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It's a hard crime story about a Philadelphia shop owner who has enough of the criminals' violences and ravages. He organizes a patrol of civil people. It all starts to go wrong because his team's actions are taken as racial discrimination ... Written by
Kornel Osvart <email@example.com>
Thieves, Pimps, Prostitutes, Muggers and Drug Dealers beware. John D'Angelo's out to make his neighbourhood safe. He's declaring his own personal war on crime and he doesn't want your kind around here any more.
Here's an almost criminally forgotten post Death Wish gem from director Lewis Teague.
Whilst perhaps not as violent, nor as rewarding purely entertainment wise as the aforementioned pinnacle of the vigilante/revenge genre, this film approaches the issue of taking the law into one's own hands in a very different (and perhaps more realistic) manner and succeeds in delivering a solid ninety or so minutes of highly gripping viewing.
The always superb Tom Skerrit headlines as Michael D'Angelo, a humble greengrocer who is pushed too far by a series of brutal events and who subsequently decides to fight back by setting up a citizens patrol force in order to clean up the area in which he lives. Not giving too much away, but fuelled by his anger at the both the suffering of those around him and additionally the blatant inefficiency of the police force to tidy up the neighbourhood, Michael's methods are very hands on, leading to a number of violent altercations with the criminal denizens in the district.
Despite the nature of the subject material (perfect exploitation fodder), the director and cast performances manage to instill a far deeper sentiment into this than that usually found in a typical vigilante/revenge flick of the era. In fact, far from a simple tale of one mans war on crime, this serves in effect as a fascinating study of the social degeneration and general feeling of hopelessness, powerlessness and despair so prevalent in today's society at the escalating crime statistics and inefficacy of the law system to punish those responsible. The simple message is that together, as communities we can unite and turn the tide against this abject unhappiness for both ourselves and indeed future generations.
Rousing stuff indeed and highly recommended.
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