When it comes to quality entertainment, I rank Drafthouse Films right up there with the likes of Arrow Video and Anchor Bay. Drafthouse has released some real gems over the years, and I’m proud to say I have several of their titles in my collection. But none of their prior releases compare to DANGEROUS MEN, an action-crime-drama from director John S. Rad. Is DANGEROUS MEN an awesome film, you ask? Lord, no. It’s horrible. In fact, it might be the worst film I’ve ever seen. But that is the very reason you will want to pick this one up. The film is beyond awful, and it sucks so bad that you’ll have the time of your life watching it!
If you are not familiar with DANGEROUS MEN, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Drafthouse Films:
In 1979, Iranian filmmaker John S. Rad moved to the U.S. to shoot his dream project, a rampaging gutter epic of crime, revenge, cop sex and raw power. Just 26 years later, he completed an American action film masterpiece that the world is still barely ready for today: DANGEROUS MEN.
After Mina witnesses her fiancé’s brutal murder by beach thugs, she sets out on a venomous spree to eradicate all human trash from Los Angeles. Armed with a knife, a gun, and an undying rage, she murders her way through the masculine half of the city’s populace. A renegade cop is hot on her heels, a trail that also leads him to the subhuman criminal overlord known as Black Pepper.
It’s a pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, brain-devouring onslaught of ’80s thunder, ’90s lightning, and pure filmmaking daredevilry from another time and/or dimension. Blades flash, blood flows, bullets fly and synthesizers blare as the morgue overflows with the corpses of DANGEROUS MEN.
I’m not joking when I say this film is BAD. But I’m also serious when I say you should buy it. Although it’s an atrocity of cinema, I had a great time watching it. I kept commenting out loud about EVERYTHING terrible in it, until my wife (who was in the next room) told me to shut up and watch the movie. Thus ended my MST3K verbal dialogue, but I kept spitting it out in my head.
DANGEROUS MEN is shot like an amateur high school production, and the picture quality leaves a bit to be desired. It’s not terrible, but it’s certainly not up to today’s standards. Despite being released on Blu-ray, the source material of the film lacked quality, therefore Drafthouse had to use what they had for the HD transfer. The same can be said for the sound; it’s not awful, but it’s definitely not great.
The acting is atrocious, and nobody gives a decent performance. Many of the cast members appear to read their lines from cue cards, and there’s even a scene where the police chief gets his lines from a paper on his desk! Likewise, the fight scenes are laughable from the get-go, and they all use the same “punch” sound for every impact. The result is a caricature of a Saturday morning kung-fu film from the 70s.
But as I said, this film offers A LOT of entertainment value nonetheless. It’s like watching a film your seven year-old made on a VHS camcorder with his friends; you know it’s going to suck, but you’ll love it anyway. And after all, what should we expect? DANGEROUS MEN started shooting in 1985, but then lost its budget. The film resumed filming 10 years later, but this time had different characters and actors. When it was spliced together, a monstrous hybrid was created, and the world of cinema will never be the same.
One of the biggest flaws (i.e. joys) of DANGEROUS MEN is the ending. I will go ahead and spoil it for you, because the rest of the film doesn’t make much sense anyway. The main character disappears about ¾ of the way through the film, and three minor characters end the movie. I laughed so hard when the credits started rolling that I thought I was going to throw up.
DANGEROUS MEN is a cinematic catastrophe, and I highly recommend it. The film is available now, so make a note to snag it ASAP.