88 FILMS 4K UHD RELEASE: Drive (1997)

Steven Wang co-directed The Guyver before making this wild kung fu movie in America in which Toby Wong (Mark Dacascos) has an advanced bio-device installed in his chest that gives him superhuman speed and agility. He doesn’t want China to get it after Hong Kong goes back into their control, so he runs to America to sell the device for $5 million with the Chinese government and their killer Vic Madison (John Pyper-Ferguson) and his henchman Hedgehog (Tracey Walter, always Bob the Goon) in the lead. Yet because they need the device working, they can’t kill Toby.

Meeting up with songwriter Malik Brody (Kadeem Hardison) and gun crazy Deliverance Bodine (Brittany Murphy), Toby makes his way to Los Angeles, finally engaging all of the folks chasing him — and the new Advanced Model (Masaya Kato) who has an even better device — in a battle to the death.

So yeah — it sounds like every other action adventure movie that went direct to video. But Drive is special, infused with just enough weirdness and off-centered ideas to be something really amazing. I mean, what other movie has former Leatherface R. A. Mihailoff play a singing trucker?

I don’t know how this movie never found me until today, but I’m beyond happy that it did. If you’re ready for some great fight scenes, fast chases and lots of unexpected oddness, grab this now.

The 88 Films release of Drive has a limited Edition slipcase with artwork by Sam Gilbee, a 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible), audio commentary with director Steve Wang, fight choreographer Koichi Sakamoto and stars Mark Dacascos and Kadeem Harrison, the original cut that didn’t appear in America, a behind-the-scenes documentary, six deleted scenes, an interview gallery with cast, director and crew and a trailer. You can get it from MVD.

THE IMPORTANT CINEMA CLUB’S SUPER SCARY MOVIE CHALLENGE 15: Premutos: The Fallen Angel (1997)

15. A Horror Film With Special Effects by Olaf Ittenbach.

Olaf Ittenbach is something else. I mean, if you thought Black Past or The Burning Moon was all he was going to do, this movie takes those movies and blows them away.

Premutos is the first of the fallen, predating Lucifer, and his son has been preparing the world for his rule since before time. Meanwhile, Mathias begins to have flashbacks of being the son of this dark god and remembers being crucified next to Jesus, the diseases of the dark ages and Russia in the time of war. Now, he’s found an ancient book and a potion that will mutate him into his true form, which means he’s about to ruin his human father’s birthday and usher in the dark age of Premutos.

Shot on 16mm and blown up to grainy and gory majesty, as the human body is destroyed in so many ways. Chainsawed, exploded, shot, stabbed, pierced, split, sliced and so many more ways to see how much blood is inside a person.

This movie makes it seem like Ittenbach had taken a personal mission in making Germany the gore and splatter leader. I mean, how much blood is enough? Obviously that answer is infinity if you follow this one, because everyone and everything is covered in it. It’s like he saw Raimi, saw Jackson and said, “Hold my Schneider Weisse Aventinus Eisbock.”

You know how people were throwing up — allegedly — during Terrifier 2? This movie has a scene where a man has metal rods appear out of his body, pushing their way out of his teeth and his body is pulled apart by wire as it shoots blood all over an apartment.

This movie almost has too much in it and I love it for that. It was like its creator was worried he’d never make another movie, so he made every movie he wanted to make for the rest of his existence all at once. We’re all the better for it, unless you try and eat during this. Actually, I had a whole bunch of Extreme Sour Warheads and just kept adding them to my mouth at the end as everything went crazy and I went into a sugar rush and started screaming at the TV.

This is, as the assholes say, cinema.

You can watch this on Tubi.

THE IMPORTANT CINEMA CLUB’S SUPER SCARY MOVIE CHALLENGE 5: Office Killer (1997)

5. A Horror Film Directed by a Fine Artist.

Cynthia Sherman is a fine artist whose work is mainly a series of photographic self-portraits, depicting herself in many different contexts and as various imagined characters. Her best-regarded work is the collected “Untitled Film Stills”, a series of 70 black-and-white photographs of herself playing the female roles of arthouse films and exploitation films.

