218. Relentless (1989)

relentless

*The Warlock and Mr. America are at the Triple O Lounge. Warlock is wearing a black leather jacket,  black t-shirt, blue jeans, white sneakers and gargoyle shades. In front of him is a glass of pepsi. Mr America is wearing white cammo fatigues, vest and hat along with black combat boots and aviator shades. Warlock has his head on his forearm watching the TV as Mr. America is playing The Addams Family pinball game*

America: And a most electrifying multiball if I may so. Oh yeah..oh yeah..I’m the man. GREEEEEEEED. Nobody can beat me.

*Warlock sighs and tells the bartender*

Warlock: Can you change the channel? What’s Happening repeats isn’t exactly top flight entertainment.

*Bartender flips the channel and a movie comes on. Warlock pops up like Popeye*

Warlock: Holy shit its Relentless! America get over here!

America: Not now I’m going for the Vault.

Warlock: Relentless is on!

America: So what?

*Warlock flicks his wrist and the machine shuts off*

America: Aww you sonovabitch!

Warlock: I’ll spot you later. Check this out.

*America takes his seat at the bar*

America: What is so important that you had to interrupt the greatest Addams Family pinball game ever played?

Warlock: Its Relentless, the 1989 crime drama with Judd Nelson. Let’s begin.

 

Directed by William Lustig

Written by Phil Alden Robinson

 

*The Warlock reads the tagline*

Warlock: “Two Los Angeles police detectives, cynical veteran Malloy and cocky rookie Dietz, hunt for a serial killer, an ex-cop named Taylor, who randomly chooses his victims from a phone directory.”

America:  Well, at least this dude’s an equally opportunity killer.

 

*Buck Taylor (Judd Nelson) says he’s not sicl. He looks at a picture of his father and talks to it*

Warlock: Judd Nelson in the house.

 

*Opening credits*

Warlock: There’s 3 sequels to this. It better be good.

 

*Some guys jogs around the neighborhood before checking his mail. The guy’s name is Todd Arthur (Patrick O’Bryan). He chills with his bird*

Warlock: Its Iago from Aladdin.

America: Hardly!

 

*Buck reads the phone book and makes a call*

Warlock: Moe’s Tavern.

 

*Buck calls Todd but he doesn’t answer as he’s in the shower. Todd has a funny answering machine message*

Warlock: Caller ID didn’t exist then.

America: No.

 

*Todd showers*

Warlock: I’mmmmmm in the showerrrrrrrrrrrr

 

*Todd checks the message. Buck says “I have to kill you tonight.”

Warlock: Oh that’s pleasant.

 

*Sam Dietz (Leo Rossi) is asked by Lt Cardozza (Edward Bunker) to turn in his stuff. Sam has made detective. Sam gives him the arm and the elbow, Cardoza gives it back*

Warlock: Holy shit its Mr Blue.

 

*Todd gives his statement to Archie (Lou Bonacki) who blows him off. Todd returns home paranoid*

Warlock: The cop needs to be fired.

 

*Buck puts Todd in a sleeperhold and leaves hm laying*

Warlock: He’s been around Roddy Piper apparently.

 

*Buck makes Todd stab himself to death with a knife*

Warlock: Creepy bastard.

 

*Buck leaves a message on Todd’s body. Next morning Sam wakes up next to Carol (Meg Foster). Sam’s son Corey (Brendan Ryan) plays the sax*

Warlock: She was in The Wind, They Live and Leviathan.

 

*Sam tells Corey not to date any girls from the west coast. Corey says he doesn’t like girls. Sam says don’t date any boys from the west coast*

America: What a guy.

 

*Sam’s first day of work as a detective has him introduced to Bill Malloy (Robert Loggia). Nobody cares about Sam*

Warlock: Hahaha

 

*Bill says they have 8 jerkoffs and hopes Sam doesn’t make 9. Meanwhile Buck shoots at a target, all shots land dead center*

Warlock: Crack shot.

 

*Young Buck (Matt Bolduc) learns how to shoot from his dad in a flashback. His dad slaps him when he misses the target*

Warlock: Oh, the sympathy role.

 

*Sam talks shop with the forensics guy as Sam looks for clues*

Warlock: Now he has to go search for clues.

 

*Sam reports that this wasn’t a burglary since nothing was taken and Sam says he figured out the shower curtain shouldn’t be pulled back because mildew builds up. Sam explains exactly how Todd was killed. The detectives laugh at him. Malloy tells him his stuff is bullshit. Sam says they need to interrogate someone. Billy talks to the bird*

Warlock: Larry The Bird.

America: I like his sense of sarcasm.

 

*Buck sleeps at the Baltimore motel*

Warlock: I’d hate to see what the Tulsa motel looks like.

 

*Buck goes through the phone book and underlines Angela Taylor (Harriet Hall). He calls her and she answers. Buck doesn’t say anything and she hangs up. He rips the page out and walks out of the hotel*

Warlock: Does he always play a creepy bastard?

 

*Buck waits for the stoplight*

Warlock: Surprised the crosswalk light didn’t explode.

America: Why would it do that?

Warlock: After all the movies we’ve seen lately.

America: Good point.

 

*Angela’s cat notices somebody on the roof while she plays the piano. She ignores the cat*

Warlock: The cat is best supporting actor. Better detective work than the guy.

 

*Angela calls the cops but the lines are busy*

Warlock: Are you kidding me?

 

*Angela reports a prowler when Buck drops through the ceiling window. Buck puts the phone in the piano and rips one of the chords out. Angela tries to escape through the basement and Buck follows her. She was hiding in the dryer and Buck strangles her with the piano chord. He puts the chord in her hands after he’s done*

Warlock: He’s making everything look like a suicide.

 

*Sam tells his story at dinner and Carol yells at him not at the dinner table. Corey “What’s a dick?” Sam “That’s another word for a detective.”

Warlock: Ha…ha.

 

*Sam is mad the LA cops are much too laid back. Next frame is Sam investigating Angela’s penthouse. Malloy says she’s a famous songwriter. Sam reports she was already inside the dryer because the footprints came from the inside*

Warlock: He’s like 100 times smarter than the other guy.

America: He’s putting everybody in this movie to shame so far.

 

*Sam says they caught the Son of Sam in New York by doing their jobs, he hates how LA cops stand around ad wait. Captain Blakely (Ron Taylor) is gonna want a report. Sam says its better than nothing. Meanwhile Buck jumpropes on a roof*

America: Does this guy work?

 

*Buck jumps on the ledge of the building*

Warlock: Jump, the movie’s over.

America: Do it!

 

*Young Buck (Michael Weiner) is trained on a military course by his father who shoots at him with live ammo*

Warlock: No wonder he’s fucked up.

 

*Young Buck climbs a mountain with is father waiting at the top. Meanwhile Sam types out a report as Carol gives him a shoulder rub. Sam is mad that Angela didn’t try to defend herself. “If you act like a victim, you’re going to be a victim.” Sam is miffed Malloy won’t let him do his job. Carol knows he told the Son of Sam story. Carol puts a plant in front of him and says to insult it to make himself feel better*

America: What did the plant ever do to you?

Warlock: Would you say the plant is the best supporting actor?

America: So far. Going by this scene, the plant is the only thing keeping him sane in his professional life.

 

*Malloy and Sam walk into Blakely’s office. Blakely likes Sam’s report. The LA Times says “Police Hunt Sunset Killer.” Malloy says they had nothing to do with it. Sam says people should leave the house and call for help instead of stay inside. Blakely yells at him and Sam yells back*

America: What a police chief.

 

*Sam tries to establish a link between the two murders. The only clue is the killer orchestrated them killing themselves. The clerk Francine (Mindy Seeger) gives Sam some intel. He calls Dr. Park (John F Goff) for psychiatric advice on the killer. Park says killing randomly may bore him and he’ll kill again. Park gives a clue that Todd was a movie extra and Angela was a song writer, the killings could be industry related. Sam calls Carol and says he’s gonna be home late*

Warlock: Why doesn’t he shoot himself and end the movie?

America: The hell?

 

*Arthur (Ken Lerner) is with his girlfriend and goes downstairs with Buck sitting there, unnoticed*

America: Its pretty bad that he’s so oblivious to his surroundings. He doesn’t see him sitting in plain sight.

 

*Buck guts Arthur and kills him as the girl strips naked*

Warlock: This is no longer the worst movie of all time.

 

*Buck leaves the phonebook page on him and hears the girl’s voice. He goes to leave but then thinks twice. He walks upstairs and kills her by using her own hands to strangle her*

Warlock: And we have another death to a character we don’t care about.

America: At some point we might care about someone.

 

*Ernie (Michael Francis Clarke) and Carmen (Angel Thompkins) are introduced as reporters. Malloy figures out the names are all related. Arthur and Taylor. The killer is Buck. Sam yells at Malloy again*

Warlock: For once Malloy is right, that’s Buck’s real name.

