Trespass (1992) Bill Paxton & Ice-T In The Legend Of Mullet’s Gold

Burning ash embers and thick clouds of grey toned smoke filled the hallway. Two brave firemen smash through a burning apartment door. On his knees, an agitated old man frantically digs through his belongings. He turns, his eyes half crazed, full of fear. With shouts of confused nonsense, he pushes a scruffy old envelope towards the firefighters. Taken by surprise the firemen helplessly try to reach out to the deranged old man. In a flash of madness, he wildly runs deeper into the burning flames, screaming to his agonising death. 

Back at the station, the two Arkansas firemen reflect back to the horrifying, fretful scene. Still shocked by the events, Vince Gillian (Bill Paxton) and his good friend Don Perry (William Sadler) consider the fact, it felt like the old man was almost praying for forgiveness. But from what? They open the scorched folder. It was filled with vintage newspaper clippings from years gone by. The articles referred to a grand robbery of highly valuable gold religious items stolen from a Catholic church. Reading that the stolen treasure and culprits were never found. Was it possible this old man was possibly the thief? Digging deeper inside the folder, wrapped in paper, was a small golden cross. Vince looks in awe. The paper was a map. A treasure map showing the whereabouts of the buried haul. Directions pointing to a dilapidated warehouse in East St Louis. Don’s eyes open wide to the sound of ker-ching and then whirl round like a fruit machine. 

So, there it was, the perfect get rich plan. A historic robbery so long ago it would be surely forgotten and written off? Insurance claims cashed in and all the victims and offenders more than likely having passed away to the other side. Case closed, treasure lost forever. OK, it was also very possibly just a wild goose chase. Maybe the old fella had flown completely over the cuckoo’s nest? However, it wouldn’t hurt to go look, would it? They had the treasure map. It would be exciting. Yep, a simple, perfect plan… Hey shouldn’t Bill Paxton know a thing or two about best laid Simple Plan’s? Anyhow what’s the worst that could happen?… ENTER THE MULLET! 

King James (Ice T) is sleek. The coolest gang boss from Illinois. Fancy shoes, chic black suit, smart looking fedora and a brand-new flip phone. To top off his bitch-ass-boss look he also has a, ummm… a big ass mullet! His mullet and his gang are pissed after a deal went sour. There was blood and betrayal. It had to be sorted. They needed the perfect place. Far from prying eyes. You know the place, right? Off the track. 

Savon –I told you that muthafucka was scandalous! Now we get to break him off some.
King James –It wouldn’t of happened if he had someone with him to get that package. I wanna know who it is.
King James –Wicked, set it up for Saturday. I wanna do it somewhere way out where no one is, off the track!
Wicked –I got just the ticket KJ.

Yeah, of course that “off the track” meet point had to be in East St Louis. Just where our unsuspecting, happy go lucky, treasure hunting fireman are heading. The large factory building has been abandoned and left derelict for many years. Broken windows and shattered glass. Hanging electrical wires and brick rubble from years of looting and vandalism have added to the wrecked state. However, the interior might be covered in needles and waste from squatters long gone but the overall building structure was as strong and sound as Fort Knox. Solid thick brick and concrete walls with hanging doors as strong as oak trees. Somewhere, hidden from sight, one resident knew it would be best if he kept himself unseen. This was Bradlee’s (Art Evans) humble abode. His own home with a view! The desolate wasteland of a dumping ground the front yard of the factory was. It was his place, Bradlee was happy. “Then these two crackers and a bunch of gangbangers turn up!” 

Bradlee –Who’s going to call the cops? The pidgeons or the rats?

So, this unfortunate destiny is about to play out. The worlds of our two gold-digging firefighters and King Mullet’s gang of hoodlums on a crash course to collide right bang in the middle of poor Bradlee’s home sweet home. No phones, no one to hear you scream or the sound of gunfire. Caught up fighting for your life in a war zone off the beaten tracks. Sounds bad right? “Well not as bad as this tagline….” 

Tagline – They all came to the wrong place at the wrong time!

The tagline doesn’t sell it however Trespass is a very decent 90s action movie with enough constant peril to keep your eyes glued to the screen. Directed by film fan fav Walter HillI wanted to make a down-and-dirty thriller. I wanted to shoot it in a fast, hard style. I wanted to work off the cuff, making it all happen right there.

There are a few Walter Hill tell-tale signs in Trespass. Like the up close and personal camera shots especially as the opening credits start, featuring the dialogue above, which reminded me of The Warriors (1979). Also, the urban landscape locations and derelict factories and buildings are a familiar sight within his films. Very often Walter is credited for writing the premise of the story or adapting the screenplays. Not so in Trespass, the writers are none other than the creators of the Back To The Future universe, Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis. Something I was very surprised to read. Apparently, they had wrote the script together back in the 70s. I imagine as the other projects started to gain momentum Trespass, originally called Looters, got shelved. Until, producer Neil Canton showed it to Walter Hill. 

The rest of the cast all consisted of King James’ gang. Which featured the tough and fiery, Savon (Ice Cube), King James’ younger brother Lucky (De’voreaux White) and his right-hand man and designer clothed, Wicked (Stoney Jackson). Other gang members are pimp daddy Raymond (Bruce A Young) sharp shooter! Luther (Glenn Plummer) and Video (T.E Russell) who recorded their gangster moves on his movie camera. Which brings us to King’s muscle man, Cletus (Tommy “Tiny” Lister).

It was very sad to hear the too early passing of Tommy “Tiny” Lister last month in December. A big framed, musclebound hulk of a man with a lazy eye. Probably most famous for his role as President Lindberg in The Fifth Element (1997) but you would surely have seen Tiny in hundreds of roles dotted about anything from low budget movies to Hollywood blockbusters and even TV shows, going right back to Runaway Train (1984). Now Tiny doesn’t get much to do here in Trespass but he is responsible for a brilliantly, out of the box, way to find the gold. Ok it’s a slight spoiler but it’s so crazy I just gotta say it. Cletus wears sharped studded football boots for some reason! It’s mentioned in a scene. Our two treasure hunters hear this. On knowing Cletus is waiting for them on the floor above they use their metal detector on the ceiling to locate him. At this point they have given up on finding the gold. Each time they find Cletus, he moves. Then eventually he just stands stills? But hang on? They hear him over the other side of the room! No wonder they can’t find the gold on the map in the floor? They weren’t looking in the right place! So I find myself having to praise whoever came up with the plot device of adding a character with metal shoe studs to move their story along. 

Trespass is well worth your time if you haven’t seen it. The cast are all excellent and the films pace, even with the confined small set, keeps you on your toes. Things twist and turn as plans fall apart and the stakes get more and more desperate. There’s high tension as the two party’s standoff against each other. It’s a great late-night action with a few beers’ kind of film. Let me know your thoughts on this one if you want to. Thanks for reading my review…. Mikey Wolfman 

Don –I don’t know what this stuff is anymore. Our gold. God’s gold. Fool’s gold.

17 thoughts on “Trespass (1992) Bill Paxton & Ice-T In The Legend Of Mullet’s Gold

  1. Another Walter Hill beauty. Came at the tail end of his box office pull but I’ve always liked the idea and the ensemble cast he assembled is a standout. Great pick to feature. Back when I was far too shy to say anything meaningful (some say that’s still the case) and just dipping my toe into the world of blogging Trespass was just the 4th film I featured. I should go back and rewrite some of these ….. LOL…..https://mikestakeonthemovies.com/2013/12/24/trespass/

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha look how small that review is compared to your top writings now! Yes mine are the same. The early ones were nervous little wordings of nonsense and bad grammar. Now they triple the size nonsense and only slightly better grammar! I was thinking of going back to the early ones myself and rejigging them a bit. It’s not like anyone really read them LOL..

