17 July 2018

ARROW VIDEO PRESENTS: THE BOONDOCK SAINTS. (1999) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.




THE BOONDOCK SAINTS. (1999) DIRECTED BY TROY DUFFY. STARRING WILLEM DAFOE, SEAN PATRICK FLANNERY, NORMAN REEDUS, DAVID DELLA ROCCO, CARLO ROTA, BOB MARLEY (not THAT Bob Marley, he dead...!), BILLY CONNOLLY AND RON JEREMY THE PORN STAR.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

'I ain't getting him no fucking bagel!'

'For a few seconds, this place was Armageddon.'

'Why do I always gotta be on bitch detail, man...?'

'What are you doing?' 'I just wanted to cuddle.' 'Cuddle! What a fag!'

'You and your fucking ropes!' 'What? Charlie Bronson always has a rope on him in the movies!'

'What we have here, gentlemen, is possibly the beginning of the first international mob war.'

'The 'Nineties are killing me. You can't tell a guy you're gonna kill him any more. I gotta tiptoe through the tulips with these arseholes. It's taking all the fun out of the job.'

Ever seen a bloke being done to death by a toilet? You will now, lol. This ultra-violent action-comedy kicks off on the most Oirish day of the year, Saint Patrick's Day. Only the 'Muricans call it Saint Patty's Day for some reason. 

Robert Shaw as Quint in JAWS calls it Saint Patty's Day but he's allowed to call it whatever he likes because, well, he's Robert Shaw as Quint in JAWS. But if anyone else is gonna call it that to my face, we gon' have a problem. I'm only kidding, I'm totally non-confrontational.

The film is the story of two painfully Oirish twin brothers (I can say that, and much worse stuff as well, 'cause I'm Oirish too) called Connor and Murphy McManus. They are living in South Boston in the 'Nineties.

Now, we Irish wouldn't normally call someone Murphy for their Christian name, only for their surname, but the Connor and McManus bits check out, they're fine. I haven't a clue if either of the actors are actually Irish (Sean Patrick Flannery sounds like he might be!) but, Irish or not, their accents are well bloody dodgy.

Which is mad 'cause, imagine if either of them were Irish and their accents were still rubbish, lol. They pronounce the words 'reap' and 'rape' the same, both as 'ray-ep,' two distinct syllables. Sillah bulls? I think the whole thing's getting a bit sillah now, if you ask me!

Anyway, the two brothers, who've had a religious upbringing and still embrace the spiritual side of life (going to Mass and confession, etc.), work in a meat-packing factory. Not too glamorous, eh? Ah well, a job's a job, I suppose. Anything that pays the bills will do nicely.

But they certainly go up in the world when they find that they've accidentally 'liquidised' the members of a Russian mafia gang who've been bullying a pal of theirs. They never meant to. It was totally in self-defence and it just sort of happened...

The brothers decide they like the feeling that liquidating the dregs of society gives them. They like playing God. They jolly well want to do more of it. Pimps, drug-dealers, crime-lords, child-molesters, rapists and wife-beaters all better watch out. Y'all better give up your lives of mindless thuggery. The mild-mannered, innocuous-looking Ant and Dec of vigilantism are coming for you...

The lads, assisted by their Italian-American sidekick Rocco, the message boy for the local Mafia don and self-styled 'funny man,' go into the vigilante business together:'We're kind of like the Seven-Eleven. We may not always be doing business, but we're always open.' Capiche? Well, it's certainly good to know. You never know when you might need the number of a good Vigil Auntie.

Homer Simpson from THE SIMPSONS has been in the Vigil Auntie business a couple of times. Once, when he becomes the legendary superhero PIEMAN, who dispenses hot, jammy pie-shaped justice in the face to individuals who've acted like jerks to their fellow man.

Then there was the time when he spearheaded SPRINGSHIELD, the security firm formed
in the fires of a Springfield riot and which was mainly just an excuse for wearing a uniform and feeling like a big man by pushing people around. Moe to Jimbo the Bully: 'Can ya swing a sack-a doorknobs?' Jimbo, super-excitedly in the affirmative: 'CAN I...?!'

Anyway, naturally the lads, who are rapidly becoming known to the press and public alike as 'the Saints of South Boston' for their habit of only murdering bad people like drug-dealers or Mafia heads, are bound sooner or later to come to the attention of the police.

Enter the magnificent Willem Dafoe as FBI Special Agent Paul Smecker, a snidely camp homersexual police-cop who is absolutely brilliant at his job. He can read a crime scene like a book. With operatic music playing on his headphones and his white crime-scene gloves delicately in place, he makes Sherlock Holmes look like... well, like a much less talented detective, shall we say, lol, with his acute examination of carelessly discarded clues.

He bullies his underlings mercilessly with a killer wit and lightning-fast thinking ('Greenly, I might just be wanting a bagel with my coffee!'), but enthrals them too with his razor-sharp insight into what's gone on at the various crime scenes they attend.

And the more crime scenes left behind by the Saints he attends, the more that Smecker develops a grudging admiration for them. After all, they're only bumping off the villains and assholes of society, aren't they? They've never harmed any innocent bystanders. Yet. But the way they're going, it's only a matter of time before someone who's nothing to do with anything gets caught in the crossfire.

The film descends into utter chaos in the last twenty to thirty minutes or so. There's just random violence and willy-nilly shooting all over the shop. This section of the movie does have to its credit an hilarious drag turn by Willem Dafoe and an appearance by the Big Yin himself, Billy Connolly, as a recently-paroled hitman called Il Duce. Make of that what you will...

And now for a special paragraph about the fuckin' language in the film. 'Tis fuckin' terrible. The 'F' word is used so frequently it becomes pretty much completely devalued. And to think that these are supposed to be good Oirish boys who say their prayers diligently before shooting a fella through the back of the head with two guns at once. 'Tis fuckin' shocking, so it is. You'd need a whole truckload of carbolic soap to wash their mouths out after all the fuckin' swearing they do in the film. I wouldn't even fuckin' attempt it, frankly.

A word about the violence, in all seriousness. The film was released in the wake of the Columbine High School massacre, and I guess it wasn't able to blow its own trumpet too loudly at the time. That's totally understandable. Gun control will probably always be a sensitive issue. The film's release on home video was a big hit, however, which compensated somewhat, and now the film has cult status.

I can't say that I agree with the notion of executing people off your own bat in real life, even if these people are paedophiles or drug-dealers or pimps or whatever. It's usually a better idea to leave folks like this to the police and to the justice system. They generally get their man in the end, even if it sometimes takes a while.

But this is a film, it's not real. And a lot of people do find it cool to watch guys on-screen shooting other guys in slow motion in a performance so expertly-timed and synchronised that it looks like a m*****-fuckin' ballet, if you'll pardon the profanity.

Especially if those guys wear sunglasses and say cool-sounding Latin religious words like In Nomine Patris and Spiritus Sanctus before they kill their prey and have Billy Connolly for a... Whoops. I've said too much. Just buy the film. It's chock-full of special features and the language is fuckin' shocking. I'm Oirish too and even I don't curse that fuckin' much. 'Nuff said.

PS, I've just looked up the two lads online and neither of them are Irish. What a fuckin' swizz....! Also looked up 'boondocks,' it basically means Hicksville, lol.

THE BOONDOCK SAINTS is available to buy now from ARROW VIDEO.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger, poet and book-and-movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com










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