Point Blank (1967)
The ‘death dream’ movie plot: where the whole thing turns out to have been baked in the mind of our dying hero (…or was it, etc?) It gave us the Post Vietnam Stress Disorder in Jacob’s Ladder; a protracted pediatric misdiagnosis in The Sixth Sense; and the circuitous small town rabbit hole plunged into by Jake Gyllenhall and pals in Donnie Darko. No such surrealist excesses to be found in John Boorman’s 1967 Hollywood debut though, where gunned-down gangster Lee Marvin simply wants his share of the heist money.
A stylish whirl of ellipses, repetitions and flashbacks…a brutalist cityscape with cool interiors sketched around saturated single-colour schemes…behold the avenger, supermiffed, enacting the mardiest dream-huff in cinema, stomping from to condo to office block to storm drain in the bid to claim his refund from ‘The ‘Organisation’ that betrayed him, strong-arming the mob-men, blasting the goosedown out of lover Angie Dickinson’s bed.
Cash money proves strangely elusive, however, as the buck is progressively passed. Marvin’s dead-eyed marine-gaze serves as cipher for our own inner rage…we do, after all, know just how the dead bastard feels.