America: Well that means I’m safe. My name is neither Arthur or Taylor.

 

*Corey asks Carol and Sam what a jerkoff is. Carol yells “Bed!”

Warlock: You’ll find out in a few years kid.

 

*Buck is back at his apartment. He’s got guns in the closet*

America: That’s a full on arsenal.

Warlock: I kinda like this guy.

 

*Buck shoots out a nearby streetlight*

Warlock: The electric company is gonna have a massive headache.

America: The cherry pickers will be out in full force.

Warlock: If Mr. Wallstreet was here, he’d say they’d cover it up by saying its a UFO conspiracy.

America: You forgot one.

Warlock: Oh yeah, the IBEW is gonna get some serious overtime.

 

*Malloy phones Sam that they got a lead on the killer. Sam wants to pick Malloy up and Malloy says the two guys have the same name, Arthur Taylor. Meanwhile Buck sits on the windowsill and reads who the detectives gunning for them are*

Warlock: The news just gave Buck the inside clue on who’s trying to find him.

 

*Buck’s father is Ike Taylor (Beau Starr). Sam asks Malloy to go over the killer’s tendancies and see if anyone else matches. Malloy laughs.  Old Man Taylor (Buck Flower) and Sam playfully insult each other*

Warlock: Hahahaha, ironically that was the funniest exchange in the movie.

 

*Sam and Malloy walk into Buck’s apartment and tells him he’s in danger. He is totally oblivious. Buck asks why they can’t catch him. Malloy looks around the apartment and recognizes Ike Taylor’s picture. He says he was a hell of a cop and recognizes “Young Buck.” Malloy asks why he never joined the force, Buck says they wouldn’t take him. Sam finds a magnum and tells him to keep it nearby for protection. Sam and Malloy warn him about the killer and Malloy play slaps him and said “Kid you grew up.”

Warlock: I love how they’re treating him like their long lost brother and he’s really the killer.

 

*Malloy tells Sam as they’re walking out Ike Taylor was the meanest sonovabitch he ever met. The liberals thought Ike was too dangerous for the streets so Ike said fuck it. Buck watches them drive away*

Warlock: Buck is gonna be gunning for them.

 

*Buck talks to the picture of Ike and loads his gun. He goes to shoot himself*

Warlock: Do it! Movie’s over.

America: We’re waiting!

 

*Buck says ‘THEY’ have to do it. Sam talks about how Cardoza wanted him off the force but calls Malloy old, who freaks. Sam apologizes and says he doesn’t want to be jerk-off number 9. Officer Terrell (G Smokey Campbell) hates doing the grunt work and goes to attack Malloy but Sam sweet talks him out of it. When they walk away, both of them insult Terrell*

Warlock: They’re gonna catch some terrorists.

America: TERRORISTS? Its one guy.

 

*Buck shaves with a straight razor*

Warlock: He STILL has 5 o’clock shadow.

 

*Buck sees his father’s face in the mirror and chucks a chair through it*

America: There goes the room deposit.

 

*Malloy tosses Sam a picture of him and Tommy Lasorda. They were teamates in the minors. They make baseball references and Sam says the Brooklyn Dodgers moved and broke his heart. Malloy figures out that’s why he hates LA. Malloy invites him to Opening Day to meet Lasorda. Sam accepts*

America: They have to make it there first.

 

*Malloy is by himself and gets a knock on the door. Its Buck. Malloy lets him in. Buck shoots Malloy dead and says “My father said I was sick, once.” He leans over “Sir, what’s it like?” and walks away*

Warlock: Took him out with a half hour to go.

 

*Sam makes Corey help with dinner so he doesn’t have to eat spinnach*

America: What a salesman!

 

*Sam gets a call from Blakely, Malloy’s dead. Sam says he was JUST there. Blakely calls him in. Sam grabs his gun and tells Carol to take Corey and find shelter. Sam then finds a phone book page on his window. “If I’m so sick, why can’t you catch me?” Sam reveals Malloy killed the killer sick in the paper. Sam “You’re a deadman, you’re a fucking deadman”

Warlock: He’s got a half hour to find him.

