DEAD PRESIDENTS features an explosive confrontation between robbers and the law in a major planned heist of old US currency. It also tracks the life of 18-year-old Anthony Curtis. He decides to forego college, join the Marine Corps, leave his family and girlfriend behind, and fight the war in Vietnam. After the war, Anthony returns to his Bronx neighborhood, only to discover that sympathy is hard to find, as well as jobs. His girlfriend has been raising his daughter and with another baby on the way, she is not living her dream. Anthony resorts to the one big chance of making it by robbing an armored truck carrying old US currency destined for burning.
DEAD PRESIDENTS succeeds in its action sequences. The excitement and pacing are well handled and skillfully placed, but Anthony’s character development was compromised along the way. The talent of the Hughes brothers are very evident. While DEAD PRESIDENTS may not prove to be their best work, it is paving the way for other efforts. Regrettably, the movie revels in its own violence. There are lots of blood, gory mutilations, a severed head carried around, people bashing, and gunfire. Also, the film is marked by over 300 obscenities and 20 profanities. The film does ultimately punish crime, but the lack of moral or religious conscience rings clear in DEAD PRESIDENTS.
(H, Ac, LLL, VVV, SS, NN, A, D, M) Humanist worldview with some elements of anti-communism as depicted in the Vietnam war segments; strong language with 338 obscenities & vulgarities & 20 profanities including those exclaimed by a preacher-turned-robber; heavy violence & plenty of gore including beatings, punchings, battle scenes showing mutilation including a scene with a man's intestines hanging out, soldier severing dead soldier's head, bloody images of war in nightmare sequence, gunfire confrontation between robbers & police, car explosion, & husband abusing his wife; one fornication scene between young boy & girl, unwed pregnancy, prostitution, & implied adultery & fornication; boy partially undressing girl & partial nudity; rampant alcohol & drug abuse, drinking & driving & smoking; and, gambling, minor driving car without license, police corruption, robbery, and greed.