Forgotten Fillms: Point Blank
February 12, 2009 in Forgotten Films
If you’re anything like me (and I know you are) you often think “Why doesn’t that violent and irascible drunk Lee Marvin make anymore movies?” For those of you responding “Well, because he’s dead.” I say to you, Point Blank (atheist scum). A neo-noir crime thriller of metaphysical scale starring Lee, Archie Bunker, Dean Wormer and that hot naked chick who takes a shower in the beginning of Dressed to Kill. This movie starts by murdering Lee Marvin (Walker) who doesn’t even seem vaguely fazed by the event. That’s how tough Lee Marvin is fuckerz. Or is it all a dream (Patrick Duffy)? A violent revenge fantasy of a dying man in his final death spasms? Maybe Walker is an avenging angel? A gooey phantom righting the wrongs before proceeding on to the ethereal? Probably the last guy to ask is Walker because he seems almost as drunk as Lee Marvin in real life.
What the hell are you talking about Cool? You with the questions. This is why grandma never baked for you after that scene you made in church. Fine, the plot revolves around Walker’s angry pursuit of $93,000 that was his share in a robbery committed with his wife and his old buddy, Reese. In the first scene, all three go to a deserted Alcatraz to break up their share of the loot but Reese and Walker’s wife escape after shooting Walker repeatedly and leaving him for dead in a cell. In the next scene, we see Walker swim off Alcatraz island, a place made famous for the fact that no man ever escaped from it alive. After an unspecified amount of time, Walker mysteriously reappears on a boat and is physically fine. Objects in scenes mysteriously move around and characters seem to relate to Walker in strange ways and oh, those wonderful elipses!
John Boorman directs this existential crisis based on the book The Hunter by Richard Stark (a pen name of Donald Westlake) which still somehow remains a mainstream movie. The book is far more conventional than the film for once and imitates the old ’30s “pulps” fairly well. Stark’s books sold welll and were very popular with prisoners (the crook always outsmarts everyone) in the ’60′s and 70′s and The Hunter was just the first of many sequels. One of the best aspects of Point Blank outside of the story is seeing Angie Dickinson (aka “Sugar Tits”). She is simply a fantasy here with a butt that I imagine, matches Unfun’s (we’ve never met, but I’ve read reviews). Plus, Archie Bunker is a mob boss! For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Boorman/Marvin coupling produced some pretty spectacular movies over the years besides this one including Hell in the Pacific (explore the body dear reader).
Point Blank was later remade as Payback by Mel Gibson which was an abortion of Hollywood proportions when it was released in theaters. Years later, Payback: Straight up: The Director’s Cut was released on dvd and it was a lot better than the theater release. As told in the commentary, the studio didn’t like Director Helgeland’s portrait of Mel Gibson (aka “Sugar Titless”) as a wife beating hard-ass which is kinda the point of the character. So the director threw his hands up and walked away from the movie (integrity is sexy!). Mel came in, reshot the entire third act and made it more palatable to Hollywood standards (Aussie sell out). If you get a chance, listen to the commentary and documentary on the director’s cut because as it turns out, Mel didn’t want to redo the movie either but at the same time he wanted a release. Mel you sly devil. You come out smelling like sugar every time.
So what are you waiting for? A gun to your head? Netflix it now: You can even watch it online!
And here’s the Payback Director’s cut:
Now fuck off! I got shit to do!
Image Via wikipedia.com