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The Handler

USA 2021
produced by
Anthony Cally, Michael Matteo Rossi, Mike Huq (executive)
directed by Michael Matteo Rossi
starring Chris Levine, Rachel Alig, Tyrone Magnus, Cathy Baron, Matt H. Erdems, Michael Pashan, Adam Carbone, Tim Banks, Jazsmin Lewis, Mike Dargatis, Ego Mikitas, Maddison Bullock, Kelly Pantaleoni, Rachel Swindler, Courtney Richardson II, Rene Abelar, Amor Sanchez, Andy J. Carlson, Natalie Byrdsong, Terrell Dixon, Eduardo Lezcano, Francesco D'Onofrio, Scot Wade Cain, Juan Jose Dubon, Shailyn Herrera, Ed Cali, Mbuyamba Tshimanga, Vincent Fiorenza, Aram Sahakyan, Brian C. Burton, Chris Pozzi, Misiluti Salelesi, Narek Nersisyan, Tanner Robertson, Jedidiah James
written by Michael Matteo Rossi, music by Grant Kirkhope, stunt coordinator: Matt H. Erdems, visual effects by James Poirier

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Ryker (Chris Levine), an ex-marine turned hitman for the mob, wants out. Thing is, his boss Vinnie (Michael Pashan) won't have any of this - but he doesn't just want him dead, he wants to punish him before dying, and since he knows Ryker has risked his life getting a certain bag, he sends out his footsoldiers to try to get that bag - even if he doesn't even know what's in it. So Ryker hides out in a mansion he has equipped for defense, armed to the teeth with weapons provided by his sister (Carhy Baron) and best friend (Tim Banks), and waits for Vinnie's people, who seem to come at all hours of the day and night, sometimes on their own but more often in groups, and they try to take out Ryker - but to little avail, as Ryker has used his experience in the battlefield to be prepared for almost all eventualities - and thus Vinnie runs out of personnel over time, fighters and gunmen and -women whose bodies Ryker burns in his backyard. But Vinnie has other ways to get to Ryker, through his wife (Rachel Alig) or his army buddy (Adam Carbone) ...


If you're into brutal action flicks, you're bound to like this one, as it has plenty of fights and shoot-outs, and the bodycount is well into the double digits (28 according to the IMDb, which sounds about right). However, The Handler is more than just a shoot-em-up, as it has a certain existentialist note to it, also represented in the bag that everyone's after, and hints at certain plot elements that are never spelt out suggest a much bigger and deeper picture than just a bunch of guys and girls fighting it out. But despite all the extra layers, this is a movie where the tension stays high throughout, and the fight scenes are all well-choreographed and executed, making this one pretty cool piece of genre entertainment.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD