The Dullsvillain

Slinging mud at the media of Dullsville (aka Perth, Western Australia)

Movie Filth: Tango & Cash

with 9 comments


Like a bad case of the crabs that you just can’t shake, Tango & Cash has been lingering in my frontal cortex for the past squillion weeks. (Thanks channel 9). I’ve tried a lot of alternative sources of worst to wash away this visual skull fuck, but alas, none has worked. Master Chef, new episodes of The Simpsons and even A Current Affair have had a crack at one time or another. Well, it’s time to get out the tweezers and start getting surgical. I won’t lie, this is gonna hurt.

Wikipedia describes this flick as an “action/comedy”. It’s more like ‘comedy in the action’. With the comedy purely accidental, and thus, tragically hilarious. Of course any film involving Sly Stallone is gonna be funny, that goes without saying. But a buddy-cop film with one of the most over actor-ing actors in the biz (Kurt Russell) + Sly is a recipe for a good ol’ fashion 80’s abortion.

It starts with Sly wearing a set of suspenders standing in the middle of a desert highway staring down a speeding mack truck. Oh, I forgot, he’s wearing tortoise shell bespectacles and a vest as well. Do you know what he does? Of course you do. He pulls out his little police issued 6 shooter, empties the cartridges, proceeds to insert six mega bullets from the inside pocket of his blazer pocket and shoot the windscreen. The end result is this: “Glad you could drop by, I hope you like jewellery! (handcuffs, duh!)”…yeah. And that’s the dialogue we have to put up with for the next 90 fucking minutes.

Do you know what makes this movie kitsch-ily funny for a Vera Drake coathanger job? (PICK ME, PICK ME!) The archetypal characters. They are SO good (worst) you’d wish you went to the premiere yourself. To start with, you’ve got Jack Pallance. That’s right ladies, Jack ‘ Pick up the gun’ Pallance. i.e. ‘You all saw him, he had a gun’ line from Shane. For all the youngsters out there I recommend that film as a starting point for all things Pallance. Well, he didn’t say that, but he should’have. He plays the malevolent prison warden who has masterminded (?)  the whole idiotic plot. If you were wondering, Jack keeps 2 mice in a wooden box. You heard right. In a wooden box. With no air holes. In a wooden box. He slides the top lid open and strokes these rodents when he’s scheming up one of his diabolical plans. Which seems to be every scene he’s in. A cringe worthy idea stolen from the cartoon ‘Inspector Gadget’, which was immensely popular at that time. The story is so scrambled you don’t even know he’s actually the warden until ¾ through the flick. And it’s not supposed to play out that way either. Pro Hart would think his visual assaults a piece of geometric symmetry genius compared to this plot line.

jack pallance

One of Pallance’s co baddies is a bloke by the name of Quan. You might know him by his real name, James Hong. This guy is the ubiquitous asian bad guy. I’m pretty damn sure he was in every action movie during the 1980’s. Casting agents just weren’t trying back then. If a movie needed an asian, James Hong got a tap on the shoulder. Since Asians were always cast as evil doers, every gig James Hong played involved some slippery back ally asian rat character that was trying to flog off stolen fireworks or imported heroin. He doesn’t get much of a guernsey in this flick but his facial expressions are just so, well, asian. I can’t think of anyone else, asian or non, who does a better “rudely surprised” asian face in the business. If you want an old asian guy to be “rudely surprised”, James Hong is your man.


Who do ya think plays the sexy sidekick in this? Good guess, but it wasn’t Daryl Hannah. Don’t know? It was Terri Hatcher! Pre desperate housewives, pre Lois & Clark and pre guest spots on Seinfeld. She looks pretty damn close to what she looks like now, only in Tango she was carrying around a fire hazard on her head and she enjoyed wearing that 80’s leotard that Jane Fonda was responsible for. You know the one, the sides go up over the hips and you feel sorry for the ladies with the big vulva’s. I’m pretty sure that get- up was designed by some deranged camel- toe loving fetish fiend. No wonder it’s shelf life was so short. Anyway, she’s Sly’s sister and works as a secretary at the copshop for about half a nano second at the start of the film until she disappears somewhere, (they never bother explaining why), and then re-appears towards the end of the film. Oh, that’s right, she went to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a nightclub dancer. I’m not kidding here. That was her dream when she was 8. To dance in front of hairy, sweaty, balding, masturbating-under-the-table elderly men. I guess dancing in Swan Lake just wasn’t risqué enough. Either that or nostalgia can be a bitch. Kurt somehow makes time to bone her using his combination of bon jovi hair and his incredibly inane charms. Which of course teri Hatcher falls for because this irritates straight laced brother/father Sly… Somebody waterboard me.teri

