Monday, December 20, 2021

Merry CrimesMas: Brian Lindenmuth on Dead Bang

Recently I put on Dead Bang while I was doing some much needed house cleaning in my office. I posted that I was watching it on social media and soon after Jed offered a CrimesMas spot to me if I wanted it.  

Why did Jed ask me to write a CrimesMas piece? We'll get to that. 

First, let me share a couple of stray thoughts I had while watching Dead Bang.

My wife and I recently started a re-watch of the HBO show Watchmen. There may be a good compare and contrast piece to be written comparing Dead Bang and Watchmen because of some similarities and to see if they are superficial or not. Both are about police departments, both deal with white supremacy, and both feature Don Johnson. But this piece isn't about that.

It's been years since I last saw Dead Bang but when I was younger, I saw it many times. This got me thinking about what I'll call Basic Cable Standards. If you are of a certain age you probably watched a lot of movies on basic cable channels in the 80's and 90's. Some of those films were in high rotation and became favorites. I may want to write this piece at some time, but this piece isn't about that. 

I realized that, at least some times, I like a little bit of toxic masculinity. But only in my fiction and in certain stories. Don Johnson's character is such a bastard. Is it any wonder why he has such a terrible relationship with his ex-wife and kids? But this piece isn't about that.

Let's take a moment between these stray thoughts to appreciate Don Johnson's hair. He really is a handsome son of a bitch isn't he. I hate him. Just kidding. Not really.

As regressive as Don Johnson's character can be, there's a moment in the third act that I've always remembered. Don Johnson's character is met by a Black sheriff, Chief Dixon played by Tim Reid. Chief Dixon assures him that no white supremacist has infiltrated his force. Don Johnson protests then we cut to the force which is comprised of all Black officers. In fact, they seem to be the only characters up to this point who believe that white supremacists are out there and a threat. But this piece isn't about that.

Well then what the hell is it about? That's probably a fair question at this point. 

Well, you see, toxically masculine but well coiffed Don Johnson forces a parole officer to grab a file for him on his day off. Then he kidnaps the man to question a bad dude biker. When the suspect runs an awesome foot chase takes place. When the hungover Don Johnson finally tackles the guy and has the man splayed out on the ground, Don Johnson pukes all over him.  What's so special about this scene? The parole officer's day off is Christmas. 

Tldr: Don Johnson kidnaps a colleague to roust a suspect, catches the guy, and pukes all over him. 

On Christmas.

It's the Christmas miracle of alcoholic single dad cops in 80's movies everywhere!

Jokes aside, this is a solid B movie crime thriller and is worth checking out if you can find a copy.  

Brian Lindenmuth
writes reviews for Leviathan Libraries (fka SciFi & Scary) and movie reviews over at One Inch Tall Movies.

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