Sunday, September 13, 2009


Enough with this bullshit. Ugh, I'm pissed I even put Insane Clown Posse here!

Let's get back to business!!!

It's quite possible to simply review a string of Castellari/Nero films alone that would blow your panties off. But I decided to mix it up a little this time. We're switching decades and hunky leads...

Original Title: Hammerhead
Year: 1987
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Writer: Enzo G. Castellari
Genre: Action

Former Vietnam-era mercenary turned Miami cop Hammer has been lying low in Miami. One day, Hammer is awakened by a phone call from his troubled former comrade Greg, who needs his help. In going to help his friend, Hammer is once again thrust into the action as a criminal plot in Jamaica begins to unfold.

Enter Mr. Daniel Greene! Playing a guy who's enough of a douchebag that he'll sport his Florida State tee (sleeveless of course) in downtown Miami no sweat!

I had only seen Daniel Greene previously in Hands of Steel where he played a cyborg, and randomly in an episode of Eastbound and Down where he was sporting a sweater vest at a party and not really saying anything. Granted, his acting ability is not phenomenal by any stretch of the imagination, but I really enjoyed his livlier character here than I did in Hands of Steel. It's a little awkward at times, particularly during his "love" scenes, but completely serviceable and at times very entertaining. He gets some very funny facial closeups (like while driving) that will surely bring a smile to your face.

But the true star of the film.... the wardrobe!

Fans of the 80s will love some of the clothing sported here. Not only do we get the sleeveless t-shirt as mentioned before, we get some hideous suits (check that white one out with another sleeveless "striped" shirt underneath), acid-washed denim, some heinous fake-Oakley sunglasses, and Greene even sports some humongous white Avia high tops. Keep an eye out because the jeans are even tucked behind the tongue at one point!

And there is one of the greatest femmullets ever put on film that I just have to throw in here!

Anyway, the other actors as usual are nothing great. Jorge Gil as Jose is our sassy sidekick, and here he is doing his best John Tuturro impersonation.

Seriously, I had to pause the movie when he first shows up to check imdb and see if he was in there! He doesn't always look like Tuturro's long lost twin, but at times they are dead-ringers.

He is entertaining but at times a little grating and obnoxious as 80s sidekicks are prone to be. And I do have a little trouble believing this guy was some badass mercenary... but maybe there is just some things we are not aware of. Demoltions expert maybe? A tunnel rat?

Deana Lund as DD is meh... there is some stiff acting mixed with some overacting, so whatever. She has a particularly annoying crying scene and she doesn't really serve much purpose in the film other than to get Hammer to move from one place to another a couple times during the story.

And to finish off the cast, there are the villains which are pretty painful overall honestly. And there are loads of extras that are pretty funny in their oversized sunglasses, but none of which speak all that much.

I suppose the acting could be better, but let's be honest... we're here to see Daniel Greene beat the shit out of people, we're here to see some car crashes and gun fights, and we are here because it is an Enzo Feckin G. Castellari film. Well, it is... but for me this did not hold the same cool touches that I had seen in Castellari's work in the 1970s.

I don't want to say that the film is bad or anything. It isn't at all, really. For me, though, it just felt more straightforward... more American I suppose than his previous work. The flourishes peek out every once in awhile (Castellari-slo-mo-cam!) but you'll have to be looking for his European style/lighting/etc. more here than in earlier work. There is a strange but interestingly shot scene with Greene smashing through a car windshield that has Enzo's fingerprints all over it.

Castellari's story is simple enough to avoid overanalyzation for the most part, but there are elements added upon elements that can feel a little overwhelming after awhile. For fear of spoiling it, it's hard to explain exactly, but at times it felt like too much exposition was needed to figure out someone's intentions.

As with most 80s action flicks, you need at least one female-in-peril, a smart-ass sidekick of some sort that doesn't possess the physical prowess of the main hero, and probably a villain with an accent.

It's all here, as is the abundant action scenes - the car chases, the gun play, the double cross, the "hot" chicks... ahem...

Castellari loads up the film with some really fun action, and that as I've said is why we're watching this strange German VHS rip in the first place, right? We run the gamut from pistols blazing to fist/breaking board/TABLE SAW (yep) fights, all the way to cars flying through the air and even riding on two wheels OUT OF NOWHERE. Roadblocks are of no consequence to drivers in Hammerhead - they will simply send their vehicle magically hurtling through the air or even sideways to avoid them!

Fuck you, reality!


Oh, and listen for the fake Sweet Child O' Mine guitar riff during the first car chase!!

Despite all the fun action and 80s metal elevator music, there is one thing missing from Hammerhead...

...where are the tits?? (sorry ladies)

You gotta at least throw a shower scene in there to round it all out! Random boob shots are an 80s action staple, and there were definitely opportunities to show some skin, but it was just strangely absent.

Overall, this was a solid action flick. I felt it was more standard-fare than anything else I have seen by him so far, but I'm finding myself enjoying it more as I talk about it here than I did when I was actually watching it the first time. It has a little staying power it seems! It's not on dvd or anything, but if you run across it in your searches, it's worth a view, definitely.

5.75 out of 10

No comments: