The sell-by date on Pulp Fiction knock-offs was about 1999, but the makers of Ten 'til Noon apparently didn't get the memo -- this is another one of those movies in which an erudite mafioso holds a gun on someone for what seems like forever, all the while making with the faux-profound verbalizing like a second-year philosophy undergrad. Unfortunately, the film's problems go a lot deeper than that. The premise, which is hidden for as long as director Scott Storm can possibly hide it, is that a businessman inventor named Larry (Rick Wasserman) is being rubbed out by what seems like the West L.A. mob because his corrupt partner wants to take over the company, and has made a deal with the mob to bump off Larry. You see, Larry is the brains behind the company, so killing him will drive down the company's stock price and let the mob and the corrupt partner buy the company cheap. There are so many illogical things in that premise that I hope I don't have to pinpoint them.

The only question we have to answer about Ten 'til Noon is whether it rises to the level of bad-good, or is merely bad. I'm tempted to say that it makes the grade on that front, because it's fascinating to watch no-name, Cinemax-ready actors being forced to put on these very specific, mannered characters and recite dialogue that no human being would ever speak. I'm thinking in particular of 'Miss Milch,' a suited hitwoman character played by Jenya Lano. Miss Milch clearly doesn't know what she's doing in this picture any more than I do, but she affects a haughty, corporate vice president demeanor that is supposed to give her character some kind of edge as she goes about spilling exposition in the second act. All of the characters in the film are, like Miss Milch, put ons, and so is the film's stuck-in-neutral morality. There's a big body count, but some of the deaths are played for laughs, while others I think we're actually supposed to care about, although it's sometimes hard to tell which is which.