[Screen It]


(1999) (John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody) (R)

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Bad Attitude
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Drama: An Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx tries to deal with the "Son of Sam" murders during the hot summer of 1977.
It's the sweltering summer of 1977 in New York City. Disco has arrived, the Yankees are having a banner season, and a serial killer dubbed "Son of Sam" is on the loose. With a .44-caliber handgun being his weapon of choice, the killer's targets are seemingly brunet women, often slain while sitting in parked cars.

Such events couldn't be more remote to Vinny (JOHN LEGUIZAMO) and Dionna (MIRA SORVINO). A seemingly happily married young couple, Vinny repeatedly cheats on Dionna while she works at her father's Italian restaurant, sometimes even with his beautician boss, Gloria (BEBE NEUWIRTH).

Most other times, he hangs out with his street pals, including petty drug dealer Joey T. (MICHAEL RISPOLI), Woodstock (SAVERIO GUERRA), Anthony (AL PALAGONIA) and others, all of whom are fiercely proud of their neighborhood and heritage.

While they occasionally poke fun at Bobby (BRIAN TARANTINA), a flamboyant gay customer, their attention has now been drawn to Ritchie (ADRIEN BRODY), Vinny's best friend who's returned to town and has adopted the punk rock lifestyle, spiked hair, British accent and all. While he occasionally lives with his mom, Helen (PATTI Lu PONE) and her significant other, Eddie (MIKE STARR), Ritchie starts seeing Ruby (JENNIFER ESPOSITO), the neighborhood woman with a bad reputation.

When Vinny comes across the latest murder scene courtesy of the killer (MICHAEL BADALUCCO), and realizes he could have been the victim, he sees this as a sign from God to clean up his ways. Although he finds that he can't live up to such new standards, he starts to worry that he might be the next target when word spreads around the neighborhood that he saw the killer.

While that's not true, the investigating police, including detectives Lou Petrocelli (ANTHONY LaPAGLIA) and Curt Atwater (ROGER GUENVEUR SMITH), don't have a clue about the killer's identity either. Thus, Petrocelli confides in Luigi (BEN GAZZARA), the neighborhood crime boss, that he needs his help. Soon, both Luigi and Joey T.'s men are hunting for the killer and making short lists of possible subjects.

As the killing spree continues and brunets start dyeing their hand blond, tensions and suspicions rise along with the sweltering temperatures, impacting the lives of Vinny and Dionna as they try to sort out their rocky marriage, as well as Ritchie who becomes the prime suspect for many in the neighborhood.

If they're fans of Spike Lee and his films ("Do The Right Thing") or anyone in the cast, they might, but this film will probably otherwise appeal only to older teens.
For strong graphic violence and sexuality, pervasive strong language and drug use.
Considering the profanity, drug use, adulterous sexual behavior, bad temperaments and punk rock lifestyle, etc... it's doubtful many parents would consider any of the major characters (beyond the detectives who are sketchily drawn at best) as good role models.


OUR TAKE: 4.5 out of 10
It was 1977 and oil finally flowed through the Alaskan Pipeline for the first time, Gary Gilmore was the first prisoner executed in a decade, and Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown. "The Thorn Birds" hit bookshelves, "Roots" kept everyone glued to their TV sets, and John Travolta strutted his stuff to the disco beat of the Bee Gees, while the world mourned the loss of three "kings," Elvis, Bing Crosby and Charlie Chaplin.

While a little film by the name of "Star Wars" came out of nowhere and heated up the summer movie season, three things were even hotter in New York City: Studio 54, the New York Yankees, and everyone's temperature after a 25-hour blackout turned the city into a simmering cauldron.

Yet nothing captured the attention of more New Yorkers than the serial murder spree of 24-year- old David Berkowitz. A Yonkers postal worker who was finally caught in August of that year after a 12-moth killing spree left five women and one man dead and seven more injured, Berkowitz, a.k.a. the "Son of Sam," became the city's most infamous resident.

