The Sunday Cult Film Corner: “The Boondock Saints (1999)”

25 Mar

Hmm, for some reason my headcase area seems to be slightly more wooly this evening that usual. PLus my legs are hurting as well. This could all be down to dancing like a loon for the best part of 3 and a half hours at the book launch party last night, but i refuse to believe that I’m getting too old for this shit.

So with my head all monged up and my ears still ringing, i need a film that has a decent of “wtf??” to it. And maybe this film could fit the bill nicely. Ladies and gentlemen, i give to you THE BOONDOCK SAINTS.

Directed in 1999 by Troy Duffy, it stars Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus as two Irish brother living in Boston who end up getting into a fight with russian mobsters who want to close their local Irish pub down. when the mobster come looking for them the end up killing the mobsters, but when they turn themselves in, they are treated as heroes by the local police. Once released they begin a vigilante campaign to rid Boston of criminals by killing all the organised crime bosses. Sent to stop them is a gay FBI agent (played by Willem Dafoe), while the local crime boss hires feared Hit Man Il Duce (plated by Billy Connelly(?)) to get the twins first.

Now the Boondock Saints is a film that has one hell of an interesting production story that’s brilliantly told in the documentary “Overnight“. Essentially, Troy Duffy was a barman and boncer who wrote the script for the movie while working at a bar in LA. It then proceeded to get picked up by several studios before Miramax finally bagged the rights, with Duffy directing and his band providing the soundtrack. However Duffy seemed to have had a massive attack of the raging egos and ended up pissing so many people off, that he was effectively blackballed from the movie business.

As for the film? Well….. it’s certainly one amazing mess of a film. I first saw this film when I came home drunk from the pub one night and the first thing that came into my head while watching it was “What is this shit? This makes no sense!” and then i saw it again and realised that it wasn’t just me being drunk that made it such a weird viewing experience. The plot is pretty much all over the place with several twists and contrivances that make you go, “oh, come on!” With the opening credits contain Oi-rish fiddle-de-dee noises it plays into every hackneyed idea of the Irish as lovable rogues/psychopaths. The acting is terrible (Even Dafoe can’t save it, even when he’s in drag!) and some of the casting is a bit… dodgy (Ron Jeremy as an Italian Mobster and Billy Connelly as the best hit man in the world? I love the Big Yin, but that was really stretching it too far). It’s also a pretty nasty movie in that it revels in the fact that just because the main characters in the film believe they’re “righteous”, then they can be just as brutal and thuggish as the bad people they’re out to kill. Oh and there is a fuckload of stupid slo-mo camera usage in the action scenes to the point that you actually get bored watching what is supposed to be an action film.

But this is the Sunday cult film corner and there’s no denying that The Boondock Saints was in its own way a massive cult hit. But if you like to see gun-toting Irish fella pouring Guinness and blowing people’s head off, then pour yourself a Jamesons and slap your missus and watch some rollicking action.

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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Film


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