Raw Deal Preview

This week we move onto the action genre in 1986. The most prominent BMT film of the year is arguably Cobra, but we’ve obviously already indulged in that classic. Instead we went a little off the beaten path with one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s lesser known star turns Raw Deal. This film came out around the time that Arnold was ready to move on from his time as Conan. He was constrained by a multi-sequel Conan deal with Dino De Laurentiis and agreed to star in the film in exchange for dissolving the contract. I’ve always been intrigued by this film considering it has been largely lost to time, so this should be exciting. Let’s go!

Raw Deal (1986) – BMeTric: 38.9

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(Everything is pretty normal here. I have a feeling that is going to be a trend with films from ‘86. The main interesting thing I would say is that the rating used to be so low! Mid-fours is really low. It make me think that the actual rating average indeed used to be very low. I didn’t see any evidence of this in previous studies … but when I see this I get very confused. Regression to the mean I guess dictates that bad films used to be worse, so I guess it is reasonable to assume that bad films ratings have tended to go up in the last 10 years)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Stupid action movie about brawny ex-Fed who helps an old pal clean some dirty laundry – and bust a major crime ring. Sense of humor helps… but not enough.

(Shhhh, shhh, shh, shhhh. Leonard… you had me at “stupid action movie.”)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UUlyAn5YqI

(I really debated on whether to use this trailer or not. It clearly was made recently for some DVD release or something. Then I saw that this is truly the “official trailer.” The one that is used on Amazon and stuff. So I guess we have to use it. And with all that said: it looks rad.)

Directors – John Irvin – (Known For: Hamburger Hill; The Dogs of War; Next of Kin; The Boys from County Clare; A Month by the Lake; Shiner; Widows’ Peak; Turtle Diary; BMT: Raw Deal; Ghost Story; City of Industry; Notes: British director actually probably best known for his work on the miniseries adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which kicked off his career.)

Writers – Luciano Vincenzoni (story) – (Known For: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; For a Few Dollars More; Malèna; A Fistful of Dynamite; Death Rides a Horse; BMT: Raw Deal; Orca; Once Upon a Crime…; Notes: Classic spaghetti western writer and Italian script doctor. Died in 2013 at the age of 87.)

Sergio Donati (story) – (Known For: Once Upon a Time in the West; For a Few Dollars More; A Fistful of Dynamite; La siciliana ribelle; BMT: Raw Deal; Orca; Notes: Same as a above (beside the dying part). Collaborator of Sergio Leone and Dino de Laurentiis.)

Gary DeVore (screenplay) – (Known For: Running Scared; The Dogs of War; Back Roads; BMT: Raw Deal; Notes: Unfortunately now known most for the bizarre circumstances surrounding his death. He disappeared while on his way to deliver a completed script. A year later his car was found in an aqueduct with him still inside with both hands missing. Conspiracy theories maintain that DeVore had worked in the CIA during the Panama invasion and wrote a script revealing top secret circumstances surrounding that invasion and so he was assassinated.)

Norman Wexler (screenplay) – (Known For: Saturday Night Fever; Serpico; Joe; BMT: Staying Alive; Raw Deal; Notes: Nominated for two Oscars for Joe and Serpico. Had bipolar disorder and was arrested in 1972 for threatening to shoot Richard Nixon. He is also the inspiration for the Andy Kaufman alter-ego Tony Clifton. He died in 1999 from a heart attack.)

Actors – Arnold Schwarzenegger – (Known For: Terminator 2: Judgment Day; True Lies; The Terminator; Predator; Kindergarten Cop; The Expendables; Total Recall; Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines; Escape Plan; The Expendables 2; Maggie; Commando; Conan the Barbarian; The Running Man; The Last Stand; Welcome to the Jungle; The 6th Day; Red Heat; Dave; The Long Goodbye; Stay Hungry; BMT: Batman & Robin*; Junior*; Hercules in New York; Red Sonja; Jingle All the Way*; Collateral Damage; End of Days; Raw Deal; Sabotage*; Around the World in 80 Days*; Conan the Destroyer*; Twins; The Expendables 3*; Cactus Jack; Eraser; Last Action Hero; Terminator Genisys*; Razzie Notes: Won the Razzie Award in 2005 for Worst Razzie Loser of Our First 25 Years; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Actor for The 6th Day; in 2000 for End of Days; in 1994 for Last Action Hero; and in 1983 for Conan the Barbarian; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2015 for Worst Supporting Actor for The Expendables 3; in 2005 for Around the World in 80 Days; in 2001 for The 6th Day; and in 1998 for Batman & Robin; Nominated for the Razzie Award in 2001 for Worst Screen Couple for The 6th Day; Notes: Don’t need notes on an actor of this level. My top choice for next BMT film in his filmography is Collateral Damage. (*) BMT or previously seen films.)

