The Poetry of Violence: House of Bamboo
I’ve decided to revisit my House of Bamboo review because I somehow forgot to mention that it features one of the most realistically abrupt and brutal moments of violence I’ve ever encountered outside of a Scorsese film [SPOILERS below, obviously].
The scene follows a botched armored car robbery. The gang’s leader (incorrectly) surmises that his former lieutenant (played by Cameron Mitchell, Red Letter Media’s favorite fallen star of Old Hollywood)—whose behavior has grown increasingly erratic ever since Robert Stack’s character basically supplanted him in the crew’s hierarchy—ratted him out to the authorities. When he goes to confront his disgruntled underling, he doesn’t waste his breath on questions or idle threats; he simply kicks in the door and opens fire on his target while he’s still in the bathtub, perforating him before he even has the chance to utter a single syllable. He saves his soliloquy for after the deed is done, berating his slain comrade for his (alleged) betrayal while the bloodstained water slowly leaks out through the bullet holes.
As far as cinematic deaths go, it’s shocking, haunting… and oh so memorable.