Deadfall (1993) (part 4 of 6)

After the film earns its run on Skinemax at two in the morning (the scene is just two people making the beast with two backs, not much to talk about there), we fade to the next morning. They chat, and Joe reveals the photo in the locket is actually his mother, and to her credit, Diane doesn’t call him a creepy weirdo and run out of the room.

Caption contributed by Ed

“Yep, do me, and your son will grow up to fight against the machines when they take over!”

Diane suddenly has to leave, noting that Eddie would kill them if he ever found out they were together.

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We next go to Lou’s house, where he’s celebrating his birthday. Of course, we get narration to this effect, before cutting to the end of dinner, where Joe compliments Lou’s wife Blanche on her cooking. Blanche is considerably younger than Lou, has a dress that makes Eddie’s usual wardrobe look classy, and speaks with an irritatingly cutesy voice that could probably break glass if you played it at just the right volume.

Caption contributed by Ed

Shockingly enough, this character isn’t named “Bubbles”.

Lou sends her to go make some coffee, after which the men talk about her, with Lou going well into TMI territory. Apparently, he met her in a truck stop on the interstate, and fell for her over the cup of coffee she served him. In other words, the man is an easier lay than Diane.

Blanche reenters with a birthday cake, and the candles are soon blown out. I hope this poor actress is just putting on the voice for the role. If she sounds like this in real life, my heart goes out to her. Nobody deserves to go through life sounding like that. Vincent van Gogh would cut his other ear off just so he wouldn’t have to listen to her.

Joe gives Lou the $1500 from the Baby as a birthday gift, and we go from this back to the heart of insane wonder. The next ten minutes or so is simply Nicolas Cage at his most unrestrained.

We rejoin Eddie in the strip club, as he chugs a beer to the sound of the music, playing and swaying! It’s actually pretty impressive on Cage’s part. Out of nowhere, he yells out, “Where’s Sam fucking Peckinpah?” The girl dancing on stage comes up, jiggling her bare breasts in Eddie’s face. It’s good to be the director’s brother, isn’t it?

Deadfall (1993) (part 4 of 6)

Eddie shoves money between her boobs and babbles some more, until the Baby accosts him, thinking he’s there to give him a hard time. During this conversation, it’s revealed that Joe actually gave Lou $1500 of his own money, and told the Baby the debt would be clear if he just walked outside the club with him. Baby laughs it up, noting that not only is Joe after Eddie’s job, he’s probably also after Diane.

This enrages Eddie. He leaves, yelling incoherently, tossing around drinks, kicking the shit out of some random guy (finishing him off with a cry of “Hi-fucking-ya!”), and at one point he screams “Fuck!” for about five seconds. Just one word, held for a standing five count. Now that’s vocal control!

The man with the fake beard is here too, and he follows Eddie outside to his car. He attacks Eddie from behind with a garrote, hissing, “Hey Mister Rock and Roll, let’s wiggle and dance!” And he follows this up with, “First you turn blue, then you shit in your pants!” Eddie falls to his knees.

And no, we still don’t know who this guy is or why he’s been following Joe.

Deadfall (1993) (part 4 of 6)

Eddie tears the man’s beard off, and when I first saw the film, I thought maybe it was Peter Fonda in this role. But no, it’s not. Eddie gets loose by stabbing the guy in the leg with a knife, and he then proceeds to smash the man’s head into the car door while screaming, “Let’s fuck! Let’s fuck now!”

He grabs the guy by the hair and holds the knife to his throat, demanding to know who sent him. The man only responds, “Sam fucking Peckinpah!” Which causes Eddie to roar in rage before cutting the man’s throat and driving off.

Caption contributed by Ed

Too fucked up to know where he is, Nic mistakenly thinks he’s making a sequel to Vampire’s Kiss.

Um, wow. I don’t know what the hell that had to do with anything; the character he just killed is never identified and never brought up again. This film is seriously from the goddamn Twilight Zone. At any minute I’m expecting Rod Serling to walk out, look straight into the camera, and say, “Fucking weird, huh?”

Cut to Eddie entering Diane’s room (I’m guessing it’s her house, but that’s not important right now), and having the most over the top, repulsive, hilarious breakdown I’ve ever seen.

