HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
   
 
Newest Articles
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
   
 
  Mad Dog Time Once Upon A Crime
Year: 1996
Director: Larry Bishop
Stars: Ellen Barkin, Gabriel Byrne, Richard Dreyfuss, Jeff Goldblum, Diane Lane, Burt Reynolds, Larry Bishop, Joey Bishop, Kyle MacLachlan, Angie Everhart, Henry Silva, Michael J. Pollard, Gregory Hines, Billy Idol, Billy Drago, Christopher Jones, Richard Pryor
Genre: Comedy, Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Vic (Richard Dreyfuss) is finally getting out of the mental hospital soon, and the news has set the cat among the pigeons of his gangster associates, though the feathers of Mickey Holliday (Jeff Goldblum) remain typically unruffled. Vic’s right hand man Ben London (Gabriel Byrne) has been trying to clean up the mess his boss has spawned, and tonight has performed a hit on Red (Michael J. Pollard) in his office, but when he turned the gun on Holliday he was greeted with a serene look and the message he didn’t have what it took to kill him, which was true, and Holliday walked free. He has information that is keeping him alive, the whereabouts of Vic’s old flame Grace (Diane Lane) who he is desperate to see again – but is she desperate to see him?

Or stay away as far as possible? Mad Dog Time, or Trigger Happy as it was also known, was a curious beast, a throwback to the Rat Pack movies of writer and director Joey Bishop’s father Larry Bishop where the cast was star studded, the plot flimsy or barely mattered, and the tone overbearingly self-amused. Of the Pack, only Bishop Senior was available to appear, but Bishop Junior made up for that by hiring a bunch of celebrities, some barely in cameos, to essentially play at being movie gangsters, which might have been fun for them, but too many audiences wondered what exactly they were supposed to be getting out of it as that sense of fun isn’t always infectious when the participants are enjoying themselves so thoroughly they forget about the viewer.

Certainly this had poor reviews – self-indulgence being a no-no – and not much business at the box office nor on video no matter that there were a bunch of famous faces present, yet as time has gone on it has picked up a small cult following for its rather airless humour and actors, many of whom had cult followings independent of this. As far as the plot went, all you really needed to be aware of was everyone was in danger of getting shot, often in slightly over-elaborate stand-offs much like a Spaghetti Western handled its showdowns: two antagonists facing one another across a pair of desks they were seated at was a favourite trick of Bishop’s in his determinedly quirky fashion, with Holliday often emerging the victor.

The whole plot took place mostly on sets, which lent the proceedings an unreal air, and the fact that Vic was coming home from an asylum courted the notion that what we were witnessing was not real anyway and all in his head, the fever dream of a man who wanted to live out the fantasies of what he saw in the movies. It was true enough there was an old-fashioned tone to the presentation, only with new-fangled swearing and violence (though not too much sex, the odd scene between Goldblum and Ellen Barkin aside), but there was nothing gloating about the parts where characters met their demises when the film was instead enamoured of having secured the services of such a collection of well-known players, lost in the magic of Tinseltown.

Did that make Mad Dog Time a movie movie, then? An unabashed tribute to the world of Hollywood and how it could make even the most disreputable individuals come across as worthy of our rapt attention? Or was Bishop not particularly thinking that far? What you were left with was an assembly of sketch-like scenes, some funnier than others, and as far as the laughs went Byrne was your man with the jokes, London and his self-described “brass balls” conveying a man who knows he has a chance at power, but doesn’t quite have the savvy to capitalise on it without allowing his self-aggrandisement to get in the way. Elsewhere, Goldblum approached his role like the very embodiment of the cat who got the cream, somehow avoiding smugness in what was almost a self-parody for him, though fans of others in the extensive cast may feel let down their favourites only had a couple of scenes at best: Diane Lane had played the moll before, but really only showed up for the finale. It was an easy film to dislike, and plenty did, but if you met it halfway you might find it winning enough. Music by Earl Rose.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1944 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: