• Police Connection, The



    Police Connection, The
    Released by: Code Red DVD
    Released on: May, 2013.
    Director: Bert I. Gordon
    Cast: Chuck Connors, Neville Brand, Vince Edwards
    Year: 1973

    The Movie:

    Written and directed by Bert I. Gordon, the same man who gave us Food Of The Gods and Empire Of The Ants among many others, 1973’s The Police Connection, better known as The Mad Bomber, is a seventies cop movie that deserves more love in cult movie circle.

    When the movie begins, we see a tall man in thick glasses stop when he witnesses a man littering on the streets of Los Angeles. He calls the litterbug a pig and makes him pick up his trash – yeah! This is already awesome because litterbugs are pigs! Or grumpy bespectacled bad boy is William Dorn (Chuck Connors) and after he deals with the litterbug he follows a few schoolgirls up the road and into their school where he leaves a large paper bag. He heads out just in time to turn around and see the school explode as death and chaos erupt around him. From here he books it to a nearby hospital but he’s seen by a rapist who has just finished doing the dirty deed with a mute patient.

    The cops find out that the rapist must have seen the bomber, and they figure that the only way they can identify him is to find the rapist first. Enter a tough cop with the best name ever, Geronimo Minnelli (Vince Edwards) – he hates bombers and he hates rapists and he is going to stop at nothing to bring them to justice. He gets a bunch of undercover lady cops to pose as street whores in hopes of trapping our perv, and after about a dozen or so other rapists are nabbed (it was a big night for rape in L.A. it would seem) they get him - George Fromley (Neville Brand). At first he doesn’t want to cooperate but eventually Geronimo convinces him to talk… and then lets him go. Yep! Once they get the ID on Dorn, who has recently lost his daughter to drugs but not before she recorded a bunch of songs he plays over and over again, they let Fromley free so that he can go home to his wife (Ilona Wilson) and masturbate to the homemade porno movies they made together. Justice is fucking served! Dorn is onto them, however, so after he yells at a guy who almost ran him over at a crosswalk and terrorizes a cashier at the grocery store who overcharged him $0.12 on some canned peaches, he makes it his top priority to blow up more stuff and more people. Can the cops catch him before he blows up some feminists enjoying a luncheon and burns Los Angeles to the ground?

    Chuck Connors absolutely rules in this movie. He’s an imposing figure, a big, bulky dude whose small eyes are magnified in strange ways by his odd thick glasses. Beyond the physicality he brings to this part, however, is the sense of righteous conviction that he gives to Dorn. He’s completely convincing as a man who really and truly feels that he needs to punish the world for what happened to his daughter. We know this from the little quirks and interactions he has with other characters right from the opening scene. He sees nothing wrong with what he does, in fact we know from the notes he leaves around his apartment that he believes he’s doing the right thing and Connors plays the role freakishly well. Not to be outdone, Neville Brand is deliriously sleazy as the principal rapist (note that there are lots of minor rapists in this movie as well). He’s got a complete deranged look on his face as he rips the clothes off of the blonde patient in the hospital, and when he starts pulling it to his amateur porn movies? Look out, all bets are off. The third part of this unholy trinity is Edwards as Geronimo Minnelli. He may not be a good cop – his instincts tell him to look for the rapist at a strip club where he winds up unclasping the bra of a grumpy stripper and his sting to catch the rapist is just nuts – but dammit he tries. Just as unhinged as the other characters in the movie he chews through the scenery as he uses the LAPD’s super computer and the powers of overhead projectors to help build what he needs to catch the film’s public enemy number one.

    It’s interesting how the movie, to a certain extent, makes us sympathize with Connors’ character. Here we see a man unable to accept how the world around him changes. Obviously and understandably upset about the loss of his daughter, what he doesn’t understand or approve of – the feminists for example – he holds responsible and doles out vengeance to. Those little bits those, the moments where he lashes out at the litterbug or the driver who almost hits him, those are there because most of us have been in those situations ourselves. It’s a clever way of getting us care a little bit for the bad guy and it works surprisingly well.

    Yeah, fine, the movie is dated and it’s remarkably politically incorrect. And sure, it features three guys whose careers had seen better days trying to earn a paycheck, but so what. It’s fast paced, it’s well directed, it’s got some genuinely impressive explosions and it delivers some pretty cool surprises too. The movie expertly delivers plenty of excitement and a surprisingly amount of hard R sleaze! Which brings us to the cut of the movie contained on this DVD – it’s the full strength version with all the rape, nudity and violence intact. The movie was previously released on DVD under the alternate The Mad Bomber title by Geneon but that was the heavily edited TV version (and it was fullframe at that). If you’re going to watch this one, watch it the right way and watch it uncut.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Police Connection looks clean, colorful and nicely detailed in 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen in this strong DVD transfer form Code Red. Grain is present, as it should be, but never in a distracting way and there’s not much at all in the way of print damage, dirt or debris. Skin looks natural, color reproduction too, and black levels are fine.

    The English language Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack is also fine. There aren’t any issues with any hiss or distortion and the levels are properly balanced. Dialogue is easy to understand the score sounds nice. The explosions that take place in the movie have a good sense of ‘boom’ to them and for an older mono mix, the movie sounds good.

    Extras are slim, limited to an isolated score, trailers for upcoming Code Red DVD releases (though no trailer for the feature itself), menus and chapter selection. Completists might want to hold onto that old Geneon DVD as it contains the alternate cut of the movie, but as the alternate (TV) cut isn't nearly as good, it's not really essential.

    The Final Word:

    YES! The Police Connection is an impressive mix of action and exploitation, a rock solid drive-in movie with a great cast, some memorable set pieces, and enough sex and violence to satisfy! Code Red’s DVD release is a welcome one, presenting the film in its full strength uncut version and in its proper widescreen aspect ratio looking good. A ridiculously entertaining release, highly recommended.