“I’m Paul Barlow, and this is my daughter Jo.”

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Supremacy

I can’t believe this actually happened, but I found out about a movie from a trailer on a DVD that I rented, and then I rented that movie. And it didn’t turn out to be a great movie but it was a fairly interesting one that I don’t think got any attention at all, so I might use this technique again.

SUPREMACY is the story of swastika-and-Confederate-flag-tattooed Aryan Brotherhood fucko Garrett Tully (Joe Anderson, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, THE CRAZIES, THE GREY, HERCULES, Mason Verger on Hannibal) who gets out on parole and on his first day out robs a convenience store, gets pulled over, and shoots a cop. So, with helicopters overhead and roadblocks all around he and Doreen, (Dawn Olivieri, THE LAST WITCH HUNTER), his white power associate assigned to pick him up from prison, break into a house and take a family hostage. As luck would have it the family are black, so there is quite a bit of tension and racial slurs here.

The head of the household is an ex-con himself, Mr. Walker (Danny Glover, PREDATOR 2), who lives with his girlfriend Odessa (Lela Rochon, KNOCK OFF), her son Anthony (Evan Ross, THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY 1-2), daughter Cassie (Robin Bobeau, “Excited Lady,” BAADASSSSS!) and grandson Jamar (Alex Henderson, Young Andre on Empire and Young Adonis in CREED) and a baby. Tully and Doreen point guns at them and hole them up in an upstairs bedroom and try to claim they’re being reasonable even as they threaten them and bring up dumb racist stereotypes and shit. So Mr. Walker has to find a way out of this.

Of course there are numerous complications. There are disagreements and fights among the family and among the home invaders. There’s an attempt to get a hold of a knife and fight back. There’s a family member who gets accidentally wounded. There are negotiations to go to the bathroom or get food. The family are forced to pretend everything’s okay at gunpoint in situations like somebody calling on the phone or Mr. Walker’s estranged son Raymond (Derek Luke, SPARTAN), a cop, showing up at the door and wanting to take a look around.

Glover is very good as always, and he’s too old to be too old for this shit. He limps around and groans and is not about to make a move. Instead he tries to manipulate them psychologically, mostly by being nice to them. He tries to use what they have in common – having done time and hating cops – to create a bond. There’s a weird thing where he makes Tully give him his word not to hurt Anthony and then when he does anyway Walker seems more outraged by the breaking of the word than anything and keeps shaming him about it. “Your word,” he keeps saying judgmentally in that Danny Glover rasp. And it’s not really effective in the sense of getting him to do somethin,g but every time he does it Tully winces.

And this is kind of a problem I had with the movie, but tell me if this is weird. Normally it’s a good thing to have very nuanced, layered, conflicted villains. They do that here and Anderson really goes to work on it, showing a real bravado with his actions but remorse in his expressions, clearly tormented by what he’s doing. But I don’t know man, this is a guy giving his life away to the white supremacist movement. I just don’t buy it. If he had human empathy in there I don’t believe it would come up so immediately or so transparently in this situation. I think he would keep it buried deep.

You know how there are those Trump die hards who put all their hopes into this sleazy fake rich guy from the game show, believing he was on their side and he was gonna be their revenge on the elites and the politically corrects who they think look down on them, and now that he is by far the worst president of all time and you would have to have a brain made out of rotted Velveeta cheese to not notice that he fucked up everything and very likely will destroy America and/or the world and clearly has no intentions of following through on anything he promised except racism, but they don’t want to admit they were wrong so they dig their heels in and sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on full blast in their brain all day and say he’s doing a great job? Well, you gotta figure it’s the same for a dude who covered his body in tattoos of swastikas and SS lightning bolts and battle flags and shit. I mean, that is a serious investment, it’s hard to go back on.

There are also a couple scenes that seem to be bringing up the possibility that he might be gay. And did Mr. Walker pick up on that and imply that he’s repressed something like that too? I might’ve misread it but I had a strong feeling of “I think this is like that Michael Stuhlbarg speech that went over my head in CALL ME BY YOUR NAME.” But it’s kind of a weird bit of pop psychology if it’s supposed to explain him overcompensating because we only see his racial animosity and not any homophobia.

Doreen is conflicted in more of an emotional wreck kind of way, and that I buy more because I figure she’s been abused and trapped in this sort of den mother/escort role. She’s very manic in the way she goes from trying to push Tully into killing them to telling them she’s nice and convinced him not to kill them, from spewing racist shit to a crying, self-loathing speech about them being better than her. At one point she thinks she’s suffocated Jamar, who’s about the age of a son taken away from her by the authorities, and when he turns out to live she’s in a daze and seems to completely change. Oliveiri is fantastic and I’m surprised she doesn’t have many big roles like this. In fact, this whole movie is a pretty good advertisement for her and Anderson to hopefully get some good roles where they might be bad guys but don’t have to be Neo-Nazis.

