Greetings, crime scenesters. Time for your daily dose of hard-boiled pulp-noir, straight from the source. Time to get down and dirty, get your fet muddy, and your blood pumping. Lock and load, babe. Ask yourself, do you feel lucky? Do you? Well, do ya, punk?
Screened another classic last night -- TOUCH OF EVIL -- for the second time this year. Just had to see it again. Just astounded by Orson Welles' dark vision. It's a simple story, really. A nasty plunge into the lower depths of police corruption on the Mexican border. Welles is amazing as a fat, foul pig of a cop, a corrupt, alcohol-swilling bastard. (And you wonder why I like this film so much?) Charleton Heston is brilliant as a Mexican cop -- that's right, a Mexican -- but he pulls it off. Janet Leigh is scrumptious as his wife, and the rest of the cast is pitch-perfect. Hard to believe that Universal took away his final cut, did some reshoots, and originally released a bastardized version of this masterpiece. The opening crane shot -- 4 minutes long -- inspired both Scorsese and Altman to try their hand at this tricky feat. Welles was so incensed at this travesty that he wrote the studio a 58 page memo outlining what needed to be fixed. So -- here at last, is his reconstructed cut. Enjoy, and be amazed. Welles reall was a genius that was never truly appreciated.
Onto today's sequence from WILSHIRE BOULEVARD, and boy, does the plot thicken. Homicide dick Carrie Love, having been suspended from the force, is drowning her sorrows in a dive bar ... and then gets a call from her ex-partner/ex-husband Bernie Keko ... and then the shit REALLY hits the fan.
INT. THE OFFICE - MORNING
Paul Anka’s shaken-not-stirred cover of
BLACKHOLE SUN coos on the jukebox.
Behind the bar, Axel cleans a glass.
Carrie sits on a stool with a beer and a shot.
Looks like death warmed over.
Brittle. Lost. Haunted.
So I guess you’re a regular now.
More like an irregular.
So you have the day off from the detective thing?
Hey. Like the sign says, ‘get the day started right.’
I might look like an asshole shit-kicker,
but I’m a good listener.
At least my girlfriend says so --
Wanna tell me about it?
Carrie drinks the amber liquid.
SLAMS the shot glass down.
Keep ‘em coming.
I didn’t mean to pry.
You just look like you could use a friend.
She DOWNS it. CRACKS the glass on the bar.
(sips her beer)
Well, let’s see.
First, my girlfriend left the country without saying goodbye,
then a one-night stand hired me to find out who killed her husband,
so I just HAD to fuck her receptionist --
and then, OH YEAH, my fucking HOUSE BURNED DOWN,
and I LOST EVERYTHING,
so I BEAT THE SHIT outta the guy who did it,
and ALMOST KILLED him.
(DOWNS the shot)
Ahhhhh. Get the day started right.
Oh, yeah -- jail was nice, too.
That’s some fucked-up shit. I’m sorry.
She points at the shot glass. Smiles, evil.
Maybe you should slow it down a bit.
You have any breakfast yet?
(off her silence)
How ‘bout I fix you a cheeseburger?
Get somethin’ in yer belly.
That would be -- really nice of you.
Axel nods. Shuffles into the back.
Carrie crumples. About to lose it.
Her cell RINGS. She fishes it out. Listens.
INT./EXT - UNMARKED CAR - MOVING - CONTINUOUS
Bernie speaks on the car phone.
Bernie. How’s tricks?
Oh, that’s right, tricks are for chicks.
Not so good, Carrie.
The ballistics report shows your gun killed Flender.
You mean the Magnum?
(mumbles, to herself)
So it didn’t just disappear.
I knew someone fucking took it.
The revolving door on your bedroom
won’t work as an alibi, Carrie.
We have a big problem.
We always had a problem, Bernie.
Except the sex was so fucking good --
We can do this one of two ways.
You can turn yourself in, now --
and I’ll get the best fucking deal
I can for you, I promise.
And the second way?
You don’t want that. It’s not pretty.
As Steve Martin said, Comedy isn’t pretty.
And you’re forgetting the third way.
It’s called --
Eat shit and DIE, motherfucker.
She CLICKS the phone shut.
Bernie hangs up.
Dials another number.
You get the location?
I told you. You should have let me talk to her.
Now we don’t know where she is.
Shut THE FUCK up.
That’s my EX-WIFE,
who’s now a fugitive from the law.
You still have feelings for her.
PUSH IN ON Bernie. In denial.
Shut the fuck up and drive.
IN THE BAR
Carrie wolfs down the greasy burger.
Axel watches, proud.
The secret is what I put in the meat.
Some pepper, ground onion --
and Tabasco sauce.
If I wasn’t on the lam, I’d fuck your brains out.
On -- the lam?
I’ve been fingered.
Someone framed me for murder.
So now I have to go underground.
Shit. What do I do with my car --
That’s a tough break.
Hey. I live right down the block.
And I have an empty garage.
I keep my hog in the living room where it’s warm.
You’d -- do that for me?
Did five years in Ossining.
Gang fight with another cycle club.
Ruled justifiable homicide,
but I had a kilo of smack in the saddle bag.
Left the club after I got sprung.
Too old for that shit anymore.
He pours two shots.
They lift them in a toast.
Once an outlaw, always an outlaw.
Something like that.
They DOWN them.