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Overall Rating
3.9

Awesome: 26.19%
Worth A Look42.86%
Average: 26.19%
Pretty Bad: 4.76%
Total Crap: 0%

2 reviews, 30 user ratings


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Death Wish (1974)
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by Chris Parry

"The Rockford Files meets The Warriors. Could it get any better?"
3 stars

The answer is no. This is as good as it gets - at least in terms of sadistic 'good guy gets revenge on behalf of the neighborhood' movies. 70's schlock shock and a rampantly awful Dino De Laurentis style, tightly packed into Charles Bronson's customary "I'm old, but I dare you to make something of it" attitude, and the most bizarro cameo since Ben Affleck played basketball player #8 in Clueless. TV watching at 3am has never been so much fun.

In the 70's, everyone was just discovering the value of shock. The Exorcist aad Taxi Driver had opened a can of whup ass on an unsuspecting and rubbernecking public, and John Waters Pink Flamingoes was packing them into repertory houses across the USA, and so Dino D went out with the aim of giving the people what they wanted to see. Crime! Sex! Guns! Freaks! Fat cops with bad hats and cigars!

And most importantly, wood paneling and wide collars with big fat points.

So Chuck is an architect (a job description sadly lacking in 'man against the world' action flicks), who one day finds his wife has been murdered and daughter raped by a gang of spray-can touting 'freaks'. They burst in and (horror of horrors) spray paint the walls. Oh, those wacky freaks. Of course, they also spraypaint Chuck's daughter's ass, make her eat assorted bodyparts, laugh like jackals and break shit.

One of those freaks would be one day known as Jeff Goldblum, but here he's known simply as Freak #2, and his character has the proud distinction of "painting the mouth" of Chuck's daughter with his Johnson. Next time you see Jeff in the street, remind him of this scene. My bet is he wants you not to, which shall make it all the more fun when you do.

So after the freaks pack-rape Bronson's li'l girl, off his missus, and then they jump up and down and hoot and holler a lot, because, you know, gang members do that. And they say "yeah mama" cos they're so 'street'. I think one of them smoked a joint too, which is just rubbing salt into the wound. You can never get the smell of weed out of black velvet.

So then Chucky gets home and, boy, is he pissed. His mama is dead, and anyone who knows anything knows a fifty year old guy has a tough time getting laid, especially in those clothes. And that stain on the carpet will never get clean. It's time to bust out the Amway.

But that's not all. Chucky's daughter has had her mouth painted by Jeff Goldblum. I'd be pissed at that. She's certainly been tainted by it, because she dribbles a lot now and won't talk. I guess she knows where that tongue has been and doesn't want to let it loose on an unsuspecting public.

So now Chuck has flipped the mental switch and is packing heat. He's after the freaks, and of course Chuck being Chuck, it only takes him a night to track them down and make with the killing.

But oh no! The cops are on his tail! Big fat jewish cops! With cigars and hats! Well, one fat cop anyway.

Will Chuck get caught by the cop, or will he become the hero of our nation? For all the answers just be sure to tune in to this.. I mean, rent the video. It's a hoot.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2100&reviewer=1
originally posted: 08/24/99 01:21:52
[printer] printer-friendly format  
Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

12/29/17 morris campbell unpleasant but gripping love the last scene 4 stars
4/10/11 The Big D It's like 80s-style pro wrestling--cheer for the "good guy!" 4 stars
1/21/10 PAUL SHORTT CHILLING AND UNPLEASANT BUT EFFECTIVELY CAPTIVATING 3 stars
1/10/10 art AN EXCELLENT FILM,BRONSON is a mugger-hitman! 4 stars
3/18/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess Gripping! 5 stars
3/27/08 Tim While not as exploitative as the others, it manages to be both shallow and comptemplative. 3 stars
3/08/08 Pamela White Bronson at his best could have left out the first 20 min. 5 stars
3/05/08 art this movie is CHARLES BRONSONS BEST 4 stars
9/27/07 Paul Kersey Watch out punks 5 stars
8/01/07 mr.mike bronson convincing as NY liberal turned vigilante 4 stars
6/20/07 George Chabot Highly satisfying smackdown of leftist coddling of poor misunderstood criminals. 5 stars
1/27/07 action movie fan classic bronson vigilate film--not disappointing, taut classic thriller 5 stars
1/17/07 David Pollastrini One of Bronson's best 5 stars
6/18/06 Indrid Cold Quite disappointing given its reputation. The horrible 70s style is quite distracting. 3 stars
10/30/05 bill dominica i spray paint ass for living and get paid! 5 stars
10/29/05 freddie king Really great ass spray painting action. 5 stars
5/26/04 Lance Simply the greatest movie about a vigilante... 5 stars
12/06/03 john solid urban thriller 4 stars
11/25/03 Dick Fitswell alright 4 stars
11/14/03 Douglas lacayo This film is a classic 4 stars
9/17/03 Misterkraig A great film, Bronson's best!! 5 stars
9/08/03 Sugarfoot Powerful film, undermined by 4 lame sequels. 4 stars
1/21/03 Andy Bronson good film that has been tainted by the number of bad sequels just like highlander in that w 3 stars
1/04/03 Jack Sommersby Manipulative but irresistable stuff. 4 stars
9/20/02 Charles Tatum Nihilistic and sleazy 2 stars
4/22/02 po ngu exellent film 5 stars
1/31/01 R.W. Welch Bronson was born for this part and does it exactly right. 4 stars
12/07/00 Cristopher Revilla good depiction, one that makes you think about today's law enforcement 4 stars
7/04/99 J-Dogg What's the big deal? This film didn't grab me at all. 2 stars
6/03/99 Filmink Magazine Like all 70's action flicks, a very ordinary finish and weird direction, but not the worst. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-Jul-1974 (R)

UK
  02-Feb-1975 (15)

Australia
  02-Feb-1975 (R)




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