Monday, July 02, 2007


To paraphrase the sixteenth century poet Willliam Butler, "Doubtless the Italians could have made a worse movie than 'Bronx Executioner', but doubtless they never did."

Granted, I'm paraphrasing him fairly liberally, but if he had seen 'Bronx Executioner', I'm sure this would have been his assessment.

It's quite difficult to review a movie like 'Bronx Executioner'. You can't pick holes in it because it's primarily made of holes. Pick at it with any sort of force and the whole thing falls apart. It wasn't so much filmed as edited together from other footage, and even the fresh new footage was routinely looped to pad out the action. As for the story, even in its most abbreviated form, the synopsis either doesn't make sense or doesn't match what's happening on screen. It's the equivalent of hearing a voiceiver intone, "In the years after the Apocalypse, the shattered remnants of humanity banded together in savage gangs to battle for survival", while watching Vivien Leigh flounce around a ballroom in a hoop skirt exclaiming "Fiddle dee dee!".

It's only due to my intense personal courage that I can attempt to compare the movie's conceits with reality.

Conceit: It's the near future.

Reality: It's 1989, and roughly half of the footage came from 1983's 'L'Ultimo Guerriero'. So at least half of the time it's actually the near past.

Conceit: It's the Bronx.

Reality: Except for a few seconds of establishing shot right after the opening credits, we're about as close to the Bronx as we are to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. We're quite obviously in an abandoned quarry in a pleasant rural district somewhere outside Turin. Who knew that the Bronx was so pastoral?

Conceit: Replicant human androids are common. Androids who are defective or in some way sub-par are abandoned in the Bronx to fend for themselves.

Reality: So the future doesn't have outlet malls or factory seconds stores. Or recycling.

Conceit: Warring gangs of androids battle over scarce resources, like food, cars and hot women.

Reality: Androids have little use for food, cars or hot women. Z-grade Italian actors, on the other hand, have little use for anything but.

Conceit: Newly qualified "Lawman" James Crawley is sent in by the NYPD to keep the androids under control.

Reality: Crawley has blow dried hair and designer stubble. His office, in what looks like someone's basement, has a hand-lettered sign on the wall reading "New York Police Department". There's a poster of the New York City skyline at night on the wall in lieu of a window. He's an idiot who could be taken out by a malfunctioning wristwatch, never mind a malfunctioning android.

Conceit: After one group of androids kills most of another group, the remnants vow revenge.

Reality: In the big massacre scene, I swear the victims were doing jazz hands as they pirouetted down the side of a slag heap under a hail of supposed gunfire. I've seen more convincing death throes in games of 'ring-a-ring-a-rosie'.

Conceit: Eventually everyone except Crawley ends up dead.

Reality: Actually this bit is true.

The good news is that the DVD only cost me $1.66.


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