Working from a script that she wrote with Elise MacAdam, Todd Haynes and Tom Kalin, Sherman made Office Killer, a movie in which Dorine Douglas (Carol Kane) goes from taking the corpse of her friend Gary Michaels (David Thornton) after he accidentally gets electrocuted to going on a murder spree that includes artistic murders of Girl Scout, the office manager Norah Reed (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and Reed’s lover Daniel Birch (Michael Imperioli). By the end, she’s on the road, a severed head in the passenger seat, looking for another office job.

Plus, Molly Ringwald works in the same office and Eric Bogosian appears in dreams as Dorine’s father.

This movie isn’t sure what it wants to be. Does it want to play the violence off-screen or shove your face in it? Is it a parody of slashers or just a bad one? It’s hard to tell. It reminds me of why I don’t really like C.H.U.D. because it seems like everyone in it is above being in a horror movie. I do like that the art for it tries to make it look like a 90s erotic office thriller, which it is not.

88 FILMS BLU RAY RELEASE: Hero (1997)

A remake of The Boxer from ShantungHero is the story of Ma Wing-jing (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and his older brother Ma Tai-cheung (Yuen Wah), who have left their home to find fortune on the streets of Shanghai.

Sadly, the streets are not paved with gold and the brothers find themselves merely existing by doing manual labor. Yet one day while admiring gangster Tam Sei’s (Yuen Biao) horse carriage, Ma Wing-jing is challenged to a race: Tam Sei’s horse against his human running ability. Sure, he loses, but the two become friends.

Tam Sei may have the British government on his side, but his rival Yang Shuang (Yuen Tak) has the cops on his payroll. Once Ma Wing-jing saves Tam Sei from an assassination attempt, he is given some territory and power, which goes to his head. He eventually pushes himself toward fighting Yang Shuang on his own.

Director Corey Yuen and writer Jeffrey Lau made a gangster epic that is only 90 minutes long plus it has martial arts and wild moments like Yuen Biao rising from a coffin and blasting numerous rifles, not to mention a fight atop a speeding train between Yuen Wah and Baio for a silver watch. Also: so many axe wounds, slices and decapitations.

A movie that has plenty of guts and gore, this takes The Boxer from Shantung, takes a little bit of every great gangster film that came between 1972 and 1997 — John Woo, Scorsese, De Palma, Coppola — frenetically paces the whole thing and dares you to keep up.

88 Films blu ray release of Hero has a high definition 1080p presentation of the movie, as well as audio commentary with Asian cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema, English and Hong Kong trailers, alternate scenes from the Taiwanese version, a slipcase with art from R.P. “Kung Fu Bob” O’Brien and a booklet with notes by Andrew Graves. You can get it from MVD.

VISUAL VENGEANCE BLU RAY RELEASE: The Necro Files (1997)

A notorious underground classic for the last 25 years, this so-called American Video Nasty is finally available to a mass audience. And thanks to Visual Vengeance — due diligence, I’ve recorded several commentary tracks and written liner notes for some upcoming films — this is available for the first time ever on blu ray. If you haven’t seen one of their releases yet, it’s like the Criterion Collection grew a sack and stopped releasing movies that eight snooty people care about and started releasing movies that eight maniacs care about with all the love and care that pure cinema deserves, if pure cinema is a movie with a flying zombie baby.

Directed by Matt Jaissle from a script by Todd Tjersland and Sammy Shapiro, things get started when police detectives Martin Manners (Steve Sheppard) and Orville Sloane (Gary Browning) arrive too late to save Manners’ sister from being the next target of hockey-masked rapist serial killer Logan (Isaac Cooper), a killer who has aready claimed two hundred victims. Manners snaps when he gets to the scene and becomes judge, jury and executioner as he blows Logan away.

