Posts tagged "Robert Forster"

Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (Review)

Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence

Maniac Cop 3
1993
Written by Larry Cohen
Directed by William Lustig and Joel Soisson

Maniac Cop 3
The final chapter of the Maniac Cop trilogy is a disappointing finale that fails to live up to the standards of the prior two films, but does sort of make up for it with the last reel and the simply crazy stunts. While Maniac Cop 2 was Frankenstein meets The French Connection, Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence is Bride of Frankenstein meets The French Connection!

Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence had a lot of problems getting made. The original script from Larry Cohen focused on Santería rituals and had a black detective lead character. Funding for the film require presale rights money from Japanese distributors, who were very happy with the prior two entries and were mysteriously dragging their feet on this installment, but wouldn’t give the exact reason. When the suggest was made to bring back white actor Robert Davi, suddenly the Japanese distributor was on board for funding. So…yeah. That meant the script had to be heavily rewritten to switch out the character, thus changing some supporting characters. They started shooting with only 70 pages of script (which is ~70 minutes of film, but probably less), not enough for a full feature. The producers were frantically trying to add pages as production went on, and an increasingly distracted and annoyed William Lustig (who was also working on a different film as producer at the same time) was losing interest in Maniac Cop 3. This eventually lead to him leaving production and Joel Soisson stepping in to film the scenes needed to pad out the running time. Which means the Frankenstein theme extends to the film itself!

The padding is obvious in a few cases, scenes seem to go nowhere or go on far longer than they should, and a few others are repetitive and just repeat the same information or give us extra evidence certain people are jerks. It becomes a distracting mess, and Maniac Cop spends most of his time hanging around a hospital killing whoever stands in the way of saving his promised bride, another cop who was shot in the line of duty. She’s supposed to be resurrected as his bride, but he keeps characters from pulling the plug on her, which is sort of weird. Maybe the Santería priest who brought Maniac Cop back from the dead needed some time to recharge?
Maniac Cop 3
I saw Maniac Cop 3 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in their Bay Area Now 7 program, under the Invasion of the Cinemaniacs! heading, specifically the part curated by Jesse Hawthorne Ficks of Midnite for Maniacs, who hosted two William Lustig triple features (a sextuple feature?) spread across two days. All three Maniac Cop films screened on Saturday night, while Friday featured Maniac, Vigilante, and Hit List. William Lustig returned for the second night of screenings and gave some more entertaining Q and As, some of which is peppered into the Maniac Cop reviews.

Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence again takes place soon after the prior entry. The dirt is barely shoveled into Matt Cordell grave before he’s raised again by a Santería priest, who needs the Maniac Cop for “dark days” ahead. What exactly those dark days are, we will never know, because nothing like that happens.
Maniac Cop 3
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - August 23, 2014 at 7:45 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Vigilante (Review)

Vigilante

Vigilante William Lustig
1983
Written by Richard Vetere
Directed by William Lustig

Vigilante William Lustig
William Lustig does Death Wish with Vigilante! Vigilante follows a reoccurring Lustig motif, namely the entire system is corrupt and things can only get accomplished when you take matters into your own hands. Vigilante is the most extreme example, but the entire Maniac Cop series works under the premise the corrupt system framed the Maniac Cop, and even Hit List features police unable to protect people or legally bring powerful mobsters to justice. Vigilante says that what you can’t trust the cops and courts to do, you can trust guns and fellow angry citizens to carry out.

I saw Vigilante at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in their Bay Area Now 7 program, under the Invasion of the Cinemaniacs! heading, specifically the part curated by Jesse Hawthorne Ficks of Midnite for Maniacs, who hosted two William Lustig triple features (a sextuple feature?) spread across two days. Vigilante screened between Maniac and Hit List, while the next night was all three Maniac Cop films. William Lustig himself was in attendance, and did some entertaining Q and As. Lustig is very charismatic and shared stories about filming and some of the actors/producers of his films. I’ve included some of what he mentioned in the reviews.
Vigilante William Lustig
Eddie Marino (Robert Forster) was just a normal good working man with a family, until his family is violently attacked and destroyed by a mad gang. The cops are unable to bring more than one member to trial (citing lack of evidence), and the trial quickly goes south due to corrupt lawyers and judges forcing plea deals, meaning the gang leader gets a whole two year suspended sentence for assault and murder of a young child. When Marino is rightly outraged over this, he’s the one tossed in jail for contempt.
Vigilante William Lustig
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - August 19, 2014 at 8:04 am

Categories: Bad, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

D-War (Review)

D-War

aka Dragon Wars: D-War

2007
Directed and written by Shim Hyung-rae

D-Wars aka Dragons Wars is the film that was announced years ago and everyone though it was crazy. Writer/director Shim Hyung-rae sounded pretty insane with his talk of an epic Korean movie set in LA with dragons blasting everything, and rumor was this was a giant money pit. But investors were hooked, film was created, and soon a trailer emerged that showed dragons and lizard armies marching around LA while a giant snake thing slithers around. This created instant buzz, but it would be another year before D-War hit theaters. Internet weirdos like myself were salivating at the thought of a big-budgeted extravaganza that would either be incredibly awesome or incredibly terrible. Little did we know that we would be getting both in the same movie! For fifteen glorious minutes D-Wars becomes the best movie ever made. However, those fifteen minutes are stuck in the dead center of some of the crappiest writing, acting, logic, and cinematic efforts of the decade. But that’s a good thing, as it makes this review more interesting.

We got Korean dragons. We got subtitles. We got American second rate actors. Shim Hyung-rae is the man responsible for the remake of the Korean daikaiju film Yonggary which became known as Reptillian. The love for this man of giant lizards trashing cities would seem weird were it not for Japan. Still, the concept for D-Wars sounded pretty far out. It depends heavily on Korean myth as well as some random new things. Yuh Yi Joo, Imoogi, Bochun, Atrox, Buraki, Dawdler, the vocabulary you need to learn for this movie reads like some second rate Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh crap! The amount of plot-related alphabet soup words is above and beyond the norm for a giant monster movie. It is distracting, and leaves the audience confused and angry. I don’t want to be angry when watching a monster movie, I want to see giant lizards f-ing things up!

And boy do things get f-ed up! The level of utter chaos here during the money sequence is beautiful. Shim Hyung-rae manages to take to school a squad of previous genre failures. Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla only wishes it had this kind of great monster sequences. For those of you upset over the lack of helicopters vs. dragons the posters for Reign of Fire promised us, despair not, for your cup runneth over in D-Wars! Did you wish that the Gungan army in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was really an army of metal-clad badasses who blow the crap out of innocent villagers? You better start believing in the Blue Fairy because we got there here as well!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 15, 2008 at 11:13 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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