Also stars Kathryn Harrold (While she does occasionally do television acting she is now a therapist for the most part according to her personal website) and Sam Wanamaker (As far as BMT he has only been in Superman IV. Otherwise an accomplished Shakespearean director in England)

Budget/Gross – $11 million / Domestic: $16,209,459

(This miniscule return on this movie is somewhat notable because it drove Dino De Laurentiis into bankruptcy. This movie was supposed to be the key to pulling De Laurentiis out of bankruptcy but was instead a pretty bad bomb all things considered.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (3/12): No consensus yet.

(Oops. We need a consensus: For Arnold this was indeed a Raw Deal. Entertaining at times, it never manages to be anything but a rote action feature, with a terrible screenplay to boot. Sounds possibly fun, but depends entirely on how bad that screenplay is.)

Poster – Sklog Deal (B)

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(This is an amazing poster. Wish the title font was better. But the coloring and framing is good, and Arnold looks just cartoony enough to forgive. Although clearly the most amazing thing about the poster is the fading series of “Schwarzenegger” in the background. Ridiculous.)

Tagline(s) – The system gave him a raw deal. Nobody gives him a raw deal. (D+)

(That is just awful. The repeat of “raw deal” is jarring. Only not an F because it does hint at the plot.)

Keyword(s) – fbi; Top Ten by BMeTric: 72.8 I Know Who Killed Me (2007); 71.6 Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003); 70.8 Torque (2004); 70.4 Taxi (I) (2004); 67.7 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002); 66.5 Big Momma’s House 2 (2006); 64.5 The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000); 63.4 Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009); 61.1 Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005); 59.9 Big Momma’s House (2000);

(Double Big Momma’s House?! This list is the greatest list of all time. I’m going to do an all night FBI movie marathon and this will be the list. It will run from ten to one (it keeps the Big Momma’s Houses in order!!!!). Big Momma’s House 2 into Ecks vs Sever into Taxi?! My god. That is a 24 hours of true misery.)

Notes – Arnold Schwarzenegger only agreed to star in this picture after much haggling in exchange for dissolving his multi-picture agreement with Dino De Laurentiis. He had one picture left with the producer and was actually very interested in doing Total Recall (1990), but De Laurentiis objected, feeling that he was not suitable for the lead role of Quaid. Instead, Patrick Swayze was already cast before the bankruptcy.

According to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dino De Laurentiis decided to produce this film because he needed quick cash for his long gestating project Total Recall (1990). At that time, he owned the rights to the film. The failure of this film to make adequate money (only $16 million) resulted in De Laurentiis’ bankruptcy and Recall’s sale of rights to Carolco. (This is actually a rather interesting story. Old school Hollywood machinations. It makes me ever more curious about the Italian connection in the screenplay list)

In an interview to promote the film, Arnold Schwarzenegger said this was the first film where he got to wear an elaborate and modern wardrobe. He said that before this role, his wardrobe budget for a film was about “10 dollars”.

Originally intended to be called “Let’s Make A Deal.”

During production and filming the movie was to be called “Triple Identity” – a reference to the fact that the Schwarzenegger character goes from being an FBI Agent (1), to a local cop (2) and then to undercover operative (3). Several scripts exist for the film with the title on the front page. “Raw Deal” was chosen to make the film sound more like a regular action movie.

The weapon that Kaminsky uses in the final shootout of the movie (and which he brandishes on the poster) is a Heckler & Koch HK-94 carbine, a semi-automatic civilian version of the MP5 submachine gun. (Firearm database at its finest)

A sign at the entrance of the oil refinery that Mark Kaminsky (Arnold Schwarzenegger) blows up at the beginning of the film reads “Irvin Oil Processing Company.” The film was directed by John Irvin. (coool)

There are similarities between this movie and Arnold’s other films The Terminator and Commando. Arnold’s character says “I’ll be back.” and gets ready his arsenal of weapons ready for war in all 3 movies. Robert Davi’s character wears the gargoyles sunglasses like Arnold in Terminator.

Joey Brenner’s social security number reads: 567-34-5787. 567 is a prefix for California, which means the card was issued there. His passport id shows H1032642. (Please … let this be the only indication that this film takes place in California)

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