Friday, August 20, 2010

In NYC on Saturday? Then go see THE MERCENARIES/DARK OF THE SUN!

Simply said, if you're a fan of crazed action movies without a lick of political correctness,
then you MUST make your way to the Anthology Film Archives to catch the last screening of
The Mercenaries
(which is the British title of the incredible mercenary movie DARK OF THE SUN, which I've ranted about HERE)
on Saturday, August 21, at 4pm.
That's THIS Saturday, New Yorkers (and folks nearby)!

William Lustig and the good folks at the Anthology have gone through a LOT of trouble to bring you this flick, which, according to the good Mr. Lustig, will probably never be on DVD (unless you are part of the Cinemageddon world and can download it).

The print had to be cajoled out of the British Film Institute, and while I wish it was pristine, it's still good enough to impart the maniacal intensity of this flick.

Don't believe me? Then watch this scene....


  1. I just watched this. Quite enjoyable. It's a stirring adventure with a very strange narrative perspective. I'm not sure where yer moral center is when we're talking about soldiers-for-hire, but I think you were saying that's one of the reasons you like mercenary movies so much in the first place.

    Doubtless we can all approve the slaughter of cowardly, child-murdering nazis and mobs of pillaging Mau Mau killers. But one thing I took away from the film was a weird pro-colonial subtext that almost seems accidental. Rod Taylor was ultimately given a broader ethical view by seeing the flaws in his own primitive, violent ways, but the blacks who teach him this evolved view (Jim Brown and the black subordinate at the end) were pretty one-dimensional, e.g., it still comes off as a white man's journey even as much as the filmmakers give lip service to the self-determination of the Congolians(?). Anyway, it's an unusual picture, historically special, and it made me think. Good one!

  2. Toestubz:
    Glad you liked Dark of the Sun! It was like old home week at the Anthology: I managed to drag Rodine and the Squeekster along…

    I think the Dark of the Sun’s confused/confusing politics are part of what makes me like it so much.

    The final coda is a tad FUBAR, I’ll admit.
    I would have preferred if Jim Brown’s character hadn’t been killed: the Congo War is HIS war after all, he’s not in it “just for money.” And I would hope that JB wouldn’t turn into another Charles Taylor…although JB would certain have gotten some Naomi Campbell nookie for those diamonds...

    Having JB die, and then Rod Taylor turning himself over to a military tribunal (to do what, slap his wrist? Use harsh language on him?), makes the movie’s end almost more hopeless. So what if Taylor is reformed? It only matters if Taylor joins the “good fight” for no pay, and while that might be hinted at, it’s never shown. I think Taylor grabbed Yvette, some diamonds and headed off for his next gig—-maybe Indochina?

    I really get the feeling that (some early version of) the script had Taylor getting killed by the Nazi (who’s voice is often dubbed in by Paul Frees, if you’re into that sort of info), and then JB’s character gets going into revenge mode. If you rethink the movie that way, then the ending makes sense: the mercenary who claims he’s fighting for his country must then obey the law of that land, and also gains the respect of the other “native” fighters.

    Hey, I’ll be in the L.A. area in November, doing some dirty work for the military-industrial complex—I hope to see you then! Clifton’s Cafeteria, maybe?

    (Jeez, my reply is longer than practically all the posts I've done in the last six months. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeit!)

  3. Yes, your ending does make a lot more sense! If only we had a time machine.

    Please hang with me when you're in Hollywood. College life is insane right now. And hopefully the Clifton's organization will remain viable until after your arrival.

  4. Rod, Yvette, Time Machine...
    George Pal's The Time Mercenaries: Rod Taylor gets Jim Brown to come back to 800,000 years in the future to defeat the Morlock uprising against the ineffectual Eloi gubment... (Interestingly enough, I'm finally reading HG Welles' Time Machine...)

    Seeeeee you in Noooovemmmmmmber!