Some time later, a Luciferian gang marches through the cemetery where Logan has been buried. They kill his infant child — living up to the promise of the Satanic Panic — and throw it into Logan’s grave before taking turns urinating on its dead corpse, all the while chanting rituals and making you consider whether you’re ready for what this movie has to deliver. This ceremony brings Logan back, except now he has a yard-long appendage and he’s ready to use it on any girl unlucky enough to get in his way, including German porn star Dru Berrymore and a girl who is assaulting the tradesman’s entrance of a blow-up doll that Logan falls in love with.

Keep in mind — this baby is totally a toy and that fact is never disguised, pushing this movie from simply strange into sheer madness, the kind that I hunt down and treasure.

Two of the cult members, Barney (Jason McGee) and Jack (Christian Curmudgeon) are trying to escape the carnage they created, as the baby comes back as a flying zombie with a cartoon voice and Manners continues to go down a dark path filled with violence and drug use.

How could this movie be made any better? Well, it’s dedicated to Joe D’Amato and trust me, I think the man of many names would approve of the sheer lunacy and exploitation madness that this movie contains.

Just a warning: nearly every scene in this movie is filled with sex, violence or sex being interrupted with violence. It’s a vile, disgusting movie with a helium-voiced flying demon baby, and you’re not going to find anything else like it anywhere.

Necro Files 3000 (2017): Two decades to the very day, the Necro Murders are happening again. Investigative journalist Phineas Hogweather (played by a Count Chocula puppet) is watching his favorite cam girl when she’s assaulted by the undead and very much alive again Logan. After meeting up with occult authority Professor Blackthorn (a baby doll with a Magic Marker drawn beard), the creature is chased around the planet and back to America, where our heroes unleash the Pentagon’s deadly Killbot 9000 and, well, kill everything.

Made in Superpuppettronimation — which mainly means throwing blood at toys — and featuring just as much sex and violence as the original, but maybe even more because it’s harder to be offended by puppets and dolls, I had an absolute blast with this absurd film, one that takes a full minute to explain that we’re in the jungle, as we see the jungle, but then keep hearing Hogweather and Blackthorn discuss just how dark the jungle is.

A more than worthy sequel.

Select bonus features in Video Venegance’s blu ray release of the Necro Files — available from MVD –include a brand new commentary with director Matt Jaissle, another brand new commentary with Matt Desiderio of Horror Boobs and Billy Burgess of the Druid Underground Film Festival, a new on-camera interview with Jaissle, his films Necro Files 3000The Corpse and some super-8 films, Dong of the Dead: The Making of The Necro Files, a Chilean talk show appearance, a limited edition slipcase, reversible sleeve art, a collectible mini-poster, “Stick your own” VHS sticker set and even a The Necro Files condom that says that it isn’t for human use, which is always nice.
Get it from Diabolik DVD or watch the Visual Vengeance edition on Tubi.
You can follow Visual Vengeance on social media on Instagram and Twitter.

Arnold Week: Batman and Robin (1997)

EDITOR’S MONTH: This was one of the first movies on this site, posted on June 30, 2017. For some reason, I think about this movie all the time and quote Arnold’s lines.

It’s hard to find a movie as critically reviled and universally despised as Batman and Robin. But I was going into this with an open mind. I hadn’t seen the film in twenty years, since seeing it on opening night. I must have blocked the film out of my mind with some PTSD-like fight or flight response. It worked — I’ve filed so much of this movie away in a “DO NOT OPEN” file.

But it can’t be that bad, can it? Keep an open mind, I said. It’s been twenty years. Maybe it improved with age.

That open mind lasted around twenty seconds of enduring fetish-like, slow motion crawls up the rubberized bodies of Batman and Robin. Pomp and circumstance and flexing abounded, punctuated only by the plaintive voice of Robin, who must be in his twenties, begging for the Batmobile, because “chicks dig the car.” Batman’s response, “This is why Superman works alone,” can either be seen as a horribly throwaway joke. Or it can be an admission that the DC multiverse exists within this film.

