The ironies in this gently comedic and gory thriller, which takes place over the course of one night in the career of a serial killer, are gorgeously contrived and–rare among recent genre benders–not the sole point. The lives of the killer, a reluctant late-night DJ, and several travelers on a Texas interstate who happen to be listening to his call-in show converge at plot points that are idiosyncratic as well as self-consciously generic; writer-director J.S. Cardone demonstrates a gift for enlivening conventions other filmmakers barely seem to realize they’re exploiting. With Taj Mahal, Robert Forster, Kateri Walker, Kevin Pollak, David Paymer, Penelope Ann Miller, and Meat Loaf. Esquire. –Lisa Alspector

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): film still.