There are some beauties on Netflix this month. Here is one from one of my favorite actors of all time, Charles Bronson. I have seen most of his films but somehow missed this one. “Messenger of Death” is the story of this family in a private Mormon community that was was slaughtered by two evil and mysterious visitors wielding shotguns. They destroy 3 women and 6 little children. Like most Bronson movies, there isn’t much left for the imagination in this brutal scene (although they spare you the imagery of the kids actually getting hit with bullets). Bronson plays a station wagon driving (with wood paneling) reporter who covers the story, and (big shocker) decides to take matters into his own hands.
Like most Bronson movies, the police fail to handle the case correctly due to the laws holding them back. In this case, they have to release the prime suspect from custody unless they planned on charging him with something, plus they say that the crime was outside their jurisdiction (which is kind of hilarious because they worked the crime scene.) Of course Bronson thinks all of this is bullshit. Even though Bronson knows the prime suspect they let go isn’t the killer, he is convinced that its one of two Mormon brothers, both blaming each other for the crime. Bronson eventually gets wrapped up in trying to prevent a group of angry Mormons from hunting down who they believe committed this crime. Things heat up when an elaborate scheme starts to unfold revealing the real motive behind all that has taken place.
Not my favorite Bronson movie by no stretch, but definitely not a stinker. I think my problem with the movie was just that Bronson was way to laid back in this. He lacked the bad ass element and horrible dialog that he was known for, especially for being a Cannon release which was known for being his worst (best) work.
Perhaps the icing on the cake in this movie, is when a character during a fairly climatic scene puts a gun up to his temple and pulls the trigger which results in a bang, s teeny puff of smoke, and perhaps the weakest bullet on earth as it doesn’t exit his head. One of the more ridiculous scenes I’ve encountered in a movie. You still get to see a few classic Bronson hand to hand combat scenes so the movie doesn’t totally disappoint. This is one to watch on a lazy Sunday. Not a classic, but enjoyable.
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