The Mean Season (1985)

Film and Plot Synopsis

A burnt out Miami reporter named Malcolm Anderson experiences a revitalization in his career when an article he writes about the unsolved murder of a local teenager garners him both fame and an unwelcome admirer: a man who insists he’s the perpetrator. Engaging in a precarious alliance with the individual known as the “Numbers Murderer,” Malcolm gains access to chilling information in exchange for continuing to cover the story. However, this unconventional partnership takes an unexpected turn when the murderer fixates on Christine, Malcolm’s girlfriend.

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‘The Mean Season’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
The Mean Season (1985)In the 1985 film “The Mean Season,” Kurt Russell portrays Malcolm Anderson, a reporter for the Miami Journal who is exhausted and yearns to leave the bustling city to run a small-town newspaper in Colorado. His girlfriend, played by Mariel Hemingway, is unhappy with their situation. Unfortunately for Malcolm, his plans take a dark turn when he’s assigned to cover the murder of a teenage girl.

Malcolm, accompanied by his photographer (Joey Pants), goes to the crime scene, where he encounters Andy Garcia, who plays a stereotypical posturing detective. After Malcolm writes his story, the killer contacts him, expressing admiration for his writing and revealing plans to commit four more murders, with Malcolm as the conduit for his story. The killer provides regular updates, claiming the victims will be chosen at random.

Malcolm becomes entangled in the dilemma of reporting the news while becoming part of it. Two elderly individuals become the next victims, and Malcolm, along with the police, arrives at the scene to discover their bodies. With four of the five victims accounted for, the pressure intensifies as other reporters include Malcolm in their stories, dubbing him “the inside man.”

Malcolm’s girlfriend becomes increasingly distressed about his interactions with the psychopath. The killer calls again, revealing the location of the next victim in the Everglades. There, they find a mother, leaving only one male victim to complete the series of murders.

A lead takes Malcolm to interview a man named Mike Hilson, who falsely claims knowledge of a similar series of murders in Wisconsin. However, it’s later revealed that Hilson made up the information, embarrassing Malcolm and forcing a retraction. Worse yet, the man Malcolm interviewed in the trailer park turns out to be the actual killer, Alan Delour, who set Malcolm up.

Delour informs Malcolm that he’s become too prominent and threatens Malcolm’s girlfriend’s life. Malcolm rushes to save her at her school, where Delour poses as a substitute teacher. However, when the police and SWAT team converge on the Everglades, Delour realizes he’s trapped and commits suicide.

Malcolm and his girlfriend are finally safe, planning to leave Miami for Colorado. But in a surprising twist, Delour reappears with a gun, revealing that the body in the Everglades was a decoy. A violent confrontation ensues, and Malcolm ultimately shoots and kills Delour.

The film concludes with Malcolm and his girlfriend back at the newspaper office, where he writes his final story, bringing closure to the harrowing events.

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Our Rating

Orion Pictures released The Mean Season on February 15, 1985. Phillip Borsos directed the film starring Kurt Russell, Mariel Hemingway, and Richard Jordan.

User Rating: 2.95 ( 2 votes)
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