Saturday, August 18, 2007

Death Wish ll

Ed here: Very interesting Cinema Retro interview/piece by Paul Talbot on Death Wish ll. Given the enormous influence of the first two Death Wish pictures it

In 1981 star Charles Bronson and director Michael Winner reunited for Death Wish II, a follow-up to one of the highest grossing and most discussed films of 1974. In Death Wish II, vigilante Paul Kersey hits the streets to avenge the brutal rape and murder of his daughter (who had already been rendered comatose after an attack in the first film) and his Hispanic housekeeper. The sequel became not only another box-office hit, but the most-controversial film in the five-title series and the lone entry that alienates even the most diehard Bronson fans. Death Wish II owes most of its notoriety to two brutal and vicious rape scenes that were so grisly that they had to be extensively edited to achieve an R rating in the United States and were cut even further for England.

Although Death Wish II was shot twenty-five years ago, actresses Robin Sherwood and Silvana Gallardo, who played the assault victims, both have strong memories of appearing in the film. “I remember everything about Death Wish II,” Gallardo says with a laugh.

Robin Sherwood today

In the original Death Wish, the role of Kersey’s traumatized daughter, Carol, was played by Kathleen Tolan. But for the sequel, Winner chose Sherwood to play the mute girl. The actress and model’s prior movies included the horror flick Tourist Trap (1979) and Brian De Palma’s Blow Out (1981). “I went in through the traditional casting system,” Sherwood explains about her Death Wish II audition. “I was submitted by my agent. I then went to the casting director and he said, ‘I’d like you to meet Mr. Winner.’ We just talked about the concept of the role. It was all Michael Winner. Charlie [Bronson] wasn’t there and the producers weren’t there. I didn’t meet anyone else. [Winner] kept calling me back and calling me back, but he wasn’t saying that I had the part. So, I just flew off the handle at him and I said, ‘I don’t want this part,’ and I left and went to Miami Beach which is where I was from. I was sitting on the porch and I was crying, saying, ‘It’s over.’ I really wanted this part. I got a telephone call from the casting director and he said, ‘We want you to come back to New York. Mr. Winner has something to say to you.’ So I immediately got back on the plane and I was hoping and I was praying. [Winner and] the producers were there and they were all smiling when I walked in and they said, ‘Would you like the role of Charles Bronson’s daughter in Death Wish II?’ I said, ‘Yes, yes!’ [Laughs] I was so happy. It was really a very intense auditioning process. They were very close to shooting [when I was cast]. Pre-production was going on.”

for the rest go here

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