When Babysitting Goes Wrong: Disorder (2015) + Man on Fire (1987)

April 26, 2017 | By

In the late 1980s to early 1990s, Pay TV was for me a key source of movies, including theatrical releases, barely released, bombs, import oddities, local films, and titles that are better known due to their exposure on VHS.

Elie Chouaqui’s Man on Fire (1987) was the first film version of A.J. Quinnell’s same-titled novel, which Tony Scott later turned into a nastier revenge flick in 2004 with Denzel Washington. Chouraqui’s rendering of a former war vet hunting down the kidnappers of a teen is less grungy, bloody, and sadistic, but it’s a minor cult film that hasn’t enjoyed  a proper widescreen release until KINO mined MGM/UA’s catalogue last year.

The anti-hero’s a reluctant babysitter haunted by PTSD flashes from combat, and the ‘babysitting’ dilemma was also central to Alice Winocour’s suspense drama Disorder, aka Maryland (2015), which also received a DVD-only release in the U.S. via IFC.

Matthias Schoenaerts bodyguards Diane Kruger and her son, and while this is a very low-key suspense-drama, there’s a unique undercurrent of Anything Can Happen, and Winocour exploits our calm with a few genuinely effective jolts.

Coming shortly: reviews of the impeccably produced Peyton Place (1957) on Blu from Twilight Time, and the CanCon classique Cathy’s Curse (1977) from Severin.



Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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