Six Ways to Sunday

Six Ways to Sunday goes way beyond the tragic bond between family such as Norman Bates and his mom

In the history of film the sickest mother-son relationship has always been that of Norman Bates and his mom. Six Ways to Sunday goes way beyond this tragic bond between mother and son. Harry (Norman Reedus) is a twenty something young man that still lives with his mother Kate (Debbie Harry). She brings control to new depths. She still bathes Harry, controls the light switch to his room and structures every aspect of his life. Harry soon finds himself becoming involved with a Jewish mobster Abie (Peter Appel) and finds a career he can really get into. After taking a horrible beating from the cops rather than talk, Harry finds himself in the growing good graces of the mob boss and is soon on his way to becoming a full time mobster. Along the way Harry becomes infatuated with the maid of the boss, Iris (Elna Lowensohn) and is soon of the verge of falling in love. The problem is his mother refuses to let go and Harry has a serve split personality that we see at first as a completely different character. (Anyone remember Fight Club?) What ensues is a jumble of plot twists and predictability where you spend most of the film wondering where you have seen this before.

The cast in Six Ways to Sunday is actually quite good for such a B movie. Reedus does an excellent job as the confused and belabored Harry. If he can be this good in Six Ways to Sunday, I would actually like to see him in something a bit better. The part of Iris could easily have been little more than window dressing but Elna Lowensohn does bring some dimension to her character. As the crippled maid she combines the shy young woman with one that wants love and physical contact. For fans of cameo appearances look closely for Vincent Pastore form HBO’s the Sopranos as Uncle Max. Debbie Harry is certainly not Blondie anymore. As Kate she is controlling, manipulative and scheming. Unfortunately, her performance is rather flat and uninspired.

The director, Adam Bernstein certainly has done better and worse in his career. He was responsible for the travesty ‘It’s Pat’ but he has also directed episodes of Oz, Homicide: Life on the Street as well as Strangers with Candy and the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. He has potential but he needs to work on being a bit more selective in the scripts he selects. The cinematography was all right but again it’s been done before and done better. The action does move along at first but drags a bit towards the end. His history of directing half hour and hour-long TV shows has not prepared him to maintain the flow of a feature length film.

Typical of A-Pix the mastering of Six Ways to Sunday was excellent. Even the darkest scenes were clear and free from any artifact. The sound was well mixed and used the rear channels better than many films of more notable distinction. For those with a taste for strange you might enjoy Six Ways to Sunday, otherwise I have to recommend skipping it.

Review by Doug MacLean of

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