Mahershala Ali (PREDATORS) is in here two years before he got an Oscar for MOONLIGHT, and I was surprised he got named on the opening credits because he plays the deputy and basically just asks to see license and registration before he gets shot off camera. We do end up seeing a little more of him in a flashback, but it’s a small role. Same goes for Julie Benz (RAMBO), who’s in one scene as Raymond’s wife.

The credits inform us that it’s inspired by a real incident. The names and types of drama are changed. Titles at the beginning make a big deal about Tully only being out for 24 hours, but the real guy was 5 days. As far as I read the father was not an ex-con and didn’t get to leave and come back. Nobody in the family got shot.

Director Deon Taylor’s other work is horror (DEAD TONE, CHAIN LETTER, the NITE TALES movie and tv series hosted by Flavor Flav) and lowbrow comedy (THE HUSTLE starring Charlie Murphy, MEET THE BLACKS starring Mike Epps). He’s black, which makes it play very different to me. Like, I liked THREE BILLBOARDS, but it bothered me that this white guy did a movie where it seemed like maybe you should have some forgiveness for the violently racist cop because of a nice thing he tried to do for a white lady. Uh, I don’t think you get to decide that. But coming from a black director I can say okay, you want to show Danny Glover having empathy for this racist and helping him get out alive? That’s very generous of you. So for me the climax was pretty effective, not out of sympathy for Tully, but out of awe of Mr. Walker’s act of forgiveness.

The main thing I learned from this is that maybe I should look for more Danny Glover movies.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 at 11:31 am and is filed under Reviews, Thriller. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

30 Responses to “Supremacy”

  1. Crushinator Jones

    February 6th, 2018 at 11:50 am

    “[Trump] is by far the worst president of all time”

    He’s not even as bad as George W Bush, who I want to remind you killed between 100k – 500k Iraqi civilians, minimum, as well as destabilizing the entire Middle East and creating ISIS, touched off a bunch of wars and shit, gave cover to the Saudis (who actually attacked us) who are now starving millions in Yemen, as well as trying to functionally end Social Security, big tax cut for the rich, corrupt double-dealing to make his buddies money, “heck of a job Brownie”, etc.

    And ole’ GWB isn’t as bad as Andrew Jackson, a literal genocidal slave-owning piece of shit who is on our money.

    This is not meant as a defense of Trump, a huge corrupt asshole who would lick anyone’s crack or piss in anyone’s bed for money. He’s definitely the most crass, most abrasive, biggest asshole of all the modern presidents. But if you define “asshole” by acts instead of personality he’s not too bad.

  2. Crushinator Jones

    February 6th, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Correction: He’s not too bad “yet”.

  3. I will check this one out. It sounds similar to FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE, a nasty little 70s exploitation picture starring William Sanderson. Same basic setup of some on-the-run racist shitbags holing up with a black family, this one a comfortably middle class proto-Cosby kind of deal. The racists resented the family’s prosperity and the family was too civilized to resort to violence immediately, but then you’re supposed to think the father finally became a real man because he gives in to his bloodlust. Finding any sort of empathy or common ground with the racists (some of the most hateful ever put onscreen) was definitely not on that movie’s agenda.

  4. Crushinator Jones

    February 6th, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    It’s really bizarre how many 70s movies are about some nebbish/regular guy getting pushed to his breaking point and going nutso.

  5. Most of them are copies of STRAW DOGS. But in Peckinpahs world it’s hard to know who’s the villain.

  6. I think Eddie Bunker wrote in one of his books that a lot of white dudes joined the Aryan Brotherhood in prison not because they actually believe in all the nazi bullshit but because they want the protection of a gang and they don’t have many other options. It still means they have to get the swastika tattoos and say racist shit and be ok with hanging out with a bunch of nazis, but if Bunker is to be believed, the main appeal is being a oart of a powerful criminal gang, not plotting the genocide of non-whites. So I’m not trying to say that they’re actually nice people, but the idea that a member of the Aryan Brotherhood can be a nuanced, conflicted villain doesn’t seem too unbelievable.

