5 More Days To Halloween, Goblins! Silver Shamrock!
Bill Paxton was an extremely popular character actor, his earliest roles included films like Stripes, Lords Of Discipline, Streets Of Fire, Impulse. It was not until 1984’s The Terminator that I began to take notice of this actor. His goofy character “Punk Leader” attacking the T-800 was a great opening to a fantastic film of my youth.
His next big role would be in 1985’s Weird Science playing the nutball big brother Chet:
It was 1986’s Aliens that forever cemented him in the sci-fi action genre Hall Of Fame playing Private Hudson. He has some of the most memorable and quotable lines in that film. I remember the first time I saw that film and when he showed up, it was like “Hey, it’s the punk guy from Terminator!”
His first hand at directing was this odd 1980 music video called Fish Heads. It was a song from Bill Mumy’s band Barnes & Barnes and a staple on Dr. Demento. This video was popular on our version of MTV in Canada, MuchMusic. It aired on SNL a couple of times as well. Bill Mumy says that they still make money off of that song.
His next directing gig would not be until 2001’s Frailty:
FBI agent Wesley Doyle is startled by the declaration of youngster Fenton Meiks about how his father’s delusions required him and his brother, Adam to become his ‘demon-slaying’ murder accomplices. But when Doyle accepts to be shown concealed victim graves, the plot twists in the present just as gruesome.
What I really like about this film is the slow burn. It starts out as a typical crime procedural, that looks like it is about mental instability.
As the story progresses, you begin to wonder what is real and is the father crazy after all? At the heart of it, it’s a story about a dad and his two boys, and how far will you go for your family?.
Is the dad crazy, or can he really see demons?
As the story is told mostly in flashbacks, you get to hear Matthew McConaughey drawl on to Powers Booth about the story of his dad, his brother and why he is at the station. Some may not care for Matthew, but I have become a fan since True Detective.
Screenwriter, Brent Hanley says on the disc commentary track:
“Frailty to me was always about the frailty of perception, the frailty of morality, the frailty of right and wrong. I liked the idea of an abstract title.”
If you have not seen this little gem, you deserve to spend some quality time with it.
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