Schlock Watch: The Patriot


The Patriot (1984)

*Spoilers Throughout*

220px-the_patriot_1986_film Director: Frank Harris (Low Blow, Killpoint)

Schlock Category: Action/Adventure, Crime, Espionage, War

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • No, not the Mel Gibson one.
  • And no, not the Steven Seagal one either.
  • It’s the one starring Gregg Henry and Leslie Nielsen!
  • The director of Killpoint! YES!
  • One of the military security guards at this weapons facility was shot by thieves. When another guard finds the dead one he radios in very matter-of-factly: “Security has been breached.” Nothing about the fallen soldier or that a man’s down or call a medic. Just worried about the security. Disposable guards I guess.
  • The terrorists actually had a problem with the facility’s chain-link fence. The leader tells one of his underlings to take out the fence despite them being in a large pick-up truck that could easily run down the fence.
  • Good to see Stack Pierce, who played Nighthawk in Killpoint, again. His name isn’t as cool in this movie though. It’s simply Atkins. I’m shocked it isn’t Nighthawk again.
  • One of terrorist lackeys actually said “What’s a Hiroshima?” Oh I get it. He’s stoopid.
  • The budget must’ve been bigger for this flick than Frank Harris’ previous flicks because he’s filming an underwater scene with scuba divers.
  • Gregg Henry is involved in a small bar brawl over a pool game. I’m not sure why he was attacked. I’m not even sure why he walked away from the table without his winnings. But his opponent tried to take his money but then let Henry take the money and then attacked him with a pool cue. I’m seriously confused.
  • Frank Harris sure loves his country and western dive bars/go-go bars.
  • So I’m still not sure who or what Gregg Henry is but his friend Maggie told him that some fellas smuggled a bomb from the mainland to an oil rig via a pipe. Why she told him and not proper authorities is the question.
  • Maggie did something underwater wrong and blew up something. Henry dives in after her to save her and miraculously she’s still alive.
  • But in the next scene she’s killed in some sort of mishap in a pressurized tank that was supposed to save her. I dunno.
  • Man, I sure wish this flick was about WWF wrestler, The Patriot instead.


  • Michael J. Pollard! Playing Twister with a chick dressed like a cheerleader.
  • Jeff Conaway! I mean, Jeff Conaway?
  • Leslie Nielsen!
  • It’s extremely tough to ever take Nielsen seriously no matter how convincing he is in a serious role.
  • Can a dishonorably discharged Naval Officer get a second chance years later and get the dishonorably changed to honorably? That seems far-fetched. I’d do some research but I don’t give a hot shit either way.
  • The music playing over Henry and his old flame making out is blatantly ripped off from Tangerine Dream’s Risky Business score.
  • Bewbs!
  • Henry’s post-coital chat is: “I didn’t quit because I wanted to stop killing people. It’s because I wanted to kill people. I didn’t care anymore.” Smoothie.
  • So apparently Henry’s old flame, which happens to be Nielsen’s niece, is also currently dating Jeff Conaway. I think. He seems insanely jealous that she boinked Henry last night. Her response was “I’m sorry. I’m really sorry it happened.” Quite casual and matter-of-factly.
  • So now its reveled that Conaway is the one who orchestrated the whole nuke stealing scheme. The plot thickens!
  • Now I’m witnessing two of the thieves from the beginning dancing to some 80s dance tune. That was completely unexpected.
  • One of the thieves looks like David Spade.
  • Now Michael J. Pollard is playing with a girl dressed as a French maid. Could be the same girl. But I don’t know.
  • I just learned that Michael J. Pollard played Mr. Mxyzptlk on a Superboy TV show! I should be hunting down clips of that on youtube right now but I have less-important things to do.


  • This nameless goon really nailed down his “OK asshole, sit down” line to perfection.
  • Speaking of Risky Business, this other goon sure does look and sound a lot like Joe Pantoliano.
  • Stack Pierce tried his least not to get shot by standing without any cover in an empty hallway. Not his finest moment.
  • Henry and his girlfriend go diving for the bomb but are met with other divers, who come out of nowhere. They have a spear gun battle and since both sides have black diving gear on I can’t tell whose who. It’s quite the pointless scene.
  • I can’t imagine a more less interesting fight than one between Gregg Henry and Jeff Conaway. Maybe Jesse Eisenberg vs. a large piece of fruit or something.
  • That’s it. A neck break. Yawn.
  • Seconds away to disarm the warhead. Yada yada yada. Cut the red wire! NO! The green!
  • Hahahahaha. As Henry cuts the wire it freeze-frames on his very tense face. It fades to white and then we see the Girl he was with during the bar brawl hitchhiking. He then pulls up in his motorcycle and picks her up. So he never got his old flame back? Did he actually cut the wrong wire and this is the directors way of saying this is the after-life?

Exploitation Level (Gore, Nudity, Etc.): The opening scene had plenty of bullets blazing but like most marriages after childbirth, it takes a very long time to get any action again. And the action is as bland as an Amish video game. There was one short sex scene and it did feature some nudity but too little too late by then.

Best Scene: This movie is devoid of any excitement or anything of interest. It’s like getting really high with a congressman—seriously, what’s the point?


Worst Scene: If you’re going to have an underwater scuba diver fight, it may be a good idea to have the two opposing sides in different colors. 

Best Line: “I didn’t quit because I wanted to stop killing people. It’s because I wanted to kill people. I didn’t care anymore.” Just a reminder that this was a post-coital conversation.

Well How Schlocky Is It?: This was a real slog. I was bored to tears while watching this. I knew going in that Leslie Nielsen wasn’t really going to play a major part but I’ve seen Gregg Henry in a bunch of stuff and genuinely like him. (Watch Mel Gibson’s Payback for a fine Henry performance.) But every single aspect of this actioner was dreadfully dull. I can’t succinctly express enough how boring it is. Killpoint had ridiculous characters and such awful performances that it made the film entertaining. The Patriot has just enough mediocre-ness to get a passing grade. I wouldn’t waste my time with this one folks.


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