Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Shout Factorized- COHEN & TATE ""

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Shout Factorized- COHEN & TATE

I was immediately intrigued with this film when I saw it was written and directed by Eric Red. Red most notoriously scribed THE HITCHER(1986), which I still think is one of the best horror thrillers of the 1980s. He also wrote Kathryn Bigelow's vampire flick NEAR DARK as well which is another favorite of mine.
I'm not sure why, but I thought this was a buddy cop film. I saw Roy Scheider and Adam Baldwin on the cover and I vaguely recalled seeing the VHS cover back in the day. COHEN & TATE just sounded like a couple of badass cops. Nope, they're cold blooded hit men here instead. They've been tasked with scooping up a 9 year old murder eyewitness and carting him to some mobsters. Cohen(Scheider) is the more cool-headed of the two whilst Tate(Baldwin) is a true psychotic who even loves hurting animals. It's a pretty violent movie with a decent amount of blood, even for 1988 standards(the late 80s was certainly a time when I saw my share of violent films). Also, a good deal of said violence takes place near or around a young boy. This is definitely a sign of the 80s and not something we see all that my much today. I've always found it interesting that 80s filmmakers had a fascination with kids in peril. It's certainly effective dramatically I must admit.
This has the look of a feature done on a low-ish budget. There are many driving scenes done in the old "poor man's process" style. In fact, nearly the 1st 2/3 of the film is almost entirely made up of driving/dialogue scenes. To be honest, it's not all that dynamic as you might imagine. Adam Balwin's lunatic character is over the top and downright annoying unfortunately. Baldwin was coming off FULL METAL JACKET('87) and did the greatly underrated 3:15 - THE MOMENT OF TRUTH which also came out in 1988. Surprised to see him underperform here, but I may have to blame Eric Red for that as this was his directorial debut and he was probably green in terms of his dealings with actors. Scheider is pretty solid as the much cooler, veteran hit man Cohen. I've rarely seen Scheider be bad in anything. He's just a great actor top to bottom.

The Blu-ray transfer looks good overall, if a bit grainy. Special Features include  an audio commentary from Eric Red as well as some interviews and deleted scenes.

The COHEN & TATE Blu-ray can be purchased via Shout! Factory's Website: HERE

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