Of course nowadays, thanks to the proliferation of such people and their dramatization in novels and movies, serial killers don't evoke the same type of response as they used to. Yet Berkowitz was different, he paralyzed the city that never sleeps, and besides, the fact that he blamed everything on his neighbor's dog was the stuff of which the tabloids couldn't get enough.

Although movies featuring such characters have been pretty much run into the ground in recent years, the pairing of that volatile murderer with the occasionally controversial director of films such as "Do the Right Thing" and "Malcolm X" would seem quite tantalizing. Unfortunately, it turns out that Spike Lee's latest film, "Summer of Sam," really only uses Berkowitz as an occasional "player" and really more of a backdrop in an otherwise less than completely riveting "summer in the city" yarn.

Of course the title gives that fact away, although a better moniker for the picture may have been "Summer of Scum." Had this film been released in its fictional year, it might also have caused that summer's voice of reason and logic, Obi-Wan Kenobi, to rethink his line about never finding a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

That's because Lee has populated his Bronx neighborhood with such an ultimately distasteful cast of major characters -- along with their subsequent behavior -- that audiences will be digging through the secondary ones hoping to find someone for whom they can root.

While not all films have to contain heroes, the fact that this film doesn't, coupled with the barrage of profanity, sexual behavior and, of course, the necessary serial killings, will make it hard pressed to find and then hold onto any audience, particularly regarding those of the female persuasion. Don't be surprised to see lines of disgruntled or disgusted moviegoers at the ticket office requesting refunds.

In fact, it feels a bit like a coarse Martin Scorsese picture (yes, perhaps a redundant modifying adjective), what with the 1970's setting, music, drug use, violence and organized crime. Yet, despite Lee's obvious talent and a few decent scenes and music montages, this is no "Goodfellas." Nor is it as good as "Boogie Nights," another picture set in the '70s that showed there was much decay and decadence under the glossy veneer of the disco days.

Beyond the apparent Scorsese influence, the film is most reminiscent of one of Lee's own films, "Do the Right Thing." Since he mainly uses Berkowitz as a catalyst in the Bronx neighborhood, the film is really just about tensions rising during an incredibly hot spell in one of New York's less glamorous neighborhoods -- which for those who've seen Lee's critically acclaimed 1989 film, should sound quite familiar.

Although such a setup certainly makes for decent dramatic moments as we clearly see that the increasing tension and conflict will eventually erupt, the effect here isn't nearly as powerful as it was in that other film. That's partly because many characters -- both major and minor -- are nothing but recycled cliches from other similar films.

More noticeable and damaging, however, is the feeling that we're mostly kept at arm's length from the proceedings. Beyond the unnecessary barrage of material that will make the film inappropriate save for the oldest of teens -- and many adults -- we're never allowed to get wrapped up in the events or the characters.

While some of them are interesting to watch and several cast members deliver good performances, for the most part we don't care about them, their lives, or what will happen next. Part of that's obviously tied to the handling of the serial killer material.

While it's understood what Lee's trying to do and that the film isn't supposed to be about Berkowitz, his victims, or the cops that were tracking him down, the way in which that part of the story is presented often feels more like a manufactured plot element instead of an integral part of the story.

If the killer's sole plot purpose is to instigate fear, increase tension and eventually lead to mob mentality, there's no reason to see him. By remaining anonymous, he would hopefully -- from a filmmaker's standpoint -- elicit the same reaction from the audience as he does his characters. Although we realize Lee wasn't going for a whodunit or suspenseful "madman on the loose" general plot, the fact that we see the killer -- appropriately presented as nothing more than a raving lunatic -- deflates the balloon.

Our "superior position" -- where we know the identity of the killer but the characters don't -- also ruins what little fun the audience might have garnered from the film. We could have been guessing along with the characters if Ritchie really was the killer and then questioned and/or feared the mob's late-in-the-game actions. While the ending still contains some irony, its effect is quite muted from the way it should have been.

The film, however, does have some things going for it. Lee delivers some decent scenes and sequences -- most notably two music montages set to The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Baba O'Riley," the latter better known as "Teenage Wasteland -- and cinematographer Ellen Kuras (who also shot Lee's Oscar nominated documentary, "4 Little Girls") keeps things visually interesting.

