Sunday, July 6, 2014

Only now does it occur to me... DEATH WISH 4: THE CRACKDOWN

I reviewed DEATH WISH 4: THE CRACKDOWN a while back, but upon rewatching it this Fourth of July, I noticed something new:
Only now does it occur to me... that Bronson meets the venerable John P. Ryan at a movie theater that only plays Cannon Films:  namely Zefirelli's OTELLO and Konchalovsky's RUNAWAY TRAIN:
I'm guessing he went for the senior discount.

Now, apparently John P. Ryan's character picked the movie within the context of DEATH WISH 4, so it's interesting that he went for OTELLO instead of RUNAWAY TRAIN, which co-stars: John P. Ryan. 
Anyway, Bronson walks in, mid-way through OTELLO and in a bold move on Cannon's part, the theater is shown to be half-empty:
Bronson sits down next to John P. Ryan and they take in OTELLO for a few moments before proceeding with their secret vigilante meeting.
 They look severely underwhelmed by the picture.  In fact, they remind me of two other old men I know...two old men who spend a lot of time hanging out in theaters and being grumpy...
There we go.  Thanks, DEATH WISH 4!


Anonymous said...

That's some serious meta-Cannon goodness going on there! Side story: I have one of those cheapo 3-movies-on-a-disc DVDs with Death Wishes 2, 3, and 4 on it, and for some reason, the audio on part 4 gets off track so that for the last half-hour or so of the movie, all the sound lags about 30 seconds behind the action. It was an absolute chore trying to get through it, but I gutted it out strictly because of my deep commitment to Bronson. It's a shame, really, because I think part 4 is a little better than its reputation suggests, as it's got a kinda novel double cross stroy, not to mention the Trejo factor, the Bronson-holding-a-comically-sized-gun factor, and that great intro dream sequence (!) where he introduces himself as "Death." It also has perhaps the most 80's 'just say no' drug hysteria ever committed to film -- they lay it on so think that even a teetotaler like myself thought it was over the top. While it's do part 3 (but what is?), it's definitely a worthy sequel. Thanks for reminding me of it!

Sean Gill said...


Heh, I have that same "Cannon Death Wish Trilogy" disc though I don't have the same audio issues on mine. I do stand by part 4- even in a world where part 3 kinda sets the bar for 80s trash action cinema, part 4 is bringing a helluva lot to the table!

gweeps said...
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gweeps said...

I love Bronson's reply to the one guy he eventually tosses out a window when he asks him why he's in his apartment: "I was just making a sandwich." LOL

I really wish the studios that own the series would get their acts together and release them all in a set, uncut and in the proper AR. I know there's that Vigilante collection, but I believe it's discontinued. And R2.

Speaking of aspect ratios, I'm looking forward to buying the fixed DVD version of Sorcerer next month. Friedkin supervised the mastering of this one after he found out a studio released the old pan & scan version of the DVD repackaged to look like the companion to the remastered Blu Ray edition.

Oh, and when is whoever going to release Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus on DVD or Blu Ray? It's one of Bronson's very best serious roles.

Lastly, I'm thinking of buying that Bronson's Loose! book about the making of the Death Wish series. Is it any good?

Sean Gill said...


Good to see ya. "I was MAKIN' a SANDwich!" So good. It would be nice to have all these Cannon films in their OARs, most of the MGM releases are full frame. I, too, am excited to see the remastered SORCERER.

And a hearty yes to a release of YES, VIRGINIA THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS. The people demand it!

BRONSON'S LOOSE is pretty fun. It's a slim volume, but packed with stories and fun, on-set anecdotes; it's almost an antidote to the fact that all the sequels have bare bones DVD releases. I should do a book review of it sometime.