HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
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
   
 
  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 11705 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
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: