Bulletproof Catholic: BAD LIEUTENANT At 25

Abel Ferrara has always labeled Bad Lieutenant – his ’92 masterpiece involving a nameless cop’s descent into sin and madness – a “documentary”, even though it stars Harvey Keitel, and is obviously a work of jangly NYC grime fiction. However, Ferrara was shooting what he knew: the streets of New York, emerging from the ’80s when crack was still king, and the NYPD had been revealed over the last few decades (from with the infamous Knapp Commission on) to be just as scummy and corrupt as any pusher on the corner. Based on the director’s previous picture – the Christopher Walken-starring King of New York (’90) – with its hyper-stylized Manhattan answer to Brian De Palma’s Scarface (’83), he probably respected the kingpins more. At least the enigmatic villain in that cold opus acknowledges he’s putting poison in the streets, and tries to counter his actions by erecting a hospital with his ill-gotten gains

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