Death Wish (1974)

DeathWishPosterBy: Oberst Von Berauscht (Three Beers) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Architect Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) is a family man living in New York city. He detests violence, and is seen by his friends as a liberal, hard working individual; that is, until his wife is murdered and his daughter raped in his apartment while he was away.  After burying his wife, Paul’s daughter falls into catatonia from the incident.  Desperate for some kind of revenge, he takes the law into his own hands, and begins shooting muggers on the streets.  His reputation builds as an anonymous vigilante, and the police begin to close in.  Meanwhile the media begins glorifying the vigilante, and the talk on the streets is they’re glad he’s around.  How many killings is enough for Paul Kersey?  Will he ever give up?

Deathwish2
Um, yeah, about that…
DeathWish3
you really shouldn’t fuck with this guy…
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cause he will not give up…
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until either you’re dead or he dies of old age…

A Toast

Charles Bronson, prior to this known for his stellar work in ensemble films, had a star-making turn in Death Wish which cemented his tough guy image.  Bronson delivers the goods as his kindly architect character gradually transforms into the strong, silent type.  The sequels would turn the Death Wish series into a joke pretty much immediately, but taken on its own, this is a solidly entertaining action flick.

Beer Two

The film’s depiction of gang violence feels incredibly naive and corny by modern standards.  And the attempts to form a discussion about vigilante violence mostly fall by the wayside in the name of cheap thrills.  The film isn’t exactly sharply written either.  It seems like the only thing New Yorkers talk about is crime in the streets.

Beer Three

Death Wish sparked controversy upon its release for what some critics and filmgoers perceived as a pro-vigilante violence message.  Some argued that the film was anti-gun control propaganda; sending the message that the crime rate would be lower if everyone carried firearms….

Make no mistake… that is EXACTLY what the movie’s message is, for better or worse…

Verdict

3beers

A fairly standard potboiler elevated by a truly bad-ass turn by Charles Bronson.

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for Bronson’s body-count

Take a Drink: each time the words “Liberal” and “Vigilante” are used

Drink a Shot: for glorification of vigilante violence

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they're confused about something) at least a few times a week. I've gotten way off track here... The point is, Oberst is one of the website's founders, so... yeah

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