Jason Patric in After Dark My Sweet as Kevin “Collie” Collins

Nobody saw it.
Nobody saw him acting
like he was acting
like he was acting
like he was crazy.

The drifter escaped from an institution
and made his way to Indio, CA.
He was a boxer who killed a man
in the ring
in the flashback
in the middle of the movie
in the middle of nowhere.
He gets roped by Bruce Dern
into a mad scheme
to kidnap a rich boy for ransom.
He’s the driver who actually
puts his hands on the kid.
It’s creepy.

But creepiest are his outbursts
as they’re trying to lay low.

Quickly he overtakes his accomplices in instability,
kicking over tables and screaming
“What’s it gonna be?”
He’s a ticking time bomb of Noir.
Patric’s facial stubble carries
75% of the movie.

He’s totally unhinged and dangerous.
This is the guy from The Lost Boys
who went toe to toe with Kiefer.

The scene right before he dies
is a masterwork of whacko soliloquy.
He explains how he’s been faking madness
in order to get by in life,
bouncing from institution to institution.
“You keep leaving clues,
“And nobody ever gets wise.”

But in confessing
faking it
he transcends it in intensity.

Nobody saw it.

Jesse Hilson is a newspaper reporter living and working in the Catskills in New York State. His writing has appeared or will appear in AZURE, Maudlin House, Deracine, Pink Plastic House, Rejection Letters, Close to the Bone, Windows Facing Windows, and others. His novel WET UP is slated for publication in April 2022 by Close to the Bone. He can be found on Twitter and Instagram @platelet60

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