Saturday, November 27, 2010


Well, it starts off with some promise. Right off the bat, a naked Nadia Capone molests her ex-city cop husband Robert whilst he twitches through nightmare memories of accidentally shooting a prostitute in peril. Apparently, the killing turned Bob into a bed wetter, and he's since relocate wife and children to a farm house, far away from the "terrible" thing he's done. Robert’s actually a cold skinned douche, presumably altered after taking another life, though this idea is never properly explored. He’s lost touch with his wife, and in his spare time he’s diddling his blowhard deputy partner’s significant other. Prior to learning all this, we’re introduced to Skull, a supposedly badass serial killer with an eye patch who’s absolutely terrified of the dark.

Conveniently, Robert and his partner have been assigned the task of transporting Skull and two of his cronies after a botched prison escape. En route, they spot a female motorist in distress, and since Robert is a philandering asshole he decides to pull over and get her digits. But this scene is just a clever trap schemed up by Skull’s woman, who frees the prisoner who flee in a hail of gunfire.

Skull and company stumble upon Robert and family’s farm and stake the joint out. The deputies make way back the house and get trounced by the convicts. Robert decides to play possum and builds some makeshift armor ala Ned Kelly. From there, he picks off Skull’s lackeys one-by-one, leading up to an ultimate showdown with the one-eyed ringleader.

All in all, this is a fairly painless 70s-styled action revenge flick, with both good and terrible things about it. The bare bones story itself is solid. Skull, with all his twitchy quirks, is an enjoyable update of the film noir villain. Robert’s ultimate armor-clad revenge is well played out. But one of the main problems here is that Robert is almost as unlikable as the men terrorizing his family. Even after he ultimately redeems himself by saving the day there’s still not much to the guy. The bad things about this movie may very well be better than the good things though. This thing is peppered with plenty of “what the fuck” moments. The dialog in particular is so random and inopportune at times that it’s pretty fucking hilarious. For example, as Robert and his deputy Neil make way back to the farmhouse, Neil laments:

Neil: Why the hell’d you have to go and buy a barn so far out for?

Robert: I wanted to be near the hot springs.

Neil: No hot springs around here.

Robert: I was misinformed.

The villains are tapped from the vein of unintentional hilarity. Sure, they may take turns raping and beating their victims like typical “Death Wish” heavies, but their use of James Cagney vernacular makes them seem less threatening. In particular, Skull’s abuse of the word “copper” nearly reduces him to mere cartoon.

Not great, but it certainly redeems itself when things go to hell. Despite whatever the director’s intentions may have been, this certainly will appease connoisseurs of cornball action flicks.

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