Friday, November 20, 2009

Film Review: THE EVIL THAT MEN DO (1984, J. Lee Thompson)

Stars: 4 of 5.
Running Time: 90 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Charles Bronson, José Ferrer, John Glover, Joseph Maher.
Tag-line: "In the execution of justice there is no executioner like BRONSON."
Best one-liner: "Three is all right with me!"

"In the execution of justice there is no executioner like BRONSON," says the tag-line. The fifth of about twelve billion collaborations between Charles Bronson and English director J. Lee Thompson (ST. IVES, DEATH WISH 4), THE EVIL THAT MEN DO is one of those Bronsons that frequently shifts between 'mediocre' and 'fan-fuckin-tastic.' J. Lee wants you to know right off the bat that he is not effin' around, so he introduces our villain, Dr. Molloch, a kindly old man who kills captured dissidents for a living. We begin with frontal nudity, electrodes on balls, and a tooth-snappingly horrific torture session. It's not long before ex-hitman Bronson's on the case and killing those responsible, one by one. Standard stuff. But here's eight reasons why this flick is still of note:

#1. Associate producer Jill Ireland. Gotta fit her in somehow.

#2. How damn happy Bronson is at his beachside home.

He's all smiles, and has a friendship with a fish named Quasimodo. Unfortunately the evil that men do requires Bronson to take a road trip to Guatemala.

#3. John Glover. One of the finest actors of all time.

Here, he plays an evil, mincing U.S. ambassador who is sleazy to the max. His best scene involves a weaselly rage directed at some warm Guatemalan beer.


#4. Extended Bronson low blow. Now, the other day, I see that someone found this site by Googling "brutal ball-squeezing." I now feel as if I have standards of quality in brutal ball-squeezing to maintain. So, submitted, for your consideration:

In perhaps the longest balls-grab in film history, Bronson dives at some goon's junk with both hands- twisting and crumpling for nearly a minute- until the big lug passes out. DAMN!

#5. Undercover Bronson pretending to be a swinger.


"We've been into things like wife-swappin'. THREE'S all right with ME!"

Unsuspecting villain: "You got a place?"



My mind has been blown.

#6. Bronson's look of disdain as he hides beneath a mattress as two lesbians do it!

He seems to showing the rare Bronson emotion of FEAR. Is he afraid of the concept of lesbianism or that he'll be crushed by the mattress?

One of my all-time favorite Bronson scenes best viewed out of context.

#7. Another dummy flung from a great height.

When I first said I thought this was in Bronson's contract, I meant it as a joke, but now I'm beginning to think I've been right from the start.

#8. The FREAKS-style revenge finale. I won't spoil it, but after some run-of-the-mill car chases, it ends on a borderline trashy, extremely cathartic note.

Four stars.

-Sean Gill


skeelo said...


Top Notch

brutal ball-squeezing ? hey, i have nothing to say about that

Bronson has something to do with death

Sean Gill said...

Thank you, sir!

You and Leone would say Bronson has something to do with death, I say Bronson has something to do with dummies flung from great heights, but who knew that the zeitgeist of the late 00's would say that Bronson has something to do with brutal ball-squeezing?

Ah, the delightful bounty which is harvested by keeping an eye on Google Analytics...

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHA THREE'S alright with me!

germanicelt said...

Not one of Bronsons best.