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Hateman (1989)

4.9
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Title: Hateman (1989)

Hateman (1989) on IMDb 4.9/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
John Greene ...
Phil
Cindy Rome ...
Marcy
Chuck Mitchell ...
Judge (as Chuck 'Porky' Mitchell)
...
Sheriff Benny
Ted Le Plat ...
Ken
Wilson Dunster ...
Cyril
Yuan Lan Chu ...
Amah
Larry F. Barrett ...
John
...
Steve
Nicholas Lorentz ...
TV Anchorman
Henry Blignaut ...
Big Oaf
Danielle Crouse ...
Mary
...
Large Marge
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Adventure

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Release Date:

5 February 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Swift Justice  »

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User Reviews

Crap, but well-attuned to its target ozoner audience
1 June 2010 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

Harry Hope is among film history's discards: he has never developed a cult following and probably never will, even though it seems the ongoing idiotic "so bad it's good" movement could carry him along. Swift Justice is his magnum opus, an intentionally repellent and unintentionally funny drive-in junker.

Premise is simple and oh-so-familiar: cute little Marcy (Cindy Rome) is headed to Vegas in her VW bug to start a showroom gig, after her agent Cameron Mitchell (yes, he PHONES IN his role) tells her the good news. Car breaks down in the middle of the desert, but crazed Vietnam vet (John Greene) is there to save her and send her on her way.

She arrives at Pop's Oasis, a population 155 town ruled over by cretins and good ole boys, among them a judge (Chuck Mitchell, eponymous "Porky's" co-star) and sheriff (Aldo Ray, like Mitchell down on his movie-picking luck). The sleazy mechanic cheats her on repairs, but soon after, everybody is gang-raping her and leaving the lass for dead.

Now if I were making this trash, I would have dallied in the desert for a corn-pone version of the Japanese classic Woman in the Dunes, concentrating on the 2 leads Rome (better-known as Sugar Ray Renee in foxy boxing videos) and Greene (a beefy, bleached-blond Hollywood hunk). Instead Mr. Hope goes for the bottom of the barrel, worst moment is probably watching once-great Aldo Ray reduced to raping poor Rome, thankfully leaving his clothes on. After the guys are through raping her, they keep joking (I hope!) about resorting to cannibalism to dispose of her body (!), but instead she is saved by our stalwart hero in an unconvincing plot twist.

As the title suggests, much of the film is devoted to Greene's Rambo-style vengeance, not satisfied with killing the baddies but torturing them ingeniously as well. A catchy instrumental with a polka-meets-disco beat plays jauntily as he whomps on these guys -as campy as can be. This is just the sort of mayhem I recall us drive-in fans enjoyed during the '70s, though Hope miscalculated by delivering it nearly a decade too late. I got the feeling that this is THE film that Ted Mikels would like to watch for entertainment, certainly commenting "why didn't I think of that?".

This travesty has one surprising feature: Chuck "Porky" Mitchell demonstrates an ability at effortless malevolence that almost reminded me of the quirky, unique character actor Tim Carey. It's a shame that no mainstream director ever gave Mitchell a shot at perhaps a Sydney Greenstreet role (I know that sounds ludicrous, but Chuck could have been a Greenstreet for a decadent video era).

Picture is embarrassingly slow-paced; had it been the final film of the evening I'm sure most of the cars would have exited before the end. That would be a shame because the finale is a hilarious coda: Cindy is on stage in Vegas at last, singing a disco song and being hoisted in the air by chorus boys, all while Greene sits in the audience (never got caught for murdering everyone) uncharacteristically in jacket & tie to applaud her. If you get your hands on this video, don't miss the finish.


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