November 14, 2015

Movie Review: Dangerous Men

Wow. I really don’t know where to begin with this one. Dangerous Men is being billed as a movie 26-years in the making. It is a no budget action film that appears to have begun shooting in the early 1980’s and had scenes finished sometime in the 1990’s. It is the brainchild of John S. Rad, an Iranian who fled his home country for California, leaving behind a multi-million dollar fortune and several finished features. An architect by trade, it seems he fancied himself more of a filmmaker. This action/thriller is his magnum opus and the only film the world will ever get to know. Should you see it? That depends on your capacity for cheese.

John S. Rad did virtually everything on this film. Among his credits are writer, director, editor, producer, executive producer, and composer. It is almost as if he was a precursor to Robert Rodriguez and his penchant as a multi hyphenate. The film was completed, it seems, early in this century and appeared in a mere handful of Los Angeles area theaters in 2005. It arrived with no fanfare, no advertising, no advance reviews, nothing. The only thing remotely related to advertising was a poorly made poster that appeared in theaters upon its release. It reportedly made a mere $70 in ticket sales during its first week. It did not have anymore.

When I left the theater it would be accurate to say that I was speechless. Not that I had anyone to talk to, but if I had, I could not have said fewer words. Dangerous Men is one of the most ineptly made movies I have ever seen. It is a mash up of bad 80’s stereotypes and left half baked on the screen. It is a movie with terrible pacing, acting, dialogue, action, plot, and when it ends, nothing is resolved. It just st

See what I did there? I left the thought unfinished. Sure, you know what I was going to say, but I left it unfinished, much like this movie. Now, the funny thing is that despite of, or perhaps in spite of, how bad this movie is, I can honestly say that I liked it. Of course, this leads into the existential conversation of whether or not a “bad” movie that you like is actually bad, since if it manages to entertain you could argue that its goal was achieved. Whatever, this movie is very poorly made and I had an absolute blast watching it. It left me on multiple occasions with my mouth incredulously agape at what I had just seen.

What is it about? Well, it begins with a couple telling each other how much they love each other over dinner. Following dinner, the two go to the beach where they are accosted by a couple of bikers looking for a good time. One of the bikers gets strangled by the man, then the man gets stabbed to death by the other biker, the remaining biker yells at the dead body of the man (“You killed my only friend!”), then the woman chases after the biker calling him a real man. The two end up at a hotel where the woman approaches the biker naked and stabs him to death with a knife she had hidden in her butt cheeks. I kid you not.

The woman decides to go on a killing spree, taking out any sleazy man who tries to do anything with her. This is apparently every man who appears on film. I know what you’re thinking, this is starting to sound a little like Abel Ferrara’s Ms. 45. You would not be wrong, but there is a certain level of quality that separates the two. Well, she goes around taking out men with the occasional time out to monologue a bit so we know just how angsty she is. She even picks up a prostitute for a little conversation.

Then, partway through the movie, a second story jumps in. This one concerning a cop who is out looking for the people who knew the dead biker. This leads to a showdown with a biker gang leader called Black Pepper. It all ends on a freeze frame and when the credits roll you will wonder what is happening as the movie isn't over yet.

You really can’t make this up. Dangerous Men is a singular experience. It is simply terrible, but in a train wreck sort of way. You can’t look away. You have to keep watching to see just what it’s going to do next. I think what makes the awfulness of this movie so watchable is that you can see the passion, That helps set it apart from other bad movies. It is hard to completely hate on a movie made by someone who believes so much in it and what he is doing. That energy comes through in the finished product and really drags you in.

Just wait until the would be rapist is dancing through the desert naked while trying to figure out how to explain the lack of clothes to his wife. Crazy, I tell you, and that is dedication. It is one of those scenes you can honestly say you had never seen before on the big screen.

Recommended. (Seriously)

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