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Streaming Alert:: Tightrope (1984)

July 1st, 2012 by unkle lancifer · 10 Comments

I suppose TIGHTROPE is more of a thriller than a horror film, but it scratches my horror itch just the same. Plus I’m sure if you asked any of the characters being killed in TIGHTROPE if they felt like they were in a horror movie their answer would be, “Why, yes; yes I do!” I don’t usually have a bunch of patience for police investigations and weird guys in lab coats informing me about blood types, things found under fingernails and tiny miniscule fragments of whatever but when a movie is this relentlessly dank, dark and pervy, it can’t help but hold my interest.

You have to watch it at night though and as late as possible, it might be worthless during the day. I also recommend that even if you catch it on Netflix Streaming that you pretend that you are watching it on Showtime and that at any moment your mom may walk in and be completely scandalized by what’s on the screen.

This is not your typical EASTWOOD movie. With a straight face (not that he has any other) he tells GENEVEIVE BOUJOLD that he wants to lick the sweat of her skin and when a male hooker tells him he won’t know if he likes sex with men until he tries it CLINT snarls, “Maybe I have.” Still waters run deep!

CLINT’s character Wes Block is, on the surface, the typical sturdy and stoic EASTWOOD archetype but spend some time with the guy after hours and you can’t help noticing his piñata is stuffed with Wacky Wafers. Ever since his wife left him for another guy, Block’s once robust male ego has been left as shaky as a Jenga tower. This has resulted in him leaving the dating game behind in favor of popsicle sucking prostitutes and the illusionary sense of power provided by handcuffs. Whatever gets you through the night as they say, but problems arrive when Wes’s taste in one night stands begin to perfectly echo the tastes of a murdering psychopath. It’s almost as if his new found shadowy predilection has developed a life of its own and is making handiwork of violently erasing his debaucherous footprints. Enter love interest Beryl Thibodeaux (BOUJOLD) who is as challenging and self-actualized as Wes’ recent conquests are disposable. Can Wes catch the killer and clear his name while redeeming his spiraling into bacchanalia love life? C’mon it’s still CLINT we’re talking about here!

TIGHTROPE is good! I know CLINT can sometimes come across as a cardboard prig but that’s just because he now looks like a guy who’ll yell at you if you step on his lawn. Way back in 1984 dude was investigating parts of his personality that most leading actors would be too cowardly and image conscious to dream of. (Please never ask me to pick sides between SANDRA LOCKE and CLINT, it would be like choosing between my own memaw and pepaw!) Why did director RICHARD TUGGLE stop making movies? Is it just because OUT OF BOUNDS (1986) flopped? That’s not fair! How come you don’t punish (insert terrible director with a string of flops name here) like that?!

I love TIGHTROPE. If you like horror movies that are not horror movies you will too. Not only does it bravely travel into places you would never enter in real life without a can of Lysol, it also sports an opening kill featuring JAMIE ROSE of JUST BEFORE DAWN! It’s not really a particularly savage kill but it’s one of those great openings that is all full of lady shoes clacking down alleys while a shadow figure lurks behind. Add to that a savory, captured in amber New Orleans setting, a vigorous dose of DAN HEDAYA, an adorable self defense dummy whose eyes light up when you kick it in the crotch, a giant mechanical pizza man brandishing an axe and an honest to goodness evil clown handing out balloons and who can ask for more? This is one of those rare mainstream movies that unapologetically walks on the wild side and is smart enough to lift directly from the slasher and sleaze films of its time. There’s something uniquely personal about it too with EASTWOOD aiming to keep real life Daughter ALLISON (in her film debut) safe from the same darkness he’s prone to court. It’s not always comfortable but it makes me wish CLINT strayed from the beaten path in his movies more often.

Tags: Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert!

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Amanda By NightNo Gravatar // Jul 1, 2012 at 11:40 am

    OMG! Thanks for the head’s up. I’ve been wanting to see this. I’m sure we have it on vhs somewhere, but this is much better, since I don’t have to dig through boxes!

    I just watched Phantasm II for the first time in 20 years thanks to Netflix. Sometimes I love (sometimes I hate too though, why did they remove their TV movie tags from the streaming?)…

  • 2 cmcmcmcmNo Gravatar // Jul 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    It’s weird cause it’s not showing up for me on Netflix streaming. I searched for the movie name and then for Clint Eastwood and nothing. Did they pull it since the time you watched it or something? Or am I getting some sort of “Netflix lite” service without my knowledge or consent.

    Bummer cause I loves me some CE big time.

  • 3 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jul 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    AMN, I thought you would like this one!


    That’s weird! I grabbed the pictures off of Netflix Streaming just last night!!! and now I just checked and it’s gone? How did that happen? Very strange!

  • 4 Amanda By NightNo Gravatar // Jul 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    We couldn’t find it either. I wonder if it’s because today is July 1st. Maybe it only ran until the end of June.


  • 5 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jul 1, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    RATS! That happened to me once before where I wrote about something on NS and it disappeared the very next day. I am cursed. Somebody put a whammy on me!

  • 6 Ben SherNo Gravatar // Jul 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    I don’t know how I’ve never heard of this movie–it sounds like paradise. I’m depressed that it’s gone! I also loved Jamie Rose’s 1980s female cop show LADY BLUE.

  • 7 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Jul 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Am I the only one getting a “From the files of Police Squad” vibe from the trailer?

  • 8 ApocalypsejunkieNo Gravatar // Jul 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Tightrope is an excellent movie! Clint had some real cajones to take on that part. It went to some really dark places and I can’t think of another action star who could or would have gone there.

  • 9 Eric EddyNo Gravatar // Jul 2, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Wow. That film looks great! Another from the early 80s that I was too young to see at the time. Last year I had watched “Cruising” starring Al Pacino, and while it had some cringe-worthy scenes (for me at least), it was a terrific film overall. Tightrope seems to have the same sleazy and mysterious vibe. I’ll have to check it out when it’s BACK ON NETFLIX, unk. lol I kid, I kid.

    Also, no Whammies! If you get a Whammy, you lose all your cash!

  • 10 Matt SunshineNo Gravatar // Jul 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I was surprised to see Tightrope on Kindertrauma, but I can understand why it would be. I agree with what you said about Clint really taking a chance and doing something different with this one. The same can be said for another Eastwood film “The Beguiled” which is not really horror, but sort of horror. Try to check out both.

    I picked these two up on DVD just this year, and both films were under $10.

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