It starts with him yelling about the attempted murder, and then going to the ashtray by the bed, where he finds a cigar. He manages to almost put six syllables into the word “particularly”, and begins to cry while snorting whatever the hell he snorts. I promise you I am not making any of this up, it’s all happening right in front of me.

Deadfall (1993) (part 4 of 6)

Dismayed, Eddie yells something rather incoherent and leaps on the bed, humping it and pounding it with his fists while yelling/crying. No shock here, but during this Diane pulls a gun from her dresser and holds it behind her.

Deadfall (1993) (part 4 of 6)

The breakdown continues as Eddie rolls over and sits up, crying and yelling my favorite line of his, simply because it’s such a slow pitch over the plate for me.

Eddie: What am I, a fucking retard, man? Am I a fucking retard, huh?

Well, yeah, sort of. At any rate, the actor playing you needs to lay off the heroin.

Eddie thinks Lou is trying to get him out of the way. He screams, “Viva la fucking France, man!” before coming at Diane, at which point she shoves the gun in his face. She tells him to leave, which he does.

Next, we see Joe in his motel room, where Diane shows up to tell him about Eddie going nuts. Well, more so than usual, I would imagine.

She tells Joe that Eddie is going after Lou, and Joe races out to save the day. Funnily enough, neither actor puts a hell of a lot of emotion into this scene. Sarah Trigger is rather bland and wooden, and Biehn acts like someone just told him he needs to make a last minute run to the grocery store before they close.

Cut to Lou’s office as he closes a safe. He finds Eddie behind him, who greets him with, “Well, it’s a crazy fucking world we live in, Captain Jack!!” And yes, that is how Cage delivers the line.

More bizarre dialogue ensues, as Eddie backs Lou into his desk, calling him a “filthy double-crossing little fucking filthy double-crossing filthy fucking goddamn fucking little prick!” Which is a mouthful no matter how you say it.

Deadfall (1993) (part 4 of 6)

Eddie pulls out his deck of cards, and after mentioning a big score coming up, Lou picks the joker. Eddie goes nuts and accuses him of trying to take him out. I especially like the line where he rants about “Who’s behind your desk now”, upping the F-bomb total by about two or three. It’s just insane nonsense, and damned entertaining.

Deadfall (1993) (part 4 of 6)

Lou gets mad, and calls Eddie a “stupid fucking hothead”. Well, it turns out that the word “hothead” is Eddie’s trigger phrase, because he goes on an almost entirely incoherent rant while walking towards the camera. I’d love to transcribe it for you, but the DVD has no subtitles, and it’s not closed captioned for the hearing impaired.

Deadfall (1993) (part 4 of 6)

However, I will try.

Eddie: [high pitched yelping] Hothead? I’m a hothead? [back to normal voice, yelling] A hothead, huh? I’ll show you a fucking hothead, man! I’ll show you who’s a hothead! [incoherent babbling followed by what I think is “asshole”, but probably isn’t since it was left alone in the edited for TV version. I’m fairly certain he also barks like a raspy Chihuahua.]

Cut to a deep fat fryer at the diner near Lou’s office. Lou is tied to a chair, and Eddie is snapping his deck of cards while cheesy “suspense” music plays.

Joe runs in and follows Eddie’s voice, which is yelling, “Wanna fuck? Wanna fuck?” He gets there in the nick of time as Eddie comes up to Lou and yells, “We fuck now! We fuck now!”

A brief struggle ensues, and in a bizarre turn of events, it seems Eddie’s Tony Clifton hair is really a toupee. Joe uses the reveal of the rug as a distraction so he can shove Eddie’s face into the fryer, killing him. And that ends the most insane Nicolas Cage performance I’ve ever seen.

Deadfall (1993) (part 4 of 6)

Now you might think that after that, the film wouldn’t be able to keep things moving. In any other movie, the loss of the most psychotic performance in history would cripple the third act and make the rest of the film a bore. But it isn’t the case with this movie, oh no. If it were, I wouldn’t be telling you about it. This film may lose Cage 58 minutes into things, but it keeps the sheer weirdness for the remaining 40, as we will soon see.

Ed Harris

A fan of less than great cinema since childhood, Ed divides his time between writing scripts, working an actual paying job and subjecting himself willingly to some of the worst films society has produced.

Multi-Part Article: Deadfall (1993)

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