It also has a good cast and the leads certainly put their hearts -- if not their mouths and a proficiency with profanity -- into their performances. As the troubled adulterer, John Leguizamo ("Spawn," "To Wong Foo: Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar) is riveting to watch. While he's clearly not an admirable character, Leguizamo plays him in such a charismatic way that you can help but watch and then cringe at actions and behavior.

Oscar winner Mira Sorvino ("Mighty Aphrodite," "At First Sight") is certainly easy on the eye -- especially considering the sweaty and predominantly male cast -- but can't really do much with her weakly written and subsequently underdeveloped character.

Faring much better is Adrien Brody ("The Thin Red Line," "The Last Time I Committed Suicide") as the punk rocker wannabe. Although he's played as the neighborhood's troublemaker and aberration, Brody gives him enough decency -- notwithstanding some rather questionable behavior -- to make him one of the film's more empathetic characters. The rest of the supporting performances are okay, but either don't get enough screen time to be memorable or are too stereotypical and cliched to stand out.

I've enjoyed most of Lee's previous efforts, including the aforementioned "Do The Right Thing" and last year's underrated "He Got Game," and usually find him to be one of the industry's most creative and better storytelling forces. Unfortunately, and except for a few decent or compelling moments, this film -- that also runs about a half hour too long and contains a few too many cameos by Lee as a TV reporter -- makes you want to go home and shower with some sort of antiseptic cleanser instead of marveling over its artistic merits.

Although films don't have to be sparkling clean or contain upstanding characters to be good, they had better otherwise offer some great material or performances to compensate for the deficiency. For the most part, this one doesn't and as such, we give "Summer of Sam" a 4.5 out of 10.

Here's a quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity is extreme with more than 300 "f" words, along with many other profanities and otherwise "colorful" phrases. Since the film obviously deals with a serial killer, violence is also extreme with several instances of rather graphically realistic murders (usually point blank shootings) with very bloody results.

Other non-lethal violence also occurs. Although few of such scenes are played out in the traditional suspenseful movie style, different viewers may find them unsettling, disturbing and/or downright frightening.

Due to numerous sexual encounters (with other implied ones involving homosexual behavior) that include related sounds, movement and nudity -- and with one featuring a full-fledged orgy involving a married couple -- that category also receives an extreme rating. Beyond the activity, plenty of sexually related dialogue and discussions are also present.

Considering the serial murderer's activity, along with a married man's adulterous ways and the manner in which many characters treat others (including some ethnic slurs), the bad and disrespectful attitude category also rates as an extreme. With some instances of drug use (cocaine, heroin, Quaaludes) and drug trafficking (pot), as well as plenty of drinking, that category similarly gets an extreme rating. Many characters also smoke throughout the film.

While it's questionable how many kids will want to see this picture, considering the nature and quantity of the listed content, we strongly suggest that you take a closer look at said material, particularly if you're concerned about its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home.

Of special note for those concerned with repetitive, full-screen flashes of light, some of that occurs in a scene set in a nightclub.

  • People have drinks in a nightclub, including Vinny who's convinced to have a shot with them. Later, he comments that he had too much to drink (although this may be an excuse for his suspicious wife).
  • People have drinks at a poker game.
  • One of Vinny's buddies drinks a beer outside on the street.
  • Joey T. is a small-time drug dealer. As such, we see him selling "nickel bags" to various people (including Ritchie and Bobby), and giving Vinny what are presumably Quaaludes (which we see him taking several times).
  • Luigi and his pals have wine with a meal.
  • Ritchie walks into Vinny's shop with a beer in his hand.
  • Ruby smokes what appears to be a joint.
  • People drink in a bar.
  • Bobby walks along with an open beer.
  • Luigi has a drink.
  • We briefly see the closeup of someone shooting up heroin.
  • Joey T. smokes a joint.
  • Eddie drinks a beer.
  • Vinny, Dionna, Ritchie and Ruby have wine with dinner.
  • People outside a club drink.
  • As they get out of a limo we see that Vinny and Dionna have been drinking champagne. At a sex club they then attend, we see people seated next to them snorting cocaine and hear Dionna state that she's "really stoned." Later and while fighting, Dionna states that it was "the pills and the coke" that made her have sex with another man (while Vinny had sex with another woman).
  • At one point and while others talk, Woodstock appears to be slipping into unconsciousness (presumably from drug use).
  • Ruby drinks a beer out on the street.
  • A punk rocker appears to be drunk walking down the street.
  • Luigi has a drink.
  • Vinny takes more Quaaludes and drinks beer.
  • Vinny shows up at work stoned and then gets belligerent with Gloria.
  • Later, Vinny snorts cocaine and then rubs some on his gums.
  • Blood splatters inside a car (and onto the windows) as the killer shoots two women, and then does so again as the killer shoots two more people in a parked car.
  • We then see the last pair of victims again, who are still quite bloody.
  • We briefly see and hear Vinny vomit.
  • More blood splatters as the killer shoots two more women.
  • We see a dead and bloody woman on the street (another victim) and we later see a woman trying to clean the blood stains from the street.
  • More people who are shot are bloody.
  • We briefly see the closeup of someone shooting up heroin (and see the needle going into the arm).
  • We briefly see Bobby after he's been beaten up and his face is somewhat bloody.
  • Blood runs down Ritchie's head after he purposefully smashes a glass there to intimidate some other men who don't like the sight of him. Later, Ritchie holds a bloody towel/cloth to that wound.
  • More victims are bloody.
  • Ritchie's face has blood fly from it and is then very bloody after he's been beaten.
  • Obviously the killer has extreme cases of both, and some viewers may not like the satanic elements of his behavior (in one scene he calls himself Beelzebub), or the film eliciting some laughs, not necessarily about the murders, but clearly using them as a backdrop.
  • Vinny repeatedly cheats on his wife by having adulterous affairs, and one of those women, his boss, admits that she's married as well (he also has sex with his wife's cousin).
  • Joey T. is a drug dealer, and he and his crew make up an uneducated list of possible suspects for being the killer and then harass those people (including a priest). They're also generally mean to anyone not in their group.
  • Various ethnic/racial slurs are thrown about at times.
  • One of Luigi's men tells a black detective about the number of people killed in Harlem, and that the numbers are higher on the weekends "if we're lucky."
  • We learn that Ritchie prostitutes himself at an adult, sex theater with other men.
  • During a blackout we see people looting stores (and burning others).
  • Some viewers may not appreciate Ritchie's punk rock band being named "Late Term Abortion."
  • Getting into a fight after both had sex with other people at a club, Vinny and Dionna are incredibly mean to each other.
  • Joey T., his crew, and eventually Vinny (high on drugs) turn on Ritchie and set out to prove he's the killer and serve their own brand of retribution.
  • Vinny shows up at work stoned and then gets belligerent with Gloria, calling her a "bitch" and pouring a drink on her head.
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" (particularly the murders) may be unsettling and/or frightening to some viewers.
  • Several scenes (accompanied by ominous music) show the killer "going crazy" in his apartment (thrashing himself against his bed, beating the walls, etc...) while the pivotal dog continuously barks and may be somewhat unsettling or disturbing.
  • Several scenes have the killer shooting his gun right at the camera (and thus at the audience).
