OCTOBER 10, 2008
Some movies just remind me of fall, and Judgment Night is one. That’s when it was released, and I saw it in theaters (1993 was a pretty great year for thrillers, you got this, The Fugitive, In The Line Of Fire, uh... er, Sliver...) on a nice autumn day. I remember because I had to rake the yard in order to get to go see it. Good deal.
I love this movie for a lot of reasons (I actually consider it one of my top 10 movies, though there’s not really anything particularly amazing about it). One, it introduced me to Jeremy Piven, an actor who I’d literally watch do anything (hence why I suffered through the first season of Entourage, a show that took a damn long time to hit its stride). He’s basically playing the same guy he always plays here, but at the time it was completely new to me. Also, it’s weird – he looks older in this than he does now? Good botox I guess.
Another actor that this movie introduced me to was Peter Greene. And I just realized, the dude actually appears in THREE of my ten favorite movies (the others being Pulp Fiction and Usual Suspects), which is more than even Willis (Pulp, Armageddon) or Chevy (Fletch, Vacation) appear. Good work, you dumbass crackhead!
The thing most people remember about this movie is the soundtrack. Now it’s sort of cliché, but back in 1993, pairing rap acts with alt rock bands was pretty unique, and some of the tracks are pretty memorable (De La Soul and Teenage Fanclub’s “Fallin’” is my personal favorite). Pearl Jam teamed up with Cypress Hill for one track, but despite the fact that I love PJ, I never really listened to it. "Fallin" will do. “Bring it to the clues, paid all my dues...”
Oddly, this movie has a scene very similar to one in previous October Extra I Come In Peace, in which the villain is shooting at a dude driving a forklift, who can’t hear him because he’s too busy rocking out to whatever’s on his headphones (we hear some generic music, but he’s singing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”, so I dunno what’s really going on there).
One odd thing about this movie is that it seems to suggest that a man should not abandon his wild side when he “settles down”, but also that he shouldn’t ever venture outside of his home, lest he run afoul of Denis Leary and run over the guy from the forgotten FOX show New York Undercover. Stay home and beat up your wife instead? What? If I wrote this movie, I would have it so that they get in trouble on the way HOME from the fight, as Emilio’s character would be all like “I gotta get home before 11 or my wife will be mad!” and that leads to their doom. Thus the message would be “Don’t get married, just go out and have fun with your bros”.
This is why I write horror movie reviews and not screenplays.
I should note that this movie is so awesome that Universal reacquired it. Like a lot of their B films, video distribution eventually went to Goodtimes. But when Goodtimes folded, all those movies were up for grabs (which is why Warner Bros now owns Dr Giggles, despite being a Universal film when released). Universal not only took Judgment Night back, but re-released it on DVD with a DTS track and the anamorphic transfer that the Goodtimes DVD lacked! Fuck yeah! The trailer is also on the disc, which is pretty interesting because it features completely different takes of some key lines. Also whatever movie score they are using for the first half of the trailer is fucking amazing.
What say you?