Sometimes, its simply great to sit down and watch a movie that is just mad. Absolutely, stark-raving, batshit crazy, which leads to the inclusion of this awesome little gem from 1972, another picture that has sadly faded into relative obscurity. The ever reliable Lee Marvin stars as Nick Devlin, a fearless, volatile enforcer for the Irish-American Mafia in Chicago. Nick’s crew have been having considerable problems with another outfit way down South in Kansas, a dangerous gang of hicks led by Mary Ann (Gene Hackman). Yes, you didn’t misread that, Mary Ann. He’s indebted to the Chicago boys for a handsome sum, and he’s not particularly interested in paying it, rebuffing their attempts to claim it with horribly inventive reprisals against their members who come calling. Nick and Mary Ann have history, so he is dispatched as a last-ditch effort to make Mary Ann see sense. And then the games begin.
Dismissed as being absolutely revolting at the time of it’s release, due in no small part to it’s graphic depictions of violence and white slavery (one of Mary Ann’s moneyspinners is auctioning off naked young girls inside a barn, not dissimilar to pigs and cattle), it isn’t as offensive by today’s standards, but can still be enjoyed for its immensely irreverent and crazed style, from a turkey shoot competition degenerating into an all-out mobster firefight, a chase sequence involving a giant combine harvester, the frequent musings of Mary Ann’s brother Weenie (Gregory Walcott), who wears nothing but stained dungarees and a baseball cap and is obsessed with sausages, it’s a monstrously entertaining hybrid of gangster exploitation, black comedy and just being really weird. 7/10