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Don’s eyes open wide to the sound of ker-ching and then whirl round like a fruit machine.”
    Still laughing!
    Love the Michal Jackson jacket (with the gold lines on the sleeves) and Ice T’s long hair.
    You know, we captioned him on Law&Order for years and years, and I think he may have improved minuscule, like a millimeter, with his acting, lol. Maybe he was better in this movie. I think Tommy Lister was worse, though, in 5th Element. “Hey, Tommy, remove that piece of wood from where the sun don’t shine! Stiff much?!” Haha. Just my opinion.
    I haven’t heard of this one either. I’d definitely have a few beers and see it. Start missing Bill Paxton. Comment on how short life is. Get depressed. Drink more beer.
    My husband and I always ask ourselves (and the universe) why we can’t find a treasure map or a bag of gold just lying around somewhere. Needless to say, we never receive a response.
    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ice T is ok here to be fair. It’s a big part for him and he gets to run around the building trying to keep his gang together and flush out the gold diggers. I haven’t seen much Ice T thinking about, so it was a nice novelty watching him on the screen mixing his Ice T with Ice Cube! I bet it got confusing on set. Hey Ice, “Yeah” “Yoow”, no ice? Which Ice? No do you want ice? “In what?” “Whisky” “Just a cube” “Hey call me Ice not Cube” “Saaaaay whaaaat!”

      Oh I hear you on the Bill Paxton. Definitely needs to have a beer raise to very time you see him in a film. Yeah depressing. Short life. Seems to hit home more and more as we get older. Oh no you got me drinking more beer now!

      Might be worth having a whisper in Earl Grant’s ear to the whereabouts of that pot of gold. If you both find some please send me a few nuggets in the post. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review 🙂 Trespass is far from Walter Hill at his best, but it is a highly entertaining action-thriller. It is also a fun way to spend 104 minutes of one’s time. In case you are interested in seeing If I have changed my rankings of his films recently, here is a link below If you are interested in seeing for yourself. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    https://cinematiccoffee.com/2018/04/27/my-favorite-walter-hill-films/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Saw this one years and years ago, but only remember the premise, and not much else…I can’t even remember what I thought of it! And I had no idea it was written by the Back to the Future team…too bad they didn’t ask Michael J. Fox to play one of the gang members!

    And looky there…John McClane’s chauffeur, De’voreaux White! I had to look him up, to make sure I had the right guy, and found this, which I’d never seen OR heard of before: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7kFGGFI9Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would say Todd it’s worth your time for a revisit if it turns up on cable or if BPEE ever opens back up? (Bookmans Phoenix Entertainment Exchange)
      Yeah what were they thinking? Michael J Fox could of played Ice T’s (King James) little white brother from another mother, mullet and all. “The J is for King James Jr muthafukkaz” as he holds the gun sideways popping off shots towards the diving and cartwheeling, Paxton and Sadler out of the firing line…

      Bro I think you may of found the best advert EVER!! I enjoyed that so much I had to rewind it instantly. All that for a battery advert! Jeeez that must of bankrolled the company but so worth it. Incredible. Dude thank’s so much for finding that.

      Big up De’voreaux White 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Guess what, my fuzzy friend…heading over to BPEE in Tucson next weekend, so I’ll keep my eyes peeled for it! And picturing ‘little white brother’ Michael J. as part of that gang, and throwing that line out as he blasts away, cracked me up.

        And that ad…you’re right, I didn’t even think about the budget involved to make that thing! Now I wonder how many other products are going to make big-budget movie ads like that….maybe Sentry will use ‘Trespass’ as a way to sell fire alarms.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Take me with you Todd! I’ve built a rocket! Well more a few gasoline barrels strapped to my back. I got a motorbike helmet so all should be ok. I’ll let you know when I land… What’s the worst that could happen!

          Mate I’m well jealous. Enjoy your digging in BPEE. Hope you find some goodies. I think we got another month until non-essential shops open again! And worse!!!! me pub not until 17 May… Boooooooo.

          Haha brilliant Paxton and Sadler in their firemen outfits running through, getting chased down by gangsters and dodging bullets as they quickly fit fire alarms. Pausing for for a few seconds as they test the button for the beeps. Then off again..
          I love that most of the comments on the Die Hard ad YT all say it’s 100 percent better than A Good Day to Die Hard. I agree. Though I turned it off after 10 minutes.

          Liked by 1 person

          • What’s the worst that could happen? You could crash-land into Bookman’s, destroying everything! D’oh! And I had not idea places were still closed up over there…and your pub, too! Yeah, time to climb into the rocket pack!

            You were smart to turn off A Good Day to Die Hard…I couldn’t do that at the theater! I gave it a 2 out of 10, which may have been generous.

            Liked by 2 people

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