Bad Lieutenant ★★★½

The title is an understatement of the century. Harvey Keitel’s deranged performance is a career highlight, completely tuned into this degenerate fascist best described as Dirty Harry on heroin. Abel Ferrara’s self-indulgence about said concept and all the fucking gambling renders the more interesting procedural story to a subplot. I’d rather see Keitel trying to investigate amidst his issues than have it on his lap while he’s getting high and terrorizing Jersey girls about blowjobs and tail lights. However, Keitel sells the river, his notoriety extending far beyond his infamous nude scene. This dude compensates for the all the incoherent World Series betting nonsense and absentee-editor drug abuse that I forgot about. The moments of clarity Ferrara had in King of New York are almost nonexistent, but the lead role the film is dependent on is a revelation.

Side note: One of my close friends was able to score me an original VHS release for me with Schoolly D’s “Signifying Rapper” intact, pre-Zeppelin lawsuit. Seeing this as originally released for the first time, the song is ESSENTIAL to it. Not having it hurts the film; it’s like if Peter Gabriel decided after the fact that “In Your Eyes” couldn’t be the de facto love theme in Say Anything... I felt like Beavis and Butt-head every time “Rapper” played. That song is cool.

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