First off, I would just like to apologize for my absence as of late. I have been dealing with some family stuff, however, I am back and glad to be serving you my latest installments of ‘Cigars in Cinema!’
Let’s dive in head first with this doozie of a flick, VFW from 2019. Directed by up-and-comer Joe Begos, this movie is a blood-soaked action/horror/crime movie. I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off my birthday month with one of my favorites! I love so many things about this movie. The cinematography, lighting, and even the story and actors give off this nitty gritty 80’s grindhouse feel and I am here for it. My only gripe with this film is it is dark. I don’t mean that in the storyline goes to weird places but its visually dark. And somewhat grainy. It was shot that way on purpose to give it that 80’s feel and it is tolerable, just be warned. Now, this film is loaded with a star-studded cast. Now, by star studded I mean older stars from the 80’s including Stephen Lang, William Sadler, Fred Williamson, Martin Kove, David Patrick Kelly and George Wendt.
That being said, they all play older veterans that come in to their favorite VFW that Stephen Lang’s character runs for their nightly drinks and conversing. With the city around them in shambles after being overrun by crime and drugs, a young girl runs into the VFW to escape from the drug addicts chasing her. The old timers step-up to defend her and themselves with anything and everything they have at their disposal. With an amazing performance from Stephen Lang, everyone else this is just a good and fun gorefest, sure to please the gore hounds!
Now, let’s get to the cigar aspect of this film. I was trying to think of a movie for this month when I thought about this one. If anyone knows Fred Williamson you know he has a cigar in his mouth in EVERYTHING he acts in. I thought to myself, “no, I couldn’t do Fred Williamson again could I? I already did ‘From Dusk Til Dawn’ that had him smoking a stogie….but fuck it. This is the ’Cigars in Cinema’ article not the celebrity article!”
So, here it is. Yes, I already featured Fred Williamson in an article but they are different movies! A former NFL defensive end turned actor it’s hard to find a role he is in that he doesn’t have a cigar in it. His image of a very large badass while chomping on a cigar resonates through all his films. While it’s unknown what cigar he’s smoking in the film, “The Hammer’s” favourite stick is the Arturo Fuente Seleccion Privada No. 1.
If you are ready for a gritty throwback 80’s grindhouse gorefest with a bunch of old timers KICKING ASS then give this a spin!
The interiors of the VFW post were shot on location at a real VFW hall in Grand Prairie, Texas (specifically Post #2494). Several of the hall’s real veterans appear as extras in the bar during the opening scenes
All the gore f/x were done practically.
On the list of features seen above the cinema, one of them is called “Bliss”. This is a reference to Begos’ previous film.
Although having the same last name, the actors who star in this movie (Fred and Tom Williamson) are not related.
There’s a Brainscan (1994) poster on the wall outside of the theatre.