47 FILMS: 38. EXTREME PREJUDICE

In our continuing series of  ’47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams’, we look at Walter Hill’s blood soaked border Western Extreme Prejudice.

Walter Hill has often been a director somewhat overlooked. His made a series of successful action movies, but there’s often the sense that he is too often written off as a meer action director. And yet a filmmaker who produce films as varied in scope as After Hours, The Long Riders, Southern Comfort and Brewster’s Millions, as well as having a large hand in the Alien series, obviously has more chops than your average second unit action guy.

Extreme Prejudice came out in 1987, the year after 48 Hours and starred Nick Nolte as a tough guy Texan peace officer Jack Benteen, who alongside his buddy sheriff (Rip Torn) is running in drug smugglers as his old boyhood friend Cash (Powers Boothe) sends them across from Mexico. There’s a shared girlfriend (Maria Conchita Alonso) between them as well and, to further complicate matters, a black ops squad are setting up a bank robbery to procure evidence against Cash. The team of ex-soldiers is led by Michael Ironside’s snake eyed Major… whoa! Stop there. Just look at this cast. Nolte, Ironside, Boothe, Torn and you can add to those Clancy Brown and William Forsythe as black ops men. The film has huge testosterone sweat patches and lines which are so much spoken as bitten off and spat out: ‘If you see the Major kill him. Kill him like an animal.’

The set pieces are great even if the plot gets so convoluted at times you get the feeling that no one is actually paying attention any longer. It doesn’t quite have the melancholy poetry of Peckinpah – in fact its Boothe’s doomed king pin who is the most Peckinpah-esque – but a blood bath is inevitable and suitably thorough.

For more of our ‘47 Films to see Before you are Murdered in your Dreams’ Click Here.

47 FILMS: 24. THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH

47 FILMS: 25. THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH – Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 movie is a classic of science fiction and provided David Bowie with his most iconic role.

Everything about Nic Roeg’s mid-seventies classic is bold and fascinating. The editing, the performances, the camera work and the script. Everything. Bowie plays Thomas Newton, an alien who has come to Earth to take water back to his planet which is suffering from a terrible drought and where his family await his return. Patenting a series of inventions due to the advanced technology of his own planet, Newton becomes incredibly rich and a target for dark forces within the government as well as plagued by his own distractions. Having tasted various pleasures with his guide, the down on her luck Mary-Lou (Candy Clarke) Newton begins to acclimatize to the planet losing his way in the midst of alcoholism and, wouldn’t you guess it, alienation. His one friend, a womanizing academic Dr. Bryce (Rip Torn) betrays him to the authorities and as they test him, they also strip him of his identity. Testing his eyes will make it impossible for him to remove his contact lenses which serve as a disguise.

Based on a novel by Walter Tevis (who also wrote The Hustler!), the film is so suited to Bowie himself that it’s difficult at times not to assume it’s a documentary and that there’s something about Bowie that we always suspected but is only now revealed. Loving the alien has been a consistent theme of Bowie’s work and also to some extent Nicolas Roeg. Forty years on from its initial release, The Man who Fell to Earth still has the power to shock and amaze. It also has one of the best final lines and shots in the history of cinema.

For the rest of our 47 films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams, Click Here.

THE JACK NICHOLSON COOKBOOK 2: Steak Tartare
















Hi, I’m Jack Nicholson.

People often say to me – Jack, they say, what was it like working on Easy Rider?

Well, I’ll tell you folks. Fonda is a straight shooter. You could set your watch by the son of a bitch, but Hopper was one of the craziest bastards I’ve ever eaten Chinese food with.
I remember we were holed up in New Orleans during Mardi Gras and Hopper appeared at the bar dressed as a Voodoo Witch doctor with a pair of octogenarian hookers on each arm. He said he’d rented a boat and was going to spend the afternoon entertaining these fine ladies on the river and could he take a couple of grams of blow to tide him over.

When Rip Torn casually informed him there was no blow left, Hopper produced a monkey Skull from his JuJu bag and waved it in Rip’s face claiming he was putting a curse on him. Now back then old Rip had what you might call an underdeveloped sense of humour; and he pulled a blade from his boot threatening to slice off the larger of Hopper’s testicles.

I have no recollection of what happened next but, when I woke up the next morning, I was lying face down on the deck of a Mississippi paddle steamer heading for Missouri, clutching a bottle of Jim Beam and a stuffed walrus.

You know as much fun as we had on that movie what sticks in my mind was the Steak Tartare I had aboard that Steamer. It’s one of the quickest and tastiest meals a man could ever wish for, and here’s how you do it:
  1. Get a raw steak
  2. Chop it up
  3. Eat it
There you go folks. No frills Steak Tartare the Nicholson way. Come by next week, when I’ll be revealing how to make a four bird roast with only three birds.

Hasta Luego.