  7. While it’s not 100% back to where it was, we’re getting closer to the current talkback comments to getting on time.

  8. Yeah, remember that time when, under the Trump administration, the IRS targeted BLM, C.A.I.R., La Raza, and LGBT type groups for undue scrutiny and harassment, based on their political opposition to his administration… during an election year… representing about the most brazen and profound betrayal of the very concept of a free society imaginable? Oh wait…

  9. Don’t wanna get dragged into a discussion about Trump again, but if you consider how quickly he managed to turn a whole country into a laughing stock, bascially flushing every bit of respect anybody had for it down the crapper, and at the same time turning it into a potential nuclear war starter with hints at becoming the richest banana republic in the world, he IS the worst president in history.

    We can whataboutist every other president and we could find some “Fuck that guy” for everybody including Obama, but even Bush jr was more respected among other world leaders (Do you really believe right now anybody except Russia would blindly follow the US into another war against terror, in case 9/11 part 2 would happen, like the world did back then?). And when we joked about George W. accidentally pushing the red button, we knew it would never happen and it was just a joke! Now we have to prey that the guys at the pentagon have the balls to disobey an order from the president, in case he reads on Twitter that “war is good for the economy”.

    Maybe in 10-20 years someone will purely analyze the numbers and come to the conclusion that from a pure statistically angle, Trump wasn’t that bad, but for now, we can clearly say that on a presidential (and human decency) level, that nonsense spouting, Twitter addicted, racist, sexist, business criminal, Neo Nazi sympathisant and pussygrabber is the worst.

  10. I guess we got more velveeta brains around here than I realized. I love you all but you’re fucking infuriating. Enjoy the parade.

  11. From an historical perspective it’s impossible to tell what Trump ‘s legacy will actually be. However, he is a dumb piece of garbage that wants to be a dictator so fucking bad. I hate the motherfucker. Enjoy the depression his tax cut generates. This is mostly directed at those who probably never even read Vern’s reviews.

  12. Rogue4 is unaware that at the same time the IRS was investigating right-wing groups labelled “tea party” or “patriot,” it was also investigating left-wing groups labelled “progressive” or “occupy.”

    I might not say Trump has been worse than either Andrew J., but it’s early days yet.

  13. I’m aware that that breakdown was nowhere near 50/50… or 70/30… or 95/5, Matt. So just reference the above reverse hypothetical and ask yourself if a miniscule number of right- wing groups (within an overwhelming number of left-wing groups) gettin caught in an IRS thug campaign, *perpetrated during the lead up to a Republican incumbent’s re-election bid*, would suffice for a “nuthin to see hear”.

  14. Crushinator Jones

    February 7th, 2018 at 8:54 am

    I freakin’ love that getting audited because of your political affiliation is ” the most brazen and profound betrayal of the very concept of a free society imaginable” in Rogue4’s mind.

    You could have picked Obama unilaterally killing Americans in the Middle East with no due process, but no, it’s the taxman checking the books because of your political affiliation that’s the real crime here. And of course under Trump we have literal Nazis in the street marching and pointing at the groups of people they are going to kill, 20 people are facing 50+ years in prison for somebody breaking a window (J20 defendants), BLM is a “black identity movement” that’s under surveilance by the FBI, but yeah, some dickhead in the IRS looking at your books for errors is the real threat to society here. Jesus christ.

  15. I have no problem with right wing groups being scrutinized over liberal groups. They deserve it.

  16. Crushinator Jones

    February 7th, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Right, but that same logic will be used to scrutinize Black Lives Matter and kick the shit out of Standing Rock protestors or whatever when the right is in power (and it is being used that way, right now) – they “deserve” it. Don’t use enforcement as a weapon, you won’t like where it goes. The right-wing will always one-up the left at using the power of the state to utterly smash their enemies, it’s in their brain chemistry.

  17. Sounds like a flick thats trying for something and while it might not succeed entirely, is at least admirable. Plus, ive loved Anderson since Crazies, so I’ll check this one out. Thanks Vern.

  18. And I freakin love, Crush, how you and likeminded individuals can inflate the tragedy in Charlottesville into this asinine fallacious narrative of a national siege of nazis rampaging in force through the streets, menacing and terrorizing with impunity… who were curiously non-responsive to the two time election of a suspiciously tanned President. Buuuut speaking of acting out with impunity…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ-Vmdd2ubQ

    Yep, just look at all those innocent falsely maligned anti-fascist freedom fighters. Go ahead and jump in any time with some clips of those dirt-bag tea partiers partying like this, Stern, to flesh that “they deserve it” assertion

  19. Rogue4: The IRS’s final report doesn’t break down the groups by political affiliation, but when, e.g., 72 groups were investigated for having “tea party” in their names and 61 were investigated for having “progressive” in their names, that doesn’t look like a 95-5 split to me. I’m also confused by your anxiety about election years, given that (a) this was going on during non-election years too; (b) the IRS decided to do this on its own, and the White House had nothing to do with it; and (c) the entire reason behind the investigations is that these groups are either legally forbidden or heavily restricted from interfering in election campaigns, depending on what kind of tax status they want.

