Seven (1979)

Spread the weird

RATING– ✮✮

DIRECTOR– Andy Sidaris

PLOT– Hawaiian officials and bigwigs are being murdered left and right by a group of hitmen going wild. The government hires their best man (William Smith) to put an end to the killer gang once and for all with no questions asked.

6 REASONS TO WATCH

  1. bad luau’s
  2. skateboarders with bad attitudes
  3. Luca Brasi doesn’t sleep with the fishes
  4. Helen Reddy jokes
  5. trumpeters in moo-moos
  6. sexy silly string

REVIEW– Seven hitmen are running around Hawaii creating havoc and the government hires their one best man to stop them… who, in turn, hires seven more men to help him… which turns out to be six instead of seven because he doesn’t want to count the woman he hired… but it’s really seven because you need to include the guy who is hiring in the count, ’cause he’s one of them… so it’s seven… even though it’s actually eight… but probably not six… most likely it’s seven.

Hope that’s clear.

But why they named the film after the most confusing aspect of the film is unknown. What is known is that whatever name they could’ve named this film, it still would be long and rather repetitive.

The setup to the entire story literally takes 45 minutes. And then not much happens for the remainder of the film, which is another plodding 55 minutes (heck, the opening credits are over 10 minutes just by themselves). And when they finally get around to the big payoff finale (all seven hitmen must be killed within 30 minutes of each other for some reason), it’s just scene after scene of people being shot. Maybe they’re gunned down from far away, or maybe from up close, but it’s still just the same thing over and over, seven times.

It’s fun to see Hawaii back in the late ’70s and the funky rock flute music throughout is reminiscent of that James Bond/Matt Helm/Derek Flint type spy music. I guess it could be argued the director, the one and only Mr. Andy Sidaris, was going a little more mainstream for this film. He had a decent budget. He had a beautiful location and hired some mainstream actors. But, unfortunately, it all adds up to one of his more lackluster efforts.

Darryl was on the phone all morning trying to find out why all his shirts were shipped without chest hair.

FAULTY FACTS– The character of “The Kahuna” in Seven is played by professional wrestler turned actor Lenny Montana (1926-1992)… also known as “Lenny The Bull” in the wrestling world. You may remember Mr. Montana as Don Corleone’s loyal hitman Luca Brasi in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. When his character is eliminated in that film, it is reported that Luca Brasi “sleeps with the fishes”.

According to Grammarphobia, the expression “sleeps with the fishes” was popularized by the immensely successful film, but did not originate there. A search of books digitized by Google suggests that the expression was alive and well in English at least as far back as the 1830s and probably earlier.

In the book Sketches of Germany and the Germans (1836), Edmund Spencer describes a trip by a British angler to an area occupied by superstitious villagers who considered fly fishing a form of black magic:

This terrible apprehension was soon circulated from village to village: the deluded peasants broke in pieces the pretty painted magic wand, and forcibly put to flight the magician himself, vowing, with imprecations, if he repeated his visit, they would send him to sleep with the fishes.

Here’s one more fishy example. An article from the July 15, 1905, issue of The Search-Light, a magazine specializing in international affairs, describes an attempt by the Russian fleet to capture a pirate ship:

After her at full speed hurried the torpedo boat ‘Smetilvy,’ manned by a crew of officers and faithful blue jackets, and pledged to send the rebels to sleep with the fishes.

There doesn’t appear to be any citations for “sleep with the fishes” in the Oxford English Dictionary, but the OED does have an entry from an 1891 slang dictionary of “feed the fishes” used figuratively to mean “to be drowned.”

Luca Brasi body-slams the fishes.