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Blood Splattered Cinema
Hosted by: Horror Guru
The Horror Guru reviews the bloodiest, wildest, and weirdest horror that cinema has to offer!
Cartoon Palooza
Hosted by: Joey Tedesco
A satirical review show where a guy from Jersey watches and criticizes cartoons, including everything from comic books to animated movies. Whatever it is, Joey will either tell you to run out and see it... or fughetabouit!
The Count Jackula Show
Hosted by: Count Jackula
There are vampires, and there are men from outer space, but there is only one vampire from outer space! Join Count Jackula from the Planet Drakula as he explains the ins and outs of horror, from the mythic to the modern. Blood, off-color humor, and an obsession with Elvira are in store for you!
The Examined Life (of Gaming)
Hosted by: Roland Thompson
Just when video games were getting good, the late '90s and early '00s came along. The Examined Life (of Gaming) dares to delve into the good, the bad, and the value-priced games of this dark period, and sometimes we find something worth playing!
The Film Renegado
Hosted by: Film Renegado
Coming to you from south of the border, it's the Film Renegado! A civil engineer with a cinephile complex, the Film Renegado uses movies made in Mexico or by Mexican directors to share bits from his country's culture, past and present. You will both learn and be entertained! How cool is that?
Friday Night Fright Flicks
Hosted by: Count Jackula & Horror Guru
Welcome, fright knights, to Friday Night Fright Flicks! Join your hosts Count Jackula and the Horror Guru as they stumble their way through current horror releases, letting you know which ones are worth the price of admission.
Good Bad Flicks
Hosted by: Cecil Trachenburg
Good Bad Flicks is a show not only dedicated to rare movies, but also forgotten classics and misunderstood box office bombs. Your host Cecil takes you through each movie, discussing the promotional materials, and taking a look at what went on behind the scenes. With a healthy dose of Irish sarcasm, he throws a few jabs at even his most cherished favorites.
The Graphic Novel Picture Show
Hosted by: Sybil Pandemic
Your host Solkir presents The Graphic Novel Picture Show, a retrospective of the history of comic book movies!
The Movie Skewer
Hosted by: Team Agony Booth
From the makers of the Agony Booth™ comes The Movie Skewer, where terrible movies are roasted over an open flame for your enjoyment. Watch the very first online review/recap series that’s too much for one host to handle!
Mr. Mendo's Hack Attack
Hosted by: Michael A. Novelli
Need a healthy dose of cynicism from a guy whose face you can barely see? Then Mr. Mendo’s your man! Whether a movie suffers from Hype Backlash, Intellectual Dishonesty, or is just Complete Shit, Mr. Mendo is there. Mr. Mendo wasn‘t raised in this country, so he takes nothing for granted: if something ain‘t right, he’ll nose it out. So join him as he takes on Oscar winners and legendary flops alike in front of a blanket suspended between his couch and recliner!
Stuff You Like
Hosted by: Sursum Ursa
Stuff You Like is an original show where redhead Sursum Ursa waxes enthusiastic about movies, TV shows, and anything else that comes to mind! Expect singing, snarky subtitles, random pictures she finds on the internet, and lots of fangirling!
Terror Obscura
Hosted by: Fear Fan
Terror Obscura is a show dedicated to exploring the best and worst horror films ever made. While some shows are content to just mock bad films, this one isn't afraid to take even the most sacred of cows to the slaughterhouse. If you like horror, humor, or if you're just looking to find some titles you might want to rent, Terror Obscura is the show for you!
Tom's Retrophilia
Hosted by: Thomas Stockel
Is he a connoisseur of vintage media, or just a bitter old man trapped in the past?  Either way, tune in and watch Tom take a look at the movies and television shows from a time when he was actually in the target audience!
The Unusual Suspect
Hosted by: Unusual Suspect
The Unusual Suspect reviews popular movies, and tears 'em apart! They may be good, but no movie is perfect, and there's always things you may have overlooked and hadn't thought about. So join the Suspect as he exploits and ridicules the films you know and love. Just don't kill him for it!
What We Had to Watch
Hosted by: Il Neige
Il Neige is a smart-ass with a love-hate relationship with movies from the new millennium. Sure, reviews can be fun or cathartic, but there's also the risk of the occasional Twi-hard invasion or fireball to the face! ...That's how these things usually go, right? So join Il Neige as he braves the cinematic dangers that lie just beyond the fourth wall to critique the best and worst of 21st century filmmaking!
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the agony booth

