as it grows dark and Steven starts getting tired, the song slows down, coming to a cacophanous cacophonous halt as he collapses.collapses.
* MetafictionalTitle: "Crime Wave" is the title of the screenplay Steven is attempting to write.


* WritersBlock: Steven has a bad case of it.

to:

* WritersBlock: Steven has a bad case of it.it.
----


* {{Retraux}}: The film wavers between ultra-low budget 1950s crime movies and ultra-low budget 1950s [[InstructionalFilm Instructional Films]]. But either way, the film is made in a deliberately crude, old-fashioned style, with artless lighting and hammy, wooden dialogue that was dubbed in post-production.

to:

* {{Retraux}}: The film wavers between ultra-low budget 1950s crime movies and ultra-low budget 1950s [[InstructionalFilm Instructional Films]]. But either way, the film is made in a deliberately crude, old-fashioned style, with artless lighting and lighting, hammy, wooden dialogue that was dubbed in post-production.post-production, and a score to match.


* ShoutOut: Steven shares a story of how he once borrowed a camera from the Creator/NationalFilmBoardOfCanada, only for the camera to be destroyed in a car wreck, costing Steven $2000. (This is something that really happened to John Paizs.

to:

* ShoutOut: Steven shares a story of how he once borrowed a camera from the Creator/NationalFilmBoardOfCanada, only for the camera to be destroyed in a car wreck, costing Steven $2000. (This is something that really happened to John Paizs.)


* LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand: The town of Sails has been fenced off by the Center for Disease Control, so Steven starts walking through the corn fields, detouring around the road block. An energetic "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" plays over the soundtrack. But it's ten miles, and as it grows dark and Steven starts getting tired,

to:

* LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand: The town of Sails has been fenced off by the Center for Disease Control, so Steven starts walking through the corn fields, detouring around the road block. An energetic "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" plays over the soundtrack. But it's ten miles, and as it grows dark and Steven starts getting tired, the song slows down, coming to a cacophanous halt as he collapses.


[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/b10d31e0_b83a_4998_8e16_a4743131ebec.jpeg]]



* TheVoiceless: Steven never speaks. One scene has has Steven staring off into space. After he stares at nothing for a while, Kim says "This is where Steven had a crisis of faith."

to:

* TheVoiceless: Steven never speaks. One scene has has Steven staring off into space. After he stares at nothing for a while, Kim says "This is where Steven had a crisis of faith.""
* WritersBlock: Steven has a bad case of it.


* BrandX: One of Steven's rejected ''Crime Wave'' drafts has the protagonist couple getting rich selling "Allway", which obviously is supposed to be glorified pyramid scheme Amway.



* CaptainErsatz: One of Steven's rejected ''Crime Wave'' drafts has the protagonist couple getting rich selling "Allway", which obviously is supposed to be glorified pyramid scheme Amway.



* {{Retraux}}: The film wavers between ultra-low budget 1950s crime movies and ultra-low budget 1950s EducationalFilms. But either way, the film is made in a deliberately crude, old-fashioned style, with artless lighting and hammy, wooden dialogue that was dubbed in post-production.

to:

* {{Retraux}}: The film wavers between ultra-low budget 1950s crime movies and ultra-low budget 1950s EducationalFilms.[[InstructionalFilm Instructional Films]]. But either way, the film is made in a deliberately crude, old-fashioned style, with artless lighting and hammy, wooden dialogue that was dubbed in post-production.

Added DiffLines:

* AmazingFreakingGrace: The version of ''Crime Wave'' that finally makes Steven a star has him reciting the lyrics to "Amazing Grace" as Jesus appears, right before Steven kills himself.


Added DiffLines:

* CatapultNightmare: And apparently also PsychicLink, as Kim catapults out of bed with her nightmare of C. Jolly trying to kill Steven, which is exactly what's happening as Jolly is trying to kill Steven.


Added DiffLines:

* LaughingMad: C. Jolly's insane cackle when he finally meets Steven.
* LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand: The town of Sails has been fenced off by the Center for Disease Control, so Steven starts walking through the corn fields, detouring around the road block. An energetic "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" plays over the soundtrack. But it's ten miles, and as it grows dark and Steven starts getting tired,


Added DiffLines:

* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: The oddly specific last two lines of the cheery theme song that closes the film.
--> "Steven is almost happy\\
As sane as you or I."


* CanonWelding: In what may be an ImagineSpot or may be a DreamSequence or may be ThroughTheEyesOfMadness, one scene has Steven hanging out with all the fictional characters from his widely different drafts of ''Crime Wave''.
* CaptainErsatz: One of Steven's rejected ''Crime Wave'' drafts has the protagonist couple getting rich selling "Allway", which obviously is supposed to be glorified pyramid scheme Amway.



