The Sunday Cult film corner: “The Park Is Mine (1985)”

22 Apr

Ok so things have been quiet her on the farm over the last couple of days. Mainly because we spent the weekend at a REAL farm… out in the country and stuff. While friends of ours were having BBQ’s, free beer and fun sexy times in bars (note: all this actually happened!), we had clouds, rain, Icelandic scrabble (the 5th circle of hell in my book), and had the wonderous sight of seeing an adult sheep being dragged away by some malevolent birds.

I also saw a frankly ludicrous TV show last night titled Söngkeppni Framhaldsskólanna, the annual High School song competition. Man there was some right guff on it. If you don’t believe me,  then SEE IT FOR YOURSELF IN ALL IT’S GLORY. Look out for the school that does the Architecture In Helsinki cover dressed in some fucked Blue Man Group/Smurf hybrid look. Go on, i fucking dare you….


And i have for you this week an interesting little made-for-TV curio that almost passed by unnoticed were it not for the fact that it starred an up and coming actor who would go on to be famous, playing many tough guy roles in his later years. Ladies and gentlemen, i give to you THE PARK IS MINE.

Directed by some guy named Steven Hillard Stern (who seems to have done a LOT of TV movies), the film starts with an incident where a Vietnam war veteran suffering from terminal cancer commits suicide by throwing himself of the roof of the local veterans hospital. His friend Mitch (played by Tommy Lee Jones) when going through his effects, finds out about his friend’s plan to make a “statement” highlighting the unfair treatment meted out to Vietnam war vets. a plan to forcibly take over New Yorks Central Park.

While most men would have simply gone “Woah, intense!”, Mitch decides to honour his friend’s wishes by taking a shitload of weapons and igniting a guerilla war campaign against the local police and the National Guard. will it all end well, or will he end up blowing most of New York sky-high?

Now for a TV movie, TPIM actually has a few good things going for it. One is Jones, who is pretty good, considering the script and pretty bog standard direction. the second is that it has Yaphet Kotto in it, and ANY movie with him in it worth watching. Period. And the OST is provided by none other than Tangerine Dream working those classic urban 80s synth sounds.

But the real talking point is the premise that in a way brings up certain questions about loyalty and what makes the difference between a terrorist and freedom fighter. TPIM was made at the same time as Rambo Pt.II, which  has Stallone ins a climax monologue saying that we should be honouring those guys who went to Vietnam. Indeed there seemed to be a lot of films at the time containing Vietnam vets taking the war back home with them in more ways that one.

But now times have changed, with 9/11, Timothy McVeigh and other acts of Domestic terrorism, Now it seems that someone doing this sort fo thing would be very unlikely to get much sympathy.

But this is not a blog for political and moral philosophy. I’ll let you make up your own minds, as you get you bottle of whisky, loaded gun and flashbacks of ‘nam as you settle in to watch THE PARK IS MINE…

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Posted by on April 22, 2012 in Film


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