Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

After Vega$

October 1st, 2010 · 3 Comments

Scrambling to catch up with a pile of work after a rough trip back from Nevada—funny how an overly large and inconsiderate seatmate can really ruin an otherwise uneventful flight. So no polymathism today; in its stead, please check out The A.V. Club‘s recent take on Death Wish 3, the subject of last week’s Bad Movie Friday entrant. This line pretty much sums it all up:

Everything abhorrent about Death Wish—its inner-city stereotyping and casual racism; its embrace of lawlessness and righteous bloodletting; Paul’s rancid transformation from naïve, bleeding-heart liberal into gun-toting angel of vengeance—gets blown up to such a grotesque degree that no sane person could mistake its world for the real one. It’s like a paranoid right-wing small-towner’s vision of what the big city is like: a gang-infested war zone, lorded over by the cast of Breakin’.

The piece also note that the author of the Death Wish source material rejected the films, on the grounds that they celebrate the sort of vigilantism he was trying to condemn. Check out an interview with him here; he points out that the entire spirit of the first film was altered by a single directorial choice.


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3 Comments so far ↓

  • scottstev

    I love the “New Cult Cannon” series at the A/V club. I read almost every one, even if I have no interest in the movie.

    I’m reassured that my particular middle-class suburban phobias are shared widely enough to make an audience for B movies. I’m terrified of Innocent Man in Prison movies (Women in Prison movies elicit a different if equally primal response) and pulp gang movies.

    I remember a series of similar B movies on Cinemax back in the day (thanks to a introductory offer of 3 free months, which my parents wisely declined to renew) where a rich judge or lawyer is trapped in a ghetto hell by some crime victim. There with the help of some plucky neighbors and lots of guns, he escapes the clutches of some ridiculous gang straight out of DWIII.

    It’s sad that such were the portrayals of inner-city life until “The Wire” came in with actual human portraits.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @scottstev: Any chance you’re thinking of Enemy Territory? Not a judge or a lawyer, but an insurance salesman who gets trapped in the ‘hood:


    Some of Ray Parker Jr.’s finest work. And you’ve got to love that tagline: “In enemy territory they take no prisoners. You’ve got to kill your way out.”

    Final scene here–language NSFW:


  • scottstev

    That’s one of them. I had my doubts until the scene with the long-suffering grandma taking out the bad-guys with an AK.

    The other one (either a cheap knock-off, or a cheap original) was literally about a rich liberal judge who released a murderer for some namby-pamby constitutional reasons. Well the victim’s father kidnaps him, and sets him up Jigsaw-style in the urban hell that the judge created with his “due-process.” He has to fight his way out.

    I love how fingerless leather gloves=bad ass in these movies. Oh, how many teenage boys sadly took that lesson to heart.