Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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Not even worth writing about. I like Robert Davi, Mike Starr, & Michael Ironside, but this was awful. Only scene of note is when Davi has two of his loves in danger and can save only one of them. The scene is exactly the same as a scene Nolan later uses in "The Dark Knight", to much better effect I might add.
Pretty bad. A cop in New Orleans trys to track down a killer who's immoral.
Horror movies and New Orleans go together like chocolate and cheese. Sure, they're great on their own, and they seem like they'd go really well together, but actually trying to combine the two most often ends up with results that are, at best, pretty lackluster. (Skeleton Key, anyone?) It's almost as though there's a cure on the whole idea. A voodoo, or possibily hoodoo, curse.
In honor of Mardi Gras, and in a desperate attempt to do some sort of theme in an effort to keep this blog up to speed, I've decided to visit some of the various Big Easy-set horror and mystery films of the past and see how they step up. First up is [i]Mardi Gras for the Devil[/i], a mostly-forgotten straight-to-video flick from David A. Prior, the director of [url="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/journal_ratings.php?journalid=13186"][i]Killer Workout[/i][/url], that straddles the horror film, the police procedural, and the erotic thriller, and ends up being pretty unsatisfying on all counts.
Robert Davi stars as a generic cop who begins the film tracking down an apparent serial killer with his partner, though there's no explanation as to how they suspect he's a serial killer or anything. The killer offs a hooker and then Davi's partner, sparing Davi and warning him that he has to correct his "presumptuous sense of righteousness" and has the three days until Mardi Gras to do it. He then jumps out the window five stories up and survives.
Davi spends the rest of the film trying to track the supernatural killer down, much to the chagrin of his new partner (Mike Starr with an a recurring southern accent) and his his somnombulic boss (John Amos) who threatens that if he doesn't stick to reality, he'll "bust your ass so hard that the best surgeons in the world aren't going to be able to put it back together again." He also get involved with the dead hooker's roommate (flash-in-the-pan late '80s scream queen Lydie Denier) and bickers with his ex-wife (Leslie-Anne Down) for no other reason than to give the killer a supporting cast to start stalking.
[i]Mardi Gras for the Devil [/i]does have one great asset in the casting of its' bad guy. See, while the killer wandering around that seems to have vague supernatural powers and even more vague reasons for existing, but it doesn't matter because he's played by Michael Ironside. With a ponytail. And weird facial hair that involves a beard that goes up on his face to where it should meet the sideburns, except that the sideburns aren't there, so the beard just stops with this abrupt pointiness at the top. The movie's so poorly paced that he doesn't come off as creepy, but at least he comes off like the idea of creepy, and that's a good start.
There's a few things that make [i]Mardi Gras for the Devil[/i] entertaining beyond Ironside's performance, but most of them are just entertainingly bad, like a laughable car-crash-explosion that seems as though it may have been pulled from another movie, Troma-style. You also get the occasional piece of classic David A. Prior dialogue likle this:
Hooker's Roommate: "You still love her, don't you?"
Davi: "Sometimes I think I do, and sometimes... I don't know."
Hooker's Roommate: [unironically] "Sounds complicated."
But moments like this are few and far between are sandwiched in between a lot of wandering cop procedural that may as well have come from the Encyclopedia Generica. The roommate's landlady is an older black woman ([i]The Color Purple[/i]'s Margaret Avery), so of course she knows about voodoo and gives us the killer a backstory, but it doesn't really explain anything, and the climax feels forced and just makes Davi have to emote, and nobody really needs to see that. On top of that, it rarely utilizes the New Orleans locations that seem to be the whole point of shooting a movie there, and most unforgivably, the music is bland and might as well have come from an episode of "Hunter."
Mardi Gras for the Devil[/i] isn't an awful movie, but outside of Ironside's grinning performance and the magic of the amazing disappearing southen drawl by Mike Starr, there's really no reason that it should be dug up from the obscurity in which it lays. I hate to say this, but I was expecting something more from the director of[i] Killer Workout[/i]--at least that film was consistantly entertaining in its' effort to keep you awake.