Thursday, December 27, 2012


 Nighthawks Directed by Bruce Malmuth. Starring Rutgar Hauer. (1981).
   I first saw clips of this film during Terror In The Aisles and thought it may have been a horror film, but its not, its a gritty action flick and one of my all time favorites!
  The long arm of Wulfgar is out bombing London shops after Christmas and creating global chaos, only Matt Fox and Deke Dasilva can take him down with their own brand of street thug justice! This is Stallone's best and Billy Dee Williams says "You Motherfucker!" to every other street punk, while they battle hordes of drug pushers with shotguns. Jamie Gillis 70's porn actor even shows up in an odd cameo as a mall worker, he threatens to put the moves on Stallone's ex-wife Lindsay Wagner. Meanwhile Wulgar played with top notch viciousness by Rutger Hauer in one of his first American roles, is terrorizing the city. His face is heavily made up by Dick Smith toward the beginning and when he visits a back alley French surgeon, his actual face is reveled. Keith Emerson does the score which is very keyboard heavy and brilliant. 
  During Wulfgar's encounter with a British contact that tries to rat him out, he pulls out a machine gun hidden in an acoustic guitar and mows down the police! 
  The Brit contact incriminates him and that's the reason he must alter his features through surgery. Dasilvio and Fox chase down muggers using clear masks to resemble a helpless female victim, which later comes into play in the final showdown. 
   FBI Interpol gets word of Wulgar's reign of terror and starts bullying the NY precinct which pisses everyone off including the lieutenant played by a clean shaven Joe Spinell. In real life Spinell lived with Stallone for awhile and most likely influenced Sage Stallone's interest in restoring Italian gore films years later. 
  Nigel Davenport is great as the Interpol anti-terrorist trainer. Stallone and Billy Dee Williams have to suffer through the psychological torture chamber masquerading as an orientation. 
  NightHawk's narrative sides with the street hood mentality and wants to make it seem that the training education is useless against the beatdown tactics used in the beginning of the film, which turn out to be the only way to defeat Wulfgar. 
  While the police are bored to tears, Wulfgar the international criminal is out bombing city blocks and holding old ladies at knife point on the subway. The Interpol trainer wants to force Stallone to the breaking point and control him and the others militarily, using them as killing machines with a badge.
  Wulfgar hangs out in discos and loves fancy-assed shit! This means the police have to stakeout annoying night clubs. He stores his arsenal at a dopey waitresses' apartment, who even tells her that he is a terrorist, but she laughs it off as a joke. He frequents all the NYC discos and brings a machine gun to the dancefloor, doing little twist moves as he obliterates the crowd. This film shows in one chase scene, that the most helpless place to be for a victim is on the subway, especially in early 80's NYC. People just look away, don't want to get involved and no one wants to get shot or stabbed. Wulfgar manages to hold an old lady hostage and escape, leaving Matt Fox (Billy Dee Williams) with a razor slice to the jawline. To add insult to injury, DaSilva keeps getting reminded by the characters in the film and most likely the audience, screaming at the cinema screen, "Take The Shot!". I mean he had a clear shot of Wulfgar, but he chickened out. This scenario keeps gnawing at his guts.
According to IMDB this was supposed to be a third sequel to The French Connection, that they reworked into this, pretty strange! Highly Recommended! 


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