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Killer in Red – A man walks into a bar and something noir happens

This is a short film produced by Campari as a commercial (though certainly a very stylish one) for its cocktail Killer in Red. The film imagines where the cocktail comes from and what the story behind its name is.
The script was written by Paolo Sorrentino – who also directed the short – based on a story by J. Walter Thompson and is starred by Clive Owen, who appears as the main character in both timelines.

The frame timeline is set in our days. A man walks into a bar and orders a Killer in Red as he waits for a woman. Here, he gets the story of the drink, which originated back in the 1980s.
In the main timeline, set in the 1980s, Owen is the bartender who invented the cocktail… and who also has to offer a very dark story to go with it.

More than 170 actors were involved in this project, which beautifully recreates the spirit of the 1980s (it is certainly reminiscent of tv serials we kids of that time know very well) and uses dresses and customs original of the era.

It’s a good one, in my opinion. It is of course a sport for Campari (although very sophisticated) but it also stands nicely on its own as a short film. The story is strong and interesting, I was entertained from beginning to end. I really like the 1980s noir style, which is beautifully recreated. Clive Owen skillfully created a catalyst for both the timelines.

I enjoyed it very much.


Campari Red Diaris – Campari e il cinema
Fast Company – Clive Owen Stars In “Killer In Red,” A Stylish Noir Film–That’s Also A Campari Ad
Campari Group – The Story Behind Campary Red Diaries 2017 & Short Movie Killer in Red

Bad Taste – Ecco il video di Paolo Sorrentino con Clive Owen

Pinterest pin. The text reads, "Film noir - Killer in Red". The picture shows a still from the film portraying. Actress Caroline Tillette as the woman in red. She leans against a bar, with a cocktail in her hand. She wears a bright red evening dress that leaves her shoulders naked.
KILLER IN RED (Paolo Sorrentino) - Set in a high-end bar, the typically Sorrentino-esque noir sees Golden Globe winner Clive Owen move from ordinary man to take on the guise of Floyd, a notorious bartender back in the early 1980s, as Clive’s character imagines the story behind the creation of the eponymous cocktail creation, the Killer in Red.


  • Margot Kinberg
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 04:20

    Oh, that does pack a punch. It’s very stylishly done, and tells a good couple of stories, too. Thanks for sharing.

    • Post Author
      Posted May 29, 2017 at 07:35

      Loved it. When I saw it, I knew I had to share 🙂

  • Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 17:04

    Hi Sarah – certainly an impressive movie … interesting … I think I’ll be remembering this for a while to come … great share – cheers Hilary

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