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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Siege (1983)

This movie was sold to me as the Canadian Assault on Precinct 13 and as the most violent Canadian action movie ever made. I mean I guess it could be true, but I need to check it out to confirm such high praise.

Set during a police strike in a major city, based on true events… at least the strike part, we see the folks trying to do their best to avoid criminals. That includes some barbed wire on the lawn of a suburban home and using a winch to heft a motorbike to the roof of an apartment building. After establishing a few folks, including an abusive husband, we see some vigilantes busting up a gay bar. Seems since there aren’t any cops to stop them, they thought it was time to teach them a lesson. While roughing up the bartender he is accidentally tossed onto a broken beer bottle and dies. This leads them to call their ringleader, Cabe.

He shows up and quickly decides to leave no witnesses! He takes a silenced pistol and executes them one at a time. The gun jams and the last club goer, Daniel, makes a break for it. After some chasing, he gets cornered in a small apartment building/duplex. The inhabitants decide they aren’t going to give him up and then the titular siege begins. The vigilantes arm themselves with silenced assault rifles and get to shooting even more folks. Though unlike the club they fight back with improvised weapons and Kevin McAlister style booby traps… though a bit more deadly. In the end lots of characters die and we are treated to a final big twist.

I liked Siege a lot. This has a low budget grimy quality that did remind me a bit of Assault on Precinct 13 but even more so of something like Tenement. The movie takes just enough time setting up the characters so that you like the folks that are put in danger at the apartment buildings and really hate the homophobic assholes that are causing all the trouble. This movie isn’t for the faint of heart, and I don’t mean because of the violence. In setting up the “bad guys” there is some hateful language used that shocked even me and I’m not at all sensitive to such things. These guys are nasty and that means when they get what is coming to them it is all the more satisfying.

Now the above doesn’t mean that there isn’t some good violence. You get some standard shootings, but that also includes the disturbing executions. While not explicit they do feel like a kick to the gut, which is what I’m thinking they were going for. There is also some fun with an improvised rocket bomb that leads to some nails being extracted in a rather painful looking way. The beer bottle to the back, a bit of electrocution, some fire to the face, and an arrow to the neck are also highlights. Though I loved how they take out the big baddie Cabe. It isn’t enough to stab and then shoot him, but he also gets an axe to the neck. They really wanted this guy dead!

I picked this movie up during the most recent sale at Severin and I think that they still have it on Blu-Ray and maybe DVD. If you like the gritty action flicks of the seventies and eighties, then this is going to be right up your alley. Also, if you like My Bloody Valentine then seeing Keith Knight as a blind character might be fun. Fans of Trailer Park Boys may also want to keep an eye out for another familiar face. All I’ll say here is BAAAAAAAAM!!! I highly recommend Siege.

© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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