[Drive-In Double Feature] Mel Gibson and Tom Atkins Walk Into a Bar…

This double feature came together for two simple reasons: 1.) We talked about revenge on this week’s podcast, and 2.) I was looking through my movie collection for a second movie one just stood out to me and I thought, These two just seem like they’ll play well together. Someone report back to me and let me know how it goes.

Movie #1 – Paybackpayback

(1999 / R / 1h 40m)
S: Mel Gibson, Gregg Henry, Maria Bello / W: Brian Helgeland, Terry Hayes / D: Brian Helgeland

As heard in our new segment on the show, Payback was my number one revenge movie. I remember seeing it in the theater and immediately buying the VHS as soon as it was released. You get a little of everything: violence, comedy, and sexy stuff (if you’re into a latex-clad Lucy Liu beating the shit out of you with her whips and chains). Overused one-liners are peppered throughout, but that doesn’t ruin anything because this is a very self-aware movie. Watching this reminded how cool smoking cigarettes is. But don’t smoke, kids.

maniac_cop_ver2Movie #2 – Maniac Cop

(1988 / R / 1h 25m)
S: Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell, Laurene Landon / W: Larry Cohen / D: Bill Lustig

Where Payback supplies the dirty cops, Maniac Cop supplies… well, a maniac cop. What I like about this movie is that you honestly have no idea who this crazy cop is. Most movies will introduce you to the antagonist in the first act. You don’t really find out who it is here until the end of the second act. Tom Atkins gives a stellar performance once again. Let’s face it, he’s not the greatest actor that ever lived, but he has such a genial onscreen presence no matter the role he plays, that I will love almost anything he’s in. Out of all the DIDFs I’ve done so far, I think Maniac Cop fits the title of b-movie best. And I honestly think this would make for a fun night at the movies.

Total Time: 3h 05m + 10m break = 3h 15m

Three hours! That makes for a short evening. With all that extra time on your hands you could start crossing names on your list.

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