HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
   
 
Newest Articles
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Death Wish 4: The Crackdown Bronson just says no to drugsBuy this film here.
Year: 1987
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Charles Bronson, Kay Lenz, John P. Ryan, Perry Lopez, George Dickerson, Soon-Tek Oh, Dana Barron, Jesse Dabson, Danny Trejo
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 3 votes)
Review: This was the first of the popular vigilante thrillers not to be directed by Michael Winner - although some would argue he wasn’t doing much directing on the other three. Instead another Cannon Films alumnus, J. Lee Thompson stepped into the breach for his seventh collaboration with star Charles Bronson. It opens with a nicely handled sequence where a damsel is distressed by first one, then two, then three psycho rapists, until Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) blows them away. But when Kersey unmasks one he sees his own face, and wakes up from the nightmare in a cold sweat. It’s as close as the film - scripted by Gail Morgan Hickman - gets to psychoanalysis, but Death Wish 4 throws a few offbeat touches into the tired vigilante formula.

Kersey, now settled back into his job as an architect, is happily involved with journalist, Karen Sheldon (Kay Lenz) and dotes on her daughter, Erica (Dana Barron). When Erica fatally overdoses on cocaine, and her boyfriend Randy (Jesse Dabson) is knifed by drug-dealers, Kersey doles out some vigilante justice. He is contacted by enigmatic millionaire, Nathan White (John P. Ryan) who, driven by the drug-related death of his own daughter, provides Kersey with the weapons and information needed to bring down cocaine kingpins, Ed Zacharias (Perry Lopez) and the Romero brothers. Eliminating various key players, Kersey tricks the rival gang lords into a turf war, but comes under suspicion from dogged Detective Reiner (George Dickerson) and Detective Phil Nozaki (Soon-Tek Oh).

Instead of low-level street criminals, Death Wish 4 pits Kersey against the fat cats and affluent businessmen making drug crime a multimillion dollar industry. “Everyone is using drugs these days”, growls Karen’s tabloid editor. “Doctors, lawyers, businessmen - it’s the American way of life!” The film takes a typically mid-Eighties, simplistic view of the drug problem and Thompson indulges crass shock tactics like the mortician who unveils several drug-related deaths, including a thirteen year old prostitute, but then again this is a glossy exploitation movie. The drug lords are all sub-Scarface caricatures, but memorable victims of Kersey’s vigilante rampage include the opera-loving hitman forever bickering with his trashy girlfriend (“I wish he’d drop dead”, she says before his corpse crashes through her windshield), a video retailer with a store adorned with Cannon movie posters, and a young Danny Trejo blown up by a trick bottle of wine.

Quirky scenes like those hold the interest, even though the script wastes a potentially interesting complication when Kersey kills a corrupt cop. Thompson handles things in professional, if anonymous fashion, hindered by lacklustre performances from the supporting cast. Action-wise, the oilfield gang war Kersey ignites with a single shot proves a reasonably exciting set-piece, but if the shootouts are less trashy than Death Wish 3 (1985), they’re also less fun. A surprise twist plays Kersey for a patsy and leads to the film’s best sequence, a surreal shootout at a roller-skating rink! While the conclusion is shallow and dealt with in an offhand manner typical for this series, it scores points for being more downbeat than the norm.

Click here for the trailer
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3207 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

J. Lee Thompson  (1914 - 2002)

Veteran British director frequently in Hollywood, usually with stories featuring an adventure or thriller slant. Among his many films, including a number of Charles Bronson movies, are Yield to the Night, Ice Cold in Alex, North West Frontier, the original Cape Fear, Tiger Bay, The Guns of Navarone, What a Way To Go!, Eye of the Devil, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes and Happy Birthday to Me.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: