HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
   
 
  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 9945 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: