Avid fan of the show, Jamie Cairns nominated The Boondock Saints. This gem was released in 1999 by writer/director Troy Duffy.
All round good egg Harvey Weinstein was so taken with the concept that he gave Mr Duffy one hell of the deal to make this picture. However, the demon drink took hold and there was trouble behind the scenes. We drill down on all the shenanigans, and also find out of this is a movie we'd recommend. Tune in to find out...
The Boondock Saints
Reegs: . Sid. It was your midweek mentioned choice.
Sidey: It was but it was also, it was a nomination Jamie Cairns long time listener. First time nominator nominated this
Reegs: Thank you, Jamie. I feel really pleased. He nominated this because this has been on my wanting to watch list for a long time, but I've never seen it.
So this was the first time I'd seen it for the pod.
Dan: I've seen it as well. And it was one of those nice films names, you know, the boondock saints, you know, it was one of maybe, I
Sidey: don't know, that. Well,
I hadn't heard of it
So Jamie told me about it and looked at the cast like, wow.
You know, it's like
Proper people in this
Reegs: The story that we might come onto that was featured in the overnight documentary was about there. So maybe we'll come onto that at the end. So the boondock saints is a 1999. Troy Duffy movie, it's set in Boston. We're introduced to a. Protagonists, the two Irish American brothers Connor and Murphy McMannis.
Howie: quite Irish American though,
Reegs: they don't seem to be Irish or American.
Sidey: I honestly struggled to understand A lot of.
in this, especially for Norman readers.
Reegs: Yeah. Norman Reed is of course played Darrell Dara in the walking dead. Yeah. And Sean Patrick Flannery. I actually haven't properly done the research on this. I do apologize his time was against me, but he had a face that I recognized.
Sidey: Yeah. I, Again, I didn't, look him up,
Dan: I, I seen him in something probably TV stuff though. I don't remember him being a
Sidey: Yeah He's not, he's not kicked on.
Like, what Norman readers has.
Reegs: They, the brothers are attending mass and the priest is talking about the murder of kitty Genevese which was the
Sidey: a real life event that inspired the plot of the film.
Reegs: in a way sort of, there was a slight psychological phenomenon known as the bystander effect or bystander apathy, which.
Allegedly observed off the back of this case of kitty Genevese, who was raped. And apparently this rate was heard by sort of 38 people within a as, but nobody reported it. And the psychological effect is bystander effect or bystander apathy that individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are.
So basically you all become complicit and doing nothing. The more there are of you, and you're more likely to intervene if you have a smaller relationship with someone. So but yeah, so the theory was prompted by them, but it was actually completely wrong that these 38 people had watched passively.
But anyway, it's.
Common thing that I think people have heard of Connor Murphy worked at a meat packing plant which then of course has all sorts of LOLs when they have an encounter with a particular kind of feminist lesbian who only exists in the mind of a particular kind of rubbishy men's rights, activists who might get upset about the use of the words, rule of thumb, where she goes off.
Howie: I was going to ask with her, did she have a neck tattoo? Like they did. There was something I thought for a minute, see, this is something I should rewind and watch both my wife and I watched went, they've all got the same tattoo on their neck.
And I didn't know if that was symbolic of her.
Dan: Oh, well, I didn't notice on her. She wasn't in it that
Dan: This girl was she, she was just right at this star and she, she was there.
I think they mentioned that you said the rule of thumb, which was the, the rule that a man could hit a woman with a stick. As long as that stick was no thicker than his thumb, he could beat his wife. And she reminded him them.
And took offense to it and it all kicked off there as well. It was just giving you a flavor of the boys, wasn't it?
They would pretty much do anything to anyone. If you hurt one of them. They, they stuck together thick and thin. These boys were they weren't above hitting a woman. Weren't above hitting a man weren't above hitting each other. They were.
Yeah they there, they have a few laughs and jokes. Don't they in the meat factory at the beginning where they were their fellow workers, they call one of him in and the other brother kind of slaps him with a big side of me or something and knocked him over.
And it's all lows and things
Reegs: Well, the reason it's LOLs
Dan: until somebody gets hurt rigs, you know,
Reegs: you're right.
But it's in Patty's day.
Dan: It is.
Reegs: So people can't get hurt on St. Patty's day. They can only get
Dan: a sacred day. It's it's a lucky day.
Reegs: So they are getting plastered in the pub. Aren't they, when these three Russian mobsters to.
look mean on there, they're like eight for eight.
They're bold. They're overweight and they're.
Howie: what I thought they looked so cliched. It was unbelievable.
Reegs: Now, the pub owner, the bar owner it with Tourette's it was quite adding just an extra layer to that. Did anybody notice, or you may not have picked up on this, but he was the lighthouse keeper or whatever in Fraggle rock, the American version of, so they had regionalized.
Dan: he's got,
Reegs: Well, I guess that's part of the joke, right?
Take this beloved children's entertainer and then make him say fucking come to look
Dan: She did
Howie: There. Must've been a quite high level of swearing
Sidey: Well, I can, I can, I've got some stats.
They say the word fuck or derivatives, they're off 246 times. in
Howie: is a considerable level of Tourette's throughout the entire cast.
it would have been in an extremely dodgy Irish American
Reegs: So they have a brawl. And is this the bit where a load of shit happens and then basically ends up dropping a toilet on his hands?
Howie: It goes Stevenson. He goes, Steve Sonnenberg asked doesn't it with the kind of.
That's the one that he sounds like his brother they kind of have like a time lapse thing. And is this a throwback to Tarantino as well? I've seen that mentioned it's supposed to be
Reegs: a throwback. I mean, it was just a blatant.
Howie: rip off.
Reegs: Yeah. One of the brothers is handcuffed to a toilet. The other brother is taken out to an alley to be shot on the rush and he kind of batters him and then he carries the toilet up to the roof of the apartment and he drops it off and it smashes the guy's head as he's
Dan: We're we're about 15 minutes in here at this stage, and we were just kind of learning a little bit about the brothers, I guess, and what they're up to, the kind of extremes they go to and the, the level of protection they'll give each other and, and the level of don't give a fuck that they show in any kind of authority or challenged to.
Howie: before we see how these henchmen have met there. And we have a, before we see that we have like a. Crime scene, which is the after the event. Yeah. And we see, and we come across three, fairly inept, Boston detectives who have their own wild theories on a giant heavy guy stamping on the back of the two men in the alleyway.
And. All sorts of stuff. And then we meet one of our main characters.
Reegs: He he's Paul smacker, which I think is supposed to be small pecker. Isn't it is that. It's not what the spoonerism is
Howie: Yeah. Good one. Didn't think that
Reegs: Paul Paul's maker, Willem Defoe, he's assigned to the case. And
Howie: it's pantomime,
Sidey: have you seen Hannibal series? The FBI did just goes to a crime scene. and You can visualize,
and it's like this, you can exactly like
determine what's happened.
even though there's no possible way.
Reegs: and he's listening to some opera
Sidey: Gary Oldman from Leon,
Reegs: Straight away. I loved this
Reegs: this Willem Defoe character, but I'm 20 minutes into the movie by an, and I haven't seen a single person that I like or identify with or find funny yet, but this guy I would straight away. Amazing. All of his scenes are absolutely.
Brilliant. And he pieces together. Like you say, what's happened retrospectively. The, the Russian guys have been killed by someone and then the twins themselves turn themselves in. I think don't, they, it,
Sidey: Yeah. well, they,
they just beat them up first and the Russian guys come back. for Revenge leg. because they've been humiliated and That's when they get killed they killed him in self-defense. And they tell themselves in for that saying, you know, we we did do that.
Howie: The Lord did his heroes.
Sidey: Yeah. It doesn't, they didn't press any charges It was self-defense. and they, they just was one night in the cells. And that's all they get for that.
Howie: Is that what would happen? I'm sure there'd be a huge manslaughter case
Dan: kind of a closed community when it comes to these two, because they're Robin hood type figures in the, in the community.
And they're, they're protected by not only the church who they're basically they're taken out bad guys, the boon dog, boon
Sidey: but that
that. that's what happens now is They have it. They have this calling, this epiphany where they decide that actually. God has told them that they need to go now cleanse the whole community of these of the, of the, gangster
Reegs: some Catholics symbolism as well.
Isn't it? Cause it's raining. I think. And they're being washed away of their sins before they
Howie: The water hits their face and the crew, the crucifixes necklaces sway
Sidey: bead Rattlers. They've got their beats on them the whole
Reegs: Bead Rattlers.
rosary beads. So they, they hear about a bunch of Russian mafia bosses meeting at a hotel. And I think we see what happens first. Do we?
Yeah we see what happens first this time they use an air vent to get into the there, but they get lost. And then they only end up in the right place because they're like fighting each other and they break through the ceiling.
And. They are
Sidey: just suspended in
Howie: rope. The rope, the rope gets caught driving them.
The rope you heard about my rope? I'm like watching
Reegs: So they're suspended from
Howie: impossible style.
Reegs: it mission impossible style. Yeah. From an event. And they sort of spin round and kill everybody in the room.
Howie: And then they kind of break the fourth wall with the detectives who said, oh, is it them that say, that only happens in TV? And they say, oh, that, how could they have done that? How could they have done that?
Reegs: Well, it's, it's one of the things that's quite remarkable about the movie is how aware it is of all the tropes that exist in these kinds of movies. And it often comments on and subverts them quite cleverly
Howie: because the, and then you get an inkling into the.
You get an inkling into the life of Willem Defoe because the phone rings and he's there with his lover
and he's like, what do you want?
Reegs: He says, he wants a couple dozen. And he says, don't be such a fan.
Howie: And I was like, oh, this is aged. Well, and then the comes, goes to the crime scene of this hotel and he asks one of the detectives, what do you think happened? And one of the detectives goes well, they took out the fact that the end, the fag man. Yeah, they'll all the other two detectives given that look of you can't say that.
Oh, I mean, fat man. And then it's obviously they're all aware of the foes character and his background and. Each time there is an assumption about the case. There's the stupid cop.
Howie: it Bob mark Greenlee because at Greenly
Reegs: one who's always dispatched to go and get bagels and coffee.
He he's, he was the, the original cop spouting out his his theory on what would have happened in the alley.
And he's just committed. Disproved by William Defoe's fantastic operatic kind of mind reading of the crime scene. Yeah. William Defoe is the most interesting character really because
Reegs: And William,
Dan: William William, you know, when you know him as well as I do well, he's, it's kind of bisexual cop isn't he? Detective and he's or, or gay detective who's.
Comes out in all. I mean, at one point he's in full drag, isn't he he's
Reegs: don't spoil it. Don't well, let's get, let's get
Dan: It's yeah, there there's the film at this stages is you're still building up the characters, isn't it? You've got the kind of butt of jokes detective who's. You've got everything wrong. And then you've got this genius kind of Sherlock Holmes figure in William Defoe.
And then you've got the two villains that you kind of.
W rooting for, because that, yeah, the antiheroes there, they're kind of, you rooting for him, but
Sidey: Well, they've, they've got a buddy as well, Rocco,
And he's been with them since the original bar fight. And he's been sent also to this hotel room to kill them. But he's been, he's been stitched up. He's been sent with a six shooter and there's nine people and they know about that. So he's been sent to be killed.
Reegs: Is that better or worse than
Sidey: about the sea on the part.
not as bad.
Ron Jeremy, the villain who sends him there.
Reegs: yeah, yeah. And who gets off wanking in a porn booth as well? Doesn't he, at some point when Jeremy gets shot in a porn booth? yeah, I don't know. We might have, we've skipped around a little bit, but there is a cracking moment with Rocco's girlfriends.
When they're hiding out from the Russian mobsters and he slams his hand down on the table and the, and the gun goes off and just blows the cat to smithereens. And he says, is it dead?
Dan: kind of all over the, all over the wall.
Reegs: So anyway, yeah, they're piecing together what happened. Smacker realizes that the guys are not the, because the media story is building around this now of this narrative of these two angels of death brothers Irish, Catholic brothers, wreaking havoc on the mob bosses in town, but he realizes they're not professionals because of what happened at the the Russian mobster thing.
Meanwhile Billy Connor. Turns up to kill them sort of dress like a homeless near
Dan: yeah. He's he's he's a, kick-ass kind of dangerous con who yeah. Who the, the mafia, people who want to get control back of the, the streets that they're saying. Started to take over again, decide that this is the answer. This guy will kill them.
The only thing being you can't really restrain him too much. It's like letting a wild dog off the off the leash. Yes. He might bite the people. You, you want him to bite, but he might turn around and bite you as well. But all the
Reegs: this though, did you buy Billy Connolly as the badass?
It didn't know. Of course you didn't. It wasn't quite the. You know, Sean Connery, the rock vibe that they were going for,
Howie: I've got more, I got more of a hairy biker wearing a, wearing a waistcoat with six guns.
Reegs: Something more like six different blends of herbs and
Reegs: like, you know, just really innocuous, but he is involved in part the best scene. I think in the movie where they have the big shootout outside the house where Rocco is shot in the face. When Willem Defoe is piecing it together, he says for a few seconds, this place was Armageddon.
Then he drops to his knees in a platoon style and he shouts there was a fire fight. It's just amazing. Like this is Nick cage level mega acting here. You know, we've talked about mega acting on the pod before this is pure mega acting
Dan: This is large
Reegs: from William devotes. Brilliant.
Howie: W I would like to know in terms of, yes, it is mega acting, but does Defoe know that and knows the irony?
Reegs: Yeah. The point about mega acting is because the difference between mega acting and overacting, because overacting says you've got too much.
Whereas mega acting is overacting as a stylistic choice. And so, you know, there's no way that he doesn't know that by dropping to his knees in the platoon thing, screaming now as a firefight like that, I'm sure won't have been in the script.
It would have been all improvised on the day. And it's great. And it's really.
So they do have a big firefight th the case is kind of gets dropped. Doesn't it? Because the twins have covered up everything, but smacker goes and finds the finger.
Howie: By mistake, cause he's rolling around swearing and effing and Jeff thing and he picks it up and just hides it. It takes it away from the scene.
Sidey: basically lets them go on, you know, they, they tell him that they're going to go up and kettle these gangsters and he's like, yeah,
Dan: he suddenly buys into it. Doesn't he? He realizes actually that's the kind of shit I wish I was doing. And this vigilante kind of message. Then it's just strengthened the fact that the cop is decided. But the lead cop after them just decided, oh, they're not too bad. These guys, we might as well jump on and do that and, and try and help them, which is kind of what he
Reegs: well, because there's a whole load of Catholic stuff going on. Isn't
Sidey: it? Yeah.
Reegs: It is, I've been watching midnight mass on Netflix. Anyone seen that? The Mike Flanagan thing and that's all about our weird Catholicism is, and it is quite a weird religion probably offending lots of people here. So
Sidey: they're all kid fuckers anyway.
Reegs: it's a Bronco. They, they, they get abducted now by the crime. One of the crime families Rocco's killed
Sidey: Papa, Joe that's.
Reegs: right. Papa. Joe is Peter Fonda.
Dan: And walkie that Rocco, the, the kind of partner in crime, if you'd like, he was a strange character because they they've turned thoroughly good after this.
Like Samuel Jackson epiphany that they've had of we're gonna now gonna use our guns for good. And they tried to get rock. In wisdom or Wako or whatever his name is along with him, but he ain't the same kind of character is he, he, he wants to be good, but he still got a mean streak through him. And he, it doesn't come quite as naturally to him to.
Find the, the true invite path. Anyway, he comes across in in a big shoe out and they're, they're devastated. Aren't they they're, they like is their brother is died or something. They, they can't believe it. They get so, so very, very angry.
Reegs: but this is when Willem Defoe turns up.
Howie: he rocks up at the door and full drag and seduces, and I wouldn't say so much kissed, I'd say inhaled the face through his mouth of the Italian idiot mobster.
It's, it's a hell of
Reegs: it. When he turns
Howie: It's a hell of a. Yeah. Oh, my word,
Dan: So yeah, you've
Reegs: he's not a convincing woman. I wouldn't say we're talking, raising
Howie: cock and balls gave it away, but
Reegs: It's sort of raising cane levels of like thinking it might be a woman.
Howie: and every so often the fact that I was saying he's a very thin isn't he to my wife.
And while I was like, yeah, you seem platoon. I was like, yeah, this is slightly different.
Reegs: He did have good legs. Yeah. Yeah. I know.
Howie: To stop anyone thinking it was a man, he would just turn his head slightly until it was work. And then he'd just go on a fucking rampage and he just shot everyone now.
Reegs: until he gets incapacitated by what his name?
L D J did he say, what does that mean? The, the duke
Sidey: the dues I don't know to be honest with, you should look that up already, but we did not.
Reegs: Anyway, then it'll do J turns out to be the twins father, Luke. I am your
Howie: finishes that prayer.
Dan: Right. Yeah. They, they, they've kind of got this, this secret prayer
and and a few other words to it and the Billy colony comes in and finishes it off and they realize, oh, they must be related to long loss power that they never had. And yeah, it is quite bizarre. Isn't it?
Howie: The lead Italian mobsters in court and they with Stryker
Papa Joe's back in court.
They, they think he's going to be acquitted
Howie: and all the reporters say that. Yeah,
Reegs: They go into the courthouse certainly. And they they're carrying big gun bags, full of guns, which they just throw over the top of the security thing.
And then they go into the court and then
Howie: the worst accents ever kick in for all three of them.
Sidey: Yes. Yeah. I
Howie: It's really bad.
Sidey: lot. Yeah.
Howie: Billy Connolly was slipping in and out of Glaswegian. The other two, I don't know what accident it was. It sounded at one point like a poo. It must've had put the scene of wherever he savers from Simpsons mixer. Thank you. Mixed with a bit of Bonnie and Irish brogue and some other stuff. And it was just crazy.
Reegs: And they say their prayer one more time and then they killed.
Reegs: And then that the movie kind of ends, and it has like very sort of man on the street type interviews where the public discuss whether or not they were good or evil.
Howie: Like a Vox pops kind of ends.
Dan: Well, we got about two hours. Is it about that long?
So the, the boots. Dope sites have said
Dan: And I watched it all.
I, I do feel well, well done was in order to actually, it was not an easy film for me to watch this one. I. I thought actually it was a bit budgetarily shiftly done. I don't know whether that was something that they were looking to do with the overacting it and
Reegs: Make it look shit.
Dan: And they do seem to not have too many original ideas.
I've seen it all done in other, other films better. The characters I liked the kind of way that he started writing into, you know, these particularly the I thought he was, he had some kind of funny moments and things, and it wasn't a film that I didn't, I annoyed me the whole way through, or I didn't find, it was funny at all.
It was almost like this could have been really good. It looked like they should have watched a film as it was, and then rewritten it again and taken out all the shit. But they didn't, they kind of let it fly. There's two more of these that are here
Sidey: Yeah. Well, those, those quite an interesting story. in The making of it.
And what have you this is fucking terrible? I mean, it's terrible. It's this is the worst The I like. I really enjoyed it in spite of itself. it was just like so daft and stupid that I did actually get a kick out of it.
Howie: I really enjoyed the first half. If that meant. I just thought he then petered off. I was just like, know what?
I'll take it as it is. It's God knows what's going on. What's it trying to be. And do you know what I, I thought a laugh, what spirit is cooker. And then towards, as it went into the second half, it just kind of petered off. And I was looking at my phone a little bit and I was watching it and it was just like, blah, blah, blah.
I read about how much it took at the box office
Sidey: Yeah. Well, well, yeah, we've fucking ran into my pride there. The budget for it was 6 million? And, at its initial. Run the
multiplex, it made
Reegs: Yeah, but the story behind it is, is an interesting one that a guy my opinion on it just quickly sub par Tarantino guy, Richie gangster fair. Spent more time telling you it was called and showing you it was mostly using spinning cameras and awful nineties techno, but elevated by an incredible, I would watch it again for Willem Defoe.
It's just amazing in this the guy who wrote it, Troy Duffy was a bartender and he was gigging with a band called the brood. I think when he successfully sold the script all around good egg Harvey Weinstein for
Reegs: Yeah. So living the dream, really this guy, a bartender in LA sold his script to Weinstein.
Howie: 300 grand.
Reegs: He turned out to be a monumental asshole as revealed in this documentary overnight, which
Reegs: where him as well, but no, Troy Duffy, the guy who made the movie there's so there's a movie, there's a movie that was made at the same time. I think over nine or 10 days, chronicling this sort of rags to riches story where he just.
Gets really drunk and insults established actors like Keanu Reeves and Ethan Hawke and
Sidey: The initial deal was that Weinstein loved it. He not only bought the script, but he signed Duffy to direct his band, to score the movie and agreed to purchase the bar for Weinstein and Duffy to cover.
Reegs: Would you, I mean, what did he say to him at those meetings?
Was it just like, I'll let you fuck my,
Howie: I've got videos,
Reegs: Who knows?
Howie: after all this disaster
have you, have you got the videos,
Sidey: Yeah, well,
quite a lot because it basically, he just carried on it was a complete prick. So they sort of stripped everything back and he just got to direct it, I think, in the end. So as initial rhino made day and a half thousand dollars.
So absolutely fuck all.
It Did then become this cult heads probably more than a car because it made 50 million in domestic video sales, but he didn't have any royalties on the back of that because of how much a fucking Preki was. But he did then get the sequel made.
for a third. I don't know if they've made the fed,
Howie: thinking of doing
Sidey: think the whole cost
Dan: I've I've not seen, not seen the sec one though. Real plans to on the strength of the first one, but I mean it's no, let it ride, it was average at best. It was you know, and as you pointed out, They're trying to be Tarantino points with the, which is no bad thing, you know? I mean, he's a fantastic writer and director Tarantino.
He's going to have some people that are influenced and, and trying to do something, but. Wasn't enough real originality in here, although it had potential it D you know, and I take your point of a film that you've, you've watched you. Don't like, but there's a bit of a guilty pleasure going on because there was some jokes, the characters weren't all bad, the idea vigilantes and all the rest of it,
Reegs: all the action scenes are so bad. They're just basically the boys what's not even been done.
It's just, they're just standing there firing the guns at the camera.
Howie: or shooting
Reegs: The act
Howie: Billy Connolly. Supposed to be a killer. He's a fucking bad shot.
Dan: house from like outside on the front lawn.
Sidey: I did enjoy, I wouldn't recommend.
it to anyone
Reegs: I worked for anyone who wants to see mega acting. I would, for that, anyone fancy, just a quick few Roundup of alternative names from other countries for this movie.
Reegs: Spanish countries call this the saints of hell Germany calls this the bloody path of God. Greece, exterminator, saints, Taiwan calls it. Vanguard, Argentina. The fifth hell and Slovenia calls it dirty
well actually interesting fact that we should mention, because it's an interesting fact is that part of the reason why it didn't get such a big release it was because of the amount of gun violence and it just, was right
say for the adviser, which is part of why it was only released on five theaters for one week,
Reegs: I reckon it was probably a really good script. That was just, they shouldn't have let him made it because it's just dull to look to watch really. So fuck it off