Back in the 1990s America had a real problem with urban ghettos, as evidenced in documentaries such as Boys in the Houd and Menace to Societee. These neighborhoods were cesspools of drugs and violence where even the most basic societal needs like grocery stores, police, or plumbing were denied. A few years later, white people fixed the problem by being awesome teachers, as evidenced in documentaries such as Dangerous Minds and The Substitute. But for a short time, urban ghettos thrived, and filmmakers like myself found a great opportunity to make horror films for rich, middle-aged white people.

Judgment Night begins with four white, suburban douchebags on their way to the CITY for a big boxing match. Chuck Estevez is Douche-standard. He’s owner of a nice house, nice car, nice wife, and nice new baby. Steven Dorf (son of the famous fisherman) is his little brother, Douche-troubled. He’s on xanax and plans to party like it’s 1999 until it’s 2019. Cuba Gooding Jr. is Douche-buddy. He used to be black. And Jeremy Piven is Douche-alpha, the kind of guy whose lack of empathy allows him perfectly undiluted douche-atude. He is, quite simply, one of biggest assholes in all cinema. Piven ad-libbed most of his lines on this one.

So it’s boys night out for all these assholes. Piven shows up in a jumbo RV filled with neat gadgets like boxed wine, tissue dispensers, and back issues of Maxim. It’s also got a PA system so, while on the freeway, they can ask single mothers to show their tits. The RV impresses the douchebags, which assures Douche-alpha’s status as alpha douche for the evening.

But the craziest thing happens. Instead of going to a sports stadium where hotdogs are five dollars, they take a wrong exit and end up in an urban ghetto where hotdogs are only one dollar and HAVE TO BE EATEN COLD. Because of the dickhead sized RV, they are unable to turn around. On top of that, their mobile phone doesn’t get service on this side of the train tracks. Uh-oh. They don’t sell insurance for this kind of trouble!

Pretty immediately their RV hits a drug dealer. Before they can help him, more drug dealers repel down from the rooftops and shot the first drug dealer in the head. The douche-troop runs away crying. Welcome to the rest of the movie.

Now, I was nervous about having white guys chased by killer black guys because I figured it would make one group too scared and the other too angry. As a result, I made the urban gangsters in Judgment Night Irish. This is what Sam Strange being a pussy looks like. If you want to see the best example of this particular sub-genre, watch Walter Hill’s Trespass. I would like to point out, however, that coming in 2nd to Walter Hill is something every filmmaker eventually has to confront.

Anyway, the main bad guy is Dennis Leary. He basically spends the whole movie smoking cigarettes and going into long monologues about stuff he hates. His character name is Notbilh Icks. We supposedly find him dangerous because he kills Douche-alpha right off the bat. Douche-standard, Douche-troubled, Douche-buddy, and Douche-audience are all like, “Oh shit! He took out the most powerful of us all! Our douche powers are useless here!”

With the bad Irish guys on their trail, the douche-troop goes from place to place trying to get someone to help or call the police or something. First they find that huge wads of cash have no value in the urban ghetto; economic strains have reverted it to a barter system. Because the quality of their clothes can only be deciphered by other douchebags, the douche-troop has nothing to trade. Second, even if they had something to trade, they wouldn’t get help from the cops. “Police too scared to come here,” one urban ghetto old lady tells them.

“Even Robocop?” they ask hopefully.

“Oh yes,” she says, nodding, “even Robocop.” Then her head explodes because she was mere moments from completing her GED.

Eventually they realize that they’re gonna have to fight Dennis Leary if they want to live. The idea scares them pretty bad because they’re just flabby white dudes; they don’t know anything about fighting Irishmen. Douche-troubled takes a xanax and konks out. Douche-buddy gets shot in the gut. It’s up to Douche-standard, the film’s hero, to kick Dennis Leary’s urban ghetto Irish gangster ass.

The film’s finale takes place in a closed department store, indicating that the douche-troop’s re-entrance into society is close. The chase has taken Dennis Leary past the edge of his urban ghetto, and he’s thrown a little off guard by all the neat stuff the store offers. He’s especially impressed to find cigarettes that come pre-rolled. Wow!

This distraction proves to be his downfall. Chuck Estevez knows his way around this junk. This is HIS world. He jumps from behind a counter and hits Dennis Leary in the head with a golf club. Leary tries to punch him in the face, but he’s wearing a football helmet and it breaks his hand. He finds a rocket gun, but Chuck Estevez just laughs as the rockets bounce off his chest. Urban ghetto Irish gangsters don’t know what NERF is!

But that’s not even the ultimate trick. See, the department store is just outside of the urban ghetto. When they broke in, it set off an alarm in a place police WILL respond to. The sporting goods fight is simply a distraction. Dennis Leary falls for it and gets arrested. The douche-troop go to the hospital and end up okay, though they’ve all learned an important lesson about the realities of ghetto poverty. Later that week, they team up with local government officials and have the whole urban ghetto demolished. The end. Everyone worth a damn is happy!

(three stars)
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