Not long ago I watched Bubba Ho-Tep, a film so out there and original that I couldn’t help admire it even if I didn’t really love it… even like it that much.
Here we have the polar opposite, a film that is quite unassuming and in truth fairly unoriginal, yet despite myself I couldn’t help but like it for some reason.
One aimed high, was well received critically but failed commercially and from an entertainment perspective, Disorganised Crime was panned critically, also failed commercially but in my mind it is impossible to dislike.
Frank (Corbin Bernsen) cases, plans and books a bank heist in a small American town. He summons the usual grab bag of cinema criminals to assist and abet in his job.
A safe cracker, a wheelman, a master planner and an odd jobs guy. An old guy, a young buck, a smooth dude and a rash guy with a temper.
Carlos, Ray, Max and Nick.
Don’t try to pair up the above names and attributes, the names, specialties and attributes are interchangeable and irrelevant for the purpose of this review. Credit where credit is due though, the actors (Lou Diamond Philips, Ruben Blades, Fred Gwynn and William Russ) all perform their roles admirably.
The quirk here is that before the four hired hands show up for duty Frank is taken in to custody. When they arrive at the meeting point and find it empty they initially wait, then bicker, then ponder whether they should call of the job or not. Once they realise the target is comparatively cushy and the payoff relatively sweet they decide to continue on regardless, hoping that Frank will show up at some point to explain his absence.
Frank does eventually elude his captors (one of whom is Ed O’Neill) and the bumbling cops mistakenly pick up the trail of the other four men, assuming they are still on the hunt for Frank. Meanwhile Frank has embarked upon his own harrowing ordeal to make his way back to the meeting point, with apparently every element in nature hell bent upon making it as difficult a trek as possible.
Disorganised Crime benefits from the fact that it sets low goals and is therefore able to blow them away. The chemistry of the four criminals is iffy at best, but this leads to amusing bickering and some non-threatening arguments and discussions.
The initial frustration eventually turns to formulation of a new plan that they set in train, a reasonably elaborate plan that tests their respective skillsets and pits them against both the clock and the security of the bank. The primary asset in their favour is the calibre of their pursuers and the small police force in the vicinity.
Disorganised Crime has a very ‘Tremors’ feel, the music, dialogue setting and even the vibe strongly reminiscent of the underground worms classic, and while it lacks the requisite worms and the chemistry of Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward that set Tremors alight, Disorganised Crime is a hell of a lot better than a bunch of 80s films that boast far bigger profiles.
Final Rating – 7 / 10. Not overly jokey or action packed, just a bunch of chuckles, all in the flow of an entertaining plot and film. You may struggle to track it down, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying.