Sunday, June 14, 2009

99 AND 44/100% DEAD (1974) - John Frankenheimer

Old fave director John Frankheimer and one of the more mathematically cumbersome titles of all time put me onto this '70s crime flick. But I could have saved myself 94 and 3/4 minutes if I had just remembered two things: Reindeer Games and the fact that I loathe fractions.

Frankenheimer goes for a pseudo-comic book vibe in the story of a British fixer (Richard Harris) caught in the middle of a mob war. But the end result is somewhere between a watered down version of Miller's Crossing and a fattened up 70's version of Shoot 'Em Up. This is far cry from his brilliant political thrillers like Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days in May, Seconds, even Black Sunday.

There are a few neat scenes with an assortment of mob casualties floating at the bottom of the river in cement boots, Chuck Connors as a baddie with a replaceable metal hand that he occasionally switches out for pruning shears or a cat o' nine tails, and two '70s sweeties played by Ann Turkel and Katherine Baumann. But, otherwise, a 99 and 44/100% waste of my time.

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