43. The Dead Pool (1988)


*The Warlock opens the door to his lair. He’s wearing a black bathrobe, black slippers and an ice pack on his head. He’s holding a 20 ounce glass of apple juice*

The Warlock: Welcome to my….*coughs* lair….welcome I don’t think  *coughs more*  fuck it….Come on in if you dare.

*Warlock shuffles into his lair. Neyzor Blades is in the kitchen preparing a bowl of hot soup*

Warlock: In case you haven’t noticed, I’m sick today. Mr. America and Mr. Wallstreet wanted no part of this but luckily Neyzor Blades is here for today’s film.

*Neyzor Blades is wearing gray workout shorts, black t-shirt, pink slippers*

Neyz: Shut up and eat your soup.

Warlock: Love you too. Today’s flick is The Dead Pool, the 5th and final Dirty Harry movie that was released in 1988, seventeen years after the first movie.

Neyz: Still say you should be in bed right now.

*Neyz hands Warlock a bowl of soup and sits in the recliner. He staggers to the couch and sits*

Warlock: Let’s get this over with. Put on Dead Pool.


*Warlock reads the tag-line*

Warlock: “Dirty Harry Callahan must stop a sick secret contest to murder local celebrities, which includes himself as a target.”

Neyz: Look out Denis Leary!


*Opening credits are set to a synthesizer theme of a panoramic view of San Fransisco*

Neyz: Reminds me of Jumpin Jack Flash.


*Peter Swan (Liam Neeson) watches the news where Samantha Walker (Patricia Clarkson) gives the report that Lou Janero (Anthony Charnota) has been convicted for murder. Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) was the arresting officer and the D.A. Thomas McSherry (Chistopher P Beale). McSherry says the credit goes to Callahan as Swan writes out a hit list with Callahan on it*

Warlock: Ruh-roh!


*Callahan drives over the Golden Gate Bridge and is tailed by some guy. After a while Harry says “Get off my ass.”

Warlock: Hahahahahaha.


*A car pulls in front of Harry and one from behind. A bunch of goons jump out and start shooting. Harry tries to drive off but flips his car. Some of the mobsters jump on his car and Callahan shoots them all with his 44 mag.*

Warlock: Gunfire and flipping his car…not a mark on him.


*Callahan walks away and Samantha asks if the police are on Janero’s payroll. Callahan says nothing and gets in a sqaud car. Back at the station Captain Donnelly (Michael Currie) says Callahan cost him 13 grand by totaling the car, Harry tells him to send Janero the bill. Donnelly says Harry is off the streets on the order of Lt. Ackerman (Michael Goodwin). Harry is told he’s getting a commendation. Harry “Swell”*

Warlock: Just well.


*Ackerman says he’s doing great for public relations. He wants Harry to continue to play nice with the public and Callahan’s look says it all. Donnelly tells him Detective Al Quan (Evan C Kim) is his new partner. As usual, Harry is less than thrilled.*

Warlock: How many times are they going to give him a partner?


*Harry says most of his partners end up dead or in the hospital. Al says he can handle it. Harry tells him to get a bullet proof vest. Ackerman says Harry teaming with a Chinese-American will be great for PR. Al gives Ackerman a dirty look and Donnelly facepalms.*

Neyz and Warlock: Hahahahaha.


*Next frame shows Johnny Squares (Jim Carrey) filming a movie to Welcome To The Jungle, dancing badly.*

Neyz: Hahahahahahahahaha

Warlock: I thought he was supposed to be in a serious role.


*Peter Swan cuts in the middle of filming when the robotic head catches fire. He gives Jeff (Nicholas Love) an earful. “You said trust me. You know how to say ‘fuck you’ in this business, ‘trust me’!”

Neyz: That’s true.


*Peter looks at Vicky (Maureen McVerry) and continues giving Jeff shit. He calls everyone incompetent morons. Johnny says this sucks. “How the fuck did I get sucked in to doing this shit?”

Neyz: Never seen him curse before.


*Peter realizes Johnny is withdrawing from whatever drugs he’s on and Peter yells at him. Vicky asks what they do now, Peter says he’s like a trained seal. Back in Johnny’s trailer, he injects heroin in himself. He mumbles to himself before he’s murdered by someone who enters the trailer.*

Neyz: This is tough to watch.


*Al and Harry investigate Johnny’s trailer. Al tells him that celebs die in threes and Harry says its hardly glamorous. Johnny’s eyes are still open*

Neyz: Ewwwwww


*Al and Harry walk through a meat locker*

Neyz: Ewwww it must smell so bad in there!!!


*Harry talks to Swan and Swan says he found him. Harry asks if he did drugs, Swan answers what people do is their own business. As long as it doesn’t interfere with the film, he doesn’t give a shit. He doesn’t claim responsibility for what Johnny does. Samantha runs up and grills Harry much to his chagrin. Suddenly she leaves him to interview Suzanne Dayton (Victoria Bastel) who just pulled up in a corvette.*

Warlock: Can you wear that dress?

Neyz: Do I look like I could?


*Suzanne runs up crying to Johnny’s body being wheeled away. Samantha wants Suzanne being filmed and has the camera up to her face. Callahan runs over and tells her to beat it. She refuses so he grabs the camera and heaves it*

Warlock: Not a bad 40 yard pass, too bad Jerry Rice wasn’t there to snare it in.


*A poster says Evil hands are happy hands*

Neyz: Oh that’s you.


*Peter Swan is typing on a typewriter as a panoramic view of Swan’s apartment reveals all the movies he’s shot and all the satanic paraphernalia he owns, establishing him as a creepy bastard. He’s typing out his hit list. He turns on the news and Samantha gives the run down on Johnny Squares before Swan turns the tv off.*

Warlock: Liam Neeson doesn’t like American news.


*Next frame shows Al and Harry getting thrown out of a Chinese coffee shop and Al reveals he used to run with a gang that hit him up for protection money. He says he’s been involved with gangs all his life either running with them or putting them away. He wanted to transfer to homicide to be different and just as Harry says its very different, a gunshot rangs out and a body crashes through a glass window*

Warlock: Right on cue.


*A bunch of white robbers bust up a Chinese food place and demand everyone’s money. Suddenly Harry appears and says the leader forgot his fortune cookie. He crushes a cookie and says “You’re shit out of luck.” The leader goes to shoot but Harry opens fire, killing him. Harry shoots two more robbers, one of them into a fish tank.*

Neyz: That’s not fair to the fishies!


*The final robber is attacked by Quan who knocks him around with martial arts. He shakes his head and cuffs the robber. Harry says “I agree, teaming with a Chinese American is good for the department’s image*

Neyz: I love the headshake.


*Al Quan figures out the man shot dead was Dean Madison, the executive producer for Peter Swan’s movies. Inside his pocket was a list of celebs names including Harry and Johnny Squares. Apparently they were playing a game called “The Dead Pool”, where people place bets on who dies next. Peter had Harry and Johnny on the list while Dean and Jeff have different names.*

Warlock: That’s pretty sick.

Neyz: Sick good or bad?

Warlock: Both.


*Back at the station, Donnelly is giving Harry an earful about the broken tv camera. “When I told you to stop wrecking our cars, I didn’t mean going out and finding something else to destroy!”

Warlock: Hahahaha.


*Ackerman brings Samantha in and she has a proposal to make about the camera. She wants Callahan to go out with her and she’ll drop the charges. Natually Harry agrees.”

Warlock: Yeah that would never happen in real life.


*Samantha apologizes for getting in Suzanne’s mistakes.*

Neyz: That table seems so far away.

Warlock: What a face turn.


*Samantha wants a story from Callahan and brings up Harry’s background and says she wants to do a profile on him. Harry gets angry and walks out, telling her to stick it. Next frame shows Harry and Al at the gym. Harry works the speed bag while Al works the speed bag*

Neyz: Gotta keep in shape.


*Harry goes over Johnny’s coroner’s report with Al and says Johnny was using synthetic heroin. He stops to check out a girl as Al gets a bench press bar stuck on him. Back at the station, Samantha has the scoop on the Dead Pool. She confirms that Peter Swan’s list had Johnny Squares on it.*

Warlock: Why aren’t they arresting him?


*Scene shifts to Johnny Squares funeral where Guns N Roses (Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stadlin, Duff McKagen, Steven Adler) themselves plus Suzanne are sitting front row. Peter, Jeff and Vicky are also there when Al and Harry show up behind the minister (Stu Klitsner).*

Warlock: That’s actually Guns N Roses.

Neyz: Oh god, you’re right.


*Harry and Al confronts Peter who says he’s innocent, it was just the game. He asks why the others haven’t been questioned and Harry says none of the others had Johnny Squares on their lists. Harry tells Swan he doesn’t like being on the list and Swan says “So that’s what this is about, isn’t it?”

Warlock: The plot revealed!


*Back at the news station, Samantha and Patrick Snow (Darwin Gillet) sign off. Callahan grills Samantha and tells her about morality and the safety of police officers. They go on a second date.*

Neyz: Only 36 minutes to go?

Warlock: No, 54, you’re looking at the wrong number.

Neyz: Damn. Why is he going on a second date with her?

Warlock: The food is too good there.


*Samantha and Harry walk out of the restaurant where they’re confronted by Chester Docksteder (Shawn Elliot) and his friend. Chester says “You’re the guy who put Janero away aren’t you?” and reaches in his pocket. Harry quickly whips out his 44 mag but Chester to take it easy, all he wants is his autograph. He was reaching in his pocket for a pen.*

Neyz: I don’t buy it.

Warlock: Neither does Harry.


*Harry signs for Chester and he says the world needs more cops like Harry. His friend says he needs to change his shorts.*

Neyz: Why is Harry annoyed so easily?

Warlock: That’s his character.


*Harry and Samantha are ambushed by the real Janero assassins. They shoot their elevator cart with machine guns but miraculously don’t hit either of them.*

Warlock: They can work for the A-Team, unload 300 rounds and hit nothing.


*Harry blows away the two assassins but their getaway driver gets away. Next frame shows the carcasses getting hauled off. Al shows up. “You know something Harry, I don’t think Lou Janero likes you very much.”

Warlock: Noooooo!


*Harry sits with Samantha and calms he down as her frenzied reporters show up to get the scoop. Next morning Harry drives her to California State prison. He walks up to Butcher Hicks (Diego Chairs) and hands him a carton of smokes. Butcher asks what he’s being bribed to do. Harry says just stand behind him as he confronts Lou Janero. Harry and Butcher walk into Janero’s cell. Harry confronts Lou who says he didn’t have anything to do with it. Harry pulls him out and points to Butcher Hicks, saying that if anything happens to himself, Butcher will kill Lou. Harry goes up to Butcher and hands him another carton. He says that Lou says smokers are dumb sons of bitchers, angering Butcher.*

Warlock: Hahahaha


*Next scene shows Guns N Roses on the set of Swan’s movie. The pirate captain (Patrick Valentino) says fire! Slash shoots a harpoon arrow through a window. Swan says cut and starts berating people. Jeff, Vicky and Swan give a statement to Samantha that he’s innocent and nothing will stop him from making the film*

Warlock: NOTHING!


*Molly Fisher (Ronnie Claire Edwards) the movie critic is attacked by what looks to be Peter Swan, claims to be Peter Swan but has a different voice.*

Neyz: I told you Swan did it.

Warlock: That’s not his voice, something isn’t right.


*Molly claims she doesn’t know him which leads him to start stabbing the couch, then she mutters “Peter Swan.” He then stabs her to death.*

Warlock: That wasn’t Swan. Its a framejob.


*Next day Al and Harry go over the crime scene and find Molly’s name was also on Peter Swan’s list. Back at the station, Al, Ackerman and Donnelly watch some of Swan’s movies. Donnelly doesn’t like it.*

Neyz: I don’t like it either.


*Al and Harry start putting the pieces together which tie him to Peter Swan. Everyone but Callahan thinks Swan did it. Meanwhile Harry is called into action. Someone named Gus Wheeler (Louis Giambalvo) claims that he’s the murderer and is threatening to immolate himself unless he’s shown on camera. Harry spots Samantha and her cameraman (John X Heart) who gives him a nod. Samantha and Harry disguised as a cameraman go to interview him. Gus admits he’s not the real killer, he just wanted attention. Samantha refuses to film his suicide and walks away as Gus’ flare flames out. Harry says he can light himself on fire and he’ll break out the marshmellows but he won’t be filmed. Hary talks Gus out of lighting himself but the flare accidentally goes off and engulfs Gus. Harry jumps on him and saves his life. Harry is ok and praises Samantha for refusing to film.*

Neyz: At least she’s proving herself.


*Harry confronts Swan and admits that he’s innocent but he wants to know who the murderer could be. He asks if anyone else has Peter’s jacket and Swan says crew members. Meanwhile someone (David Hunt) wearing Swan’s jacket shops at a convenience store. Next frame shows a remote controlled car pulling up to talk show host Nolan Kennard (Bill Wattenburg) and exploding, taking out Kennard.*

Warlock: A remote controlled car bomb, ingenius.

Neyz: Wow.


*Al and Harry go over the murder scene and Al starts pulling out cliches. Lt Ruskowski (John Allen Vick) gives Harry the scoop. Next frame shows reporters and Samantha questioning Swan. He gets enraged meanwhile the real killer watches on tv and gets enraged too. He screams “Callahan!” and tears up his apartment.*

Neyz: Its sickening that there are people out there who are really that crazy.

Warlock: Guess Callahan is next.


*Harry and Al run around the boardwalk and Al can’t keep up.*

Warlock: Not bad for 58 years old.


*Harry keeps running and a car with two guys in it follow him. Harry jumps them and beats them up only for one of them to claim that Janero hired them to be bodyguards for Harry, not assassins.*

Warlock: Now that’s a funny plot twist.


*Next scene shows Harry and Al with Swan, Peter gives a clue who the identity of the killer might be. The guy at the convenience store was named Harlan Rook. Rook had a screenplay for a low budget horror film that he wanted Swan to direct. Swan put a restraining order on him and Rook backed off.*

Warlock: We finally got a name.


*Harry finds a letter on his desk with the names of the Dead Pool with Harry listed as next. Al offers Harry safety at his place but Samantha rides off with him. A car driven by Rook follows Harry. Next morning Harry comes out if Samantha’s place with Al waiting for him.  Across the street some kids are playing with remote control cars and one of the kids is interfering with Rook’s car. Rook bangs the controller against the steering wheel of his car*

Warlock: Good for nothing busted piece of junk!


*The kid turns his controller off and Rook gains full control. The car pulls up to Harry’s car and Al asks what the hell that is. Harry figures out its a bomb. Harry drives away as Rook and the car follow in hot pursuit.*

Neyz: He can’t drive that accurately and steer the RC car at the same time.

Warlock: Special skills.


*After a funny chase scene where the RC car nearly takes out a sewar worker, Harry’s car reaches a dead end. Rook sends the car after him and Harry runs it over, only it explodes anyway. The car blows yet only Al is injured.*

Neyz: He would have NOT have survived that.

Warlock: Yeah really, that was very unrealistic. Not only are they alive, Harry didn’t have a mark on him.


*At the hospital, its said that Al was hit by shrapnel but the bulletproof vest he had on saved his life. Ackerman introduces Harry to psychiatrist Dr. Freidman (John Frederick Jones).*

Neyz: Its Sidney from MASH!

Warlock: Different actor but same character, that’s hilarious.


*Dr. Freidman is sorry for what happened. He gives the lowdown on Harlan Rook. A year ago he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and he would take on the identity of others because he hated himself. Freidman gives Harry Rook’s address. Meanwhile Samantha gets a phone call from Harlan Rook claiming to be Peter Swan. Samantha agrees to give a special interview.*

Neyz: Don’t do it!


*Next scene shows Donnelly, Harry and others investigating Rook’s apartment. They find all the evidence they need to prosecute, just need to find Rook. Meanwhile Samantha leaves for the interview but Rook kills the cameraman. He then takes Samantha hostage.*

Neyz: Why does everyone Callahan gets close to dies?

Warlock: That’s just his style.


*Next morning Donnelly tells Harry that Samantha has been kidnapped. Harry takes off in Donnelly’s car much to Donnelly’s chagrin. Meanwhile Rook gives a speech on how Swan stole his scripts so he’s going to play the Dead Pool. He puts on “Welcome To The Jungle” as Warlock starts to headbang*

Warlock: Shannannana knees, knees.

Neyz: I wanna watch you bleed!


*Samantha starts fighting back.*

Warlock: Tough bitch!

Neyz: Damn straight.


*Harry pulls up to Swan’s studio where Rook and Samantha wrestle around. Callahan pulls his gun and tells him to drop it. Callahan shoots the radio. Warlock stops headbanging*

Warlock: DAMMIT!


*Rook makes Harry drop his gun and kick it over to Harlan. Harry locks himself in first and calls him an asshole.*

Neyz: Talk about thinking on the fly.


*Rook says his big mistake was not killing Callahan first. Rook picks up the gun and Callahan wipes out the tv camera with a wrench. Both Samantha and Harry run, Harry throws an object which makes Rook fire a round*

Warlock: That’s two….the 44 mag is a six shooter.


*Rook fires a third shot at Harry and Samantha, missing. A chase scene commences where Rook chases them throughout the movie studio. Harry gets Samantha to safety as Rook fires a fourth shot, missing. Harry busts a window with a chair and jumps out as Rook fires a 5th shot.*

Warlock: That’s five.

Neyz: One left.


*Harry runs to the pier and is wide open, Harlan fires the 6th shot but misses.*

Warlock: He shouldn’t have missed that, he was wide open.


*Harry appears behind Rook and says he’s out of bullets. Harry emerges from the mist with Slash’s harpoon cannon from earlier. Harry: “You know what that means? You’re shit out of luck.” He fires the cannon, impales and kills Rook. He takes his gun back.*

Neyz: I’ll take that gun back, thank you.


*Donnelly shows up with the rest of the police force. He asks where Rook is. Harry: “He’s hanging out back there.”

Warlock: Ha…ha.


*Harry walks away with Samantha as the credits roll*


Neyzor Blade’s assessment: It was alright. I give it a 6.5 out of 10 for the appearance of Guns N Roses.

Warlock’s assessment: For once his own police force wasn’t going after him. I give it a 7 out of 10 because I liked the soundtrack and the action was decent.

Final Grade: 6.5 out of 10….very good.


*Neyzor Blades rises from the recliner*

Neyz: That was interesting. Better than the wastebasket movies you and Mr. America usually watch. Hello? You listening?

*The camera pans to the couch where Warlock is sound asleep surrounded by an empty soup bowl and empty drinking glass. Neyz turns to the camera.*

Neyz: Have a pleasant evening.


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