Perry Mason: The Case of the Killer Kiss (1993)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale in Perry Mason: The Case of the Killer Kiss (1993)

Farewell

Daytime soap opera 'Mile High' is extremely popular but like with most soap operas not everything is running smoothly behind the scenes. It's star Mark Stratton (Sean Kanan) does what he like and makes sure any co-star who doesn't play ball when it comes to his advances doesn't stay on the set for long. So when actress Kris Buckner (Genie Francis) finds herself being forced off the show she claims in front of everyone she could kill Stratton for what he is doing. And that is what she ends up being charged with when Stratton is killed following an onscreen kiss scene where he has an allergic reaction to walnuts. Fortunately for Kris she is an old friend of Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) and Della Street (Barbara Hale) who immediately agree to defend her in court.

If you were just a casual movie fan who stumbled across "Perry Mason: The Case of the Killer Kiss" you might watch it and think little of it. Here we have a formula driven TV movie, the same formula used in almost all the previous "Perry Mason" movies where someone declares they could kill someone only to end up arrested when that person ends up dead and then Perry Mason steps in to defend them. And as was always the case in these later "Perry Mason" movies he had Ken Malansky running around doing the leg work to investigate whilst he does all the thinking. The one semi-difference here is that Della Street turns out to be a fan of the soap opera much to the bemusement of Perry.

But fans of these "Perry Mason" movies will be well aware that when actor Raymond Burr signed on to do this series he was already battling liver cancer and this turned out to be his last movie, aired just 2 months after he died in 1993. And fans can see how ill Burr was whilst making this; his face was thinner, he looked tired and every scene he is in he is either sitting down or leaning against something due to him becoming weaker. But yet Burr despite his illness gave us the full Perry Mason and so one last time we had the charm, the intelligence, the craftiness and those looks of bemusement which made not only the character but also the entire series.

What this all boils down to is that "Perry Mason: The Case of the Killer Kiss" is on one level just a standard "Perry Mason" movie using the usual formula. But for fans it was a movie to admire the professionalism of Raymond Burr who despite being weak from his battle with cancer managed to make this movie and deliver the performance that fans of Burr's and Perry Mason loved.

Tags: TV Mystery Movie Crime Solvers, Perry Mason


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