HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Jiu Jitsu
Blind
Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie
Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
   
 
  Bad Lieutenant Police And Thieves
Year: 1992
Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Victor Argo, Frankie Thorn, Zoë Lund, Paul Calderon, Leonard L. Thomas, G. Elvis Phillips, Stephen Chen, Peggy Gormley, Anthony Ruggiero, Iraida Polanco
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 5 votes)
Review: The lead character of Abel Ferrara’s notorious 1992 film is a ‘bad’ policeman in the sense that Ed Wood was a ‘bad’ director or Liz Hurley is a ‘bad’ actress – he’s an absolute disgrace to his profession. Throughout the course of the film we see the Lieutenant snort coke from his dashboard after dropping his kids off at school, try to steal drugs from a crime scene, run a betting syndicate while investigating the rape of a nun, keep the money stolen by a pair of teenage thugs from a grocery store, shoot smack with a drugged-out hooker, masturbate in front of a pair of teenage girls he pulls over, call Jesus a "rat fuck" in church, and get further and further into debt with his mob-connected bookmaker.

Bad Lieutenant is both one of Abel Ferrara’s best films and his most typical, in that it defines all the elements that can be found elsewhere in his work. There are rambling scenes of drugged up oblivion, dirty cops and streetwise urban punks, guns, needles, and an ultimate message of redemption. And following in the footsteps of King of New York’s Christopher Walken or Angel of Vengeance’s Zoë Tamerlis (who, as Zoë Lund, co-wrote this film with Ferrara), Harvey Keitel delivers a searing central performance. He’s never off-screen and constantly teeters on the edge of parody, staying just the right side of it. It’s hard to think of another actor who could have pulled off such a balancing act – and who’d be prepared to stagger around an apartment, butt naked, whining to himself. Maybe Pacino or De Niro in the 1970s, but not now.

As a result, other characters have relatively little screen time – Victor Argo appears as a fellow cop in a few scenes, the late Zoë Lund is Keitel’s smack buddy, while Frankie Thorn plays the nun who is viscously raped in church. Her refusal to help the police catch the kids responsible, preferring instead to forgive them, is what puts the Lieutenant on a path of redemption, ultimately leading him to sign his death warrant with an act of goodness. Ferrara goes a little overboard with the Christ imagery, but the redemption is well handled; it’s clear from the very earliest scenes that Keitel’s character is a desperately unhappy man, struggling to find any sign of good amongst the scum with whom he associates. The nun’s response to her attack is the final straw – how can someone, confronted with such evil as the men who raped her, still find it in them to forgive?

The dirty, crime-ridden streets of New York are vividly captured and the assorted lowlifes that populate them are authentically cast. While not as light on plot as, say, The Blackout or New Rose Hotel, Bad Lieutenant is nevertheless another film in which Ferrara puts seamy atmosphere ahead of story, but it remains an admirably uncompromisingly work. It’s also worth noting that Schooly D’s pounding ‘Signifying Rapper’ was removed from the film following its theatrical release, due to its similarities to Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ - the end credit song that replaces it features the dulcet tones of Ferrara himself.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 10032 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Abel Ferrara  (1952 - )

Controversial New York director whose films frequently centre around sex, violence and moral redemption, and often feature Harvey Keitel, Christopher Walken or Willem Dafoe. Debuted in 1979 with the infamous Driller Killer, in which he also starred, followed by rape-revenge thriller Ms. 45/Angel of Vengeance. Several slick, less distinctive movies followed - Fear City, China Girl and Cat Chaser, as well as work on TV shows Miami Vice and Crime Story.

1990's King of New York was a return to form, while the searing Bad Lieutenant quickly became the most notorious, and perhaps best, film of Ferrara's career. The nineties proved to be the director's busiest decade, as he dabbled in intense psycho-drama (Dangerous Game, The Blackout), gangster movies (The Funeral), sci-fi (Body Snatchers, New Rose Hotel) and horror (The Addiction). He continued to turn in little-seen but interesting work, such as the urban drug drama 'R Xmas and the religious allegory Mary until his higher profile returned with the likes of Welcome to New York and Pasolini.

 
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
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: