Quantcast
Channel: Good Efficient Butchery
Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 1212

Retro Review: 3:15 (1986)

0
0

3:15
(US - 1986)

Directed by Larry Gross. Written by Sam Bernard and Michael Jacobs. Cast: Adam Baldwin, Deborah Foreman, Scott McGinnis, Danny De La Paz, Ed Lauter, Rene Auberjonois, Wayne Crawford, John Scott Clough, Mario Van Peebles, Wings Hauser, Jesse Aragon, Bradford Bancroft, Jeb Ellis-Brown, Panchito Gomez, Wendy Barry, Joseph Brutsman, Lori Eastside, Nancy Locke Hauser, Dean Devlin, John Doe, Roy London, Van Quattro, Gina Gershon, Rusty Cundieff. (R, 85 mins)

If you had cable in the late '80s, then you probably caught at least some of 3:15, a minor entry in the "high school gangs run amok" subgenre that, quality-wise, falls somewhere right in the middle between the exemplary CLASS OF 1984 and the ridiculous TUFF TURF. Of course, there were many others during this period from 1982 to 1987--SAVAGE STREETS, YOUNG WARRIORS, THE NEW KIDS, DANGEROUSLY CLOSE, UNDER COVER, THE PRINCIPAL, and the largely comedic cult favorite THREE O'CLOCK HIGH to name a few--so it was easy for 3:15 to get lost in the shuffle. It got only sporadic play in theaters in the spring of 1986 after two years on the shelf, when it was finally picked up by the apparently one-and-done Dakota Entertainment Corporation, though in nearly every way, it's got an undeniable Cannon aura about it, starting with the score by Gary Chang (52 PICK-UP, FIREWALKER). It also had a confusing marketing campaign where it was hard to ascertain what the movie was even called. The official one-sheet has it as 3:15: THE MOMENT OF TRUTH, but when it opened in Toledo, OH in April 1986, it was advertised as the clunky SHOWDOWN AT LINCOLN HIGH AT 3:15, while the fine print in the ad called it 3:15 - MOMENT OF TRUTH, and the theater listings had it as SHOWDOWN AT LINCOLN HIGH. The actual title on the film is simply 3:15, which is what's stuck. To date, it's the only feature film directed by Larry Gross, a veteran screenwriter and occasional back-in-the-day Walter Hill collaborator who co-wrote 48 HRS, STREETS OF FIRE, and GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND, with other writing credits ranging from Wayne Wang's CHINESE BOX to Clint Eastwood's TRUE CRIME to the doomed movie version of PROZAC NATION.





Just out on Blu-ray from Scorpion (because physical media is dead), 3:15 is essentially a face-off between two actors who were best known at the time for their presence in other movies that dealt with tangentially-related subjects. Hero Adam Baldwin was the title character in 1980's MY BODYGUARD, protecting scrawny Chris Makepeace from the relentless bullying of Matt Dillon, while villain Danny De La Paz was best known as Chuco in 1979's BOULEVARD NIGHTS, one of several entries in a short-lived gang craze from that year, including THE WANDERERS, OVER THE EDGE, WALK PROUD, and the classic THE WARRIORS. It doesn't help the credibility of 3:15 when, at the time of filming in 1984, Baldwin was 22 and looked older, while De La Paz was 27, and both were still playing high school students, but all of the kids here look way too old, with several extras in a few shots who appear to be within striking distance of 40. Baldwin is Jeff, who was once a member of the Cobras but walked away when leader Cinco (De La Paz) killed a guy for no reason. A year later, Jeff is a tough but straight-arrow kid with a nice girlfriend in Sherry (VALLEY GIRL's Deborah Foreman, who had MY CHAUFFEUR and APRIL FOOL'S DAY in theaters around the same time), but his past inevitably comes back to haunt him. The school is overrun with drugs and crime, and cowardly principal Horner (Rene Auberjonois)--introduced shouting "These kids are so high on dope that they might as well be zombies!"--turns to cynical cop Moran (Ed Lauter), who organizes a raid targeting Cinco and his gang. A frantic Cinco asks Jeff to stash some drugs for him for old times' sake, and when he refuses and Cinco is arrested, the gang leader vows revenge. Since Cinco managed to dump the drugs before being apprehended, Moran can only hold him for 48 hours, and the whole school knows shit's going down in two days, at 3:15, when Cinco and the Cobras intend to deal with Jeff once and for all.


3:15 opening in Toledo, OH on 4/18/1986, advertised
as SHOWDOWN AT LINCOLN HIGH

Rarely in the "high school gangs run amok" craze have the adults in charge been more useless than they are here. Horner tries to talk Jeff into testifying against Cinco, and when he won't, Horner does what any dedicated education leader does: leaves the school until the showdown is over, right around the time Moran and the cops finally show up, even though Cinco and the Cobras have basically been standing at street corners shouting that Jeff is dead meat at 3:15. There's certainly some subtext in the way the script by Sam Bernard (RAD, WARLOCK: THE ARMAGEDDON) and Michael Jacobs (CERTAIN FURY, HALLOWEEN 5: THE REVENGE OF MICHAEL MYERS) lays out the conflict between Jeff and Cinco like it's an ugly breakup, with Cinco the jilted spouse who just can't let Jeff go. It's not an unsung classic of its kind, but 3:15 is entertaining B-movie trash, even if it doesn't utilize some of its established plot elements to their full potential: why introduce a high-school gang of Asian martial arts experts if they never come into play? Cannon sure as shit wouldn't have passed up that opportunity. Gross does manage to pull off one memorably stylish sequence with the raid on the school and the pursuit of Cinco and the Cobras set to a very effectively-used "Lined Up" by Shriekback. It also has an oddball supporting cast with some cult favorites like Foreman, Lauter, Auberjonois, Wayne Crawford (JAKE SPEED) as a concerned teacher ("Goddammit Jeff, will ya listen to me?"), John Doe as a drunk guy trying to get into a club, and the great Wings Hauser getting one scene as Sherry's Jeff-hating dad (Wings' wife Nancy plays her mom). You also get some famous names-to-be like Mario Van Peebles as the leader of the M-16s, the school's black gang (like the kung-fu gang, they never factor into the proceedings), Gina Gershon as a Cobra babe, future FEAR OF A BLACK HAT and TALES FROM THE HOOD director Rusty Cundieff as an M-16, and Dean Devlin as "Gum Chewer," years before turning to screenwriting and partnering with director Roland Emmerich on hits like UNIVERSAL SOLDIER, STARGATE, INDEPENDENCE DAY, and THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW.



Does anyone know what this movie is called?
The ad says one thing but the credits say
another. Is "at 3:15" part of the title or 
is there just one showing at 3:15? 



Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 1212

Latest Images

Trending Articles





Latest Images