Helmed by Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms, the neo-noir thriller film ‘Small Town Crime’ sets itself apart from other similar films through honest acting, a captivating small-town setting, a distinct brand of alcohol humor, and a gory storyline with ample deaths. Well, that may not sound too distinct, as there have been many tongue-in-cheek murder mysteries in the same vein, but this film is recognizable amidst the crowd.
The story follows a crestfallen policeman, who, in an attempt to attain redemption, teams up with two unlikely associates to solve a string of murders. Captivating to the core, the film unearths an atmospheric night-time underworld where the hands of law don’t reach, but most importantly, it is the hero’s gripping journey to salvation that makes the film worth watching. The ending ties things up in a neat way, but if you still have some questions, we can understand why that may be. Let us delve into the final moments of the film in greater detail. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Small Town Crime Plot Synopsis
Mike Kendall, an ex-policeman, spends most of his days on guilt trips and drunken stupor. His “problem with alcohol,” as he puts it, is not something new, but things have worsened after his expulsion from the police force, and he struggles to land a job. Mike’s only family is his adopted sister and tenant Kelly and her husband, Teddy. In a flashback, Mike and his senior partner Burke hold up a car, the hostage retaliates with gunfire, and Mike is too drunk to take control of the situation. The senior officer and the man are dead, and there is another body in the trunk of the man’s car. And the death is linked to Mike, but of course.
After one of his drunken night patrolling, Mike wakes up at a field with a hangover, cursed with the sight of an incarcerated girl lying on the side of the road. She is still breathing, and Mike rushes her to a hospital, where he is visited by two of his old colleagues, Scott and Pete. They want to keep Mike away from the case because of his terrible track record, while Mike is eager to jump on the case. Mike goes to a carwash to erase traces of blood from his vintage car, where the washer finds the phone of the victim.
Mike gets a call on the phone and comes to know that the name of the girl is Kristy. After getting to know the surname of the girl from Scott, he goes to pay a visit to the family, taking on the alias of Jack Winter. He introduces himself to the family as a private detective who wants to take the case pro bono because of his previous association with Kristy. However, Kristy, who was a drug addict and a prostitute, is hated by the parents even after her death, so they don’t want any investigation on their porch.
Taking note, Mike goes to meet Kristy’s grandfather Mr. Yendel, who is sold by Mike’s ostensible conviction and commitment to the job. Following the trail of the bar stamp on the back of Kristy’s hand, Mike goes to the bar and meets a hooker called Heidi. Mike asks Heidi about the girl, and meanwhile, another girl called Rose is killed by the same assailant. He is kidnapped by Mood the pimp with the help of Heidi.
But Mood does not have the slightest idea about the killer. After the disappearance of another girl called Ivy, the connection of the murders with the bar becomes apparent, but as a couple of devilish psychopaths go on a killing rampage, all hell breaks loose. At this tense juncture, Mike must save his best friend and brother-in-law Teddy from the clutches of the killers with the help of his motley team. While the boys’ encounter with the hitmen sprawl out of control, things pan out neatly in the end. But a few questions remain.
Small Town Crime Ending: Who Wants to Kill the Girls?
After being certain about Randy’s involvement in the case, Mike goes to press Randy into divulging the location of Ivy. As it turns out, Randy has a fling with Ivy, and he is keeping Ivy in a safe house to protect her from the thugs. Mike has a hunch that the girls are facing the wrath for something of their own doing, and upon his request, Ivy discloses the whole plot. All the prostitutes of the bar are underage, and when a group of rich real estate folks visits the town, the girls go to serve these men while secretly capturing the whole incident on tape.
The girls use the tapes to blackmail the three real estate guys. After getting to know about the plot, Randy joins and shelters the girls while they manage to procure a hefty amount of a hundred and forty thousand dollars from the real estate guys. But all good things come to an end, and the girls fall prey to their own scheme. The real estate folks sense that they cannot put up with the girls for too long and hire a pair of skilled and ruthless gunmen, choosing to eliminate the prostitutes one by one.
In the finality of the events, two of the real estate guys are captured from their US residences. The third, a guy called William Ritter, owns a boat, and we get to know that he has sailed to Mexico. Needless to say, the US law enforcement does not have jurisdiction, and it would take a minimum of six months to arrange the paperwork needed for the extradition process. Does he get away with the murders, then? If you sit through the ending, you would know that justice is delivered.
While the police cannot do much, Scott gives Mike the location of William Ritter. Apparently, he has been hiding in an old fishing village a couple of miles south of Costa Maya. In the ending moments of the film, it seems that Mike’s life is slowly turning around. He gives the qualifying examination for private investigation and kick-starts his career. But we get no news of William. However, in a post-script scene, Mr. Yendel and Mood approach a guy lazing on the beach. As they address him in a slightly intimidating way, it seems that William Ritter gets his due.
Is Ivy Alive or Dead?
You may have guessed the answer to this question already. Ivy is kept hidden by Randy to save her from the henchmen. They escape in a car but are tailed by the henchmen, who then shoot Randy down. Mike is also injured, but so is one of the henchmen. It seems that Ivy has survived the ordeal, but a call from Teddy’s number changes the equation. The thugs have captured Teddy, and as they tell Mike to choose between the lives of Teddy and Ivy, he is conflicted between duty and family.
He decides to keep Ivy in Mr. Yendel’s house. In the final bloody encounter with the henchmen, he takes a doll instead, putting Teddy’s life in danger. In the finality of the bloodbath, Mike, Teddy, Yendel, and Mood are heavily injured, but the henchmen are at least put to rest. At the same time, we get the idea that Ivy lives unscathed.
Read More: Small Town Crime Filming Locations