Tuesday, May 10, 2011
You Know Why Death Wish 4: The Crackdown is Dynamite?
All this talk about the death of Osama Bin Laden has gotten everyone at One Fish & Spaghetti Plaza thinking about the nature of revenge and the justification of the use of lethal force.
Naturally the conversation turned immediately to one Paul Kersey.
By this point we at Fish & Spaghetti shouldn't have to continue telling telling you why the Death Wish franchise is easily one of Hollywood's greatest and most enduring franchises. The proof should be in the pudding.
Let's jump right in, shall we?
Released in 1987 when crack was the evil scourge de jour, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown was topical. Sure, now it's a happy time recreational drug used by television stars, but back then crack was something horrible that was found in the hood, that would rot your brain and something that white people were terrified that their kids would get into.
Sort of like how Tyler Perry movies are perceived today.
And in typical Death Wish fashion Paul Kersey begins the film as an architect leading a normal life. Well technically the film begins with a nightmare Paul has about his vigilante past, but we quickly see he's moved beyond that part of his life and has a new girlfriend.
But as anyone familiar with Paul's previous adventure knows, if Paul has a happy and stable love life tragedy can't be far behind.
It isn't. Paul's girlfriend's daughter meets up with her boyfriend in the gulliest arcade ever. Seriously, it's an arcade that's hysterically cartoonish in the amount of illegal activity going on. It's absurd.
Naturally she tries crack and overdoses. Paul decides to get back in the vigilante business and the story goes on from there.
I'd totally go into further detail, but I don't want to ruin any of the twists and turns. Believe me when I tell you that Death Wish 4: The Crackdown has enough twists and turns to make Inception look like a very special episode of Growing Pains.
However here are a few interesting tidbits about the flick;
Out of the five Death Wish flicks it's the only one that doesn't involve the rape, murder or any other act of violence against a woman in Paul Kersey's life. The catalyst of Paul putting his game face back on is because his girlfriend's daughter, Erica, overdoses on crack.
It's the first Death Wish to have a subtitle as part of the title.
It's the return of Paul Kimble the alias Paul Kersey used in the previous two Death Wish sequels.
It's the last Death Wish of the 1980's.
It features appearances by Mitch Pileggi (the narrator from Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed) Mark Pellegrino (Dexter's dead wife's baby's father on Dexter) and Danny Trejo who contributes awesomely to this scene;
I love how insistent he is that he's seen Paul before. Not only does he grab his arm and pull him down, but he asks if Paul's from San Francisco.
I love how the Paul, who's oddly not accustomed to lying, paints himself into a corner by declaring he's from Idaho.
I love how the other goon remarks that his brother is in Idaho. I'm trying to follow the logic, but I'm guessing that he's not really familiar with how large a state Idaho is.
I love how Paul full commits to his Idaho lie by claiming Boise.
And of course I love the special effects of what are clearly dummies being "blown up."
This scene is so funny that NewsRadio actually did an homage to it.
And that's why Death Wish 4: The Crackdown is dynamite.