Story: Jackie (Traci Lords) is a freelance photographer who is able to capture moments few others could manage, as she has little fear and will go wherever the story is, even if it means sometimes placing herself in harm’s way. When she follows a police pursuit too closely and finds herself in the thick of the chase, her presence winds up being quite timely, however. Jackie manages to lend a hand to Frank (Jeff Conaway), a cop that was caught off guard by the criminal he was chasing down. He then learns she is taking the police photos as part of her community service, after she was framed as part of a cocaine bust and to keep her son, she went along with the plea bargain. But when one of her photography sessions lands her in hot water, can she ignore a horrific act by a police officer, one she documented, no less, or will she have to take a stand?
Entertainment Value: As someone who appreciates PM Entertainment’s signature brand of action, I had high hopes for A Time to Die, but this one left me rather cold. The story is fine, but I went in wanting more action and over the top set pieces, but instead, this one takes a more restrained route. I still found some entertainment here, as there is some wackiness and awkward moments, but the tone was too dry and the pace a little slow. If the action could have been dialed up, even on a b movie scale and the camp value ramped up, A Time to Die could have been in line with PM Entertainment’s b movie classics, but that just doesn’t happen here. We end up with a lot of draw out dialogue, which is sometimes humorous, but just as often dull. The performances are also more serious, which some might prefer, but I tuned in for the b movie magic in this case. The cast has some fun stars however, with Traci Lords, Jeff Conaway, and Richard Roundtree in prominent roles and Conaway is a highlight, as he has goofy energy here and makes all of his scenes more fun. In the end, there is some fun to be had here, but I wouldn’t place this with my favorites from PM Entertainment.
There is some light sleaze in this one, with a few topless scenes and what has to be, easily one of the most awkward sex scenes ever. I’ll cover it more in the insanity section, but suffice it to say, it is jaw dropping and quite an odd choice from the filmmakers. A little blood during some of the shootout sequences, but not much. The violence is mostly action based, so there isn’t graphic content here, just your typical action movie style gun battles. The dialogue perks up the meter a little, as there is some fun stuff here, from awkward jokes to painful one liners to just strange writing. The cast doesn’t always run with it when the script gets a little bananas, but some do and those who are able to embrace the b movie vibes, it really enhances those scenes. On the insanity scale, we have to start with the aforementioned train wreck of a sex scene. Someone edited the sequence so that we are taken between naked bodies entangled in passion and a child eating breakfast. It is unsettling and beyond bizarre, so it certainly adds to the wackiness scale here. You can also see overly dramatic photo developing, a Kenny Powers lookalike, and and an erotic shooting range.
Overall Insanity: 4/10