[expand title=”Death Wish”]
(1974)

Directed by Michael Winner
Starring Charles Bronson

Rating: ******
              4.5/6

Listen for a sec.
Paul Kersey is an architect.
His blueprints are always up to spec
And when dining with clients he pays the cheque.
But he’s no prissy little man.
He shows off his muscles as he shows off his tan.
He loudly screams “no” when he’s drafted for Nam,
A CO with no team and no bullets—not ten!
His liberal views make him look like a coward.
But still he unloads them with conviction and power.
Despite the cold stares he may get by the hour.
He’s still happy and chipper and not the least sour.
But his family gets attacked.
His wife and daughter get spotted and tracked.
Their home is invaded. Their belongings get cracked.
The daughter is raped and her mother gets whacked.
Slowly does Kersey change his views.
He changes his demeanour and attitude.
Instead of being pleasant, he’s cold, even rude
To hoodlums and scum, the mean and the lewd.
A client from Texas gives him a gun
And he goes out on the streets to have some fun.
From the dark of night till you first see the sun,
Kersey shoots muggers one by one.
The police try to find him, with little success,
For he craftily hides his gun in his office.
The police don’t let up since he’s driven to excess.
He keeps killing, as his title Vigilante might suggest.
Eventually Kersey gets shot.
Any more and I’ll reveal the entire plot.
Suffice it to say that I’m not.
Should you watch it? Please give it some thought.
The film is a product of its time.
When New York was riddled with violent crime.
Hoodlums would rob you and take your last dime
Then rape you or kill you and leave feeling fine.
At the time this film caused a whirr.
For showing quite clearly how things were.
The audience cheered with fervour
When the muggers got what they deserved.
This was Charles Bronson’s first Death Wish.
Michael Winner directed this.
I’ll give it 4.5 stars out of six.
It’s a film that you won’t want to miss.
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[expand title=”Death Wish II”]
(1982)

Directed by Michael Winner
Starring Charles Bronson

Rating: ******
              4/6

Dark and gritty, sordid and slimy,
This was the man’s darkest hour.
Seedy, unpleasant, diseased and grimy,
This violent movie has power.
Paul Kersey is back, and happier now,
For he has met a nice woman who loves him.
His messed-up daughter is at his home now,
So his feelings are no longer as grim.
But that changes quite quickly when a gang of mean punks
Break into his home and destroy it.
They take turns with his housekeeper, the miserable skunks.
With great violence they choose to employ it.
The rape of the housekeeper is very explicit,
And graphically goes on for a while.
It shocks the senses in no way implicit,
Showing the intruders at their most vile.
When Kersey comes home they knock him right out,
But not before he sees them.
When he wakes up his daughter is out,
For the rapists took her back with them.
After another graphic rape the daughter runs off
And impales herself on a fence.
The hoodlums don’t care. They’d all laugh it off
If they could have seen her pitiful defense.
Kersey is shocked and he’s angry and pissed,
So furious that he lies to the cops.
The faces of the attackers were something he missed.
Then this film pulls out all of its stops.
He rents an apartment in the cheap part of town
And dresses himself all in black.
Then slowly, methodically, he guns them all down
Till what’s left of their faces go slack.
This movie is dark. It’s the darkest Death Wish,
The most horrible out of the five,
But the violence is necessary to show how the fish
In the sewers of New York thrive.
The film has a moral. The film has a point.
If someone hurts you, hurt them back.
A four out of six, I’ll give this film points
For being unflinching and black.

[/expand]
[expand title=”Death Wish 3″]
(1985)

Directed by Michael Winner
Starring Charles Bronson

Rating: ******
              5/6

1985 was a great year for films
Featuring one-man armies slaughtering bad guys
We got Rambo, Commando, and then Death Wish 3
Raining down death from the skies.
This time Paul kersey visits a friend
Who gets beaten to death at the start.
Paul gets imprisoned and roughed up a bit
By the main villain, Fraker, with heart.
Fraker’s the leader of a terrible gang
Who rape, kill and rob called the Creeps.
A policeman tells Kersey to sanction them all
And give credit to the police
So Kersey buys a car to use as bait,
And builds traps for the enemy lot.
He starts off by shooting two Creeps near his car,
Then knocking out teeth, laughter fraught.
He hammers some nails into a board
So a thief’s feet can get impaled.
He then buys a camera so someone can grab it,
And that Creep, with Paul’s Wildey, gets nailed.
Fraker is incensed. He’s losing his men
All to this intelligent old guy.
He orders his men to kill him or else.
They fail, and all of them die.
Paul’s old war buddy from the Korean War,
Who must have loved conscientious objectors,
Brought two huge machine guns form World War II,
Which he hid, very well, in his dressers.
His next door neighbour tried to use one,
But couldn’t get it to shoot.
This was after they blew up his store,
But before they gave him the boot.
Raping and robbing, beating and stealing,
These vandals would soon learn a lesson,
Thinking Kersey was old and well past his prime,
They didn’t know with whom they were messin’.
Fraker calls in more men from separate gangs.
Ready for war, he’s a puncher.
Kersey responds by buying more guns,
More bullets and one rocket launcher.
Now hundreds of Creeps are roaming the streets,
Blowing up buildings and shooting policemen.
Now the cops are involved, trying to stifle the riot,
But only Paul Kersey can silence them.
He mows most of them down with his weapon of war,
Inspiring the neighbourhood to join in the fun.
After several years of living in fear
They’re now on the giving end of the gun.
When he runs out of bullets, he throws his gun down,
And from his clothes he chooses another.
Now he and Fraker get their climactic showdown.
Will Kersey win, or meet his mother?
This movie’s magnificent. This movie’s superb,
So amazing you won’t want to miss it.
It’s the most fun out of all Death Wish films,
So enjoyable you might want to kiss it.
What will I rate it? Five out of six.
It’s that good, if not even better.
It’s violent but fun in it’s R-rated way,
The definition of fun to the letter.
[/expand]

[expand title=”Death Wish 4: The Crackdown”]
(1987)

Directed by J. Lee Thompson
Starring Charles Bronson

Rating: ******
              3/6

Paul Kersey is back, though not quite as groovy.
This is practically a Death Wish TV movie.
His new fiancée’s daughter is on drugs. Let’s just announce it.
So this movie plays out like a Public Service Announcement.
A millionaire asks Paul to prevent more druggie fusion
By killing all the mobsters to stop drug distribution.
Paul says no, but later changes his mind.
He does this after his fiancée dies
So he kills all the mobsters. He wipes out two whole gangs,
But what he didn’t account for was his benefactor’s plans.
It turns out that the kindly millionaire
Was a fraudster mobster who didn’t play fair.
So Paul gets his revenge, just to even the score,
But without this series’ violence, without the blood and gore.
This is the weakest Death Wish film. You can watch it for kicks.
I’ll only give it three stars out of six.
I’ll recommend it barely, because it’s part of the series,
But it’s really rather like a cherry pie without the cherries.

[/expand]