  20. I do agree that the IRS shouldn’t single out political groups based solely on names with no evidence of wrongdoing. Though if you want to avoid IRS scrutiny I question the logic of naming your political group after America’s most famous tax evaders.

    As for the movie, I haven’t seen SUPREMACY but I thought FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE was great, if you’re in to they-sure-don’t-make-’em-like-that-any-more sleaze.

  21. Albert Hitchcock's Slim Cousin

    February 8th, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    This sounds like a dull copy of “Fight for Your Life”.

  22. Okay Matt, lets take that walk thru the smoke and mirrors…

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2017/10/30/no-liberals-the-irs-targeting-scandal-is-not-a-rightwing-myth-n2402022

    More of the same…

    https://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2013/08/study-100-percent-of-liberal-groups-targeted-by-the-irs-were-approved-just-46-percent-of-conservative-orgs/

    This part’s pretty instructive:
    “To recap: Conservatives won the “who got scrutinized” category 104-7, the “who got rejected” column 54 percent to zero, and the “still in limbo or gave up” tally 56-0. Indeed, as this controversy unfolded, a USA Today analysis determined that over a 27-month period, not a single Tea Party tax-exempt application was given the green light, while “dozens” of liberal applicants were rubber-stamped.”

    And a Scorecard from right wing trumpet, NPR…

    https://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2013/07/30/207080580/report-irs-scrutiny-worse-for-conservatives

  23. Rogue4: I’m not sure why you’re citing two 2013 stories that predate the 2017 IRS report on their targetting of groups that used “progressive,” “green energy,” and the like in their names. Only 10 of those groups were also considered in the 2013 reports about right-wing keywords. The only story you link from 2017 is the townhall.com editorial, which bizarrely takes the 2013 data as if it were still complete. It isn’t.

  24. Crushinator Jones

    February 9th, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    You’re wasting your time talking to Rogue4, he’s famously one of those “taxation is theft” morons.

  25. I could say I’m not sure why you think that amounts to a refutation of the premise that it was conservative groups that were overwhelmingly put thru the ringer in the IRS targeting scandal, as its been shown that the “keyword hits” aspect doesn’t come close to telling the whole of the story… but that would be a bit disingenuous. The leftist misdirection/obfuscation hussle is ubiquitously familiar at this point. But you’re certainly welcome to flesh out in detail how many of those “progressive”, “green energy” groups were subjected to overly invasive questioning, inspections, had their applications held up in limbo for inordinate amounts of time, or denied the status outright.

    And Crush, you’re welcome to cite where I’ve ever put forth such.

  26. Rogue4: You want statistics? Fine.

    61 groups were targetted for political investigation by the IRS due to the keyword “progressive.” Of these, 41 were put through questioning. 8 endured lengthy processing times (one year or more). 8 applications were refused or withdrawn.

    “Acorn” ― cases: 14; questioned: 13; long wait: 4; not approved: 4.

    “Emerge” ― cases: 6; questioned: 5; long wait: 5; not approved: 4. (Also, 6 other “emerge” groups were retroactively disqualified.)

    “Occupy” ― cases: 5; questioned: 5; long wait: 5; not approved: 1.

    There are other more issue-focused keywords (“green energy,” “medical marijuana,” etc.), but I’ll skip over those.

    Unfortunately the 2013 report does not provide similar statistics, but it does give the number of cases for three right-wing keywords. 72 groups were investigated for using the term “tea party,” 13 for “patriots,” and 11 for “9/12.” Beyond that, we can’t make direct comparisons. The 2017 report did look at one Tea Party-linked phrase, though.

    “We the People” ― cases: 9; questioned: 8; long wait: 7; not approved: 2, including one case in litigation.

    The main takeaway from all this is that right-wing and left-wing groups got broadly similar treatment. Contrary to the claims of Hotair.com above, many more than seven left-wing groups were scrutinised, many more than zero were left in limbo, and many more than zero were denied tax exemptions.

  27. I will say this, political groups and religious institutions should never get text exempt status.

  28. Also Nazi’s and alt right people protesting are pieces of shit the same as anybody who destroys property in a protest. With that said, antifa members are still better than Nazi and Alt Right pieces of crap.

