In the Line of Duty: The FBI Murders (1988) True Crime TV Movie Carnage

Bill Matix (Michael Gross) and Jerry Dove (Bruce Greenwood) had very different life choices. Whatever fate their decisions had mapped out for them, one thing was true, their paths were destined to cross. Jerry dreamt of joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI was his calling card, his life’s ambition. He would lovingly stare out to sea with the Miami vapour-waves casting a soft focus across his thoughtful face. When he snapped out of this spellbinding trance he’d race his labrador along the water’s edge and enjoy a sweet embrace reminiscent of best buddies, Rocky and Apollo. His dream was to come true.

In contrast, Bill Matix’ life couldn’t be further removed than the morally righteous and upstanding Jerry. Bill was bitter and twisted, psychotic and murderous. Worse still was his friend, Mike Platt (David Soul) who, somehow, was even more deranged. This angry man wore ridiculously too short cutoff jeans and hulked out at pinball machines. Each time he bent over that machine poor Bill got an eyeful that flashed backed the horror’s of working on a turkey farm in his youth. “For the love of god man, put some proper trousers on!” he whispered to himself.

Bill and Mike were insanely dangerous, violent and packed to the hilt with enough firepower to take down a small army. They were savage and ready to start a series of murders and robberies. Starting with the cold killing of young man just to steal his car. Without no real planning, they embark on a series of armoured car heists and bank payroll attacks. Dressed in military combat gear, heads covered with black balaclavas’ and armed to the teeth with semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and smoke grenades. They were relentless, soulless and wildly out of control.

Jerry Dove’s dream job had become a reality. Assigned a position with the FBI and getting to work directly with one of the most seasoned special agents on the force, Benjamin Grogan (Ronny Cox). As the robberies and body count grew across the state the Bureau stepped up their investigation. Soon all the pathways would align to one of the most violent episodes in the history of the FBI. A ridiculously stupid ill-advised shootout that would lead to numerous deaths and is said to have become a law enforcement training course of how not to do it! It would also become a turning point for the FBI and many police departments to upgrade to more effective firepower, after being outgunned and undertrained.

Tagline – It’s 1986 and a small, tranquil Florida town is being rocked by a wave of vicious serial murders.

This incident would be known as the 1986 FBI Miami Shootout. Reading the historic case after the film it really fathoms, beyond all believe, how these, truly despicable twosome, actually made it through to that fateful day at all. Especially when it transpires that both had very likely killed their wives in horrific ways, years prior, and somehow escape innocently. Then there’s the shootout, which is almost comical in design, the way they follow them, the actions they choose to take. Which in turn leads to this, almost unreal, close-up firefight. It’s shocking to see the aftermath of events because it just seemed such a rookie chain of mistakes, it looked unbelievable? Until you see the actual carnage of the real footage photography. They had played it out verbatim and it’s shocking to see.

In the Line of Duty: The FBI Murders (1988) was a made for television movie production. It sounds like it was the first of a series of 12 “In the Line of Duty” FBI, police and other emergency services, case studies. Nine of which were directed by Dick Lowry and starred many famous faces like Rod Steiger, Mario Van Peebles, Bruce Campbell and Dean Stockwell to name a few cast players. The films pan out as such, Blaze of Glory (1997), Smoke Jumpers (1996) Kidnapped (1995) Hunt for Justice (1995) The Price of Vengeance (1994) Ambush in Waco (1993) Street War (1992) Siege at Marion (1992) Manhunt in the Dakotas (1991) The Race for Gus Farace (1991) A Cop for the Killing (1990) and The FBI Murders (1988) possibly being the best out the bunch. Let me know if you seen any of the others. I’m pretty positive I’d seen Street War. Seem to recall it being released and billed as a Mario Van Peebles film vehicle in the video stores.

So is the film any good? It’s dated pretty badly. Feels like a late 70s production rather than late 80s. It popped up on Amazon Prime and caught my attention with the cast. Bruce Greenwood is always ace in whatever he appears in. Fan favourite Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) from the Tremors series is always a big delight, though not here I must quickly add. David Soul gets to rid his good guy Hutch persona and go superbad, once again. Plus you get sharp shooting Ronny Cox, just don’t break those glasses! DOH! Also the great Richard Jenkins fills up the excellent assembled cast. Watching these great actors work their way through a TV movie is great to see and if you can get past the slow build up, then the payoff is worth it. Just for that moment of realisation of that was FUBAR! if real… It was!

