Saturday, June 2, 2012

SUMMER OF 87 #11 - Death Wish 4

 The cover of my VHS copy of Death Wish 4

6pm, Day 2:
Death Wish 4: The Crackdown
Director: J Lee Thompson
Starring: Charles Bronson, Kay Lenz, John P Ryan
Format: VHS (Kerridge Odeon Amalgamated)

Plot: Architect/vigilante Paul Kersey (Bronson) takes on the members of a vicious Los Angeles drug cartel to stop the flow of drugs after his girlfriend's (Lenz) daughter dies from an overdose.

- Unfortunately this marathon hasn't had as much action as I would have liked. Let's change that with some mindless revenge!
- I've seen the original Death Wish but none of the sequels.
- J Lee Thompson (GUNS OF NAVARONE, the original CAPE FEAR) is a top director. I somewhat liked what he did with another Bronson vehicle, WHITE BUFFALO, and he also helmed the underrated slasher HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.
- I've always had a bit of a thing for Kay Lenz (WHITE LINE FEVER, HOUSE).
- Wow, Dana Barron, who plays the daughter of Kersey's girlfriend, sure did grow up between 1983 (when she played Clark Griswald's annoying daughter Audrey in NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION) and 1987.
- And there's Mark Pellegrino (Satan on SUPERNATURAL, Paul Bennett on DEXTER) in an early bit role as a punk rocker!
- Dig the Wine Salesman bit. Kaboom!
- Pellegrino's not the only Supernatural alumni in this movie. Mitch Pileggi has a bit role as well.
- Bronson + uzi + factory full of bad guys = a good ol' time. Well, not for the bad guys.
- A sure sign you're watching a movie made no later than the 1980s: it contains at least one scene set in a Roller Rink.
- Well, that was certainly an impressive exit for the main bad guy.

Overall thoughts: I haven't seen any of the other Death Wish sequels, so I can't tell you how well this one stacks up against them. But as a standalone it's fairly good. Not as jam-packed full of action as I was hoping, but it has enough explosions, gunfights etc to keep things entertaining. Bronson is as brooding as ever, albeit getting old by this stage and pushing the bounds of credibility as an action star. But he blows away people with a big gun, and that's about all you want from a Death Wish movie, right?

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