bill friedkin

The career of William Friedkin is a reminder of how hard it is to make a good film.

He hit two films out of the fuckin park with The French Connection and The Exorcist then kinda floundered from there (he did have a few notable films afterwards, namely Sorcerer and To Live and Die in LA, the latter of which I haven’t seen).

Sure Friedkin won his accolades here and there, but he is truly the maestro of one specific thing: directing car chases.

Everyone remembers Gene Hackman just plowing through cars and walls while Friedkin neglected to obtain permits to film such a thing in the French Connection (and apparently there’s a good chase sequence in To Live and Die in LA), but Friedkin’s crowning achievement, in my view, is in Jade.

Before David Caruso was spitting out one liners while rocking a pair of sunglasses in CSI: Miami, he tried his hand at being a film star. Jade was the absolute highlight of this period.

In the film, after Angie Everhart gets totally destroyed by a Ford Thunderbird, Caruso pursuits the vehicle in his POS Ford during a delightful chase where vehicles fly through the air down the streets of San Francisco (and Caruso does his best Gene Hackman impersonation).

The best part is when the chase goes through some parade and pedestrians attack the vehicles using martial arts. I guess that would make sense if you learn about other cultures while binging on cocaine.

Take a look:

light sleeper

On the Mount Rushmore of cokeheads, Paul Schrader is between Dennis Hopper and Phil Specter (along with Stevie Nicks of course). Which is why I was excited to see Light Sleeper available to watch on Amazon Prime.

It’s definitely not a perfect film. Willem Dafoe plays an aging drug delivery boy employed by Susan Sarandon who runs into an ex flame which leads him to shoot up a hotel room (we’ve all been there). It’s a movie that should have been fleshed out more. The climax (the shooting up of a hotel room) didn’t quite pay off, and the sudden romantic interest between Sarandon and Dafoe in the end was odd, but there’s a lot of other things going for the film.

The sanitation strike, which played in the background and was often juxtaposed against the high class NYC lifestyle, was a nice touch. But the desperation of Dafoe’s character is absolutely heartbreaking.

I get what that’s about.

Dafoe is aimless. He wanted to be an actor, model, musician, and writer. His best years were spent strung out on drugs. Now he’s 40 and lacks focus.

Subtlety, Sarandon is in a similar position. She plays the boss but she knows the gravy train is about to leave the station. She thinks she’s some NYC hotshot, but by looking at her shitty apartment, she’s probably on the outside looking in.

Now that I type that out, suddenly Dafoe and Sarandon’s abrupt romantic interest becomes apparent: they’re both losers and now they have to settle for each other.

The soundtrack is incredible, for both good and bad reasons. The music itself is great. Where it goes off the rails is the damn singing. The visuals are powerful enough that you don’t need to be told how Dafoe’s character is feeling. Anybody could have written those lyrics. For example (in the style mimicking Bruce Springsteen):

I am walking down the street at night

I run into my ex girlfriend

We get into a little fight

I feel so sad that I just might

Stalk her at her mom’s funeral

Then she gets sad as well

Then we reconnect and start to kiss

She complements my erection

Then she tells me that she’s sopping wet

So we fuck all night then tells me to leave

Then I find out she’s back on drugs

Then she jumps out a window to her death

So I buy a gun from Puerto Rican man

Then I ride in limo with Susan Sarandon

Then I shoot up a hotel room

(Lyrics by Michael Been)

Despite all of that, this is a nice forgotten gem from the mind of Paul Schrader.

just one more thing..

So I was eating a bag of skittles when the phone rang.

“What do you want?” I asked.

The woman over the phone spoke. “Hi, this is Arianna. We talked last week. Just want to know that I’ve been fantasizing about you. I’m really, REALLY horny. I want to come over, sit you down, take you in my mouth then ride you as you slide in and out. I want to taste you. I want to feel you inside me. Just the thought of your cock makes me quiver with excitement. Please let me come over. Please PLEASE have your way with me.”

“Sorry, watching Columbo,” I said. Then hung up.

“dr. sí” part v

“Well shits assholes,” I said to Dr. Sí. “We’ve been looking for you. I guess the search is over! Can I go now?”

“Not so fast,” he responded. “I need to know where your Kill Squad is going.”

“First I want to know what happened to Angelika,” I demanded.

“Fair enough,” he said. Then Dr. Sí turned to the corner of the laboratory. “Angelika, come join us.”

Angelika stepped out, all dolled up with her red hair flowing down to her shoulders. “Sorry James,” she said. “You’re not my type because Dr. Sí is my type.”

The two kissed passionately in front of me.

“I do want to thank you, Colonel James, for returning her to me,” Dr. Sí said.

“Hey, not a problem,” I replied. “Can you return the favor by removing this explosive collar from around my neck? Once when they realize Angelika’s missing, this thing will blow my head off.”

“First, where is the Kill Squad going?”

“They’re probably coming here!”

“We are certainly not at where they are going.”

“Then what are you worried about?”

The doctor turned around and looked at a computerized map of the Hawaiian islands. “I am a man of science, colonel. In order for my experiments to work, I need EXACT measurements. I cannot afford unpredictability. So again…where is the Kill Squad going?”

I was running out of time. The collar was going to detonate at any moment. Then I remembered…

“$2 million,” I said.

“$2 million?”

“Yes, $2 million and I give up the coordinates of the Kill Squad plus any other state secrets you want in order to sweeten the deal,“ I replied.

I was bluffing about the state secrets part. I didn’t know shit.

“$1 million,” Dr. Sí responded.

“Deal. The coordinates are 113.998N 737.746W. Now get this collar off of me!”

Dr. Sí laughed and ordered the guards to remove the collar. “Thank you for your cooperation colonel,” he said. “But as an insurance policy, I’ll place this collar on one of your acquaintances.”

The guards rolled in Mr. Ree, strapped to an upright gurney.

“They kidnapped me too,” Mr. Ree said. “Can you believe that bullshit?”

“Ohh come on,” I said. “Don’t kill Mr. Ree! He’s cool! Besides, that thing will detonate before the squad reaches its destination!”

“That’s just a chance I’m willing to take,” Dr. Sí replied.

“Look, I don’t give a damn about Admiral Majors or the Kill Squad. But there’s a woman that’s traveling with them: Izzy. Please don’t kill her,” I pleaded.

“Colonel, relax,” he said. “I’m not looking to kill anyone, except for Mr. Ree over there. I just want to see that thing go off.”

“I don’t understand.”

Dr. Sí put his arm around my shoulders and started walking me around the laboratory. “I understand your confusion. You see, has anyone told you the truth about that missing nuclear scientist?”

“To be honest doctor, for this entire mission, I’ve kinda been asleep at the wheel. I don’t even know that scientists’ name.”

“Ah, let me show you.”

Dr. Sí opened a door and out walked an old man in a lab coat. I think I was supposed to be impressed by this.

“I don’t know who this is,” I said.

“That’s J. Robert Oppenheimer.”

“Who?”

“J. Robert Op…the father of the atomic bomb?! What are you? Some kind of fucking moron?”

“You cloned him?”

“No asshole! I brought him from the past into the future! Don’t you get it yet? I invented time travel!!”

I walked up to Oppenheimer and looked him up and down. “Welcome to the future,” I told him. “We killed Hitler.”

“I know that, dumbass,” he replied. “We should have dropped the bomb on him!”

I looked back over to Dr. Sí. “So what? You invented time travel. Big whoop. How can you use that against the Kill Squad?”

“That’s why I brought my friend Oppenheimer to the present. You see, we created a new kind of weapon: a time weapon.”

“That sounds pretty fucking stupid, Dr. Sí,” I said. “How can you weaponize time?”

“Well you see, if you can triangulate the space time continuum, the quantum field fluctuations will…”

“Okay, sorry I asked,” I interrupted. “That science shit is boring. Cut to the chase. What’s gonna happen to the Kill Squad?”

“I will fire a plasma energy weapon at their coordinates. When the weapon reaches them, it will generate a quantum field around them and they will be transported to a different time and place.”

“My god,” I said. “A non-destructive weapon. You’re a genius Dr. Sí.”

“So you’re not a complete fucking idiot after all,” he replied. “It is far more humane than the nuclear weapons of the last 80 years. Imagine: no more nuclear fallout, no more mass death…we simply transport our enemies to a different time, different place.”

I looked around the laboratory…at all the scientists running around, to Oppenheimer, to Angelika, and then over to Mr. Ree.

“I cannot deny your genius, Dr. Si,” I said. “But it appears that the only one in danger here is Mr. Ree. If you’re really are humane, you’d remove that collar.”

Dr. Sí nodded. “I suppose you’re right, Colonel.” He looked to the guards. “Remove the collar.”

The guards walked over to the gurney and removed the collar. As they were about to dispose of it, it detonated, killing and maiming several of them.

Out of the confusion, Oppenheimer attacked one of the guards, grabbing his machine gun.

“Put down the gun Oppenheimer,” Dr. Sí said.

“No,” he replied. “You’ve been holding me hostage here. I’m not your puppet!”

“But Bob,” Dr. Sí pleaded. “We’ve been building something special here. Don’t you want to finish our work?”

“No! No more weapons!”

More guards rushed into the room, forcing Oppenheimer to drop his gun.

“Sorry Bob,” Dr. Sí said. “It appears your time is up.”

Mr. Ree was released from the gurney. The two of us were ordered to raise our hands and were rounded up with Oppenheimer.

“Lock these these scum up,” Dr. Sí ordered.

TO BE CONTINUED

dr. sí

“I’m Amish now,” I said to Admiral Majors and Izzy. “I don’t believe in violence anymore.”

“You mean to tell me we drove all the way to Pennsylvania from Los Angeles just for you to say you’ve taken a vow to never kill again,” the Admiral asked.

“Yes. I killed a man in cold blood. Not out of justice,” I replied. “I felt pure hatred. And I hope to never feel that again. That’s not God’s way.”

“The man you killed was a bent cop AND a serial killer. Fuck that guy!”

“No,” I said. “You see this,” I pointed over to the wide green pastures. Off in the distance, Amish brethren were erecting a barn. “This is God’s way. Hard work and community. That’s what will get us to heaven.”

“I can’t believe I’m hearing this bullshit,” the Admiral replied. “So you wanna play hardball eh? Fine. $2 million. I am offering you $2 million of tax payer money to join my force. One of our top nuclear scientists have gone missing, and we have reason to suspect that the Ionian Liberation Front is behind it. You’ve dealt with those guys before. If you change your mind, you know where to reach me.”

The Admiral stormed off. Izzy bashfully stood around.

“What’s her name,” she asked.

“Miriam,” I replied. “She’s a good woman. She’ll make an excellent mother.”

“I’m happy for you,” she said. “I’m seeing someone too. I gave Admiral Majors a hand job on drive over here. He’s taking me to dinner tonight.”

“I wish you two the best of luck.”

“Thank you,” she said. “Goodbye James.”

“Goodbye Izzy.”

After I finished tending to the cattle, I washed off the bull semen then went to the homestead for supper. Miriam served me up a plate of beans and cornbread.

Miriam was a plain and simple Amish woman. We married during the fall harvest. Her father was Ezekiel, one of the community leaders. He was generous enough to take me in.

“Didist thou havest a good day,” she asked.

“I did Miriam. This is a well-earned supper after an honest day’s work.”

“The Lord hath blessed us. I am pregnant with child.”

“This is swell news indeed. The community with rejoice at the announcement.”

We smiled and held hands while we sat around the fireplace. I was loading tobacco into my pipe when Ezekiel stopped by.

“The Lord has brought forth good news,” I told him. “Miriam is pregnant with child.”

“Praise the Lord indeed,” he replied. “I am going to be a grandfather.”

The two of us went to the porch to watch the sunset. I took a match to the pipe. “So what brings you by Ezekiel,” I asked.

“I’m afraid Brother Peter is not doing well,” he said. “He won’t likely survive through the night.”

“That’s a shame. Miriam and I shall pray on it.”

“Unfortunately, I bring more bad news. Bandits have returned and stole four more chickens. We don’t have the funds to replace them. I’m afraid that we are having trouble feeding the children and the harvest isn’t bringing what we need. Times are hard indeed.”

“The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away,” I said.

“I wish someone would do something about these bandits. They have drained all of our resources for the winter,” Ezekiel said.

I puffed on the pipe and rocked in the chair. “I’m sure the Lord will provide.”

That night I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned. I sat up and kissed Miriam on the forehead while she peacefully slept.

I grabbed a shovel and hid behind the chicken coup while I waited for the bandits. I heard twigs snapping and bushes rustling. They were close.

“Stop right there or I’ll bash your head in,” I told the two bandits.

They laughed. “You’re Amish,” they said. “You can’t hurt us.”

“Grab my cock and find out,” I replied, referring to the rooster.

We had a stare down. I waited for one of them to make a move. One went for his pistol and I smashed the shovel right on his dick.

“My dick,” he yelled.

The other one leapt at me and I knocked his clean off his shoulders. Blood sprayed all over the coup. I went over to the other man laying on the ground.

“Don’t kill me,” he yelled. But I smashed the shovel right into his guts.

I buried the bodies deep in the woods.

I took the shovel and began digging behind the barn. Out of the dirt I pulled out an old oak box.

Inside the box: the Korth 357 magnum.

TO BE CONTINUED

magnum enforcer viii

Come to find out that Mystery’s real name was Mr. Ree.

That was convenient.

We watched Maxwell for several days, plotting our trap. Unfortunately he strangled several more prostitutes under that watch. We did nothing about it. But we pushed forward with our plan.

One night, while Maxwell was cruising down Sunset, he fell into our trap.

“Hey sweetie,” Maxwell said while picking up a prostitute. “Wanna make some cash?”

She giggled and got in.

They drove up to the hills while I tailed them. They stopped in Griffith Park then Maxwell and his friend climbed into the backseat.

Maxwell started kissing his way up her legs before removing her panties. As he put his head between her legs, instead of a vagina he put into his mouth, it was a cock…Mr. Ree’s fully erect cock.

“Surprise surprise,” Mr. Rees said.

Maxwell attempted to stab Mr. Ree. The two wrestled in the backseat before I opened the door and ordered Maxwell out with my 357. Mr. Ree got out in full drag, cock still hard. Maxwell had his pants around his ankles.

“Alright, you caught me,” Maxwell said. “So what? They’re not going to throw me in jail.”

“Don’t be so sure of yourself,” I replied. “Hands in the air.”

Maxwell lifted up his arms. Under his sleeve was a detonator. His car exploded, sending the three of us flying through the air. Maxwell got up and escaped by stealing my Pontiac Aztec.

I laid in the street for awhile in a daze. I got up and saw Mr. Ree mortally wounded. He was laying in a pool of his own blood. I held him in my arms and attempted to stop the bleeding.

“I’m sorry Mr. Ree,” I said. “I want to thank you for your help.”

“It was….fun,” he replied. “It doesn’t look like I’ll be a registered sex offender after all.”

With those words, he died in my arms.

I hot wired a Kia Soul and went after Maxwell. I cut him off at the intersection of Franklin and Los Feliz. I rammed my piece of shit into his piece of shit. The shattered glass littered the road.

I climbed out of the wreckage. Maxwell was still in the Pontiac. He was unconscious. I walked up to the destroyed vehicle, 357 on ready. I checked to see if he was dead. At that moment, Maxwell fired his 9mm.

The bullet grazed my left kidney. Maxwell climbed out of the car and ran off. As I was on the ground, I fired off a couple of shots, missing him entirely.

I pursued him on foot.

He ran into a bean factory. As beans were falling off an assembly line into a hopper, Maxwell fired a few rounds into the cogs. The line went haywire and beans went everywhere, obstructing my path. I once again fired shots indiscriminately down the line, jeopardizing the lives of countless workers.

Maxwell exited the factory and ran onto the football field of North Hollywood High. A game was being played. I couldn’t get a clear shot. So I tackled the quarterback, grabbed the football and aired it out in an attempt to hit Maxwell. Unfortunately a DB intercepted it and I had to evade tacklers to get off the field.

Maxwell continued to shoot his 9mm. But he was out of bullets.

He chose Chuck E Cheese as his last stand.

Maxwell went in through the kitchen. He threw pots, pans, and pizzas as I chased him. Unfortunately I wasted several bullets shooting down the pizzas.

As he ran into the main dining area, I shouted “stop that man!”

Chuck E Cheese himself went in for the tackle. Maxwell fought him off, but he was cornered.

The jig was up and Maxwell raised his hands. I lifted up the 357.

