Posts Tagged ‘Charles Bronson’

death wishIn all of the years that I have known about Charles Bronson and his films, I didn’t realize that for a long time he was not a star in the US, but in Europe which kind of surprises me. It wasn’t until the release of Death Wish in 1974 I believe that put Bronson on the map in the US. In this film, Charles Bronson (Once Upon A Time In The West) plays Paul Kersey, one of the top architects in all of New York City. He has everything going for him from a beautiful wife, a loving daughter, and a great job until his world gets severely rocked by tragedy. While grocery shopping, a couple of thugs (one of them is Jeff Goldblum) stalks, rapes, and kills Kersey’s wife and severely traumatizing his daughter. Upset over the fact that nothing has been done to fix the problem, Kersey will take matters into his own hands as he becomes a vigilante and starts cleaning up the streets of New York despite protest from the NYPD. The film also stars Hope Lange (Blue Velvet) as Joanna Kersey, Vincent Gardenia (Little Shop Of Horrors) as Frank Ochoa, Steven Keats (Black Sunday) as Jack Toby, Stuart Margolin (Kelly’s Heroes) as Aimes Jainchill, Jack Wallace (Boogie Nights) as Hank, Robert Kya-Hill (Shafts Big Score!) as Joe Charles, Edward Grover (Serpico) as Lt. Briggs, and the film was directed by Michael Winner (The Sentinel). Before we get into the review of the film, let’s check out some of the stats: 

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death wish 2There is nothing more I can really say about this film other than that it is a classic. I feel like this film took the vigilante/action sub-genre to a whole new level. The film made him an icon for the next 12 years as more and more sequels would eventually be released. In the film, he only has 11 kills/knockouts and there is no origin story that we know of in this film. As I described above, his wife is his love interest and she is killed and there daughter is in a mental hospital. There is actually no big boss in this film as he doesn’t go after Jeff Goldblum and the other thugs who did the actual crime. Upon the film’s release, critics tried to trash the film because they felt that it was going to corrupt society and how we should handle crimes on our city streets. Even the author whose book inspired the film was pissed off because the film advocated vigilantism and his books didn’t. Nevertheless, the acting in the film was superb, the cinematography was great and gritty at times, and there is nothing I can really complain about. This is one of those films that fans of this genre type should check out if they never have before. For the picture I used for the stats, I thought it was a cool moment in the film when he looks up at the billboard and sees the articles that are talking about him. I thought that was pretty cool symbolism considering he’s going out for one last time. For a final grade, I am going to give the film four fists out of five.

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Savage StreetsFor today’s Cheeseball Cinema film, I’ve been foaming at the mouth to be able to get a chance to see some of Linda Blair’s 80’s films since I had a huge crush on Linda Blair (Chained Heat) at one point in my life after seeing some pics of her in the 80’s. I’ve been waiting a long time to see the film Savage Streets which is a typical 80’s style vigilante action film that stars Linda Blair as the beautiful, but tough chick named Brenda. Brenda is just as caring as she is tough after all she has to constantly look out for her deaf sister Heather (Linnea Quigley) who was almost hit by some idiots in a gang called The Scars. After pissing her off over this, Brenda and her friends decide to get some revenge on the guys by stealing their car and trashing it which royally pisses off their leader Jake (Robert Dryer). In retaliation, Jake and the gang rape Brenda’s sister Heather and they kill her pregnant friend Francine (Lisa Freeman) which sets off a chain of events causing Brenda to declare war and revenge on the gang. The film also stars John Vernon (Fraternity Vacation) as Underwood, Johnny Venocur (Lord Of Illusions) as Vince, Sal Landi (Bulletproof) as Fargo, Scott Mayer as Red, Debra Blee (The Beach Girls) as Rachel, Ina Romeo (Escape From LA) as Stella, Luisa Leschin (Rain Man) as Maria, Mitch Carter (American Beauty) as Greg, Kristi Somers (Rumble Fish) as Valerie, Rebecca Perle (Not Of This Earth) as Cindi Clark, and the film was directed by Danny Steinmann (Friday The 13TH Part V: A New Beginning).

Linda Blair Savage StreetsI truly feel that ever since Death Wish with Charles Bronson was released in the US in 1974, that a lot of filmmakers felt that they could make some money with the Vigilante Action genre especially in the 80’s. You have to also remember that Class Of 1984 was released in 1982 and that was an amazing film that made the same kind of impact as Blackboard Jungle in 1955 and so you can see why Savage Streets was made. On of the things I always notice when watching a film for Cheeseball Cinema is the acting because it’s either too cheesy or just good enough and this film has to land in between both of those. Linda Blair tried to play this tough, bad ass bitch that you don’t mess with in this film while when her deaf sister shows up, you instantly see her soft side. Her character made more sense at times if the film was based in New York some where in the five boroughs. Other than that, the acting was actually pretty decent and the cinematography wasn’t too shabby either. One thing is for sure and that there is plenty of T&A and a really long scene that features a lot of ladies in the showers so you’ll be sure to enjoy it, but again I was more concerned in seeing the beautiful Linda Blair. The film does of course feature the scream queen herself right before what I consider to be her best role in The Return Of The Living Dead in Linnea Quigley and her world famous graveyard scene, but she does an amazing job in this movie playing the deaf and mute Heather. You can find this film on Youtube if you really want to check it out for yourself. On a scale of one being close to an A-List Hollywood film and five being the cheesiest film of all time, I am going to give the film a 2.4 for a final grade.

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