Review- Death Wish 4: The Crackdown

Review- Death Wish 4: The Crackdown

After his girlfriend’s daughter dies at the hands of drug pushers, Paul Kersey decides to take down the whole crime network that supplied the drugs to her. This leads to him taking on the local Mafia.


OK, so this isn’t too different from the plot-lines of previous entries in the franchise, but it’s still VERY entertaining. That’s not bad going for the fourth entry in a film series.

There are big guns, Bronson being kick-ass and syn drums on the soundtrack. In other words, the ingredients for a great night’s entertainment.


It’s also a Cannon film. There’s also a Leatherface standee visible in one scene as, of course, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 was also from the Cannon stable.


Though not as good as any of the Death Wish films that preceded it, I could think of plenty of sequels from other franchises that are much worse than this.

3 stars out of 5



Strike A Pose

Strike A Pose

I love the fact that a movie can be so original and iconic that it can inspire other films to be made. Think of Halloween (1978) and the tidal wave of slasher films that were unleashed in its wake.

This can also happen with movie posters and a film’s iconography. The Breakfast Club is a perfect example.

The original poster from 1985

Take a pose that encapsulated the zeitgeist and not only is it ripe for analysis…

The famous pose analysed

…but it is also open to being imitated and parodied by other movies. I love that films can nudge and wink knowingly at an audience from a movie poster or from a film magazine and know that they are in on the joke. The audience may not get the reference straight away but eventually they will. And when they do they will marvel at the filmmaker’s ingenuity.

It took many years before I got the in-joke that these two films were making.

Below is the pose used by the cast on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) poster- a movie that was released the year after The Breakfast Club.

Same pose- very different characters

Similarly, here is a publicity shot from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors (1987).

Freddy Krueger shows Judd Nelson how it’s done

In this case, the teens who went to see The Breakfast Club could very well have also constituted the demographic who went to see the two films shown above.

I also love the fact that a teen movie has been homaged by two movies as deranged and demented as TCM2 and Nightmare 3. These references to The Breakfast Club feel like, on one hand, a playful co-opting of the original movie and its iconography but also a loving homage to it at the same time. These movies were as far away from John Hughes as possible and yet they still tipped the hat to the filmmaker of all things teen whilst showing that Hughes didn’t speak for all teens with his films. Some teens wanted more twisted thrills for their money. And that’s exactly what they got.

This never happened in a John Hughes movie