Daisy Bateman

The Evolution of an Idea

I was surfing through the movie listings on my Tivo (what, like you have something better to do on a Saturday night?) and I came across listings for all five “Death Wish” movies. I would like to share their synopses here, for their instructional value in what they say about the creative process:

Death Wish: “A New York architect turns vigilante hit man after thugs attack his wife and daughter.”

Death Wish II: The architect from New York turns vigilante in Los Angeles after more brutality too close to home.

Death Wish 3: The vigilante architect shops by mail for what he needs to waste punks in the streets of New York.

Death Wish 4: The Crackdown: The vigilante architect targets Los Angeles drug rings after the death of his girlfriend’s daughter.

Death Wish V: The Face of Death: The New York vigilante goes back to work after a mobster’s thugs kill his girlfriend.

Now, laying aside the filmmakers’ troubling inability to commit to one numbering system, and the fact that in real life a vigilante architect would be significantly more likely to be targeting members of the city planning department than mobsters, I think they may be on to something here. Frankly, I feel it’s a shame that they didn’t get a chance to extend their vision to Death Wish 12 and/or XII: The Death of Death Wish, in which the vigilante architect turns even more vigilante to avenge his own murder at the hands of a ruthless graffiti cartel, and also the use of glass bricks in his latest building when he clearly specified cinderblock.

Truly, a loss to the world of cinema.

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