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Wait Until Dark, October 2011

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Two grifters (Zach Grey and Bill Mullen) think they have been brought to this apartment by their partner, Lisa, but she's not there.  She was supposed to give them their share from the latest caper. They are joined by the eerie Harry Roat (Konrad Rogowski) who tells them Lisa will not be coming.  He says they are to work a con on the real occupants of this apartment.  It seems Lisa gave a doll, stuffed with heroin, to a man she met at the airport.  The apartment has been thoroughly searched, but the doll is missing.
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Harry convinces the grifters, to be known as "Mike Talman" and "Sergeant Carlino," to co-operate, seeing as they left their fingerprints all over the place.  They are interrupted by the arrival of Suzy Hendrix (Karen Balaska).  From their hiding places, "Mike" and Roat discover that Suzy is blind.  (Oh, by the way, Lisa is dead.  Remember that rug Roat brought in?  It's to help remove her body from the bedroom closet.)
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Suzy's photographer husband, Sam (Danny Viets), wants Suzy to maintain her independence.  She heard about a woman's body being found in the area and she's nervous, but Sam insists he has to go out-of-town to meet a client. After Sam has left, Mike arrives and tells Suzy he's an old friend of Sam's.  Mike's small talk is carefully planned to make Suzy believe it.  Suzy shares some of her concerns being on her own at this time.
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Mike leaves, promising to return later, as Gloria (Emma Rucci) comes in.  Gloria does errands for Suzy, such as get groceries.  Today, Gloria is being particularly argumentative, and she deliberately knocks items to the floor, which Suzy has to hunt to find. Gloria relents and sullenly helps pick up.  Immediately after she leaves, a strange old man bursts in making accusations about the man who lives here.  He snatches Suzy and Sam's wedding photo and runs out, claiming he now has the proof.
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Mike returns to a frightened Suzy and offers to call the police, but he really calls his cohort.  "Sgt. Carlino" soon arrives, but what he tells her doesn't make Suzy feel better.  Carlino says the police suspect Sam is involved in transporting drugs.  He searches the apartment, looking for the evidence—a doll filled with heroin.  After Carlino leaves, Mike says if they can find the doll and get rid of it before the police find it, they won't have a case against Sam.
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Adding to Suzy's doubts, Roat arrives, claiming to be the son of the man who stole Suzy's photo.  Roat tells Suzy that "his father" has seen Sam in the company of a young blonde.  After Roat leaves, she and Mike search the apartment thoroughly without success. With Suzy out of the apartment, we learn why the doll is missing: Gloria had seen the doll and, thinking they had gotten it for her, taken it upstairs.  She returns it, planning to tell Suzy it was there all along.
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Suzy doesn't buy it, but she also doesn't completely buy the stories she's been told about Sam.  After hiding the doll, she asks Gloria to help sort things out by watching the phone booth across the street from upstairs. Sgt. Carlino returns and demands to see inside a locked cabinet in the apartment.  Suzy refuses to do so if the sergeant does not have a warrant.  He leaves, saying he'll be back with a warrant shortly.
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When Gloria tells Suzy that Carlino went into a nearby van after calling someone from the phone booth, Suzy realizes that even Mike must be lying to her.  When Mike comes back, she tells him she knows where the doll is.  Carlino and Roat silently listen as Suzy tells Mike the doll is at her husband's studio a few blocks away.
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When Mike (and the others) leave, Suzy and Gloria prepare a defense.  Chemicals in the flower vase, and all the lights in the apartment put out. Suzy sends Gloria to smash the light in the hall corridor and then go to the bus terminal to meet Sam and tell him what's happened.
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Mike returns from his wild-goose chase to a single-light apartment.  Mike has actually grown to admire Suzy's courage and smarts, but before he decides to just leave and be done with it, Roat suddenly appears and stabs him in the back.  He's already run over Carlino with a car, so why not? Roat terrorizes Suzy with threats of burning down the apartment, but just as it seems Suzy has surrendered, she throws the chemicals in his face and attacks Roat.  She has her own knife, and all the lights in the apartment are out, but is that enough?
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Sam arrives, along with two policemen (Mark Proulx and Casimir Strasdauskas) and Gloria.  One of the policemen goes to help Suzy get up but Gloria stops him, saying she can do it all by herself.

1   Jerry Zalewski photo
2   L J Bilansky photo


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