One of the things that is harder to enjoy in movies these days is gun violence, but it used to be that there were few thrills greater than a spectacular gunfight and watching the bad guy get blasted. Even seeing a good guy get shot was a viscerally affecting moment of escapism that actually took you away from real world problems. Things are a little different now, but there are still those movies from the past (and more than a few of recent vintage) that really relish a good, gratuitous death by bullet. Take a look at some of the most amazing (but be warned: nothin’ but spoilers).
Marked For Murder
Our two reluctant heroes, perpetually on the run after getting entangled in a sting operation, find themselves trying to escape a villain’s clutches in a warehouse. Moments after expressing regret over needing to use her gun, the female lead shoots the bad guy’s henchman in the back with no hesitation. That’s cold-blooded- and totally unnecessary.
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Eli Wallach’s Tuco (the despicable criminal you love to love) decides that when he gets a few minutes to himself during the Civil War, the time is right for a bath. Unfortunately, an old foe decides the time is right to settle the score with ol’ Tuco. After firing on the erstwhile rival with an apparently waterproof gun from underneath the water of a bubble bath, Tuco delivers the eternal warning to chatty would-be killers: “When you have to shoot, shoot- don’t talk.”
Death Race 2000
Before hitting it big with “Rocky”, Sylvester Stallone made some films he’d probably rather forget (some porn included). One film which parodied an image he didn’t even have yet was “Death Race 2000”, in which his character ‘Machine Gun Joe ViTerbo’ is INTRODUCED by having him spray bleachers full of people with machine gun fire. It’s the best way to set the tone when you’re about to murder your way from coast to coast in a national road race.
Nearly as ubiquitous as superhero movies these days are movies that deconstruct the superhero genre, but one of the better ones is Rainn Wilson’s “Super”. The average Joe-turned costumed vigilante finds a kindred spirit in Ellen Page’s deranged comic book store employee, but must go it alone after her poor, pretty cranium is blasted to pieces in shockingly graphic fashion as they make their final assault on the baddies.
Casa De Mi Padre
Will Ferrell maybe isn’t what he used to be, but he has one remarkable achievement to his name in recent years, and that’s 2012’s rather novel “Casa De Mi Padre”. An homage of sorts to the overheated melodrama of Latin America’s film and television, the film is entirely in Spanish. The most important takeaway? If you attend a Mexican wedding, you will be shot dead in an orgy of ballistic violence that goes on long enough to be funny, unfunny, funny again, unfunny again and finally funny before it’s all over..