Death Wish (1974 USA)

Few motion pictures have the notoriety of Death Wish: short sharp slabs of repulsive, sadistic violence that linger in the memory along with a theme–if you like the film then you must be an advocate of fascist exploitation cinema, or if you don’t like it then you are a bleeding heart liberal. Critics of the time hated the picture, calling it irresponsible for advocating vigilantism. What the critics of the time failed to see, as the film became a huge commercial success, was that they had the luxury to sit in their comfy secure high rise apartments as the people of the streets lived in fear of stepping outside their homes. At least in large cities like New York. [Read more…]

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One Of The Best From 1982

Death Wish 3 (1985 US/Israel/UK)

When seconds count the police are only minutes away. Or hours. Particularly if you live in Detroit or Johannesburg. I mean, why even bother with laws, why bother with a constitution and why bother with a po-lice force? They only get in the way. What you really need to keep the streets safe is a big gun…and lots of bullets…and maybe a machine gun…and perhaps a rocket launcher too. Maybe that would have kept those people safe in London the other day. Have you ever seen a multi-racial gang in real life? Me neither, but in this flick whites, blacks & hispanics are all working together to tear down the hard work of New York’s ‘old people’.  [Read more…]

The Warriors (1979 USA)

a film posterThey look a bit like the Village People. Little did they know they would end up as an Xbox video game. Or that people in the future would view the savage brawl in the public toilet as not The Warriors against a rival gang of young thugs, but what appears to be some kids’ TV presenters (one of whom chooses to fight in roller-skates). You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a man dressed as a toddler hurled, upside down, through a wooden toilet door. But to give credit, this was a spot–on portrayal of New York in the 70s. The city was a mess, on the verge of bankruptcy. Many neighborhoods that are now full of $5 million apartments were war zones. One did not ride the subway at night and the gangs ruled most of the city’s turf.
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