But let’s rewind. There once was a time, back when the phone rang and you had no idea who was on the other line, when there were no comic book movies. You had to hunt for them — sure, there was Superman, but even Marvel’s best heroes barely registered anything more than a Saturday morning cartoon or a bad cover version, like the CBS Spider-ManDr. Strange and Captain America (starring Yor, Hunter from the Future’s Reb Brown!) movies. In fact, 1988 had just one comic book movie made: TV movie The Incredible Hulk Returns. As a good friend of mine has commented many times, we had to take what we could get.

In 1989, we finally got something we could call our own: Tim Burton’s Batman. But not everyone was happy. I was a regular subscriber to the Comics Buyer’s Guide, and the outcry over Michael Keaton being cast was a cacophony. If Twitter had existed then, I doubt the movie would have ever been made. Luckily, audiences were wowed by a Batman that wasn’t the 1960s pop art Adam West they had known before. Batman was dark, moody and dangerous — in effect, he was everything that comic book fans loved.

Looking back, there’s a lot to poke holes at in the first Burton Bat films. Batman takes his mask off at the drop of a hat, generally in front of his greatest enemies. Jack Nicholson is the real star of the show. And how did we ever allow Batdance to happen? That said — there’s a lot to love, too. The second film. Batman Returns, expands Batman’s rogue’s gallery while also having him take his mask off in front of an enemy. But again — good to great film, with nothing to be embarrassed about.

1995’s Batman Forever exchanged Keaton for Val Kilmer and Tim Burton turned the director’s chair over to Joel Schumacher to not-so-satisfying results, thanks to a muddled plot, too many villains, Jim Carrey’s incessant and inane mugging for the camera and after setting up Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent, Two-Face ended up being played by Tommy Lee Jones (who, to his credit, once told Carry, “I hate you. I really don’t like you … I cannot sanction your buffoonery.”). But hey — “A Kiss from a Rose” is in it! And H.R. Giger designed a Batmobile for it that was never used — but it would have improved the film a hundredfold!

That brings us full circle back to Batman and Robin. This is a movie that clubs you over the head with subtext. Before we even leave the cave, we know that Robin and Batman have issues and Alfred doesn’t just have a cold…the man is dying! But there’s no time for that — there’s a new villain in town named Mr. Freeze, who is Arnold Schwarzenegger painted blue and wearing armor. If you happened to love Arnold’s one-liners in other films, good news! Every single line from him in this movie is a one-liner, screamed and snarled, shouted and smiled. It’s all peaks and no valleys, like a Slayer album with no lyrics or drums, just atonal guitar solos. Someone on IMDB was kind enough to count how many ice-related puns Arnold makes in the film — 27 to be exact.

There are no fight scenes in this film. Oh, there are moments that seem like fights. But no one really fights, they just slide toward one another and dance around and even play hockey. Yes, for some reason, Batman and Robin have ice skates in their costumes. The film feels like a series of Rob Liefeld panels brought to terrifying life — cocks in your face, muscles pulsating, teeth gritting. The big fight between Batman and Mr. Freeze is as simple as Batman flying at Freeze’s vehicle, SMASH CUT, Batman’s cape is lifted to reveal a knocked out Freeze. Perhaps we’d have liked to have seen this battle!

There’s no dialogue in Akiva Goldsman’s script — merely diatribes and camp asides — and his is from the man who won an Oscar in 2001 for A Beautiful Mind. This points at one of the most upsetting things about this film — it felt like we, as comic book fans, had clawed our way into the multiplexes and wanted people to know that the books we loved weren’t just filled with bright colors and words like POW, ZAP and BAM! There were three-dimensional characters on the flat page that we lived and died with. Only Burton had gotten close and now, we were slip sliding back into camp.

To wit — Bane,  in the pages of DC Comics had broken Bruce Wayne’s back and given him one of his few lasting defeats. In the comics, Bane was raised in a prison, serving the sentences his father died too soon to serve. He’s as smart as Batman, yet a stronger, more cunning and better fighter. In this film, he’s a scrawny prisoner who is transformed by a drug called Venom into a gigantic brain damaged buffoon, played by pro wrestler Jeep Swensen (who would go on to be called The Ultimate Solution in WCW, one of the most ill-advised nicknames, well, ever).

