Harry Callahan is a tough, streetwise San Francisco cop whom they call Dirty Harry. In this action classic, you’ll see why – and also why Clint Eastwood’s reputation as a premier film star and moviemaker is secure. A rooftop sniper (Andy Robinson) calling himself Scorpio, has killed twice and holds the city ransom with the threat of killing again. Harry will nail him , one way or the other, no matter what the “system” prescribes. Filming on location, director Don Siegel made the City by the Bay a vital part of Dirty Harry, a practice continued in its four sequels. Forty three years after its arrival the original remains one of the most gripping police thrillers ever made.
1971 – Certificate: 18 – American Film
7.5 out of 10
This week I’ve inadvertently become a champion and role-model for the downtrodden masses, as I successfully concluded my fight for compensation as a result of the evil and corrupt banking industry misselling me Payment Protection Insurance for a credit card. As we all know now, every single person who’s ever worked for a bank is a child of the Devil. From the CEO to the office cleaners. They exist for one purpose only and that’s to rip everyone else off. Well they made one BIG mistake trying to take me on. After many letters, the MBNA has finally capitulated, agreed it made a ‘mistake’ and has paid me back, with interest. I can’t decide what to spend it on first, a yacht, a jet or an Aston Martin or two. I guess a few lines of coke and some high-class ‘escorts’ wouldn’t go amiss either. I can finally get rid of all my pathetic, stupid, so-called friends and buy myself a whole lot of new ones that better fit my improved social status. The rich and the powerful will invite me to everything. A-list celebrities will be at my beck and call. My membership of the Bilderberg Group is assured. I’m going to start voting Conservative at once, not that I really need to worry about politics now, as I could easily buy myself a whole country if I wanted to. So I guess you probably want to know how much I got? Well, the cheque I was sent is made out to me for 20p…
“Dirty Harry” is a film about a naughty policeman, which was inspired by the Lurkers’ 1999 non-hit “Go Ahead Punk”. (I’ve got this on a very limited edition 7” single in grey vinyl, number 34 of the 125 that were made.) Its main character Harry Callahan was based on James Callaghan, who was British Prime Minister from 1976-1979 and thus oversaw the invention of punk rock by the downtrodden masses that he created during the Winter of Discontent. “Winter of Discontent” was also a great track from Political Asylum’s Winter EP, a copy of which I was sold by the band on the Fulham Palace Road, on my way to a Lurkers gig at the Fulham Greyhound. (The latter was tragically renamed/relaunched earlier this year as an American theme pub called the Southern Belle. WTF?) Its historical significance aside, this film gave us the original police officer who doesn’t play by the rules but gets away with, who still haunts TV and films to this day. Scorpio is also a great psycho without a thread of remorse whatsoever and stands up well to the more modern versions that have followed in his wake. I doubt there’s anything else I could possibly say about this film that hasn’t already been said 100 times before, so won’t. But for what’s now quite an old film, it still looks good. Essential viewing.
This movie is pretty light on music, which is just as well given it was made in the early 70s.
The trailer’s very long and seems to be desperate to portray Harry as more of a victim of circumstance than a police officer who really ought to be sacked for gross misconduct at the very least. He could easily be Martin Riggs‘ father.
Recommended for police officers, psychos and school bus drivers.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? Not once but twice, Harry gives us one of his two, world-famous quotes, here and here. What other character would have the audacity to do that? (Arnie’s done it but not twice in the same film I don’t think.) That’s like a DJ playing the same song back-to-back, it just doesn’t happen; (unless you’re John Peel and you’re playing the Undertones, but that’s okay). He must have been feeling lucky, punk.
Intensely grotesque and shocking as hell, “Feed” is a heavyweight thrill ride through the depths of depravity. A veteran of cyberporn investigations, Australian cop Philip Jackson is no stranger to the dangerous side of sexual fetishes. He may have found his sickest case yet when he discovers a sinister side to an American website devoted to fat-admiring men and obese women called “feeders” and “gainers.” Could the man behind it all be force-feeding missing women to death? Tense, dark and deeply disturbing, director Brett Leonard (“The Lawnmower Man”, “Virtuosity”) takes the crime-thriller genre to a twisted, gut-wrenching new level.
2005 – Certificate: Not Rated – USA
7.5 out of 10
This film provided me with the ideal opportunity to review how my secret, special, weight management programme (aka my diet) is going. I’ve now been on it for 46 days. Mystifyingly, I haven’t lost 35kg yet, my initial target. I thought it would only take a week or two, but apparently it takes long than that. I don’t actually own any scales, so it’s difficult to be sure, but my wardrobe of retro trousers and other clothing from the 80s and 90s still remains stubbornly undersized. It’s amazing how modern washing powders make most clothes shrink, isn’t it? However, I do think I’ve lost some weight; if I breathe in enough, my trousers definitely seem looser. You know how they say that ex-smokers are the worst type of non-smoker? Well, what really drives me on is looking forward to being able to go up to fat people in the street and tell them they’re weak-willed, hideously ugly, pathetic, lazy, stupid and a serious drain on the NHS that people like me are forced to pay for; basically human garbage. Most of them can’t even be bothered to breathe in a bit; no community spirit at all, they’re just so selfish. In comparison, I have a Zen-like ability to control my mind and body, like David Carradine in the 70s TV series “Kung Fu”. Like him, my training and sense of social responsibility repeatedly forces me out into the open, to fight for justice or protect the underdog; which in my case would mainly mean telling fat people they’re fat, well once I’m not one of them, obviously. Sometimes you have to be tough to be kind. I’m not without compassion though. In school you learn about epidemics involving bubonic plague, flu, smallpox, malaria, cholera, etc; but I can tell you nothing’s as bad as the present Obesity Epidemic. I’ve seen what it’s like; cakes, sweets, beer, burgers, takeaways, chocolate, all sitting in shop after shop on the high street. It’s awful, having to stuff yourself silly with junk food and other crap; let me tell you it’s Hell out there. I’m glad to say I’ve never suffered from bubonic plague, but nothing could be as bad as having to sit on the sofa all evening watching TV and eating a big tin of sweets.
This is another ‘cop on the edge’ film, taking the law into his own hands, who doesn’t get on with his boss, etc, etc, zzzzz. Fortunately it’s also got a pretty unique focus for the story, some great characters and a nice, dark, stylish atmosphere; I really liked how the music was used in it too. And let’s not forget our hero’s somewhat vivacious girlfriend. Burnt out by his time as a ‘cyberporn cop’, Australian police officer Phillip Jackson begins investigating the activities of a guy who feeding a woman to death on the Internet, whilst others are betting on when she’ll die. When he gets told to ‘take some time off’, he decides to go to America to track down this guy. Depending on your world view, you’ll either find this movie perverted, cool or totally gross. I liked it, but I can image a lot of people hating it. Beyond the obvious plot, there’s quite a lot going on under the surface as well, about the nature of relationships, love, all that girly stuff. Interestingly, the deleted senses remove a whole subsection of the film’s plot; it’s a while since I’ve seen that happen. I recommend having a really big meal and then sitting down to watch it with some of your larger friends.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Recommended for fatties of course. It provides the idea incentive to go on a diet.
Top badass moment? Bad guy Carter’s conversation with Phillip Jackson in the hotel room. It’s a load of psycho babble but it sounds sort of cool, until you remember he’s a complete nutter. I’m not sure the coffee was that great though.
I watch a lot of horror films. So you’d think by now that I’d be used to people being killed, mutilated, raped, dismembered, or otherwise psychologically damaged. But this week I’ve come face to face with real horror. My Cyclamen has been infected with Mealy Bugs! Like a crappy, straight-to-video horror, these little bastards just appeared, with little or no back-story and just got down to the business of terrorising my pot plant and by association, me. It’s a home invasion experience of the worst kind. All the leaves and even the pot are covered in some sort of evil, disgusting, Mealy Bug pus, whilst the sniveling little cowards hide beneath the leaves, plotting their next nefarious move. Like a good slasher movie icon, they pouch on the innocents, newly emerging leaves, infecting them with an unearthly virus (or whatever it is that Mealy Bugs do). It’s like watching a house plant version of “28 Days Later” or “Doomsday”. They’re hideously ugly and have an aura I can only describe as feeling like undiluted, pure hate. In a similar was to the Borg, they are seemingly linked to a single hive mind, intent on destroying all houseplant life on my bedroom window sill. I’m half expecting the US to target my flat with a Cruise Missile, in an effort to destroy them before they take over the world. I’ve not quite worked out how to get rid of them yet. Negotiation has so far proved futile. Strangely, my Cyclamen seems little effected by their malevolent presence thus far and is currently presenting me with 15 beautiful, pink flowers, although its leaves drip with a rancid, putrid slime that could have come from Hell itself. I’ve got to rid my plant of them, and in a way that doesn’t leave any opportunity for a sequel! After facing this crisis, this movie seems a bit tame.
2004 – Certificate: 18 – USA
Rating Details: Strong bloody violence
I’d forgotten just how good a thriller this film is. So, it also gets credited for popularising torture porn, which later movies in the series do feature more heavily, but this one isn’t that explicitly gory. It is however, clever, interesting and challenging. Although I didn’t really care for the two main characters, I still worried about what was going to happen to them. Sure they were flawed, annoying and a bit pathetic, but I was concerned enough about them that part of me wanted them to escape; no one deserves that much shit. The film also does a good job of making the viewer feel a bit sorry for the perpetrator, too, which makes for a great set-up if you want to experience a range of feelings as things progress. A great modern horror classic.
Recommended for fans of genuinely great thrillers and horrors.
No cats, decapitations or chainsaws. There are a couple of hacksaws though.
Top badass moment? It’s got to be Alison Gordon, fighting back against Zep and doing so pretty successfully. With only the advantage of surprise, she manages to defend herself and her young daughter against a younger guy armed with a gun. That’s got to be badass. She’s had more balls that her pathetic husband, whose mindset was, “oh, my child and wife (whose back behind I’m having an affair) are in trouble; I know, I’ll cut my foot off.” Yeh, good thinking Batman, give that man a cigar.