Thursday, November 19, 2015

Death Journey (1976)

So many bad films are viable contenders for title of The Worst Thing Fred Williamson Ever Made that it’s unnecessary to describe the crime thriller Death Journey as the nadir of the prolific actor/filmmaker’s career. Suffice to say that it’s as awful as anything anyone ever made. Running a scant 74 minutes, telling a clichéd story without any fresh spin, and descending into utter monotony at regular intervals, Death Journey has the sort of script one normally encounters in student films, and the technical polish one normally encounters in bargain-basement porn. Williamson plays Jesse Crowder, a former policeman now working as some sort of generic gun-for-hire in Los Angeles. When the DA’s office in New York realizes that testimony from a former mob accountant is their only hope of getting a conviction against a mob boss, the DA’s office hires Crowder to escort the accountant from LA to New York at a fee of $25,000. Where does the DA’s office get that kind of cash? Never mind. Crowder spends the movie effortlessly defeating the various assassins tasked with killing the accountant, even though he occasionally hits the pause button on his adventures so he can sleep with compliant women. (As always, Williamson devotes much of his cinematic energy to burnishing his tough-stud persona.) Filmed with minimal competence and set to painfully repetitive music, Death Journey grinds along without generating any real excitement or surprise, essentially presenting a cheap facsimile of a thriller. Even the fact that Williamson always seems believable in badass roles is irrelevant, because Williamson spends so much time sleepwalking through pointless scenes with his shirt open that his smugness and vanity are the real stars of this vacuous drivel. FYI, Williamson played Crowder again in three subsequent films: Blind Rage and No Way Back (both of which were released, like Death Journey, in 1976), as well as The Last Fight (1983).

Death Journey: SQUARE

1 comment:

greg6363 said...

This post was written on Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

If you are in the Indianapolis area this coming Saturday night (Sunday morning), June 11th, 2016, the Skyline Drive-In in Shelbyville, Indiana (about 20 miles southeast of downtown Indy off Interstate 74 East) will be playing Death Journey as part of their weekly Drive-Insanity series of classic drive-in movies after the regularly scheduled double feature. Start time will be approximately 1:15 AM. Shown in glorious 35mm projection, scratches and all. Come on out and enjoy.