Mercy (1999)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Ellen Barkin, Julian Sands, Wendy Crewson, Peta Wilson
Extras: Theatrical Trailer, Talent Files

A serial killer is lose in the streets and he is working in a circle of sexually experimental women. Detective Catherine Palmer has to dive into this erotic underground to pick up the trace of the killer she is seeking. Slowly she closes in on the suspect but before long, she falls for the killer too, and a highly-charged erotic relationship between killer and victim spins off. The result is an erotic thriller that is dark and brooding, yet also seductive.

Columbia TriStar Home Video has included an widescreen version and a fullframe presentation of the movie on this DVD. Presented in a transfer that is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets, as expected the image quality is of the highest quality, but also the open matte full screen transfer features a very good image quality that boasts a good level of definition. Although the film exhibits a bit of grain in select scenes, the DVD creates a very pleasant and stable image that is highly detailed. Colors are strong and nicely delineated with natural fleshtones. The blacks are deep and solid without breaking up, giving the image a good visual depth. Highlights are balanced and never overexposed, adding to the natural look of the movie. The compression is without flaws and no compression artifacts are visible.

’Mercy’ features a Dolby Surround audio track that is well produced and makes good use of the format’s capabilities. The scenes with more action are energetic and highly dynamic, while quieter scenes create a good and subtle ambience to emphasize the settings. Dialogues are well produced and always understandably integrated in the overall mix. The film features a good music score that never gets in the way of the story and helps to build the tension and suspense that is required for the plot, yet also manages to be playfully seductive at other times.

The premise of ’Mercy’ is gripping and exciting, giving the film a good start. The characters are also nicely defined, and the film has some steamy eroticism packed into it. The pacing is good and the plot itself presents enough twists and surprises for the viewer to keep him engaged throughout the film’s running length. ’Mercy’ is not a perfect movie, but it is a solid thriller that is exciting and hypnotizing at times.