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It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Movie

Reader Review

Assault on Precinct 13

Posted by: Liam Black
Date Submitted: Friday, April 9, 1999 at 08:03:57
Date Posted: Friday, April 9, 1999 at 10:26:19

This was brought back to the flat by a friend staying with us. He claimed that his boss (at a video store) had highly recommended it. I've never met this man and fully intend to avoid that occurrence.

The movie opens with a Sidney Poitier lookalike sliding smoothly into the role of an idealistic young police Lieutenant. He immediately hops on the radio and starts talking to his boss. A fine, fine bit of dialogue pops up here:

"You want to be a hero?"

"Certainly do, sir."

"There are no heroes anymore, just men and women who follow orders."

This is all delivered in a perfect monotone. The political correctness tossed in on the finishing cliche was just too much. I had my first guffaw less than a minute into the film.

Now, the plot runs like this: Sidney Poitier's Clone (SPC), is put in charge of a closed down police station. They're finishing up the unloading now. At the same time, several dangerous prisoners are being transported to death row. Chief amongst them is TBG (Token Black Guy) and MSK (Monotone Serial Killer). On the bus, a friend of TBG takes ill. The driver, along with SFM (Sweaty Fat Man), decide that the best place to take these killers is, inexplicably, a police station which has been closed down and currently bears host to two secretaries (not even buxom) and SPC.

Even as SPC is being assigned to the prison and TBG, MSK, and SFM are heading there, some crazy teenagers shoot an ice cream man.

This was the weirdest part of the movie. All of a sudden, these three guys just start following the ice cream man around. Then, after fifteen minutes of following, they shoot him.

They also shoot a little girl who mistakenly asks for a vanilla ripple cone. That was the moment of shocking violence.

The little girl's father goes wacky, picks up the gun, and chases the guys in his car for about ten minutes -- I should note that these aren't very fast chases; they're very boring ones. Then the father shoots one of 'em. He then proceeds to run. He doesn't take the car. He just runs. The two remaining gang-kids walk after him. They neither take the car nor run. Apparently, the father is above them on this movie's evolutionary chain, at any rate. He, after all, has learned to run. His fear of machinery makes me doubt the presence of an opposable thumb, though.

The father runs (you guessed) into the police station. The criminals arrive shortly thereafter. SPC is chagrined at this turn of events, but takes it in stride. The old man elicits a certain amount of surprise. Nobody seems to be able to figure out what he's doing there. Nobody even seems to be able to realise that something is very wrong when a haggard old man mutely stumbles into a police station.

Their misconceptions regarding normalcy are about to be eliminated. Coming up is the best part of the whole movie.

There is a five minute shooting FESTIVAL, but it's all done with silencers. Windows break. That's about all. Windows break and break and break. The actors, for their part, show no reaction. I believe one of them is shot, but I really didn't notice. Windows break and break. Five minutes of silenced gunfire smashing windows. I couldn't stop laughing; it was the most ludicrous thing ever seen on film. It is after the gunfire that the criminals arrive. Their guards, conveniently, are shot. The criminals placed in cells, all gentlemanlike. The MSK keeps asking for a smoke. Not in a cool way. Not in a funny way. In a monotone way. He is the master of the undramatic monotone.

As the precinct falls under more and more gunfire (a guy is shot), the prisoners are released to, basically, kick some ass. There are only two of them. TBG and MSK. There is the classic "Throw shotgun in air, catch, pump, and fire" move, executed very badly with no witty dialogue.

Gang members climb through windows, are shot, etc. Long gunfight, very boring. Attempts to build suspense fail miserably.

Anyway, it all winds down to my ultimate best terrific part of the movie:

The criminals forfeit their automatic rifles. They forfeit their incendiaries. They even forfeit their knives. And they charge the precinct waving crow bars, to die in the dozens.

It was the most blatant "Screw the plot and wrap this puppy up" scene I've ever seen. Not that there was much of a plot.

This is a must-see bad movie.


Response From RinkWorks:

SFM! I love it!

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