The Magic Hunter

In Budapest, a police detective who has accidentally shot a kidnap victim is offered a set of seven magic bullets. The catch: While the first six will go where desired, the devil gets to choose the target of the seventh. When he is asked to guard a visiting Russian chess expert who strikes up a heated flirtation with his wife, things get complicated. The Magic Hunter is based on the same legend that inspired Tom Waits' The Black Rider album and stage production a few years back. But where that work was at least partially a metaphor for drug addiction, this film, for which David Bowie served as an executive producer, serves as more of an exploration of the continuing influence of religious faith in contemporary culture, complete with flashbacks to medieval legends. Uneven and at times unintentionally comical—there's something about the image of the Virgin Mary running in slow motion beneath a busy overpass that works against any serious intent—The Magic Hunter is nonetheless an oddly compelling, never-dull film.

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