“For LP,” he asked.

“No Maxwell,” I said. “For me.”

I shot him in cold blood and his body flew into the ball pit. As the screams of children echoed through the restaurant, I walked outside.

I could hear the sounds of police sirens in the distance. I walked down to the beach holding the 357. As I stared out across the water, I took one last look at the 357 and tossed it into the ocean.

THE END

magnum enforcer v

“Damn it James,” the police chief said to me at City Hall. “You’re a murderous bastard, but you get results. The rifle in Charles Krauthammer’s exploded car matches the ballistics in LP Anderson’s killing perfectly. Well done.”

“Thank you sir.”

“Good job James,” Officer Maxwell said. I nodded back.

“The mayor will be pleased with this despite the property damage done to the city of Long Beach,” the Chief continued. “Please turn in your badge. Your work here is done.”

I took out my badge and looked at it. “I’d still like to clear out a few of the suspects before this case is closed,” I told the Chief. “I want to be certain that the same shooter that killed LP is also our serial killer.”

Maxwell spoke up. “Our department has conclusively determined that Charles Krauthammer is our killer.”

“You did an excellent job here James,” the Chief said. “No need to second guess yourself. You’re one hell of a detective.”

I handed over the badge.

“Gentlemen,” I said. “It’s been an honor serving the Los Angeles Police Department.”

I returned to my office.

“Is there anything I can do for you James,” Izzy asked. “Coffee, sandwich, drink, hand job? Please let me do something for you.”

“I just want to be left alone for awhile,” I replied.

I shut the door to the office, closed the blinds, and pulled out a bottle of bourbon…the last one LP and me shared. I poured a glass and raised a toast.

“So long LP,” I said.

Seconds later there was a knock on the door.

“Office hours are closed,” I shouted.

The door opened and our Mystery Officer, the one I threatened to shoot at City Hall while shittin and pissin, came in. He sat down and put his feet on the desk.

“You think you’re so smart don’t ya,” he asked.

“No”

“Charles Krauthammer is dead and you can play the hero.”

“What are you on about?”

Officer Mystery sat up in his seat and leaned in. “There’s a lot more to this story than you can possibly imagine.”

I took out another glass and poured him a bourbon. “Talk,” I said.

“Your friends at City Hall, you did them a favor by killing Charles. You did their dirty work. You covered their tracks.”

“Okay?”

“Charles was a patsy. Sure he killed your boy LP, but he’s just one man. You and me both know that crime in this city runs deep. Those prostitutes up in the hills? That’s the work of someone else…or someones.”

“Stop jackin me around. Spit it out. Who’s behind this?”

“Officer Ellis Shitburg Maxwell.”

i’ll never drink with ed again

So Ed and me were getting tore up at an Applebee’s when the waitress asked “can I get you anything else?”

“Just keep the mai tais coming you dumb bitch!” Ed said.

“Keep it down, Ed,” I said.

“You can’t stop me! I’m an animal. An ANIMAL!” he replied.

So finally karaoke started and I sang “Don’t You Want Me”. Ed was at the bar, striking out with every elderly woman he talked to.

“Fuck this place,” Ed said. “A mojito for the road!”

Then some jackass walked in with his trophy wife. “Hey baby, nice pooter!” Ed yelled.

“Sir don’t talk to my wife like that. We’re Mormons.”

Ed later shagged his wife on the toilet. When he came out, he grabbed me by the arm and said “let’s go. I clogged the shitter.”

The manager came out and told us that if we didn’t leave now, he was calling the police.

“You can’t tell me to leave! This is a public place!”. Ed then sat down at the bar.

“All lives matter! And vaccines aren’t real!”

When the cops arrived, Ed told them “I’ve read the Declaration of Independence. I don’t have to carry a permit for this Remington .45!”

The cops drew their weapons and ordered him to drop it. “This is bullshit!” he said. He took one last sip of his Vegas Bomb and said “I guess this is as good of place as any” then almost opened fire.

An officer shot him in the ass and Ed groaned with pain and pleasure. “Can I get one more mimosa?” he asked before falling to the ground.

Ed was charged a misdemeanor for being a public nuisance.

I couldn’t believe it. I’d expect something like that to happen at an Olive Garden, but not at Applebee’s.