The latest trailer for Dangerous Men promises that it's like nothing you've ever seen before. And while that is a pretty bold claim to make in 2015, after watching this 90 second sneak peek, you'll realize that this teaser is not lying. The new trailer arrives with 6 character posters for Drafthouse Films' Dangerous Men. It is the latest epic mind-melter from the curatorial force that brought us Miami Connection, The Visitor and Roar.
In 1979, Iranian filmmaker John S. Rad moved to the U.S. to shoot his dream project, a rampaging gutter epic of crime, revenge, cop sex and raw power. Just 26 years later, he completed an American action film masterpiece that the world is still barely ready for today: Dangerous Men. After Mina witnesses her fiancé's brutal murder by beach thugs, she sets out on a venomous spree to eradicate all human trash from Los Angeles.
Armed with a knife, a gun, and an undying rage, she murders her way through the masculine half of the city's populace. A renegade cop is hot on her heels, a trail that also leads him to the subhuman criminal overlord known as Black Pepper. It's a pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, brain-devouring onslaught of '80s thunder, '90s lightning, and pure filmmaking daredevilry from another time and/or dimension. Blades flash, blood flows, bullets fly and synthesizers blare as the morgue overflows with the corpses of Dangerous Men.
The story behind the movie might be crazier than the movie itself. In the summer of 2005, with his finished feature in hand, John S. Rad embarked on his single greatest challenge to date: the journey to find its audience. Festival bookings and traditional distribution were a dead end, so he brashly chose the route of "four-walling," an industry term for a theater rental, simply to allow the film an exhibition at any possible public venue. John S. Rad coordinated screening times with a half dozen independent cinema owners, placed miniscule, affordable ads in neighborhood newspapers, and even took to the airwaves on local access television and radio (in both English and Farsi), then waited for the people of Los Angeles to discover his masterwork. Then a strange thing happened...they did.
Not many, at the outset. Supposedly, box office revenue from the first week totaled $70 despite a glowing review in LA Weekly at the time that aligned the film amid some of the greatest auteurs in the canon of cinema. The paper ravingly stated the following.
"Not dissimilar to David Lynch's funicular emotionalism, Buñuel's epistemological sight gags, Godard's formalistic intrusions or the conceptual hysteria of something like Andrzej Zulawski's Possession. It's as if somehow, miraculously, our own present-day Ed Wood suddenly walked among us."
But a few enterprising theatergoers had fallen under the magnetic pull of Dangerous Men, including Cinefile Video partner Hadrian Belove. In the week of the film's release, Hadrian Belove traveled to a neighborhood fourplex to watch it three separate times. He continued to sing its praise for years, including as he co-founded the Los Angeles theater The Cinefamily, which quickly became one of the country's most revered destinations for film lovers. Recalls Belove.
"Seeing Dangerous Men on its first, fly-by-night, fractional release I thought maybe it was some insane hoax, a prank played on the tiniest of audiences. From its first explosive title card to catchy-kitsch simple-synth music to John S. Rad's too-perfect name, it seemed too wild, too weird, too good to be true. Once it disappeared back into the ether, those few of us who'd seen it were stricken with an obsession to see it again, and failing that, it became some kind of campfire legend that we could recount to each other, savoring every perverse and insane detail of its blissful madness."
Sadly, John S. Rad passed away in 2007. But by that time, Hadrian Belove and others had made their appreciation of his work known. Later, Dangerous Men played at The Cinefamily, annihilating the crowd and planting the seed of genuine obsession in everyone who experienced it. Among them were Drafthouse Films, the Alamo Drafthouse programming team and the writers from Bleeding Skull, who themselves became infatuated with John S. Rad's singular expression of street violence and creative daring. After years of tracking down rights and elements, John S. Rad's daughter Samira agreed to work with Drafthouse Films to present her father's incomparable feature to the world again for the first time. Says Hadrian Belove.
"Alamo Drafthouse has made many great contributions to the world of cinema. But saving Dangerous Men may be the single most important thing they ever do."
It doesn't seem possible that a film so indisputably bizarre could be so relentlessly rewarding, or that a production built on decades of struggle would end up a fully realized triumph. But, in the words of John S. Rad himself, "THE IMPOSSIBLE IS IMPOSSIBLE." We're pleased to present to you the second trailer for the Dangerous Men revival, which arrives with 6 glorious new character posters.