* {{Fanservice}}: In the draft of ''Crime Wave'' that involves selling "Allway" products, the husband and wife are discussing their scheme. The wife is topless for no reason at all.
* InsistentTerminology: Per Kim, Steven doesn't write movies. He doesn't write crime movies. No, he writes "color crime movies".
* {{Narrator}}: Kim narrates the story, and she pretty much has to, seeing that Steven never talks. Several of her scenes have her looking straight at the camera in a peculiar manner as she does.
* OffscreenCrash: Steven's first draft for a ''Crime Wave'' movie ends with the Elvis impersonator crashing his car offscreen, flying through the air, and getting impaled on a telephone pole.
* PunkInTheTrunk: How C. Jolly is carrying the corpse of his latest victim around.



* RunningGag: All of Steven's insane ''Crime Wave'' movies.



* ShoutOut: Steven shares a story of how he once borrowed a camera from the Creator/NationalFilmBoardOfCanada, only for the camera to be destroyed in a car wreck, costing Steven $2000. (This is something that really happened to John Paizs.



* StrictlyFormula: Steven only seems to come up with one kind of premise. Some groups of people are engaged in some unusual activity--celebrity impersonators, direct marketing sales, self-help books. A hero "from The North!" shows up and beats them all at it, but the hero commits some sort of ghastly violence in the process. Then the cops show up, and the hero/heroes die violent deaths. And he can't even find a middle for his formula.

to:

* StrictlyFormula: Steven only seems to come up with one kind of premise. Some groups of people are engaged in some unusual activity--celebrity impersonators, direct marketing sales, self-help books. A hero "from The North!" shows up and beats them all at it, but the hero commits some sort of ghastly violence in the process. Then the cops show up, and the hero/heroes die violent deaths. And he can't even find a middle for his formula.formula.
* SwarmOfRats: How depressed is Steven? When Kim and her parents enter the apartment, Steven is lying on the bed, apparently starving himself to death, while rats swarm around the place eating the food Kim left for him, and eating bits of Steven too.
* TheUnsmile: C. Jolly's terrifying rictus grin.
* TheVoiceless: Steven never speaks. One scene has has Steven staring off into space. After he stares at nothing for a while, Kim says "This is where Steven had a crisis of faith."

Added DiffLines:

''Crime Wave'' is a 1985 film directed by John Paizs.

This very odd movie stars Eva Kovacs as Kim, a 13-year old girl in rural Canada. Kim is excited when Steven Penny (John Paizs) a would-be screenwriter of "color crime movies", moves into the apartment over the garage. Kim imagines that Steven is a Hollywood big shot, but Steven is an utterly incompetent writer. He keeps coming up with various ridiculous scenarios for his movie ''Crime Wave'', with idiotic beginnings and absurd endings, but can't come up with a middle.

Kim develops a schoolgirl crush on Steven and encourages him, but Steven still can't come up with a middle for his movie. Steven is at his lowest ebb when Kim finds a classified ad offering screenwriting help, placed by one C. Jolly. Steven joyfully goes off to meet Mr. Jolly, but it turns out that Jolly has something up his sleeve.

The above description doesn't really convey how weird this movie is, with the hammy acting, the rictus grins, the nonsensical plot, the dime-store special effects...if Creator/EdWood and Creator/DavidLynch had ever made a movie together, ''Crime Wave'' would be that movie.

Not to be confused with ''Crimewave'' (one word), a Creator/SamRaimi film that was also released in 1985.

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!!Tropes:

* DiabolusExMachina: Steven and Jolly are supposed to meet in the prairie town of Sails. They can't, because when they get there Sails has been closed off by the CDC, apparently because some sort of plague or biotoxin is in town. This has nothing to do with anything other than to provide a reason why Steven and Jolly meet in a Kansas cornfield instead of in the town.
* {{Retraux}}: The film wavers between ultra-low budget 1950s crime movies and ultra-low budget 1950s EducationalFilms. But either way, the film is made in a deliberately crude, old-fashioned style, with artless lighting and hammy, wooden dialogue that was dubbed in post-production.
* SerialKiller: C. Jolly likes to kill folks. He has a trussed-up victim in his hotel, and later he chucks the corpse in a trunk. And he is clearly about to kill Steven when he's run over by the couple in the truck.
* ShowWithinAShow: All Steven's ridiculous ''Crime Wave'' movies.
* StrictlyFormula: Steven only seems to come up with one kind of premise. Some groups of people are engaged in some unusual activity--celebrity impersonators, direct marketing sales, self-help books. A hero "from The North!" shows up and beats them all at it, but the hero commits some sort of ghastly violence in the process. Then the cops show up, and the hero/heroes die violent deaths. And he can't even find a middle for his formula.

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