I have had a stressful week, medically, but I am determined to continue with the resurrection of this blog. First I grew a third breast that had to be removed (it was not a tumor, as it turns out, thank God) and then my oncologist changed my medication so that it now costs about $1300 less per month. Why is that not less stressful, you ask? Well, the new meds make me have ridiculous nightmares about things like a butterfly the size and shape of a sting ray landing on my head, and an inter-dimensional broken elevator that will only take me back from whence I came if I partake in a recreational drug called “Bucksnort.” When I’m awake, I’m kind of manic and I’m pretty sure I could jump to the moon, or at least the roof. Also, I’ve been wacked out enough to binge 1960s western TV shows, which is never good for your brain.
But what is good for my brain is a series of four action movies starring Fred “The Hammer” Williamson as a detective named Dakota “Dak” Smith who, you guessed it, doesn’t play by the RULES! We stumbled on Down ‘n Dirty, the second entry in the series, on Tubi the other night. The Hammer directed this one as well as starring, and the movie boasts a cast of B-movie greats the likes of which my husband likes to call “The Dependables.” When you get Charles Napier, Gary Busey, and David Carradine in the same movie, does it matter if they’re not in any shots together, or that each of them acted out all their scenes in one day for the low low price of 500 bucks? I think not.
Anyway, The Hammer plays Dak, whose partner was murdered in some sort of sketchy situation while they were responding to a call at a motel. The ensuing investigation by Dak has more to do with revenge than detecting. All the other cops in the department disrespect Dak because they’re corrupt and he’s not, especially Tony Lo Bianco (who I will never not associate with Richard Lynch’s alien in God Told Me To), and Dak has to put them in their places with near Samurai Cop levels of violence.
Nobody wants to help Dak find out who killed his partner except Bubba Smith aka Hightower from the Police Academy movies, because football players who turn into actors have to stick together. Bubba has the worst hairpiece this side of well, Samurai Cop, and he crushes a guy to death, though not with his hair. Charles Napier isn’t corrupt either, but he might have been if they’d invited him to be one of the bad guys. Gary Busey plays the surprisingly low key District Attorney which means we’re pretending he went to law school, I think. David Carradine is some kind of mystery gangster with a limo who has even less to do than the other guest stars. Also, there’s a plucky photographer who works for Dak, and someone making threatening calls using a voice changer. Who will be next to get down ‘n dirty? Six feet down, and covered in dirt, I mean. Lawl.
Down ‘n Dirty is hilariously terrible in terms of acting and story. It is lighthearted despite the murdery subject matter, and the actors seem to be having fun with it, cause they knew they weren’t exactly making The French Connection here. I will say it’s not cheap looking, even if Williamson sometimes didn’t seem to care where he placed the camera or the actors. I did find myself at times wishing The Hammer would just turn into a vampire. Best of all, there’s a song about the movie that plays over the closing credits with lyrics that go something like “Dak, when are you coming back,” and it’s better than the title song from Amsterdamned. I’m definitely going to go back and watch the first Dak Smith movie, Night Vision, because Cynthia Rothrock is in it.
Upon reflection, Down ‘n Dirty, although I enjoyed it, would have been way better if it was the story of two rogue cops named Charlie Down and Jim Dirty who are sentenced by a judge to share a Facebook account. Can we make this happen?