Prime Cut makes me smile. Big. What a fun fucking movie. You know, you watch the swill that Hollywood is pumping out these days and you can do nothing else but marvel at the good time that a movie like Prime Cut
is. Seriously, when is the last time you saw a movie where the bad guy
is not only named “Mary Ann,” but he turns people into sausage and
keeps doped up orphan chicks in bales of hay and auctions them off like
cattle? Exactly, never. Bad guys today are all style and no substance. I mean, if you are going to be over the top, be over the fucking top. That is exactly what Gene Hackman does as Mary Ann,
the villain. He owns a slaughter house, and “give[s] the people what
they want;” dope and flesh. Totally amazing, totally brilliant and way
Lee Marvin leads the cast as Nick “the Mick” Devlin, some sort
of mafia heavy from Chicago. HeÂs help, not management. IÂm not sure if
they actually call him “the Mick” but in my remake of this
sleeper-classic, heÂll be known as “the Mick,” because I enjoy inciting
hatred among the races. I donÂt even really know how to describe this
motherfucker of a character. OK, he goes to Mary AnnÂs young, doped-out
girl auction and steals the very nubile Poppy (Sissy Spacek), who along
with her best friend Violet, has been held as a sex slave since before
she can remember. So, he steals her and takes her to the “Chicago
Suite” and buys her clothes, cause Mary Ann keeps the girls nude and in
hay, and the dress he gets her is completely see-through! I mean, fuck! So, he then takes her to a fancy ass seven-course dinner and everyone in the restaurant can see her tits!. Very nice tits, I should add. Just flabergasting really… Point being, Marvin is my kind of hero.
One thing you should know about Prime Cut is that I have
no idea–and neither will you–why Nick “the Mick” is trying to get
Gene HackmanÂs Mary Ann. I mean, I know it has something to do with the
fact that Mary Ann sent a Chicago mob boss’s goon back to him in hotdog
form (yep), but it is never really made clear. All you need to know is
that watching Lee Fucking Marvin and friends cruising through the wheat
fields of Kansas in the biggest, blackest Cadillac 1972 could produce
is worth its weight in fucking gold. I mean, culture-clash doesnÂt even
make sense as a phrase in this situation. Plus, when he initially
confronts Mary Ann, the two get into a pissing match to the point that
Mary Ann suggests they just drop their pants to see who is bigger.
Marvin counters with (essentially), “Ask your wife.” Fuck!!!
Another aspect of Prime Cut that I loved was how like a
butcherÂs knife it tears open the belly of the lie that is Midwest
Americana. You know all that bullshit about the “heartland” and “just
plain good old Americans?” Well, it should have been laid to fucking
rest with the release of this movie thirty-two years ago. Revisionism
being what it is (alive and fucking kicking),
of course no one paid any fucking attention. But thatÂs life. Anyway,
you have all these uber-healthy blond folks milling about the state
fair. Each one fairer and more milk-fed than the next. Of course the
second an outsider shows up from a liberal, eastern city like Chicago
(italics added to indicate sarcasm), they become (well, you canÂt call
Âem jack-booted thugs cause theyÂre all barefoot, and in overalls…)
they become tiny little fascists in the best sense of the American
tradition of the word; kill the outsider. He might be a Jew, or Irish!!
Seriously, Marvin and crew are at the state fair and Mary Ann gives the
go ahead to kill the “feren-ers” so every bowl-cut worth his tobacco
spit grabs a shot gun and starts a huntinÂ. Even the contestants in the
turkey-shoot notice that other blond people are trying to kill the well
dressed, well groomed man so they go tearing-ass after him cause, well,
thatÂs what you do in Kansas. A nice touch was the fat-ass sheriff
looking on with an aura of “themÂs my boys” emanating from his fat-ass.
Did I say “fat-ass” twice in the same sentence? Well, we are talking
about the beloved Midwest, so it is worth repeating.
All in all, if (and when, you really should) you watch Prime Cut you will love Prime Cut.
I honestly sat and smiled for the duration of the film. I wish it had
been a bit longer, cause Marvin was just chopping wood the whole time,
and Hackman, as good as he ever is, is just not in the damn film long
enough. Another fantastic part to watch for is when Violet–SpacekÂs
best friend who Spacek admits to having a very Island of Lesbos type of
relationship with–is whored out by Mary Ann (and his amazing brother,
“Weenie”) for a nickel a pop. Yeah, a nickel! When Lee Marvin finally
rescues her from the flophouse where sheÂs been selling her wares,
Violet is holding about $1.65 in nickels. So yeah, to all you actual
Hollywood dildos who sit around all day calling video stores and asking
the minimum wage-earning clerks what movies you and your lame-ass Audi
ought to remake, I got one for you; Prime Cut. And if you do it, do it in all of the original’s beautiful, brutal and wonderful glory.