Johnny Scardino is working for blackmailers, photographing wealthy guys in seedy motels. One such assignment turns the wrong way and blackmailers die one by one. Is Johnny the next on the list? Written by Anonymous
low-key but compelling
21 June 2004
I found Skidmarks absolutely compelling. Peter Gallagher plays a crime-scene photographer with a sideline of blackmailing men who take his prostitute friend to motels. Gallagher, whom I've not much liked in other movies, does a terrific job as the numb, depressed antihero, unaffected by the crime scenes and accident scenes he photographs until his fellow blackmailers start turning up as victims. The movie is full of deadpanned quips and black humor (e.g., the exchange between McDormand and Gallagher when she's trying to pick him up in a hamburger joint. McDormand, cool and tough: "Do you have a name?" Gallagher: "Yeah. Do you?") The film is not flashy enough ever to have made it big, but the plot and characters are utterly original and the acting is uniformly excellent.