Sweet Justice (1992) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Sweet Justice (1992) is a remake of The 7 Samurai, and a pretty good one. It stars Finn Carter as Sunny Justice, kick boxer and gym owner. As the film opens, she is beating the crap out of her boyfriend in the ring. Turns out he wanted to know who was the best, and found out that night. 

Sunny's estranged sister, Cheryl Paris, stayed in their home town, got elected to the city council, married then divorced Sunny's first love who is now sheriff, and became involved with a crook who is trying to make a mint off of the small town. The bad guy is played to perfection by Frank Gorshin, and Mickey Rooney has a small part as a sporting goods store owner.

Sunny's sister tries to break off her involvement with Gorshin when he starts poisoning the water table, and ends up dead of a dog attack. Sunny reassembles her old special forces unit, all women, to get revenge and clean up the town. The unit includes:

Catherine Hickland as her trainer. Marjean Holden as a sensei. Kathleen Kinmont as a lawyer. Michelle McCormick as a dancer. Patricia Tallman as a shit-kicker bar owner. The seventh warrior is Paris' boyfriend. When he joins, just in case there is some viewer who hasn't figured out that this is a modern version of the 7 Samurai, one of the girls says, "seven, magnificent." So we have a group of warriors who come in to save a small town from the crooks. They do, but not without paying a price.

This is a pretty much unknown film. It is far better than the 4.1/10 that 13 IMDB voters have given it. The art direction and lighting are very good, and the performances are also not bad. The ending came as a total surprise to me. The film spawned a TV series.

 Scoop's comments in yellow:

I disagree on this one. In fact, I suggest you avoid it completely except for the brief nude scenes.

This is the kind of film that is way, way down on the Grade B pecking order. 


Cheryl Paris exposed one breast in a sex scene.

The chests of Kathleen Kinmont and Finn Carter were seen slightly below the surface of a hot tub.

Catherine Hickland provided the most exposure, with some buns and clear breast shots while she got in the tub and sat there.

So far down that they couldn't even hire real stunt men, so when guys get shot dead we see them brace their fall with their hands, like little kids playing cowboy. When guys get shot from the clichéd overhead railing, we clearly see them jump off the railing rather than fall. My favorite was that they did dog attack stunts in short-sleeve shirts, therefore requiring them to wear one of those special arm appliances that the dogs are trained to attack! Where the hell did that come from? Simple - the sheriff wrapped his arm with a towel when fighting the dog, pretty much what anyone would do when fighting a dog at poolside. Well, maybe not anyone. Personally, I would have taken a pool chair and held it between me and the dog, then backed him up until he was forced into the pool. Then, when the mutt tried to climb out of the pool, I would have bashed in his little doggie skull with the big clay flower pot that was sitting right there. But I guess a towel was a good second choice.

The surprise ending that Tuna talked about is a surprise because it makes no sense. Of course, the sheriff could be one of the bad guys, but if he was, he would let the girls go at the end. They would go back to their lives, all the other bad guys are dead, and the sheriff would rule the town alone. But he tried to arrest the girls, thereby assuring that they would go to trial, and his own role would be exposed. Of course, the scriptwriter knew this was a major loophole, so he had the sheriff say something like this out loud "I really should let you go, the town is mine now, but I just can't". Oh, yeah, that explains it. He said "just can't". It works the same as "dibs" or "call" - as in "dibs on the front seat", or "I called it". Once a "dibs", a "call" or a "just can't" is declared, it can't be challenged. That's the way of the street, and even the Catholic Church admits that "dibs" takes precedence over papal infallibility. 

Pope: "Speaking ex-cathedra, I hereby declare abortion to be a mortal sin"

Cardinal: "You just can't do it, I called dibs on venial"

Then there was the toxic waste truck. Listen to this. The really evil bad guy is dumping toxic waste into an old mine, thereby polluting the water supply. So the girls catch them in the act, and teach the bad guy a lesson by blowing up his truck - while it was full of toxic waste.  So. instead of allowing him to pollute the water supply, they blew toxic waste all over the county, assuring that it would enter the soil, the air, AND the water supply. A job well done, ladies! (I didn't even mention that they did that without knowing what type of chemicals they were dealing with. In real life, pollution would have been the least of their problems, if they had triggered an explosion of nuclear proportions.)

DVD info from Amazon.

  • no widescreen

  • no features

There were a couple of things I liked. Frank Gorshin basically played the Riddler, with a little bit of his Richard Widmark thrown in, and that was pretty funny, especially when he did some fake crying at the end. And Mickey Rooney was actually good in this, in kind of a sad way. Sad, because nobody told the Mickster he was playing in a grade-z film, and he was taking the whole thing seriously, as if he were back in the 40's, working with Cagney and Bogart again. He really did do a good job, but it seemed like he was in the wrong movie.

So there you have it. Tuna kinda enjoyed it and gave it a thumb starting upward, while I would recommend capital punishment for everyone involved in it except Mickey Rooney and The Riddler.

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 4.1 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is somewhere between a C+ (Tuna) and a D (Scoopy).

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