  29. Wow Matt, ACORN makes the top of your list…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/opinion/21pubed.html

    …that ACORN? So you’re suggesting that ACORN making the Be On the Look Out list represents as legitimate an example of unfair targeting/heightened scrutiny/delays as given conservative groups being subjected to such? Kinda goes a long way towards that fudging on the details point. To wit, the BOLO list itself was divided into different categories.

    “Perhaps not surprisingly, the ACORN listing appeared in a different section of the BOLO lists than the one for tea-party organizations. The former appeared on the list under the rubric “TAG,” which the materials released by the Democrats themselves indicate was intended to designate organizations to be weeded out for being involved in “abusive tax avoidance transactions” or “activities [that] are fraudulent in nature.” The listing appeared after hidden-camera video showed ACORN employees advising a couple, posing as a pimp and a prostitute, about how to evade taxes and prevent authorities from discovering their activities, which they claimed included human trafficking and child prostitution. It comes as no surprise that, after Congress voted in 2009 to pull ACORN’s federal funding, the IRS would make moves to avoid granting tax exemption to offshoots of the original, corrupt organization.” Tea-party groups, by contrast, had done nothing to merit special scrutiny.”
    By contrast, tea parties remained under the “Emerging Issues” heading of the BOLOs. That’s where groups whose applications related to “significant current events” or for whom “no established tax law or precedent has been established” were listed. Unlike several others listed on that tab, tea-party groups saw their applications automatically elevated to IRS higher-ups for scrutiny. Even the higher-ups couldn’t do their work because, we now know from their testimony, officials even more senior prevented them from carrying it out. So tea-party applications languished, some for over three years, while officials at the top level of the IRS worked diligently (in a charitable reading) to establish a precedent for them, or simply slow-walked them beyond both a midterm and a presidential election”

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/356330/ignoring-facts-irs-eliana-johnson

    And on “emerge” getting flagged…

    “The IRS initially granted tax exemption to the progressive group “Emerge America” but revoked that status in the spring of 2010 when it came to the attention of agency officials that the group is devoted to training women to run for office as Democrats. The group has several state offshoots, including “Emerge Maine” and “Emerge Nebraska”; screeners were instructed to flag those applications because the agency was in the process of revoking the exemption of their parent group. A spokeswoman for Emerge America told Salon’s Joan Walsh in May:

    Emerge America and its initial state programs were granted 501(c)(4) status by the IRS several years ago. Later, when a new state program applied for the same status, it was denied because Emerge works only with women who are in the Democratic Party, so the IRS determined this did not meet the definition of “social welfare” for the common good. We believed this denial triggered a review of the Emerge programs that had already been granted c4 status, and consequently those statuses were revoked. Becoming 527 organizations has not hurt our fundraising or organizational expansion — we report our donors and continue our work fully transparently.
    David Marshall, an attorney in the IRS chief counsel’s office, supported the agency’s decision to revoke the group’s exemption. He had the following exchange with congressional investigators about the “Emerge America” cases:
    Q: And was the issue in that case the level of political activity? A: There was no question in my mind that there was political activity in that case. Q: Enough activity to deem it — A: It was clearly — it was clearly a problematic case. It was decided that it would be denied based on private benefit.
    The IRS chief counsel’s office took seven months to come to this conclusion and, during that time, the “Emerge America” affiliates that had already received tax exemption continued to operate with that status.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/356330/ignoring-facts-irs-eliana-johnson

    I know, I know, there I go citing 2013 stuff again, but I’m not co-signing on the premise the latest TIGTA report supplants, as opposed to supplements the prior findings. Given the misleading, not so detailed nature of its details, maybe it doesn’t do such a good job of that either.

  30. Rogue4: You’re quite right. The IRS didn’t file “Progressive,” “Acorn,” and the like in the same subcategory as “Tea Party” on its Be On the Look Out watchlist, and thus did not include them in its 2013 report ― even though the left-wing groups, too, had faced three-year processing delays and improper questions. This is precisely why that 2013 report gave a distorted view of the situation, and precisely why they followed up in 2017 by looking at their other political cases (both left and right).

    Your potted history of the ACORN controversy somehow neglects to mention that the anti-ACORN videos were deceptively edited and partially faked, that the guy who made them had to pay out $100,000 in a libel settlement, and that multiple investigations cleared ACORN of criminal wrongdoing.

    Your potted history of Emerge is correct. Many (not all!) of these groups were trying to influence elections, and as a result the IRS refused to give them tax exemptions. Of course, this is also what happened with the Tea Party groups. Remember how horrified you were that they were scrutinised “during an election year”?

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