There’s also no shortage of characters to try and take in. There’s Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy, who looks great, but is the Mae West of supervillains in the film. She takes particular delight in playing Batman against Robin, who argue as if they were a couple and not father and adoptive son (according to George Clooney, this was no accident). There’s Alicia Silverstone, who shows up in one of her Aerosmith video costumes. She becomes Batgirl, getting a skintight, rubber butted costume of her very own. And oh yeah Alfred is dying, remember? There’s also Vivica A. Fox as Ms. B. Haven in just one scene that makes no sense! There’s a Jesse Ventura cameo! Oh! There’s Gremlins 2’s John Glover as Dr. Jason Woodrue (who comic fans would know as The Floronic Man) for about two seconds! It’s an onslaught of characters that do nothing but shout at you!

I’m not one to pooh pooh day glo comic book fun — Flash Gordon and Danger: Diabolik are two of my favorite films of all time. But they had heart and artistry beating beneath their multi-hued surfaces. This film is a paean to Happy Meals and toy tie-ins (I had the Mr. Freeze, which looked nothing like Arnold). I can apply the same insult to this film that I gave to the cinematic turd known as Sucker Punch: it’s about as much fun as watching one of your friends beat a video game.

As this was being filmed, Warner Brothers was so impressed with what they saw, they started thinking about a fourth installment, Batman Unchained. The plot was to have featured the Scarecrow (Howard Stern was rumored to be cast in the role) bringing Jack Nicholson’s Joker back to life, at least inside Batman’s brain. Harley Quinn, now the Joker’s daughter, was also to be in this film. There was even talk of a Nightwing spinoff. But critical savaging and poor returns scuttled any  sequels or spinoffs, as well as other attempts at adapting Batman Beyond, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One (Darren Aronofsky was to direct).

It wasn’t until Chris Nolan came on board that Batman would finally return to Hollywood. This is the movie that, to quote Clooney himself, “killed the franchise.” It did more than that. It killed comic book movies, until Blade and X-Men showed that serious comic films could draw a mainstream audience. This is a film that will leave you with so many questions: What kind of God would make life so simple — and painful at the same time — by giving Alfred the same disease that struck Mr. Freeze’s wife and sent that icy bad guy on the path to evil? Why is Elle Macpherson in this movie (most of her scenes were cut, including her being killed by Poison Ivy)? Did Arnold really get $25 million to just laugh his ass off and smoke a cigar while wearing blueface? Will we see more of those Batnipples? How awesome of a song is R. Kelly’s “Gotham City?” Where the fuck did Batman get a Bat Credit Card from? Why is there a scene packed with gangs ala The Warriors, including a bunch of droogs and Coolio of all people (and Corey Haim as a biker)? And most importantly, how much time is left in the film, because it seems like every minute is an hour and every hour is a decade?

This film also held back the careers of Alicia Silverstone and Chris O’Donnell, nearly making the latter disappear. It also hurt Joel Schumacher — but that’s just justice, Gotham style — who didn’t direct another film until 1999’s 8MM.

I wish that I could find some joy in this film beyond making fun of it. But the best allegory I can find for it is a very true story. It took forever to take off the complicated Batman suit, so George Clooney would just piss inside it  — on more than one occasion. That says just about all you can say about Batman and Robin.

Mill Creek Through the Decades: 1990s Collection: I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The next movie in the Mill Creek Through the Decades: 1990s Collection originally ran on the site on August 30, 2020.

Lois Duncan’s I Know What You Did Last Summer was first published in October 1973. Duncan wrote several books that featured young girls in trouble, including Summer of Fear, which was made into a TV movie directed by Wes Craven.

She got the idea for the book when her daughter Kerry told her that she and her best friend had unknowingly been courted by the same boy. She wondered if the boy had deliberately done this, creating a different personality for both of them, and worked his way into their lives to drive a wedge between them. She later read a story about a hit-and-run and put together the story that became the novel (and the loose inspiration for this film).