  • A woman comes home at night and sees the killer and then runs off screaming trying to get into her house.
  • Another young woman encounters the killer at night and we then see him walking along carrying his gun.
  • A scene where Joey T. and his crew wait to ambush Ritchie may be suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Handgun: Used by the killer to shoot his victims, often at point blank range (and also seen in a few scenes where he shoots right at the camera).
  • Handguns: Carried by the police.
  • Various guns and other weapons: Briefly seen in a gun case and presumably owned by Eddie.
  • Rifle: Used by the killer to shoot a barking dog (we don't see the impact, but do hear the dog squeal).
  • Phrases: "You linguine d*ck m*therf*cker," "Shut the f*ck up," "Get the f*ck out of here," "Go f*ck yourself," "Piece of sh*t," "Holy sh*t," "Horny," "Butt f*cking," "Schtupped," and "Balled" (all sexually related), "Take a leak," "Jeez," "Balls" (testicles), "Bastard," "Fag" "Fairy" "Queer" and "Homo" (for gays), "Jerk off," "Numb nuts," "Skank," "Daigo wop skank," "Suck," "Piss," "Busting my balls," "Shut up," "Idiot," "Punk," "Rat bastard," "Nuts" (crazy), "Whore," "Nigger," "Spic," "Slut," "Dyke," "Guido," "Bitch," and "You stupid bitch."
  • While not highly probable, the film could inspire severely troubled kids to shoot people in a manner similar to how the killer does here.
  • Vinny gives the "f you" sign to someone, while a buddy of his grabs his own crotch as a gesture to someone else and various people give "the finger" to other people.
  • Some kids may want to imitate the punk rock look (as displayed by Ritchie with spiked hair that's later cut as a Mohawk) and other miscellaneous characters show multiple body piercing.
  • One of Vinny's buddies puts out his cigarette in Bobby's palm (to be mean).
  • During an argument/fight, Vinny spits on Dionna.
  • A cab driver comes out to find that Joey T. and his crew have flattened his tires (thinking he's the killer).
  • The first instance where the killer suddenly shoots two women in a car may startle some viewers.
  • A moderate amount of such music occurs during the film.
  • None.
  • Due to technical errors late in our record keeping procedure as well as the rapid-fire language that occurs throughout the film, the following should be considered a bare minium regarding the actual amount of profanity that occurs -- (ie. It's much higher, particularly the use of the "f" word).
  • At least 315 "f" words (12 used sexually as are the words "balled" and "schtupped," with another 2 used with "mother"), 60 "s" words, 10 slang terms for male genitals ("d*ck" and "c*ck"), 4 slang terms for female genitals ("p*ssy," "c*nt" and "tw*t"), 15 hells, 12 asses (5 used with "hole"), 3 S.O.B.s, 1 crap, 1 damn and 9 uses of "Oh my God," 5 each of "G-damn" and "Swear to God," 3 of "Jesus Christ," 2 of "Jesus" and 1 use each of "Oh God" and "For Christ's sakes" as exclamations.
  • A woman at a nightclub shows cleavage.
  • We see Vinny having sex with a woman from behind her in his parked car. We hear loud sexual sounds and see movement. When they're interrupted, Vinny gets out of the car (with his pants around his ankles) and runs around to the driver's side. As such, he covers his crotch with his hands but we do see his bare butt.
  • As Dionna kisses Vinny, she tastes something on his lips (that she later describes as "p*ssy juice") that makes her suspicious of his behavior.
  • We see Ritchie walk through his mom's house in nothing but his tightfitting underwear (often highlighting the bulge in them).
  • Ruby tells a man that he can go to a room to "jerk off" when he's not happy with her. One of Vinny's buddies then jokingly says that he's horny and needs a hug (and others then throw in the words "c*nt" and "tw*t" at her). One of them then says that she "sucks" really good, causing her to reply that she learned it from his mother.
  • Vinny talks to Ritchie about having "balled" someone (had sex) and then says that he got a message from God that among the things he should stop is "Butt f*cking, 69, doggie style..." Ritchie then mocks Vinny by saying "Let me put it up your ass....Oh God..."
  • We see Helen dressed in a tightfitting bustier (that shows cleavage) and fooling around with Eddie. He then pulls down the top of the bustier and kisses her bare breasts. Ritchie then unexpectedly comes home and sees this, interrupting them. Eddie later says that he's got a case of "blue balls."
  • A woman suggestively grabs Vinny's butt.
  • Ruby undoes Ritchie's pants and then puts her mouth down to his crotch and starts to perform oral sex on him (with sounds of her actions), but he stops her from continuing.
  • We see Vinny's boss, Gloria, in her bra and panties as she and Vinny (in his underwear) start fooling around at work. He stops when he says he's feeling guilty, but then slaps her on her butt several times, kisses her, and then pulls her down on top of him (facing away) on a chair. He then repeatedly runs his hands across her bra and down to her crotch and we see her getting aroused.
  • When a comment is made to Bobby (who's gay) about "d*cks," he says that "I'll take yours and Ritchie's...double the pleasure." When he hands over his money to buy some drugs, the recipient comments that it better not be "sticky."
  • The owner of an adult, live sex theater tells Ruby that Ritchie has a "pretty c*ck -- nice size" and that she's a lucky girl because of this. That owner then asks Ruby if she strips, does "f*ck flicks," or is otherwise "in the business." She says that she's not. He then comments that she's too hot to "give it away" and that she's so hot he wishes he were a lesbian.
  • Meanwhile, a man does a solo, sexually related performance on the stage (including holding a floppy mannequin down at his crotch) for an older, seemingly all male audience, and one of the viewers gets aroused and heads upstairs. There he meets Ritchie who goes with him into the ladies room for what's presumably a homosexual encounter (for which Ritchie gets paid).
  • Vinny gets aroused as Dionna sensuously/suggestively dances with him, including rubbing her butt up against his crotch as he's backed up against a wall.
  • We see Vinny in his underwear. He then tells Dionna that they should leave town, go someplace and rent dirty movies. She tells him that she can't leave, but that they can rent dirty movies at home. He then says that they should make love and we see him get on top of her between her legs, with his underwear pulled halfway down (thus we see half of his bare butt). To be different, he says that they should make love with the lights on, and then adds, "Instead of making love, let's f*ck this time." We then see him move his hand down to his crotch to guide himself into her and then see her facial reaction to this. As they have sex (seen mostly from the waist up, but the camera occasionally pans over to see him between her legs of which we see her bare thigh) we see movement and hear sounds. He then moves more quickly and finally climaxes with more sexual sounds.
  • We see Dionna come out of the bathroom wearing a blond wig, a cleavage revealing bra and extremely high cut underwear. Vinny then tells her, "You can suck my huge c*ck," and she then works on his pants and kisses his stomach. Then seen from a low bed angle and behind his head (looking down his body), we see her head go down to his crotch (our view is then blocked by him raising his head to watch, but you can tell what she's doing). He then sits up while she continues this and we see him moving his hips to it. He then stops her, however, and she asks him to tell her how he wants her to do it, but nothing else happens.
  • We see Ritchie head off into the ladies bathroom with another man again at the adult theater.
  • Vinny asks Ritchie about Ruby, "Does it bother you that she's been schtupped so many times?" and then refers to her as a whore.
  • We briefly see Det. Atwater and a woman in a bathtub together (but don't see any nudity or activity).
  • Knowing that Ruby and Vinny have a past, Dionna asks Ruby to tell her what Vinny likes (sexually), since she wants to please him, but doesn't think she does. Ruby then asks, "Do you want me to tell you how to f*ck your husband?" and Dionna nods in the affirmative (but the scene cuts away before she tells her anything).
  • With some strangers they just met exiting Studio 54, Vinny and Dionna catch a ride with them and end up at Plato's Retreat (a sex club). We then see many views of an orgy of sorts. Two women kiss one another and then the breasts of a third woman. We then see various people making out (some showing bare breasts), including Vinny and Dionna. He then takes a bare- breasted woman's hand and places it on Dionna's clothed breast as he continues making out with her. We then see more bare breasts and butts and hear sexual sounds and see some movement. This includes Vinny having sex with a woman from behind her (we see more of him and his movement than of his partner) and he watches Dionna sandwiched between several people lying on the floor with the man behind her having sex with her (with movement).
  • Later, Vinny is mad at Dionna for having sex with someone else (although he was doing the same) and asks her, "Did he f*ck you better than me?" She then says that she did it for him. He sarcastically replies, "Did you f*cking come for me?" She then states that it was "the pills and the coke" that made her do it. As their fight progresses, she says "You f*cked my cousin (referring to an earlier encounter). I smelled p*ssy juice all over your f*cking face." She then gets out of the car and states that she's going to wait for someone to come along and hopes that it will be some "brother" and then adds that both know he'll have a "great big d*ck...Do you want to watch me while I suck a big black d*ck in a big black Cadillac." She then states "Do you want to watch me f*ck him" and then shouts out "Free p*ssy here."
