Double Whammy is an absurdist crime drama; half Kafka, half Dirty Harry and half the Marx Brothers.
I didn't have to go too far for the absurdity. The film's central premise is based on very real events; a young schoolgirl in the Bronx hired two street thugs to kill her father because he wouldn’t let her get a tattoo.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed working with the basic elements of a crime story. There is a built-in thrill with the unexpected shifts in tone and tension that come with tales of crime and violence. To weave in the humor and satire was equally challenging and exciting.
Besides Denis Leary and Liz Hurley who had a great chemistry together, I had a wonderful cast of young actors who were relatively unknown. Melonie Diaz plays Maribel, the young schoolgirl who sets the plot in motion to kill her father, played by Luis Guzman. Donald Faison and Keith Nobbs play aspiring screenwriters striving to out-Taran Tarantino. Their total commitment was exhilarating. That kind of willingness is the greatest gift an actor can give a director.
Steve Buscemi makes his 3rd appearance in one of my films, playing Jerry Cubbins, a cop struggling with his sexual attraction to his partner, Ray Pluto (Leary). Chris Noth plays Det. Dimitri, Pluto's nemesis. Although Dimitri, is the bad cop in the film he is the only one to figure out who committed the crime.