HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
Butterfly Murders, The
Pimp
Feedback
Lady is a Square, The
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
   
 
  Death Wish 3 this time it's war!
Year: 1985
Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Charles Bronson, Deborah Raffin, Ed Lauter, Martin Balsam, Gavan O’Herlihy, Kirk Taylor, Alex Winter, Tony Spiridakis, Ricco Ross, Marina Sirtis
Genre: Action, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: Probably the wackiest vigilante movie you’re likely to see, Death Wish 3 sees Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) arrive in a hell on earth, East New York tenement, only to find an old friend clubbed to death. His dying words: “Take care of my things while I’m gone, will you?” How poignant. Wrongly accused of murder, Kersey is hauled away by incompetent cops, but whilst incarcerated beats up a few antisocial thugs and earns the enmity of local gang leader Manny Fraker (Gavan O’Herlihy). “I’m gonna kill a little old lady just for you”, boasts Fraker, upon his release. “Catch it on the six o’clock news.”

Whereupon the seemingly schizophrenic Inspector Richard Shriker (Ed Lauter), who earlier slapped Kersey around growling “I’m the law - that’s why I get to violate your constitutional rights”, has a change of heart. He unleashes Kersey to wage a one-man war against the criminal populace. Armed with a Kevlar-lined jacket, a .457 Wildey Magnum (“Bigger than Dirty Harry’s”), a host of DIY mantraps and a small arsenal of heavy weapons, Kersey galvanises the elderly citizens into taking back their neighbourhood from no-good street punks.

After the rampant misogyny in Death Wish 2 (1982) (nevertheless the most popular entry in the long-running series), Michael Winner opts for a cartoon approach to action filmmaking, aping the likes of Rambo: First Blood (1985) and Commando (1985). Some people claim this film is actually a satire of vigilante action movies, which perhaps accounts for the silly humour (e.g. Bronson’s Sylvester Stallone impression; an elderly couple enjoying a news broadcast of the riot happening outside their window) and the videogame-style shootouts where Bronson mows bad guys down by the hundreds. But Death Wish 3 carries the same uncomfortably earnest right-wing values as previous entries. Violent crime and vigilantism were on the rise in mid-eighties New York and, like a tabloid journo baying for blood, Winner lays into police incompetence, strict gun laws that prevent victims of crime from wielding firearms, incompetent doctors, and of course, lousy, no-good, hairspray and eyeliner loving street punks. The kind of guys for whom “What the f*** are you looking at?” is a conversational opener and gang rape is a spectator sport.

Even liberal lawyer Kathryn Davies (Deborah Raffin) admits she hates defending “these creeps” and cheers along with the neighbourhood when Bronson blows Giggler (Kirk Taylor) away. Her character serves little point except to hop into bed with Bronson, which proves the kiss of death as she is swiftly blown up. Ladies, unless your name is Jill Ireland, don’t bang Bronson or you’re doomed.

The film’s subtitle might as well be “Revenge of the Elderly”, seeing almost all the good guys are over sixty, including the impressively brawny and agile Bronson, and gung-ho Bennett Cross (Martin Balsam) who reminisces warmly about World War Two. Winner’s chaotic angles, wild zooms and frenzied editing make him a headache-inducing storyteller, but the bat-shit crazy final act remains absurdly entertaining. Bronson wields machineguns and rocket launchers, gang-bangers set fire to old folks then shoot them, and literally everybody (shopkeepers, housewives, the infirmed) grabs a gun and turns vigilante! Winner takes the original premise to its warped logical conclusion: all-out urban warfare. Cheesy disco score by Jimmy Page - possibly traumatized by the breakup of Led Zeppelin. Bronson was back in Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987).

Click here for the trailer


Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 5834 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Winner  (1935 - 2013)

Opinionated British producer-director whose early comedies - You Must Be Joking, The Jokers, I'll Never Forget Whatsisname - were promising enough, but come the seventies he had settled into a pattern of overblown thrillers.

Of these, Death Wish was a huge hit, and Winner directed two similar sequels. Other films included horrors (The Nightcomers, The Sentinel), Westerns (Lawman, Chato's Land), thrillers (Scorpio, Dirty Weekend) and disastrous comedies (Bullseye!). Also a restaurant critic.

 
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
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: