If Mr. Wizard had been a Quinn Martin Production, it would have been “The American Side” (2016). Filmed in modern-day Buffalo but layered in 1970s TV detective show grit – right down to the vinyl-roofed 1973 Dodge Dart Swinger the protagonist drives – this film tries very, very hard to be cool without looking like it. It’s the movie version of the dude that spends 45 minutes on his carefree-looking hairstyle. It’s knockoff Members Only jackets, strippers and photographic blackmail versus electroshock therapy, death rays and secrets hidden in the waters around Niagara Falls. Whodunit? Done what? The murder or the scientific theory?

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