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Few Thrills, Little Mystery in the Routine 'Anacardium'


According to press notes for the dreary "Anacardium," the film's title means "cashew nuts," presumably in Latin. That is about the extent of the interest this boring would-be psychological thriller generates. It has the feeling of a deadly routine adaptation of a deadly routine play. The only mystery is how this film managed to get made; at any rate, it's strictly for the video store bin.

Chris, played by Richard Ruccolo, is an all-American type in his 30s who answers a want ad for a female roommate placed by Frank John Hughes' Rich, an auto mechanic from Chicago who has recently arrived in Los Angeles.

When Rich answers the door, Chris explains he's looking for a place to live on behalf of a female colleague. Once he has his foot in the door of Rich's archetypal, early '50s ranch-style home, Chris admits that he's actually looking for himself. Rich, a wiry, surly type, reluctantly agrees to take Chris as a roommate. For a few minutes, writer-director Scott Thomas manages to keep us wondering what's really going on beneath the surface.

But "Anacardium" is so talky and trite, such a tired genre retread, that there's no reason to care about what's happening or what's going to happen--and it doesn't get better as it goes along, even if there's a surprise twist at the finish.

Both Hughes and Ruccolo are solid professionals with substantial experience, mainly in television.

It's not their fault that "Anacardium" never comes alive.


Unrated. Times guidelines: There are scenes of standard genre violence.


Frank John Hughes...Rich

Richard Ruccolo...Chris

Laura Cayouette...Ashley

Sean Masterson...Lawyer

An MYL Entertainment and Anacardium Productions presentation in association with Americom. Writer-director Scott Thomas. Producers Mike Erwin and J. Max Kirishima. Art director Ernie Roth. Set decorator Mark Gannes.

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