“Phenix City is basically about liberal outrage. Morton Dowling and Mort Briskin’s script for Walking Tall organizes the same elements into an ode to vigilantism. Buford has returned home because he’s disillusioned about the lack of honesty in pro wrestling, a hilarious, idiotic joke in itself. In Phenix City, John Patterson’s wife eventually takes the kids and moves out of harm’s way. Wife Pauline frets and pouts when Buford risks the lives of his family, but eventually does the right thing and encourages her husband to pick up a gun. In yet more NRA-boosting sentimentalism, Buford’s son gets a rifle for Christmas, and pointedly uses it to watch over his dad’s hospital bed.
“Phenix City ends with a similar mob ready to burn down the sin emporiums, but the hero tells them to vote instead. Made eighteen years later, Walking Tall is a huge backward step … politically, Middle America is becoming more primitive. Along with pictures like Death Wish, its simplifications erode public faith in the due process of law.”
I once complained to DVD Savant Glenn Erickson, taking issue with his passing and approving reference to Rachel Carson. When I added that The Thing from Another World was the conservative answer to the liberal The Day The Earth Stood Still, Erickson replied to the effect that his views weren’t “liberal”, they were just, you know, “normal.”
Here again we see his confusion of cause and effect — a typical liberal trait. Movies like Death Wish and Dirty Harry were huge hits because they reflected the public’s pre-existing frustration with “law & order”. They saw the guilty getting off due to Miranda violations, and dealt with cops in corrupt, badly run cities like Los Angeles and New York who’d stopped caring long ago. Erickson is actually old enough to know this from personal experience, like I am. But ideology always trumps “yer lying eyes” in Liberal Land.
What we need is a pop culture site that isn’t reflexively liberal. I’d really love to read a tv or movie site run by a guy as knowledgeable about movies as Glenn, but without having to wade through anti-war, anti-Bush verbiage.