HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Batman: The Long Halloween Part One
Salaam Bombay!
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
   
 
Newest Articles
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
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
   
 
  Dead Pool, The Not So Wild About Harry
Year: 1988
Director: Buddy Van Horn
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Patricia Clarkson, Liam Neeson, Evan C. Kim, David Hunt, Michael Currie, Michael Goodwin, Darwin Gillett, Anthony Charnota, Christopher P. Beale, John Allen Vick, Jim Carrey
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: San Francisco cop Dirty Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) has recently been responsible for putting away a gang lord, which wins him the acclaim of the public but the opprobrium of the criminal underworld. One night soon after the gangster is jailed, Callahan is driving home when he notices he is being followed by a pair of cars. Worse than that, one stops in front of him while the other stops behind, the occupants get out and start firing machine guns at him as he desperately tries to get away, running over one of the gunmen and overturning his vehicle in the process. He won't be kept down, and makes fast work of the other assailants - but he's on someone's hit list...

The Dead Pool was the fifth in the line of cop thrillers featuring the Dirty Harry character, and to many eyes the least of them, although in truth it was downhill all the way after the original. Fittingly, almost every eighties cop thriller had followed the template designed by the first instalment complete with maverick detective and the view that the best way to deal with criminals was to blow them away with your trusty firearm rather than follow proper procedure and arrest them instead.

The script, by Steve Sharon, makes sure to present its main character as fitter than everyone else in spite of his advancing years, and many is the shot of Eastwood jogging, running or even working out. We needn't worry about him, he's invincible as proven by his tendency to escape unscathed from a hail of bullets or even a bomb. The reason he is targetted is because he's on the list of the dead pool of the title, a game played by jaded movie industry people to work out which celebrity will die first, and the names on the list of horror film director Peter Swan (Liam Neeson doing a John Lydon impersonation, bizarrely) are turning up murdered.

Now the first one to to be killed is the star of his film, and he's played by a pre-fame Jim Carrey. It's very strange to see him miming to the Guns 'n' Roses hit Welcome to the Jungle and making with the Ace Ventura moves while he does so, but the big stars have to start somewhere. If there's another bit that sticks in the mind it has to be the world's most ridiculous car chase (that we're supposed to take seriously) where Callahan and his new partner Quan (Evan C. Kim) are pursued by a remote controlled toy car filled with explosive. Incredibly, the toy manages to keep up with their vehicle, perhaps because of how slowly they are driving in certain shots.

As for intentional hilarity, Eastwood gets to fire off a few wisecracks ("You forgot your fortune cookie.... It says you're shit outta luck."), but there's a hypocrisy about The Dead Pool that may rankle with fans. Never mind that one of the murder victims is a Pauline Kael-style film critic, but the film has a less personal agenda, one to take down horror movies. According to this, it's fine that in an action movie like this we should cheer on the hero as he kills the bad guys with barely justfiable violence, but to kill people off in a horror movie is unacceptable. This despite the fact that action movie fans watch these films for their violence. As it turns out, Swan is the only suspect so it couldn't be him, and it turns out to be a fright film obsessive instead. Not the best way for a classic character like Dirty Harry to bow out, then. Music by Lalo Schifrin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4704 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


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
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: