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Charades (film)

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Genre  Drama, Mystery
Language  English
5.3/10 IMDb

Director  Stephen Eckelberry
Costume design  Marian Ceo
Country  United States
Charades (film) movie poster
Release date  December 17, 1998
Writer  Richmond Riedel (story), Karen Black, Richmond Riedel
Genres  Thriller, Mystery, Black comedy, Erotic thriller, Crime Thriller
Cast  Erika Eleniak (Monica), C. Thomas Howell (Evan), Jack Scalia (Barry), Karen Black (Jude), James Russo (Max Targenville), James Wilder (Quinn)
Similar movies  Animal (2005), The Familiar Stranger (2001), Charade (1953), Dark Delusion (1947), Ivory Tower (1998)
Tagline  One murder can ruin your whole day...

A man (Jack Scalia) is invited to a barbecue at his bosss house and realizes that everyone there has been invited for another purpose.


Charades (also known as Felons or First Degree) is a 1998 mystery/drama film. The film stars Erika Eleniak and C. Thomas Howell.

Barry is a down-and-out-guy who takes a job at the shipping department of Technoworks, a high-tech Yuppie company. He gets invited to the house of his boss Quinn, for a weekend afternoon barbecue with some of his boss's friends. The party gets weird, Barry plays a demented version of charades while standing on the picnic table, and the next door neighbor starts screaming racial slurs over the fence. When Jude, the widow of the ex-owner of Technoworks arrives, the plot thickens. Clues to past crimes are revealed, and the real reason for the party is discovered. But not before Barry beats the hell out of a tow-truck driver, screws the boss's wife and wreaks havok with the neighbor. And as the title suggests, before the day is over, we will discover who is the Felon, or perhaps the people at party are all, one way or another, Felons.

Film synopsis

Barry (Jack Scalia) works at the shipping department of a high-tech company called Technoworks. One day, he is invited to a barbecue at his bosss house (Wilder). At the party, the guests play a demented version of charades. Other strange things happen: the next door neighbor (James Russo) screams racial slurs over the fence, and the widow of the ex-owner of Technoworks arrives. As a result, we learn of a kidnapping scheme gone awry, a fight ensues, and the pieces of the puzzle start to come together to reveal who kidnapped and killed the former Technoworks boss, and why was Barry was invited to the party.


  • Erika Eleniak as Monica
  • James Wilder as Quinn
  • C. Thomas Howell as Evan
  • Kimberley Kates as Laura
  • Jack Scalia as Barry
  • Karen Black as Jude
  • James Russo as Max Targenville
  • Release

    The film was first released to video on December 17, 1998 in Iceland. The next year, the film premiered at the Austin Film Festival. On 1999, it was released to video on Germany and Japan.


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