Reviled upon release but given many a reappraisal over the years, William Friedkin’s Cruising is something of a minor masterpiece. An American giallo with a punk soundtrack and a masterful finesse from William Friedkin against the sleaze and brutality of the subject matter, it stands far ahead of its time, before the AIDS panic and well before homosexuality descended into the political spotlight like it has now. It’s a brutal, scary film about one cop’s moral fibers being brought to the epicenter of a violent, hypersexual panic.
And it stands at the bottom of the barrel on the toyetic barrel. Until now.
The awesomely named Brumby Boylston got this completely bonkers homage to the film and old Kenner action figure ads into the Sundance Film Festival this year. It only warrants 83 seconds of your time and… God. The robot eye thing inside the one guy’s head. The “Hanky Code” detector. The almost arcane way it hypothetically caters the film to children. And of course, the leather daddy who comes to help father and son bring the experience full circle at the end.
I’m also reminded of the old Saturday Night Live bit for Philadelphia action figures, which provides a revisionist take on the film where, somehow, Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington team up against Jason Robards with flamethrowers, mech suits, laser cannons and lightsabers to fight the legal battle. In space. And Miguel (that’s the Antonio Banderas character, longtime companion of Andrew Beckett) is basically fucking Starscream.
Anyway, watch this. It’s amazing. Now, where’s my To Live and Die in L.A. Rick Masters Counterfeit Kit?
Special Thanks to Patrick Ripoll, one half of The Director’s Club Podcast, for pointing this out to me.