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Deadbeat at Dawn (1988)

Not Rated | | Action, Crime | 14 May 1999 (UK)
After one too many encounters with The Spiders (a rival gang), The Ravens' leader's girlfriend tells him to quit the gang or it's Splitsville. He does so, but the leader of The Spiders is ... See full summary »

Director:

Jim Van Bebber

Writer:

Jim Van Bebber
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Harper Paul Harper ... Danny
Jim Van Bebber Jim Van Bebber ... Goose
Megan Murphy Megan Murphy ... Christy
Ric Walker Ric Walker ... Keith
Marc Pitman ... Bone Crusher
Maureen Allisse Maureen Allisse ... Iris (as Maureen Gentner)
Tom Burns Tom Burns
Steve King Steve King
Dave Parker Dave Parker ... Drive-thru attendant
Bill Stover Bill Stover ... Stubby
Carol Lee Carol Lee
Mark Gillespie Mark Gillespie
Tom Harris Tom Harris ... Man in Bar
John Bradley John Bradley
Lili Hendler Lili Hendler
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Storyline

After one too many encounters with The Spiders (a rival gang), The Ravens' leader's girlfriend tells him to quit the gang or it's Splitsville. He does so, but the leader of The Spiders is hellbent on revenge and arranges the murder of the girlfriend. That ticks off the boyfriend, who wreaks havoc with the two gangs, who have joined forces in order to pull off a security truck heist. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He quit the gangs. They killed his girl. He became...

Genres:

Action | Crime

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 May 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Bandas callejeras See more »

Filming Locations:

Dayton, Ohio, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot over the course of 4 years. See more »

Quotes

Goose: I don't need your voodoo magic around my neck!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD version released by Dark Sky films (May 2008) restores the brief scene that was missing from the Synapse DVD version of the film See more »

Connections

References Enter the Dragon (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An entertaining, low budget, 80s cult exploitation flick.
24 January 2014 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Goose (Jim Van Bebber), leader of tough Ohio street gang The Ravens, has only just renounced his violent lifestyle when his girlfriend Christy is brutally killed by members of rival gang The Spiders. Goose vows to avenge her murder, but finds himself caught in a self-destructive spiral of hatred and despair that leads him to attempt suicide. However, just as he is about to blow his brains out, Goose is confronted by Keith (Ric Walker), the current leader of The Ravens, who wishes to recruit him for an armoured car heist; the only problem is that The Ravens have since joined forces with The Spiders and Goose isn't about to forgive and forget...

Written, edited, directed by and starring Van Bebber, who also provides the film's stunts and make-up effects, Deadbeat at Dawn is a marvel of independent movie-making, one that belies its meagre budget by successfully pulling off several gruelling and very bloody set-pieces and quite a few dangerous looking action scenes, with the final 10 minutes or so going all out to shock with its brutal violence and a gruelling sense of nihilism. Where many an 80s horror/action flick ladled on the cheeze, Van Bebber goes for the full-on, gritty exploitation vibe and for the most part he succeeds, his film feeling suitably grubby and depressing throughout with vivid coloured lighting and retro kaleidoscopic scene transitions really adding to that authentic grind-house feel.

While some of the acting is admittedly a bit wobbly (the guy who plays Goose's father wins my award for funniest performance of the film) and the fight scenes aren't always totally convincing, it's easy to forgive these shortcomings when considering the almost negligible budget and Van Bebber's relative inexperience behind the camera (he was only twenty four at the time of the film's release); what he has managed to do for minimal money is most impressive indeed and his enthusiasm for the project shines through on every grimy, filth-ridden frame, especially those where he is putting his life on the line for his art.


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