Monday, February 8, 2010

Film Review: NOWHERE TO HIDE (1987, Mario Azzopardi)

Stars: 4.1 of 5.
Running Time: 90 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Amy Madigan, Michael Ironside, Maury Chaykin (TWINS, THE ADJUSTER), Garrick Hagon (Biggs in STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE), Daniel Hugh Kelly (CUJO, MACSHAYNE: THE FINAL ROLL OF THE DICE). Co-produced by Julie Corman (Roger's wife).
Tag-line: "Amy Madigan. Wife...mother...Ex-marine...caught in a conspiracy that's exploded her word. They left her no choice. She's giving them... NOWHERE TO HIDE." I love that the tag-line makes it sound as if Amy Madigan plays herself in this movie...and maybe she does.
Best one-liner: "What's wrong with your boy?"

NOWHERE TO HIDE is a classic 80’s military conspiracy flick (along with ABOVE THE LAW, DEFENSE OF THE REALM, THE FOURTH PROTOCOL and the best of them, FLASHPOINT). Special thanks to Ollie North for making this sort of thing fashionable. Our heroine is Amy Madigan. Madigan is notably Ed Harris' wife, and allow me to say that you don't get to be Ed Harris' wife by knittin' sweaters- the lady is intense. She's also a damned fine actor, playing scenes of hysterical personal trauma and over-the-top badassery with equal levels of truthfulness and commitment.

Madigan wields a welding torch.

There is truly nowhere for Madigan to hide in that sweater.

Anyway, Madigan's military husband is assassinated by the feds (with one thug played by the omnipresent Maury Chaykin) after he discovers they've been skimping on helicopter safety costs. The body count rises, the cover-up spirals out of control, and there's a chase scene through a cemetery that gets a few extra points for having a car brutally ram a coffin, mid-funeral.

In DEATH RACE 2000, this would totally get you, like, a million points.

Anyway, with nowhere else to turn, Madigan enlists the help of hardass mountain man Michael Ironside.

Ironside plays the kind of guy who'll toss two bloody rabbit corpses at a kid, and then ask "What's wrong with your boy?" when the kid starts sniveling.

sniffle, sniffle

"What's wrong with your boy?"

But Ironside gets a chance to play a father figure, too, which clearly makes me very happy. As a form of catharsis, Ironside makes the kid wash rabbits’ blood from his hands- “I’ve seen this before, he’ll be okay.”

After just a few, brief Ironside parenting sessions, this kid will assuredly not become a pansy.

Far be it from me to question the parenting techniques of an Ironside character, but there ya go- the man gets results.

Surrogate pappy Ironside delivers a hearty hug as his terrifying dog looks on.

Later, evil commandos lay siege to the cabin in the film’s best sequence, and we got Ironside taking guys out with a bow & arrow– life is good.

Did I say "life is good?" I meant, "Life is GREAT."

We even get an extended canine low blow when one of Ironside’s dogs chomps a henchman’s genitals.

As part of a continuing series, Junta Juleil endeavors to provide you with the best and most brutal low-blow coverage possible.

Ironside is even killing dudes with his bare hands after getting shot and stabbed like 47 times.

Bravo. The ending is pretty damn convenient, but any implausibilities (Madigan flying a helicopter like a pro) are negated by the fact that the main villain’s car flies off of an incredible precipice, and THEN gets blown-up, mid-descent, by one of Madigan’s perfectly placed rockets.



To quote Yello, “Ohhhhh yehh-yuh.” [Chickah-chickah]

-Sean Gill

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