Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Sudden Impact


Lee and I have to admit that the Dirty Harry Callahan franchise is a guilty pleasure. I know it makes no sense for two old liberals to enjoy these idiotic shoot-‘em-ups, but go figure. We do. It would be easy to make quite a long list of things that are consistently stupid, even laughable, about them. I mean, Harry routinely kills two or three bad guys before breakfast. When his cases get thrown out of court he is always stunned, stunned, to discover that we have a Constitution and laws in this country that coddles criminals. Why can’t he just shoot them, or at least throw them in jail without a trial? He’s a fascist, no question about it, though not quite as bad as Donald Trump.

But I’ll let you in on a secret. Even many old liberals like us are pleased when a mass murderer is gunned down in the street, saving the taxpayers the expense of trying him, housing him for sixty years, or executing him after thirty years. The bad guys in these movies are so bad I’d gladly ventilate any of them with six slugs from a .44, too. Go ahead, motherfucker, make my fucking day!

Someone did an actual count of how many people Harry has killed. This doesn’t include deaths like the three numbnuts in this one, who drive off the end of a pier after setting Harry’s car on fire. You want to guess?

Dirty Harry: Only three. It seemed like more.

Magnum Force: Six.

The Enforcer: Three, though one he shot that was still alive could easily die. And this doesn’t count the one he kills with a freaking rocket.

Sudden Impact: Nine, plus two drowned.

The Dead Pool: Eight, plus one impaled with a harpoon gun meant to take down sperm whales.

That’s twenty-nine killed with his guns. I don’t think even Matt Dillon killed that many. No wonder the general public loves him.

Can’t say much else. No way I recommend this idiocy to anybody, but if you’re in the mood for this sort of thing, it’s not a bad example.