A cantankerous widower (Garner) who is virtually living the life of a recluse is forced to rejoin his community when his Godchild (Skaggs) gets in trouble and a childhood friend (Cobbs), a ... See full summary »
Disillusioned quippy alcoholic, Al Mackey, and emotionally distraught family man, Marty Wellborn, are homicide cops in Hollywood hot on the trail of the murderer of a movie mogul who was moonlighting by making child porno pictures. While Marty deals with his failed marriage and a snitch turned surrogate son he's put in danger, Mackey focuses on the case and his main woman of interest, in more ways than one, becomes a feisty actress called Willie, one of several suspects with motive, opportunity and the evil means to carry out this act. The investigation takes the police duo straight into the viper's pit that is the city's seedy underbelly, and the real question quickly becomes would a medal be in order for the killer instead of being arrested. The movie's title refers to the name of the bar where Mackey spends his evenings.Written by
Richard Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Oh, I'm blindfolded! And I'm handcuffed! Oh, I'm helpless you filthy gorilla. I can't stop you! I can only beg with you and... plead and plead. Don't rape me! Oh, don't rape me you raping bastard!
Oh, I'm... I'm as helpless as a baby. I'm like a ten year old child.
Sgt. Aloysius Mackey:
Oh, stop it! You're just making it worse.
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Captures the dark humor, cynicism and general sleazyness of the novel
The glitter dome is probably Wambaugh at his most sleazy and cynical. It is hilariously funny but even jaded readers might need a shower afterwards. Given that you have a comedy involving hard drugs, pedophilia, prostitution, child murders and incompetent corrupt alcoholic cops the casting seems like a weird choice. Garner and Margolin are certainly known for comedy, but generally of the light harmless variety (Rockford Files, Maverick) where gunshots always miss and women and children always come away unharmed. Although cast against type, Garner does a decent job here as the corrupt boozehound detective Mackey. Lithgow is given a lot more to work with as his neurotic repressed partner who is in the midst of a psychological melt down due to various personal and professional problems. Lithgow actually does an excellent job and gives probably the most standout performance in the entire film.
I will hand it to Margolin he didn't hold back, the movie is very faithful to the nasty sleazy source material and he manages to handle the delicate balance of revolting sleaze and wacky comedy pretty well, though I can understand why many viewers may be put off by the tone, the book also had a sort of scizophrenic feel to it. The only thing I didn't like was that it sort of mangled a few important plot points (how they discover rollerskating pornographer "Mr Wheels" makes a lot more sense in the book) and it jettisons altogether some of the novel's funnier side plots to instead focus on the mystery and also the romance plot. However that is to be expected given that the novel is relatively long and complex with many characters and different plot threads that eventually all intersect to help resolve the mystery.
Overall I was pretty impressed with this film, it's an HBO movie from the era before HBO Films was synonymous with prestige. During the 1980s they were mostly known for making somewhat seedy cheap thrillers like The Hitcher, Apology, or Cast a Deadly Spell. I dont think this film has ever been released on DVD but you can find it bootlegged online from VHS sources and maybe even a find a VHS kicking around on ebay somewhere. I say check it out!
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