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USA 1982
produced by
Andrew W. Garroni, William Lustig, Jerry Masucci (executive), John Packard (executive), Kenneth Pavia (executive) for Magnum Motion Pictures
directed by William Lustig
starring Robert Forster, Fred Williamson, Richard Bright, Rutanya Alda, Don Blakely, Joseph Carberry, Willie Colón, Joe Spinell, Carol Lynley, Woody Strode, Vincent Beck, Bo Rucker, Frank Pesce, Steve James, Randy Jurgensen, Henry Judd Baker, Dante Joseph, Vincent Russo, Donna Patti, Peter Savage, Mike Miller, Hyla Marrow, Frank Gio, Raymond Serra, Sal Carollo, Sandy Alexander, Geri Martin, Susan Phelps, Gregg Stevens, Burt Pittari, Kim Delgado, James L. Brewster, John Caparosa, Alex Stevens, Ralph Monaco, Sandy Dell, Ramona Brooks, Enid Britton, Nick Barbaro, Harry Madsen, Michael Irene, Mark Bruno, Christopher Ferris, Jerry Preiser, Daniel Dod, Joseph Winogradoff, Gino Lucci
written by Richard Vetere, music by Jay Chattaway

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Mechanic Eddie (Robert Forster) is a law-abiding citizen and a happy family man in New York City who has never hurt a fly ... and then one day, a gang of thugs enter his house while he's not home, beat his wife (Rutanya Alda) to a pulp and kill his young son (Dante Joseph). Of course, Eddie's world is absolutely shattered, but when co-worker Nick (Fred Williamson), who's in secret also the leader of an especially brutal group of vigilantes, offers to exact revenge for Eddie, he turns him down, trusting in the rule of the law. Assistant DA Fletcher (Carol Lynley) is also very ambitious to finally nail at least the ringleader of the gang, Rico (Willie Colón), but thanks to a corrupt judge (Vincent Beck), everything ends in a plea deal, and Rico merely gets a 2 year suspended sentence - and because Eddie loses his cool hearing the verdict and tries to attack the judge in a fit of rage, it's ultimately he who ends up in the slammer. And prison changes him for sure, so as soon as he's out, his first way is to Nick to exact revenge on Rico and his right hand man (and Eddie's son's killer) Prago (Don Blakely) - but the question's always, do two wrongs make a right?

Woody Strode plays Eddie's guardian angel in prison, Joe Spinell Rico's sleazy lawyer.


Now sure, the film's stance on vigilante justice might not be to everyone's taste (and it certainly isn't to mine), but at the same time it makes valid points about under-policed neighbourhoods and a broken justice system. And seeing this not as a "message movie" (which I doubt it was meant to be) but merely as a B genre flick, this is a very well-crafted piece of action thriller, and one that has a story complete with character arcs to it, solid acting and truly exciting setpieces. Sure, the film isn't exactly subtle in anything, but it's a pretty great piece of 1980s action fare for that.




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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD