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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Cast a Dark Shadow (1955) Sly Dirk Bogarde Just Loves Those Older Ladies

Edward “Teddy” Bare (Dirk Bogarde) looked well shifty. There was something about him. His handsome good looks were a facade that hid a sinister charm. You see, Edward had a thing for older ladies. Putty in his hands they would become. It wasn’t a fetish for cougars or a domineering mature mother figure that he needed. No, there was a criteria that had to be fulfilled if he was to spend his time dating an older lady. You guess it, money, they had to be rich. He had caught one too. A sweet older lady called Monica (Mona Washbourne). In whirlwind romance they were married.

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The Dark Man (1951) Killer Thriller With A Big Chase Filler…

I wanted a short movie, preferably with a dash of crime, thriller and drama all rolled into one. Oh go on then, chuck in a young sexy lady for a bonus! I’m equal, even throw in a hunky fella to balance it out. Devilish good looks with a cad like pencil thin mustache. Tall, dark and handsome but sorry ladies there’s no gentleman with this guy. He so happens to be a relentless killer! Dubbed The Dark Man! His demeanor is threatening, with a foreboding sinister evil that he’d use to quietly menace and kill with. Truth be told he was also a tad stupid. You see, he had just killed. Blasted a man to death. This guy has no virtues, he shot him straight in the back. You see the man had seen him, not kill, yet the Dark Man had, no he had seen his face. The poor man, who would soon become deceased didn’t realise his fate at first. Then when it dawned it became kind of obvious. It didn’t matter, like I said, his life was over, he wasn’t telling no one. Now if the Dark Man was sensible he’d remove himself from this small town with haste…

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Johnny Nobody (1961) Priest Nigel Patrick Investigates Blasphemy & Divine Intervention

James Ronald Mulcahy (William Bendix) was a successful author. Was this quiet and quaint Irish village actually his birth place? I wasn’t sure. He was an American, maybe the returning prodigal son? With his newest book flying off the shelves he had money to flash. To the dismay of the local residents he had decided to settle within the community and they weren’t practically best pleased. James Mulchay’s mouth was as big as his personality, HUGE!. A thuggish man, large and obnoxious. You see, the village was centered around the parish church and the locals were all God-fearing Catholics. Mulchay’s book on the other hand was centered directly against the Church and the belief of an all seeing and powerful God. He was an atheist and extremely opinionated about it. You didn’t need to ask him or listen to him, he would bulldoze his thoughts onto you as loud as he possibly could. So one thing you didn’t want to see was James Mulchay matching down the road heading for the local pub. Sober he was unbearable but filled with whisky he became the most loathsome, offensive, man on Earth.

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The Window (1949) And The Tragic Case Of Bobby Driscoll

Firstly, anyone heard “crying wolf” anywhere around me will be getting a jolly good telling off, that’s for sure. Using my esteemed name in vain, well whatever next? Further more, wolf’s don’t cry! And don’t listen to those wicked rumours about that wolf shaped ball of fluff, whimpering and sobbing at the back of the Odeon cinema in 1999 during the opening scene of Disney’s Tarzan. It simply wasn’t true, it was not! Sniffles. Oh no, I’ve just thought back to it. “Oh dang it! pass the tissues, please!“. Ok the legend of the crying wolf is true so I’ll let you use the quotation for the Aesop’s Fable to start the film.

Opening intro –The boy cried ‘wolf’. ‘Wolf’ several times and each time the people came to help him they found that there wasn’t any ‘wolf.”

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Moonrise (1948) Bad Killer Blood Runs Through His Veins

Off I set on another of my travels through film. This time Moonrise from 1948. Didn’t know much about it. The way I like it. Only recently stumbled across it. A film noir it says. I guessed the usual crime filled drama affair? Had to have a love story, you can see that on the movie poster (Haha not the image I used). In I went! All nice and chilled with the opening credits accompanied with a full orchestra bashing out a melody of uplifting, stirring strings……. until then!…

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