The scene where Sly and Kurt meet for the first time is side slappingly hilarious. Remember Lady & the Tramp and that spaghetti scene? The two dogs are playing all coy and flirting in that adorable forced innocent way. Times that scene by 2 win-at-all-costs cops, add a lot of terrible wise cracking and wollah! You have a recipe for box office poison. To start off with, Kurt is carrying around this HUGE glock with a laser attached to it. It looked like it was taken straight from Q-Zar. Is that place still around? Meanwhile, Sly clearly thought he was on the set of The Untouchables. Right before this scene exploded onto the screen, Sly was having a conversation with his stockbroker?! That’s right, Sly said this “7 ¼ yield, that’s good money”. Finally an explanation for the suspenders, for the tortoise shell glasses and for the pin striped suit. He’s business savvy! Ala Eliot Ness franticly trying to pull his shares out of ‘Beer Baron’s Definitely Illegal Underground Bootlegging Corp. Inc.” You have no idea the amount of relief that will sweep over you after Sly dribbles out that line: “7 ¼ yield, that’s good money”.  It finally makes sense! The 1929 suits. The unnecessary suspenders. The American Psycho tortoise shell glasses. Everything adds up like one big, giant, tits & all beautiful equation! No more guessing!, no more shaking your fist at the t.v!, no more confusion! If I ever knock up a young lady, that’s what I’m gonna call it:  “7 ¼ yield, that’s good money”.

There is more, a lot LOT more. But I’ve had a gut full.

Rent it on VHS.


Written by Uncle Mac

July 23, 2009 at 9:56 pm

9 Responses

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  1. Thanks for watching this movie so I never have to, Mac!

    That Daryl Hannah labia-leotard was most hilariously/disgustingly worn by Jamie Lee Curtis in one of the worst movies of all time, “Perfect”:


    July 25, 2009 at 9:54 am

    • i spewed up a little in my mouth after watching that.

      cheers dick.

      travolta’s shorts leave a lot to be desired, and so does that guy in the background with the light blue shirt(?) thats cut off at the midriff.

      Uncle Mac

      July 25, 2009 at 6:25 pm

      • You’re welcome! I’m not sure who’s junk is more revolting, Travolta’s undulating balls or Jamie Lee’s outer labia.


        July 26, 2009 at 1:33 pm

  2. Asians people will complain sometimes about the Hollywood 80s Action Film Asian Bad Guy, say he is racist phenomenon.

    But I must I always hate being “geek”. Many asian friends, even those who born and grow up here in Dullsville, they all find also the same. So the Evil Asian Bad Guy is definitely a GOOD THING.

    So of course i always love this James Hong. When he is the bad guy, and i also want to be the bad guy, and he is like the role model of me. He is a bad man. Very bad, man.

    Even appear in WAYNES WORLD, this great man!

    Mr Hong has wonderful, official website, complete with “scrolling marqee”. The kind of web page you might “internet surfing” onto one day in late 1997!

    Zhu Hongbing

    July 31, 2009 at 2:07 pm

  3. I agree with Zhu Hongbing, but the thing is the human like to seperate their group from another such as Asian, Black, White or whatever. It shows in the movies. I can say that some Asian movies make the Europian or American to be a bad guy also. For me, it is what it is…

    Thai Romantic Comedy Movie

    October 20, 2009 at 1:25 pm

  4. I’ve been looking for this exact info on this topic for a while.

    Touch Up Kit

    January 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm

  5. LG4JJe Excellent article, I will take note. Many thanks for the story!


    March 7, 2010 at 6:03 pm

  6. effective luck being buyers

    Andrew Fertig

    September 12, 2010 at 7:06 pm

  7. Stallone and Russell play well off each other, and with Palance lurking in the background, this buddy-breakout never loses its way. It’s crazy, but at the same time, very fun. Good review, check out mine when you can!


    January 28, 2011 at 12:12 am

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