Friday, December 28, 2012

Fear City (1984) Review:

When it comes to movies that are pure crime thriller in that genre, every component has to be the best. Top notch. And somewhat relative to another crime thriller called Nighthawks (1981), also starring Billy Dee Williams, Fear City (1984) just doesn't seem to add anything new. It is almost equal in entertainment; that is mediocre.

Billy Dee Williams as Dt. Wheeler
Fear City (1984) is about a couple of individuals that get caught up in the middle of a killer’s rampage. The individuals consist of Matt Rossi (Berenger), a retired boxer and his partner Nicky Parzeno (Scalia) who are affiliated with the Italian mob and own their own club where topless dancers are the main attraction. But soon things start to go haywire when a killer starts assaulting Rossi's and Parzeno's girls and then they stop showing up to work.

It's hard to imagine Berenger with an Italian New York accent but he pulls it off okay. Rossi also has a girlfriend who works at his club, Loretta, played by Melanie Griffith. Griffith's character does play a significant role in the story (besides dancing topless) but the fact that there was a subplot that involved her regretting having sex with Rossi was irrelevant. Writer Nicholas St. John probably should have reviewed his script first before filming started. I also didn't understand how the background of Rossi connected to the current plot. It's great that it was included but there was never a clear connection to why he went from boxing to management of clubs.

Tom Berenger as the trouble boxer, Matt Rossi
And for the killer, I don't understand why he was uncredited and if that was the case, why he didn't come out and say anything. His performance, although not spectacular, was the main reason why this whole movie was created! His style of killing was different to see than the usual psychopaths, even though half the time nothing was scene. I also don’t understand the logic behind that. The film had some many cuts in it because it was too gory. How gory could it have been? I could sure think of some films that were much more graphic. The Evil Dead (1981) sound familiar?

Also no background was given to the killer and every time he attacked someone, the blade he carried got bigger. First it was a scissors, a few kills later he used a katana sword. Strange. Finally, in the end though, it leads up to a rather entertaining fistfight between Rossi and the killer. Too bad I can't say that for the rest of film.

This crime thriller is directed by Abel Ferrara, who would later go on to direct other more significant thrillers like King of New York (1990) and Body Snatchers (1993). Ferrara's direction of filming in some of the dirtiest looking alleys in the city was a nice touch atmosphere wise. There are also a few comical scenes in this film but that's only because of the time this movie was filmed. Dick Halligan's soundtrack to this film was a little more involving than some others I've heard but it wasn’t memorable. It’s just a dry thriller.

The script was written with good subplots but it seems to forget how to connect them to the story at hand. See it more for nostalgia of a young Tom Berenger.

Points Earned --> 5:10

No comments:

Post a Comment