  • We see a male dancer wearing nothing but a thong and thus see most of his bare butt.
  • We see some graffiti that reads, "Ruby sucks the big one."
  • We see footage from a porno film (with Ritchie having sex with Ruby from behind her with movement, nudity and sounds) and Joey T. commenting, "He's f*cking Ruby. Would you f*ck your wife in a porn film?"
  • In another fight, Dionna asks Vinny, "How many other women did you f*ck at the salon?" (other than his boss).
  • We see Ruby take off her top and tell Ritchie to touch her while guiding his hands to her bra. We then see them making out on his bed with him on top of her and running his hand down to her crotch.
  • Vinny smokes more than ten times, while both Ritchie and Joey T. each smoke more than five times. Various other characters also smoke, including Helen, Woodstock, Dionna (once), some cops working the case, as well as various members of Joey T. and Luigi's "crew." Other miscellaneous characters also smoke within and outside clubs and bars in various scenes.
  • Ritchie and his mom have a tenuous relationship and she eventually asks him to move out of the house and into the garage.
  • Vinny and Dionna's marriage is rocky from the start and progressively gets worse (with several fights) until she finally moves out (but no kids are involved).
  • The real "Son of Sam" murders and this picture's historical accuracy in telling the story.
  • The behavior of most of the characters in the film.
  • Mob mentality and rioting.
  • The more freewheeling nature of the 1970's (and the drug use and sexual behavior that occurred then).
  • The killer walks up and shoots two women in their car at point blank range (in a more graphically "realistic" manner than most movies).
  • The killer shoots a couple in a car, again at point blank range and also with very bloody results.
  • One of the guys kicks Woodstock.
  • Joey T. and his guys chase after an outsider and throw a bottle at his car as he speeds away.
  • We see the killer violently throwing things across his apartment and into the walls and later punching a hole in his wall.
  • The killer shoots two more women.
  • The killer walks up to a woman and shoots her through the book with which she tries to shield her face.
  • One of Vinny's buddies puts out his cigarette in Bobby's palm (to be mean).
  • The killer shoots a barking dog with a rifle (we don't see the impact, but do hear the dog squeal).
  • In a music montage we see the killer shooting more people with bloody results, and an injured man crawls out the car window and tries to escape, but collapses on the street and presumably dies (and is very bloody).
  • We briefly see Bobby after he's been beaten up and his face is somewhat bloody (we don't see the attack/fight).
  • We see Joey T. and his crew beating up people with bats/sticks during a music montage.
  • Vinny and Ritchie briefly struggle with some people in a restaurant and Ritchie smashes a glass against his head on purpose (presumably to look tough, and it causes some bleeding).
  • During a blackout we see people looting stores (and burning others) and a car driving through a store window front.
  • Joey T.'s crew grabs a man who's approached their makeshift roadblock and pulls him from his car.
  • Dionna slaps Vinny during a fight.
  • After Bobby makes fun of Ritchie sexually servicing men at a theater, Ritchie drives him back against a wall and threatens him.
  • The killer shoots more people dead.
  • Joey T. punches a drunk punk rocker. Others then join in the beating that they finish off by hitting the man with a metal trash can.
  • While fighting, both Dionna and Vinny throw various items out their window.
  • We see Vinny twice punch the vanity mirror in the bathroom, shattering it.
  • Joey T. punches Vinny in the gut. Another buddy then comments on Vinny and Dionna's problems and Vinny repeatedly tries to get this man and throws something at him.
  • Joey T. and his crew surround Ritchie who tries to defend himself by swinging around his electric guitar. After hitting one of them with it, the others grab Ritchie and Joey T. graphically knees him in the face. The others then proceed to beat and kick him until Eddie shows up, fires several warning shots of his pistol in the air and then points it at Joey T. and the others to make them back off.

  • Reviewed June 24, 1999 / Posted July 2, 1999

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