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Deadbeat At Dawn (1988)

DVD Cover (Synapse)
Genres:
Action Thriller, Crime, Gangster Film, Horror
Director:
Jim Van Bebber Jim Van Bebber
Starring:
Paul Harper Paul Harper
Jim Van Bebber Jim Van Bebber
Megan Murphy Megan Murphy
Ric Walker Ric Walker
Marc Pitman Marc Pitman

6.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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After one too many encounters with The Spiders (a rival gang), The Ravens' leader's girlfriend tells him to quit the gang or it's Splitsville. He does so, but the leader of The Spiders is hellbent on revenge and arranges the murder of the girlfriend. That ticks off the boyfriend, who wreaks havoc with the two gangs, who have joined forces in order to pull off a security truck heist. --IMDb
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Review by Christopher
Added: January 27, 2005
Christy is at a fortune teller trying to get some answers about her life. After finding out nothing, she gets attacked by the leader of a gang called the Spiders, who happens to be named Danny. A cop comes walking by just in the nick of time to be able to break the two up before anything happens. Back at home she tells her boyfriend, Goose. Goose just so happens to be the rival gangs leader, the Ravens. He assembles his men and has a fight with Danny. Right before Goose is about to finish him off, the cops once again show up to break up the fight. Christy and Goose get in a big argument back at home. The only way he's going to be able to keep her is if he changes. So he decides to drop out of the Ravens.

When he's out on the town the next day to make a drug deal, a few of the Spiders pay a visit to his home and find Christy there alone. Goose returns home to beaten and dead girlfriend. He gets rid of her by wrapping her in a sheet and carrying her into the garbage crusher in the apartment building they live in. Once he disposes of the body, he returns to his fathers house for the first time in years to find out he's become addicted to heroin. At one point, his father becomes broke and tries to kill his son to get the money he earned from that drug deal he made. He beats his father into a bloody pulp, tosses him an envelope full of cash and then leaves.

After getting wasted in a bar, he goes into an alley to try and shoot himself. The new leader of the Spiders, Keith, finds him and takes him in. During Goose's absents, the Spiders and the Ravens joined forces to make one big gang. Keith and Danny are now in front of Goose, forcing him to re-join the gang. He has no other choice but to accept. Weeks later, the two gangs rob an armed bank vehicle. After getting away with the money, the two gangs separate and meet later in an old factory. When the time comes to split up the money, the Spiders turn on the Ravens and kill everyone of them, except for Goose. He makes his escape with their money.

With the Spiders now out to kill him, he has no choice but to get rid of the money before they get to take one more thing away from him. He calls Christy's sister and tells him to meet her at the local train station. His plan was to give her the money. But that's quickly ruined when the Ravens find him. The massive brawl is filled with kung-fu fighting, blood gushing gun shots, gory throat slashings, and much more. The film does not end on your typical good versus bad story line, which adds to the films greatness.

Kung-fu fighting in this film wasn't too needed, but it turned out to be pretty decent at times. Goose was something else with a set of nunchakus, among every other weapon he carried with him. The gun shots spewed blood everywhere for more than ninety five percent of the times a bullet connected with flesh. Every knife cut and wound was done beautifully. Goose also carried with him a pair of brass knuckles that has a knife on the end of it. He managed to knock a few teeth out with that monster. Not too many of the other characters had too much detail about them.

Christy was the typical girlfriend. Got mad at Goose, made him change, he did, she died. Goose's father was totally out of his mind. He actually tried to kill Goose more than once while he was visiting. Kept talking about how there was a war going on and how they sent Goose there to kill him. Goose obviously didn't stay long. Bone Crusher, the strongest fellow of the Spiders, seemed to be more of a drug addict than anyone else and liked hurting people quite a bit. Speaking of Bone Crusher, he took some punishment during the battle with goose. Got a ninja star thrown into his forehead. His head was bashed against a brick wall numerous times. Then he was thrown off a roof and ran over by a car that sent his head flying.

One thing that didn't make much sense is that some of the cut scenes would be images that you would see in a kaleidoscope. So instead of it fading to black then another scene, it would go to the kaleidoscope images for a few seconds, then the next scene. Guess it could have been one of the drug things. But anyway, not too many action films contain the same elements as this one. None I've seen definitely can't match up with the tons of blood and detailed killings as this one. Another fine and odd release by the Synapse team.

Final Conclusion: 8/10
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