While watching Electric Boogaloo the documentary about the rise and fall of Cannon films, Bill & Ted star Alex Winters said something incredibly disturbing: “Death Wish 3 is one of the worst films of all time”.
To that I say bollocks good sir; I happen to love Death Wish 3 and I would go as far as to say that it might be my favourite in the series.
The first film is the best made and a classic of the genre but in terms of the entry I watch the most, it has to be part 3.
November 1st marks the 30th anniversary of the film so I thought now would be a nice time to revisit this mostly reviled actioner.
The story is as follows: When architect-turned-vigilante Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) returns to New York City, he discovers that one of his friends has been murdered by gang members. After the cops bring Paul in for questioning, he receives a tempting offer from the police chief (Ed Lauter): Paul can have free rein to eliminate the gangsters, as long as the police get the credit. Paul agrees and goes to war against Manny Fraker (Gavan O’Herlihy) and his vicious gang of thugs.
Charles Bronson is an invincible one man army who takes on an entire street gang and barely gets a scratch. He uses all kinds of weapons including a rocket launcher, machine gun and more.
Gavan O’Herlihy is awesome as the gang leader Manny Fraker who’s as nasty as they come.
Although a rape scene is implied it isn’t as graphic or disturbing as the first two films, but it does give added grit to an otherwise nonsensical story.
Death Wish 3 is pretty much a cartoon and although it lacks the sense of threat of the previous entries, it’s still a helluva lot of fun.
It also has a screeching electric guitar music score which is at its best during the action packed final 20 minutes which has Kersey go to war in one of the most satisfying finales of 80’s cheese.
Let’s not forget that there is also a character called The Giggler… who Kersey kills as you can see in the clip below.
The acting by the supporting cast is poor at best but that’s kinda why it’s awesome.
This movie also has a hilariously huge bodycount (49 Kill Count fans) and if the dead bodies in your action movie are less than double figures, you’ve failed.
Charles Bronson makes any movie watchable too with his stoic badassery; he was a total man’s man and Kersey remains one of his most iconic characters. Although Bronson didn’t like the rest of the Death Wish series, I sure as Hell do.
So Sue me! I love Death Wish 3 and if you don’t then I’ll see your ass in court… with my rocket launcher!