It looks like on a quick search that most of the 12 In the Line of Duty TV movies are on Youtube. Here’s The FBI Murders for starters.

Thanks for popping on by. Feel free to comment if you wanna but best of all thanks for reading.

Mikey Wolf

The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (1945) Full Spoiler Moan At That Pesky Hays Code Aimed To Ruin A Film

I understand The Hays Production Code was drafted in to protect and mollycoddle it’s weak gullible audience from the real life dramas of the everyday world. Save us from our feeble and easily corrupted minds. But, seriously man, it really could ruin an extremely good film or two. It must of been a constant irritating source of pure misery for any director and scriptwriter wishing to go that one step further. To push the boundaries. The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry is a film drastically undermined by the code. A film that slowly sneaks up on you with foreboding darkness. Only to make you throw your hands in the air at the end and go “FFS really“. Of course, you forgive it and remember this was 77 years ago and Will H Hays was a total pussy…

Massive spoilers incoming for this film. It’s on Youtube here if you want to watch it first.

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Terminal Velocity (1994) Topper Harley Goes Skydiving With Sexy Agent And The KGB

Topper Harley is back with us again once after getting booted out of the LAPD for being way too crazy in The Rookie (1990). He’d tried becoming an Olympic gymnast, would you believe? But when that failed he buried himself in the thrill of danger. Now a maverick skydiver for hire going under the alias Richard ‘Ditch’ Brodie (Charlie Sheen). A man living on the edge….. and happy to bare his daredevil butt cheeks for right paying client!

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House of Games (1987) Shrinks, Stings And Scams In The Shady Shadows

There I was sat in a Travelodge. Shoes kicked off and socks still steaming. I drooled at my prize. A 4 Piece Colonel’s Meal for one. Pillow placed on seat for maximum buttocks comfort. I winked at the four real ale bottles lined up awaiting to go. You see, I had deserved this treat. Friday and Saturday I’d danced non-stop til the twilight hours. Tonight, I’d danced again. The mind was willing but the legs were tired, shattered if I tell no lie. Like an old fool, I carried on. Still, I knew I’d finish early and treat myself. So you now see why my socks were steaming, honestly, they didn’t hum. My ears did, still do, ha. The bass still rattled around in my chest. I was content but now I had hungry eyes. Mikey does loves me chicken.

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Gridlock’d (1997) Tupac Shakur And Tim Roth Are Spoken Word Jazz Band Dope Fiends

When a film opens with a conversation about penis implants and, later, a N word discussion, you can’t help but think the scriptwriters were trying to channel some Quentin Tarantino vibes. Furthermore, when one of the characters feels like Pumpkin from Pulp Fiction (1994) had dumped his crazy girlfriend, Honey Bunny, and ran off to join a jazz band, you can’t help but smile. However, Gridlock’d, really is it’s own movie. It’s shot very stylish, has a frantic paced script, features a deep strong message and best of all, you get a wonderful chemistry between it’s two leads. It might slip off the rails into slap stick territory in the last quarter but it’s hard not to like it for it. It’s a quirky buddy movie. So what’s it about?

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Cohen and Tate (1988) The Hit-Man, The Psycho And The Kid Go For A Drive

OK! I know I’ve been missing in action for what seems like eon’s to me. I’ve been desperately struggling to clamber my way back to do this amazing hobby I so love. Promised myself I wouldn’t keep apologising and say sorry for being away all the time, so, sorry. Doh! “Dabnamit Wolfboy! hold it together man!“. I’m just dipping my filthy big clawed foot back into the paddling pool to see if I can find a way to scribble smaller, maybe quicker reviews. Before, I tentatively look back at the drafts and try tackle the backlog of half written film articles I’d started months back.

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No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948) Let’s Meet The Cast That Put The Censor’s Knickers In A Twist

Miss Blandish is far removed from bland, she is a total knockout. A beauty that has all men weak at the knees. Her good looks isn’t all her good fortune, you see her father is one of the wealthiest men in the city. Worth a cool 100 million dollars. Of course, her father keeps a watchful eye on his precious daughters socialising and organised the right suitor for his treasure. Young Miss Blandish is set up with boring, older gentlemen that dote on her and promise the world. She on the other hand was cold and aloof. She desired something wild, someone rugged, maybe dangerous. As the heiress to incredible amounts of money she was bound to turn heads. Soon her life would be caught up with petty criminals, thugs and gangsters.. Lets meet them…

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