 

*Sam investigates Malloy’s place. He gets the MO report and looks around. Carmen walks up and Sam needs her help. Meanwhile Carol and Corey are back home and Sam says “She did it.” Carmen has Dr. Park trash the killer six ways from Sunday hoping that it’ll piss him off. Carol figures out that’s when Sam will strike. Back at the station, Sam’s new partner is Art Wicker (Joe Flood). Sam is off the Sunset murders. Blakely took him off when Malloy died. Blakely and Sam yell at each other. Sam leaves and looks at Malloy’s empty chair. Sam makes a call as Art goes to introduce himself. Sam says he’s on his way to see Park and tells Art that he’s looking forward to working with him tomorrow. He barges in to Cardoza’s office and humiliates him*

Warlock: Mr Blue wearing blue.

 

*Sam asks Spencer (John Homa) to take Furrillo and Snowden to form a perimeter around Dr. Park’s house. Park loads a gun. Terrell calls Francine and she tells Wicker what she knows. Sam then tells Spencer how he baited the killer. Back at Cardoza’s station, he says they’re gonna raise some hell while Buck gets packed for battle. Terrell calls Francine who blows him off*

Warlock: So now we play hurry up and wait for 18 minutes.

 

*Cardoza tells Blakely that Sam set them up. Francine was in on it. Blakely screams, shouts and calls Francine in. Sam gets a phone call from Buck who rips out a phone book page*

Warlock: You know, he’s gonna have no phone book left by the end of the movie.

America: Pretty sure he’s done ripping pages out.

 

*Francine calls Sam and says his cover is blown and Blakely is pissed. Spencer spots Buck coming their way. Spencer says he’s waitin for a homosexual rendezvous. Buck spots the stakeout and walks away. Spencer starts sarcastically naming suspects. Buck returns to his apartment and puts his gun on the drawer while he stares at the picture of his father. Terrell calls Sam they have the answering machine tape from the first victim. Sam hears Buck’s voice and recognizes it. Sam says he knows where to find him and tells Spencer to tay put. Sam and Furillo (Dan Vogel) go to investigate Buck’s apartment. Furillo says Snowden was SWAT team, not him*

Warlock: Well at least we get the ending.

 

*Some dude (Nay K Dorsey) walks out of the elevator and Sam nearly shoots him. Furillo finds the closet armory and Ike’s bloody uniform. Furillo finds a page missing and figures out Buck is on his way to Sam’s house. Buck is already there*

Warlock: Ooooh ready for the big finale?

America: Mmmhmmm.

 

*Furillo keeps calling Sam’s house as he speeds his way there. Corey and Carol return home and Carol makes Corey do homework*

Warlock: What’s homework?

 

*Carol finds the window smashed and the phone off the hook*

America: At least she noticed, unlike that moron earlier.

 

*Buck has Corey at gunpoint. Buck says he’s alright. Carol says not to hurt him. Buck doesn’t answer. She asks what he wants, he says for her to sit down*

Warlock: He’s gonna tell a story.

 

*Carol tries to psych her way into calming him down*

America: That’s the most politest person to her potential killer I’ve ever seen.

 

*Corey wants juice and Buck says he’ll go with him*

Warlock: All of a sudden Corey pops up like Popeye and disarms him, knocking him out…movie’s over.

 

*Buck explains the 9 MM handgun to him. Carol starts pleading with him. Buck turns the safety off and aims it at Carol. Then he puts it Corey’s head when he hears a voice outside say “ARTHUR!”  He sees his father outside when its really Sam in Ike Taylor’s own uniform and Sam plugs him in the chest twice. Buck goes to reach in his back pocket but dies. Sam pulls out a phone book page that says “Thank you” written on it. Carol asks if he wants to go back to New York, Sam “Nah, too much crime.” They drive off and we cut to Buck’s apartment to a Normal Rockwell painting on the wall. End credits*

Warlock: Damn that was good.

 

Mr. America’s Assessment: I give it a 5. Its your average movie.

The Warlock’s Assessment: I give it a 6 out of 10. I would have given it a 5 but the acting was really good all around.

Final Grade: 5.5 out of 10 – Above Average.

 

*Warlock rises from the barstool*

Warlock: I thought it was pretty good. Apparently so did the movie company because they made THREE FUCKING sequels to it. As for this, its worth a look especially if its for free on TV. Also…

*Mr.America stares at Warlock with his arms folded*

Warlock: Ok ok ok.

*Warlock flicks his wrist to turn the pinball game back on, reaches in his pocket and pulls out two quarters. America grabs the quarters, clotheslines a biker dude heading for the machine and pops the quarters in*

Warlock: Have a pleasant evening.

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