They Don't Make Pictures Like That Anymore!

Remember in the '80s, there were shows about vigilantes who ensured criminals paid for their crimes when the justice system failed their victims?

I wonder why they don’t have those shows anymore…


There’s no real taste for that kind of fantasy, because the reality of it is in fact very disturbing. You don’t take vigilante justice on Belter because then you get his brand of it back. It’s why the judge is so disgusting: because it is his power to administer justice but all he will do is shrug his shoulders as if to say “well, what are you going to do about it?”


A post was merged into an existing topic: No jail time for convicted multiple rapist

It’s worth remembering that Bernhard Goetz (NY Subway “vigilante” in 1984) was at first romanticized, and then came in for a lot of public criticism.

Times have changed, for sure.


I used to see him all the time when shopping at my supermarket in NYC in the 1990s. He struck me as a pathetic figure of infamy, simultaneously wanting to be recognised and scared that he would be recognised.


I remember that the 80s had a lot of shows and movies with extremely rapey protagonists, often played for laughs. “Revenge of the Nerds” alone had all kinds of sexual assault.


In the ‘80s this may have not even been considered a crime at all.


When my young nieces wanted to watch “Sixteen Candles” I made sure to have a serious discussion beforehand about some of the things they’d be seeing in that lightheaded teen comedy.

[Jinx @Otherbrother]


In other words real life “vigilantes” don’t act like Batman, they act like those fuckers who murdered Emmet Till.


I recently read “Ready Player Two* along with my son. There were a few things about the plot that bothered me but by far the biggest was that there was a huge chunk of time spent in a virtual world that was a tribute to John Hughes movies. It really dragged on and didn’t take the opportunity to address the many troublesome aspects of those films at all.


That author is so enmeshed in his fanboism that he blows opportunity after opportunity to explore interesting themes in his books.

[also, this is interesting but is going off-topic and distracting from the more important issue. No problem with @Avery_Thorn’s comment but I’ll move this sub-topic over]


While I get your point that stories about outrageous miscarriages of justice favouring young white male perps are less rare (or perhaps more publicised) than they were in the 1980s, popular culture has also acknowledged that vigilantism (of the non-costumed and non-superheroic variety) is something not worthy of being romanticised.


The 1973 Clint Eastwood Western The High Plains Drifter may not qualify as an 80s movie but it was a bit shocking when I watched it as a kid and saw the unnamed protagonist (played by Eastwood) straight-up forcibly rape a woman who was being annoying to him. I won’t call him the “hero” because obviously rapists aren’t heroes but most synopsis of the movie describe him as a gunslinger “dispensing justice” in a crooked Western town, which is a pretty twisted description of a rapist.


FWIW there is a reboot of The Equalizer on broadcast TV that seems to be doing OK

and of course today there are a number of series that are explicitly based on comic books, rather than just being vaguely the same kind of stories

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Not just a rape, but the fantasy-trope of “starts as rape but she ends up liking it” nastiness, IIRC.


I think you might be thinking of the second woman he encountered later in that movie, Sarah. The first one was a woman name Callie who accosted him on the street that he dragged into a stable and quite plainly rapes. I think she wasn’t supposed to be cool with it because she calls him a dirty bastard and tries to shoot him the next day. Afterwards he comments to someone “I wonder what took her so long to get mad” and the person jokingly responds “maybe because you didn’t go back for more” but I don’t think that line was meant to be taken as the actual reason. Later in the movie she pretends to be ok with him but is actually setting him up to be killed by three men in his bedroom, which doesn’t work out.

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We had an older woman working in our catering business over 30 years ago. She was in her 80s and a wonderful woman. She even took in our dog when we had to move and couldn’t take him with us, treated him like a king.

She had a plan where a gang of senior citizens with nothing left to lose would find hardened criminals and do them great bodily harm and death. She explained they could get away with it because who would suspect grandma or great grandma.

Her and her sister lived together until they passed, I wonder if they ever put that gang together. That would make an awesome movie.

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You’re right! It’s been so long since I’ve seen that, I’d definitely confused the two. Sarah, if I am now recalling things, was the wife of someone [storekeeper?].

What’s this then?

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Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher?