Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Next of Kin (1989)

Well, today is clearly a very sad day. I know that my movie collection will never sit on its shelves the same way again, and those of us who long for the rebirth of the 80's now know that we are too far gone to ever return to those days of sparkly glory. But let's not focus on the grim, unspeakable; instead, I have viewed and enjoyed this 1989 masterpiece, new to my brain but not to my shelves, and I have declared it amazing. I mean, come on: anytime Swayze's first line in a film is "like a junkyard dog," you know you're in for something smooth and spectacular. The greased back mullet ponytail was another indicator, and the beat-up, waist-less fedora and Southern twang just sealed the deal. It's a pretty simple story of angry cop + familial reinforcements go after the mob in a bloody Chicago war, but the hillbilly angle really adds something new and shiny. And that thing just happens to be a mountain militia with absurd amounts of random weapons and an arsenal of animal calls that not only serve as communication devices but acts of confusion. Did I mention the fiddle-playing? In the final showdown, they show a veritable assembly line of pb&j sandwiches and coffee in thermoses with the clear indication that they're off to war. We see shotguns, bows and arrows, rifles, crossbows, flying axes, flying knifes, and then there are the fists! So who's on each side of this classic battle of big families? Well, Swayze is the hero of course, with brothers Liam Neeson and Bill Paxton, and Helen Hunt by marriage. And they're facing off against none-other than Adam Baldwin and baby faced (yes, he's only 24 in this!) Ben Stiller. Wowzah! What a whoppa of a cast! There are also hounds and snakes, deer heads in fridges, leaps onto moving trains, pinball gags, the handcuffed destruction of a drum set, creepy pedophile laughs ("wanna play on the teeter-totter with me? he he"), the knowledge that this clearly happened before plucking eyebrows was popular (I'm looking at you Hunt), crazy bum ladies poking trash, of course, and Papa John and co. delivering pizzas. Too good my friends! Too fucking good! And while we can never reclaim what is lost, at least the period of 87-91, the ultimate pinnacle of Swayze's career in film, can still languish in original format in my dingy basement apartment. Now, that's love.

I deem it: "The penultimate of Country Justice!/Rocking music and righteous moves bring order to the land of Chicago crime!/Seriously, I want to go to Kentucky!/Patrick Swayze was born to play the leader of the Mountain Militia!/Nobody does it better.

RIP Patrick Swayze

"you don't mix rap and hum music, they're different flavors!"

For an equally awesome and seriously in-depth post on this fine flick, now with even more made-up words (did you know that was possible?), check out this crazy's site.


Tesla said...

And here is the soundtrack listing: brothers
performed by patrick swayze and larry gaslin

hillbilly heart
performed by ricky van shelton

brother to brother
performed by gregg allman and lori yates

hey, backwoods
performed by rodney crawell

the yard sale
performed by billy lawson

performed by sweethearts of the rodeo

straight and narrow
performed by ricky skaggs

pyramid of cans
performed by george jones

my sweet baby's gone
performed by the charlie daniels Band

Wailing Sax
performed by duane eddy

protect and serve
performed by pee wee jam and M.C. Jam

my sweet understanding lady
written and performed by b.b. king

performed by mario lanza

orange blossom special
written by ervin t. rouse

CBS Records, Cassettes and Compact Discs

Tesla said...

PS. Michael Pollard is amazing, especially when he's playing a kinman (eg Tesla in Riders of the Storm)

Muskeg Harpy said...

I loved this movie. LOVED. Love. Glad to read your review.