Posted on: Sep 23, 2010.
Deadfall (1993)
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6
SUMMARY: Michael Biehn is a young con artist drawn into a web of deceit and old family secrets. Then Nicolas Cage shows up and turns the movie into the most wonderful piece of strangeness I’ve ever seen.

Deadfall belongs to a category of films I like to call “2 AM movies”. These are generally low budget dramas, usually with a few name stars (or in this case, a lot of name stars), and a seedy, sordid plotline that takes every single film noir cliché in the book and uses it to the best of whatever meager abilities the filmmakers possessed. You tend to find these on the late night schedules of both HBO and Cinemax, as well as in the late night and weekend afternoon rotations on local broadcast stations.

However, a few things set this particular film apart from its low budget brethren. First off, it comes from a rather high pedigree, due to the involvement of some top-shelf actors, including James Coburn and Nicolas Cage, with Charlie Sheen and Peter Fonda in small cameos.

Adding to this is how the movie has the highest Coppola to non-Coppola ratio seen since the Godfather films, with the presence of director Christopher Coppola (Francis Ford’s nephew), Talia Shire (Francis’s sister and Christopher’s aunt), Nicolas Cage (Christopher’s brother), and Marc Coppola (Chris and Nicolas’s brother). Deadfall proves why sometimes it’s best for showbiz families to stay the hell away from each other when it comes to actually making movies.

Put simply, if the Godfather films showed nepotism at its finest*, this film shows it at its worst. Deadfall is a perfect storm of bat-shit insanity, and one of my all time favorite bad movies. Let’s check it out.

[*Sofia Coppola notwithstanding.]

The article continues after this advertisement...

We open with the Trimark Pictures logo, always a good sign... if you like the Leprechaun films, or Dead-Alive, but not such a good sign in this case. “Suspenseful” music that sounds like it came from an early ‘80s slasher film plays under the opening titles. The film proper then opens in a badly lit industrial area, as a car rolls into view.

And by badly lit, I mean the DP and lighting crew must not have been on speaking terms, because the night shooting in this movie is just awful. They were going for atmosphere, I would imagine, but they completely failed.

Caption contributed by Ed
“All the towns we can stop in for gas, you have to pick the one that didn’t pay the electric bill!”

During this, we learn the music is by a guy named Jim Fox, who I can safely say two things about. First off, I’d bet vital parts of my anatomy that he’s related to producer Ted Fox and executive producer Gertrude Fox. Second, the man really needs to stop listening to the Psycho soundtrack before recording sessions, if any of his other scores are like this one. Seriously, imagine if Alfred Hitchcock had hired some asshole who was related to the producer instead of Bernard Hermann.

We hear some typical hard-boiled narration about how being a con artist eats away at your soul, and here we meet Joe Donan, our narrator and hero, played by Michael Biehn. Get used to the voiceover; this movie seems to think that a good noir movie needs constant, unending narration. Trust me, it doesn’t.

Joe is driving a mark to a setup, and we get even more narration as they head to a dingy looking warehouse in the middle of nowhere. Well, to be more accurate, we get an excessively long shot of the warehouse while the car is heard creeping into the frame, before it finally comes into view.

They get out and enter the warehouse, and I have to say, you know a film is low budget when they can’t even afford a car with working interior lights. Either that, or the DP knew some French and took the term “film noir” literally.

