HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Worst Person in the World, The
Whirlpool
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
Knockabout
400 Blows, The
Virus: 32
Studio 666
Great Movement, The
Lost in La Mancha
Cellar, The
Sacred Spirit, The
Chess of the Wind
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Scream
   
 
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
   
 
  Stakeout On Dope Street
Year: 1957
Director: Irvin Kershner
Stars: Yale Wexler, Jonathan Haze, Morris Miller, Abby Dalton, Allen Kramer
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Considering that the 1950's were the birth of teen rebellion and juvenile delinquence, most people these days tend to view them through rose-tinted spectacles. People, blinded by nostalgia, don't like to admit that the fifties' drugged-out death-wish was no better than the sixties' drugged-out optimism, the seventies' drugged-out nihilism, the eighties' drugged-out decadence and the nineties' drugged-out pointlessness. Even those who were there pretend that their generation was exactly the same as the one portrayed in Happy Days. They won't tell you about the time Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham came home to find Fonzie in his shitty little bedsit above their garage, writhing and sweating around on the floor, trying to find a piece of track-free vein to jack-up in. Or the hook-nosed Arnold, greasier than his own french-fries, running a numbers racket in the back room of his burger-bar-cum-opium-den. They won't tell you about Richie, Potsy and the repulsively ugly Ralph Malph cruising the streets in a banged-up old jalopy looking for vulnerable citizens with a couple of legs to break. And they never, ever, tell you about pretty little Joanie lying back and spreadin' 'em for a couple of cigarettes and a bottle of hooch.

Stakeout On Dope Street tells the truth. Sort of. It relates the story of a gang consisting of a mere three members, Ves, Nick and Jim, who have a clubhouse in the back of Ves' dad's shop (and not in a bus-shelter, as one might expect nowadays). In between "goofing around" (as I believe they used to call it) and metaphorically discussing their hopes and dreams, the artistic Jim draws homo-erotic pictures of muscle-head Nick lifting weights. That's pretty damn rebellious if you ask me. Anyway, Ves (who's the shitty, nondescript one of the three) finds a locked briefcase in the street and brings it to the guys who force it open thinking that it might contain "jewels or uranium." Uranium?! In a briefcase?! Well I guess that explains America's high cancer rate then! Disappointed, they throw away the cosmetics they find within, and sell the briefcase only to discover later that the cosmetics were actually 2lbs of pure heroin. Desperately, they run along to the tip and scour the dump looking for one tiny tub of horse. And they find it too. After all, if you're looking for a bit o' brown, the best thing you can do is go stand in a dump....

After going hell for leather trying to find that crazy shit, this clean-cut trio doesn't have a friggin' clue what to do with the stuff so they ask for the help of ageing, neurotic smackhead Danny (fifties smackheads are always called Danny or Donnie or Dennie... ). When he agrees to help them sell it to school-kids and single-mothers, the gangsters who own the stuff close in....

OK, so first up, the dialogue in Stakeout... is absolutely fantastic. I could probably write an entire (shitty) book detailing every single line in this movie. For a start, there's a droning, monotonous narrative going on throughout the film which makes it seem a bit like an Ed McBain novel, which is cool in my book. Obviously no expert on teenage culture, the self-righteous narrator tells us about how these quiff-headed gangsters spent their ill-gotten gains on "bongo drums and other racy items", and not on booze and fags and mobile phone ringtones like any normal teenager would. The teens' philosophical procrastinations are a riot too: my personal favourite being when Jimmy describes the world as "one big con-a-roo". Ain't that just the motherfuckin' truth! Plus, Stakeout has a typical fifties' conservative outlook on life: in a town full of smackheads, prozzies, thieves and gangsters, the first person the pigs go and hassle about the missing gear is a young, middle-class Chinese woman - about as near to a junkie as (insert name of clean celebrity here - yeah, it's hard, isn't it!). So now you know: Don't be caught out by the Yellow Peril, kids!

But best of all is Danny. Danny tells the curious Jimmy his sad story, about how he got into junk and what cold-turkey is really like. Judging from the rest of the film, it's no surprise that the ill-educated Danny speaks entirely in metaphors, talking about a giant octopus, being swallowed up by a giant snowball and being "smashed by a million horrible, shrieking animals stampeding into your sanity." To add to the effect we are also treated to Danny's very own flashbacks, featuring the man himself going into convulsions, screaming, hallucinating and watching the room spin round, all set to a jazz soundtrack (provided by The Hollywood Chamber Jazz Group). See? Drugs really are more fun when you're watching them fuck somebody else up...

Considering the heavy subject matter, Stakeout.. is actually a pretty lightweight movie and, although it isn't meant to be funny, it's fucking hilarious. At least it is to me... It would have been nice though to find out what happened to the lads: did they get a regular "Don't do it again!" slap on the wrist or did they end up breaking rocks for the rest of their lives. It's left to the viewer to decide. Because this is fifties America, it would have also been nice to have some loser, goin'-nowhere rock 'n' roll band playing in some greasy burger-bar, actually believing that this will be their big break. Stakeout.. usually appears on satellite TV after darts has finished on the terrestrial channels, so it's worth watching if you can't sleep after all that excitement. And in case you're interested, Bowling Technical Assistance on this movie was provided by Redondo Recreation Center.
Reviewer: Wayne Southworth

 

This review has been viewed 6386 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
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: