If you were a mugger, would you prey on a guy that looked like Charles Bronson? I guess this wouldn't have worked with Petula Clark in the lead, but Death Wish -- which spawned four sequels and endless knockoffs -- is a real piece of filmed Americana. Bronson plays Paul Kersey, an architect (and conscientious objector during Vietnam!) whose wife is senselessly killed by a mugger. Soon he learns the joy of the .32 handgun and begins shooting up the town whenever he spies a mugging, or -- more lifely -- when he is the victim of an attempted mugging himself. Bronson probably shoots more bullets than he utters lines of dialogues, and the police work in tracking down Kersey is uncannily good. All told this is a compulsively watchable bit of '70s nostalgia, a curious counterpart to Dirty Harry and an icon of New York-brand justice. (Make sure you dig the wallpaper in Kersey's kitchen.)
A Nightmare on Elm Street's Freddy returns five years after the original movie's setting, with none of the same cast (save Robert Englund) and little of its charm. This time out, Freddy attempts to possess a student named Jesse (Mark Patton, at 21 years old, makes for a bit of an overgrown teenager), so he can do his dirty work in the real world. Freddy's Revenge unfortunately is mostly relegated to the audience who has to sit through this rather disastrous sequel. Kim Myers is an engaging heroine, but otherwise this is little more than a repeat of the original (it even takes place in the same house), just with less originality.