Charles Bronson stars as a simple Canadian fur trapper who rescues a dog from the vicious leader of a dog fighting ring (Ed Lauter, not Michael Vick). Lauter gets pissed that he stole his best dog and tries to gun Bronson down, but this is Charles Bronson we’re talking about here and Chuck will have no part of THAT. So a big shootout ensues and then Lauter does the unthinkable, HE KILLS THE DOG!
Okay, remember how Bronson reacted in Death Wish when his wife was murdered? How do you think he’s gonna take someone killing his DOG?
You already KNOW how Old Chuck will react: By giving those bastard’s guts a new sun roof.
Now in Death Wish when his wife was murdered, it took Chuck a good half hour before he started turning people into walking anatomy subjects, but in Death Hunt he starts blowing people away almost immediately. After all, this is a dog; MAN’S BEST FRIEND we’re talking about here people, not some broad. No wonder Chuck doesn’t waste any time giving these dudes a buckshot breakfast.
So a grizzled Mountie (Lee Marvin) and his crew (Andrew Stevens and Carl Weathers) are sent out to Bronson’s cabin to bring him to justice. Marvin says, “Look Chuck, why don’t you just let me take you to jail. We were both in The Dirty Dozen together, so what do you say, for old time’s sakes, can I please take you to the pokey, please?”
You can probably guess what Chuck’s answer is: “I think I’ll fill a couple Mounties with more lead than a Number 2 pencil instead.”
Well Marvin doesn’t like that so he gets Apollo Creed to blow up Chuck’s summer home, but Chuck has home owner’s insurance; which is to say he has a sawed off shotgun and an itchy trigger finger.
He takes off into the wilderness and Marvin and Co. give chase. Then the movie settles down and becomes First Blood in three feet of snow.
Chuck is great in this flick. That is to say he’s Charles Bronson. He’s so bad ass in this flick that even though he’s Canadian, he doesn’t even bother to say “about” as “aboot”. Marvin is equally good as the Mountie who is sympathetic to his plight, but nevertheless has to do his job and bring him in.
Oh yeah, and if you sneeze you’ll miss Angie
Sure the film gets a bit sluggish in the middle section (things get mighty strange about halfway in when the film takes a Deliverance style turn when Lauter tries to put the moves on Stevens), but of course things are going to be a little slow going when your main characters are walking through three feet of snow. Despite the occasional lapses in pacing, Death Hunt proves the rule that any Bronson movie with the word “Death” in the title is a good time.
Stevens also co-starred with Big Chuck two years later in and Lauter later was in the classic Death Wish 3 with Bronson. The director, Peter Hunt (who slyly got his name in the title) also did On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and later directed Bronson in Assassination. The screenwriters went on to write Poltergeist the next year.
Chuck hardly says 100 words in this flick so it’s up to Carl Weathers to get the best line of the movie. There’s a great scene when he wakes up next a fat Eskimo prostitute and turns to Stevens and says, “You want a piece of this buffalo woman?”