Joe and the mark sneak around the warehouse for a bit, until a car parked in the darkness flashes its lights, and a shadowy figure gets out. Turns out this con involves a drug deal, and the mark wants to sample the goods first. So he takes the sample Joe gives him and greedily shoves it in his mouth like he’s Mitchell.

The mark approves, noting that he’s “seeing angels”, and Joe moves forward to seal the deal. Suddenly, he shouts that the shadowy figure is wired. As he pulls a gun, it’s revealed that the shadowy figure is played by James Coburn. Joe shoots at Coburn, and then some other guys enter, identifying themselves as cops, and they shoot at Joe.

Caption contributed by Ed
James realizes too late that all the money in the world won’t get his name off Hudson Hawk.

The mark runs for it, and more cops show up, and the guy gets away in the car. Inside the warehouse, the con is revealed, and all the men laugh it up, and one of the cops turns out to be played by Peter Fonda.

Actually, everyone is yukking it up except for Mike (James Coburn), who’s been shot with live rounds, and not the blanks that Joe thought he was using. To make matters even worse, Mike turns out to be Joe’s dad.

Mike’s dying words are about his brother, and something he’s taken, which Mike refers to as “the cake”. Coburn gives us a rather cheesy dying moment, as he sputters a bit before spurting blood out of his mouth. Naturally, Joe is absolutely shattered. The fake cops pull him away, while sirens are heard and the real cops close in.

Cut to daytime at Joe’s apartment. He’s drinking and crying, while also narrating about his relationship with his father.

Peter Fonda is here too, playing a guy named Pete, which really makes things easier for me. Pete tells Joe they’re going to bury his father out in some place called Potter’s Field. Evidently, this crew is so good that they were able to get the body out before the real cops showed up. And yet, they weren’t good enough to distinguish between live rounds and blanks, so what the hell?

Joe is adamant that he checked the gun beforehand, but Pete shows him the gun that actually had the blanks. Cut to later at Potter’s Field, which turns out to be a cemetery where the crew buries Mike. Yep, evidently in the world of this movie, there are cemeteries that just let the bereaved come in and do a quickie DIY funeral.

Caption contributed by Ed
Be glad we don’t see how this place handles the embalming.

Pete gives Joe his cut from the scam, and advises him to leave town and get set up someplace else, because that’s what the rest of the crew are doing. Joe takes this all in silently, and walks away from the tombstone, only to turn just as a redheaded woman in a black dress places a rose on the gravestone.

Joe rushes to Pete’s car to ask about the woman, but by the time he gets there, she’s vanished into thin air. In response, Pete gives Joe a wallet and a key to a locker, and drives off.

There are a few things about this scene that amuse me. First off, as I already pointed out, the rather absurdly quick burial. I mean, how did they get a tombstone engraved that fast? Second is the stubborn reluctance of Peter Fonda to put on anything resembling a performance. There are a few other cameos from notable stars in the movie, and they pretty much all go through their scenes like they can’t wait to get off the set and go do something interesting. In Fonda’s case, you get the feeling he’s just dying to get the scene over with so he can go home and get back to reminiscing about the ‘70s and having a better career.

Caption contributed by Ed
“Tell the director not to call me for reshoots, I’ll be busy getting high with Nicholson.”

Cut to another badly lit night shot (not often you see such a big name cast in a film with the lighting budget of a 1950s Roger Corman film) as Joe enters a bus terminal. He approaches a row of lockers in a room that helpfully has a spotlight on, so people can see where they’re going. He finds the locker the key belongs to, and pulls out a yellow satchel.

While this happens, Biehn is delivering more narration about his father, and sounding just as bored by what he’s reading as the viewer is listening to it. Remember the version of Blade Runner with the narration? Well, while Biehn is a pretty good actor, he’s nowhere near as good as Harrison Ford when it comes to making his total boredom with the narration sound entertaining.

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