Mute Witness (1995)
April 4, 2024 9:37 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] Billy (Marina Sudina) is mute, but it hasn't kept her from becoming a successful makeup artist. While in Russia, working on a film directed by her sister's boyfriend, Andy (Evan Richards), Billy finds herself trapped in the studio one night and is horrified to see a snuff film being made. Billy escapes and, with the help of her sister, Kate (Fay Ripley), alerts authorities about what she saw. Unfortunately, in doing so, she makes an enemy of the Russian mafia, who funded the snuff film.

Also starring Alec Guinness, Oleg Yankovsky, Igor Volkov, Sergei Karlenkov, Aleksandr Pyatkov.

Written, directed, and produced by Anthony Waller. Cinematography by Egon Werdin. Edited by Kert Vandermeulen. Music by Wilbert Hirsch.

83% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Now streaming in the US on Shudder. JustWatch.
posted by DirtyOldTown (6 comments total)
A few things:

1) I remember this as an absolute banger, but I have not seen in it 20+ years, because it wasn't really available. I hope it holds up.
2) There's an amazing looking special edition coming from Arrow in June and I pre-ordered mine. Best guess is the Shudder one is from that print. I'm gonna wait and re-watch via Blu Ray though.
3) ALEC GUINNESS CAMEO. Sort of funny, actually as Guinness filmed his scene for Waller in 1985 as a favor to a young filmmaker.
4) Keep in mind that this movie is up to 83% fresh on RT despite being released during an era where a certain percentage of regular film critics still routinely posted reviews of horror movies that complained the genre even existed. Although Ebert thought it was good.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:45 AM on April 4 [1 favorite]

I also remembered it as a VHS banger in college, and watched it again like... 10 years ago? So, I'm still going of hazy memory, but I felt it held up pretty well. Maybe I should revisit it again.
posted by mrphancy at 10:08 AM on April 4

Is this actually horror (due to...the murder?), or is it more of a thriller (as the Russian mobsters chase her)?
posted by wenestvedt at 10:42 AM on April 4

I'd say more of a thriller, really, but the Venn diagram of horror and thriller is subjective.
posted by mrphancy at 10:49 AM on April 4 [2 favorites]

I'm just rewatching now. This is going to sound weird, but I found the extended gaslighting sequence with the killers and the police harder to watch than the murder.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:49 PM on May 31

On rewatch, I really enjoyed this, but the movie shifts in an odd way about halfway.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:34 AM on June 1

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