1986 / Director. Richard Lowry & Tor Lowry.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
The term "cult film" was made for movies like HAWK JONES. It is wrong on so many levels that it feels so right. Taking cues from BUGSY MALONE the movie features an all-kid cast of actors playing adult characters in an VERY adult story. Hawk Jones is a black cop taking on a city full of thugs, thieves and drug dealers. Things take a sour turn for Jones when he is assigned a new female partner. With a sexist attitude he sets about ridding his city of crime and taking down as many gangsters as possible. This is an outrageous film and one that was almost lost forever. At some point in time the original master was misplaced, never to be found and it was only thanks to a beta copy of the film in the director's storage (found years later) that it enjoys a respectable DVD release. A lot of love has gone into restoring the quality of the video and audio and new updated FX have been added to replace some of the original PG-friendly FX. Where the original 86 release had comical "ka-booms" and cartoon balloons popping with each gun shot fired, the newly restored director's cut has muzzle flashes, blood squibs and explosions. The new version is how it was intended to be... ie an adult action film starring kids. There is something very disturbing about it too. Like the OUR GANG serials of the 1920s the kids in this film are put into scenarios way beyond their years and some of the themes make for a very surreal and unsettling experience. Kids killing kids, boys being misogynistic towards girls, pre-teen smoking, drug use and all sorts of sexual innuendos. It was controversial then and it is controversial now.... and all of it's wrongness make it one of the cultiest films of all time... well, amongst its small but enthusiastic fan base at least. Brother directors Richard and Tor Lowry were teenagers themselves at the time and their inspiration came from watching an old Bill Cosby sketch, featuring kids as adults. What makes HAWK JONES so endearing is that its intentions were innocent. The Lowry Brothers simply thought it would be amusing to tell a typical SHAFT-style story with a cast full of 8 year olds. The kids all play their parts awesomely too. They don't ever come close to being "good" performances, but the dialogue is hilariously mature. Hearing kids discuss hiring hitmen, wasting cops and women being useless is ludicrously fun. Shoddy, amateurish and politically incorrect... HAWK JONES is an absolute cult classic. Buy your copy here NOW.