Sadly, Duncan’s life became tragic after the unsolved murder of her youngest daughter Kaitlyn. Her last horror novel would be Gallows Hill — which filmed for TV as 1998’s I’ve Been Waiting for You  — after which she’d concentrate on non-fiction works about her daughter’s case, psychic phenomena and books for kids, like Hotel for Dogs (which was also a movie). Before her death in 2016, ten of her best-loved books would be reissued and modernized with new covers and bits added about modern technology.

She would tell Absolute Write that very same year that she was upset with this take on her book: “I was appalled when my book, I Know What You Did Last Summer, was made into a slasher film.  As the mother of a murdered child, I don’t find violent death something to squeal and giggle about.”

Screenwriter Kevin Williamson had already had success with Scream, which made him the go-to writer for teen horror. He took the source novel, added some inspiration from growing up the son of a fisherman and added the urban legend — stay tuned for these movies — of The Hook to create a new trope of kids who try to wish away the past. for what it’s worth, the poster originally said “from the creator of Scream” until Miramax sued Columbia Pictures.

Unlike the aforementioned Scream, this movie is very much an old-fashioned slasher, despite its initial lack of blood. A throat slashing and the crab factory death were added after the initial cut was viewed to add more danger, as was the character in danger all over again post-script, which would become a thematic inclusion for all entries in this series.

For those that argue these things and wonder, “Is it a giallo?” I opine that it is more on the side of slasher. Yes, there are gorgeous people in it, but there’s a marked lack of fashion, music and, to be honest, the strangeness that that genre is imbued with. That said, the hook-carrying bad guy very much does feel like he belongs there.

The story takes place in Southport, North Carolina. Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt),  Helen Shivers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Barry Cox (Ryan Phillippe) and Ray Bronson (Freddie Prinze Jr.) are on their way to the beach late at night on one of their last summers together before college pulls them apart when an event unites them all. They hit a pedestrian and instead of allowing their lives to be ruined, they dump the body in the ocean.

By the way, the mountain road that they are driving along is the exact same highway from Hitchcock’s The Birds.

The issue is that their lives are all changed by that one evening with only Julie able to escape the town and go to college. When she returns, the notes that say, “I know what you did last summer,” and the gaslighting campaign begins.

Jennifer Love Hewitt became a big deal from this film, beyond her fame from Party fo Five, even singing the song “How Do I Deal” on the soundtrack. She’d appeared with Jamie Lee Curtis in House Arrest earlier that year and when Curtis was filming nearby, she came over to wish her luck on her first role as a scream queen and would be a consistent visitor to the set.

While actually written before Scream, when studios wanted nothing to do with slashers, the success of that film allowed for this one, while making it seem like a rip-off. Such is Hollywood.

The success of this film led to I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer.

Mill Creek’s Through the Decades: 1990s Collection has some great movies for a great price like HousesitterWhite PalaceOne True ThingDonnie BrascoThe Devil’s OwnThe MatchmakerAnacondaThe Freshman and The Deep End of the Ocean. You can get it from Deep Discount.

Mill Creek Through the Decades: 1990s Collection: Anaconda (1997)

Directed by Luis Llosa (The Specialist) and written by Hans Bauer and the team of Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr. (who wrote Top Gun, The Flintstones in Viva Rock VegasLegal EaglesTurner & HoochThe Secret of My Success and Dick Tracy together), Anaconda tripled its $45 million dolalr budget at the box office by basically making a slasher with a giant snake as the killer.

It’s an easy set-up: a film crew is shooting a National Graphic documentary about an indigenous Amazonian tribe and sails right into trouble thanks to snake hunter Paul Serone (Jon Voight, chewing scenery to the point that I was worried that he’d have to give his Oscar back).

Soon, director Terri Flores (Jennifer Lopez), her cameraman Danny Rich (Ice Cube), Dr. Steven Cale (Eric Stoltz), production manager Denise Kalberg (Kari Wuhrer), her boyfriend Gary Dixon (Owen Wilson), narrator Warren Westridge (Jonathan Hyde) and Mateo the boat captain (Vincent Castellanos) have found their own heart of scaly darkness and not everyone — quite possibly no one — will make it home alive.

The CGI for the anacondas cost $100,000 per second. You could probably do that level of CGI on your phone now, which may speak more to the quality fo 1997 CGI than 2022 technology. What you won’t have is Frank Welker, the master of animal voices, to do a snake voice for you.

This movie is dangerously dumb and I love it. I can’t even front — I realize that it is in no way a good movie and worse, it’s a multimillion dollar movie that a 70s movie would make for a quarter of the cost and probably be even better.

Mill Creek’s Through the Decades: 1990s Collection has some great movies for a great price like HousesitterWhite PalaceOne True ThingDonnie BrascoThe Devil’s OwnThe MatchmakerI Know What You Did Last SummerThe Freshman and The Deep End of the Ocean. You can get it from Deep Discount.

Mill Creek Through the Decades: 1990s Collection: The Devil’s Own (1997)

Francis “Frankie” McGuire/Rory Devaney (Brad Pitt) is a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army who comes to the United States undercover to get the black market anti-aircraft missiles the IRA needs to shoot down British helicopters in Northern Ireland. However, he’s conflicted when he comes to think of Sergeant Tom O’Meara (Harrison Ford) as family.

It’s interesting in that neither is a bad guy. They’re both driven men who both believe in their causes. However, that means that the two of them are on a collision course.

This is the last movie of Alan J. Pakula, who made KluteThe Parallax ViewAll the President’s MenPresume Innocent and The Pelican Brief. Sadly, he died soon after making this when a driver hit a steel pipe and it flew into his windshield, hitting him in the head. The story comes from Kevin Jarre, who came up with the idea for Rambo: First Blood Part II and the screenplay had several writers, including Jarre, David Aaron Cohen, Vincent Patrick and Robert Mark Kamen, who created The Karate Kid from his real life.

Mill Creek’s Through the Decades: 1990s Collection has some great movies for a great price like HousesitterWhite PalaceOne True ThingDonnie BrascoThe MatchmakerAnacondaI Know What You Did Last SummerThe Freshman and The Deep End of the Ocean. You can get it from Deep Discount.

Mill Creek Through the Decades: 1990s Collection: Donnie Brasco (1997)

Based on the book Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia by Joseph D. Pistone and Richard Woodley, this movie loosely tells the story of Pistone (Johnny Depp), an FBI undercover agent who infiltrated the Bonanno crime family under the alias Donnie Brasco by gaining the trust of aging hitman Lefty Ruggiero (Al Pacino).

The intriguing thing about the movie is that as Pistone/Donnie disappears into the world of crime, he wonders if he’s even a federal agent any longer. He also realizes that his actions will cause the death of Ruggiero, a man who he has come to consider a friend.

By the end, the Donnie Brasco operation got the law over 200 indictments and 100 convictions. Today, Pistone lives with his wife under an assumed name in an undisclosed location — with a $500,000 open contract for his death — and continues to consult for the government and Hollywood.

While Lefty takes off his jewelry and tells his wife, “If it was going to be anyone, I’m glad it was him,” the real life Lefty was arrested by the FBI on the way to his own murder. He was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, distribution of a controlled dangerous substance and running an illegal gambling operation. He received early parole in 1992 after he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and died in 1994.

It’s wild that a gangster movie was directed by the same man who made Four Weddings and a Funeral, Mike Newell. The script was written by Paul Attansio, who also wrote SphereDisclosureThe Sum of All FearQuiz Show and The Good German.

Mill Creek’s Through the Decades: 1990s Collection has some great movies for a great price like HousesitterWhite PalaceOne True ThingThe Devil’s OwnThe MatchmakerAnacondaI Know What You Did Last SummerThe Freshman and The Deep End of the Ocean. You can get it from Deep Discount.