A review of “Interview with the Assassin” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: ***

Rating: Unrated, but should be PG-13 for mature themes

Run Time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

 

 

The story of a lifetime or a paranoid crackpot seeking attention?  That’s the burning question haunting out-of-work TV cameraman Ron Kobeleski (Dylan Haggerty), whose reclusive neighbor requests an on-camera interview in order to reveal a deep secret involving a past crime.

And not just any crime. Ex-Marine Walter Ohlinger (Raymond J. Barry) claims to be the Grassy Knoll gunman, the second shooter on that fateful day in November, 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was brutally assassinated.  Ohlinger also claims he has proof, which leads Kobeleski and his source on a chase of increasingly peculiar proportions.

With an incriminating empty shell casing in hand, Kobeleski and Ohlinger dig into the soldier’s dicey past – interviewing ex-wives, unit comrades, and commanding officers to determine the truth.  From DallasDealey Plaza to Bethesda’s Naval Hospital and seedy motels in between, Kobeleski follows an ambiguous trail while yearning for the kind of story that can make his name (and fortune).

Shot in a herky-jerky, pseudo-documentary style, “Assassin” manages to maintain an air of mystery that’s reminiscent of cult favorite “The Blair Witch Project”.  Ohlinger’s claim might be the product of an overactive imagination, but there’s that omnipresent seed of doubt.  Could he be telling the truth?

The atmosphere is thick with conspiracy and the potential for danger. Paranoia breeds fear, and fear propagates anger. As the pressure mounts, the fusion of personalities goes combustible.  Character actor Barry works his grouchy geezer pose with aplomb – dying of cancer and anxious to come clean before his meets his maker.  Haggerty oozes the desperation of unemployment and a family to feed.  Amateurish filmmaking at its most compelling level.