Just Pillow Talk’s Birthday Nightmare: The Mighty Quinn (1989)

No preamble from me this time, other than for me to say that I’m astonished to find out that The Mighty Quinn isn’t an eskimo, rather a large Jamaican dude. Music lied to me. Anyhow, here’s Just Pillow Talk with his latest disgrace to celluloid for our enjoyment (I hope there’s a tiger in a hat):

So after a few days with the family away visiting the aquarium, seaport, and assorted beaches, I feel my mind has recovered enough to once again try and tame the untamable…to climb the unclimable, to piss into the wind and not get wet…let’s get ready to ruuuuuuuumble! You thought I forgot about you birthday list, but you are wrong. It’s time to leave the 80’s in the rearview mirror and continue the treacherous climb.

Quinn (Denzel Washington) is a well-known and respected chief of police in Jamaica, who is called away from a wedding when a body is found in a hot tub with his head cut off. On his way to the scene he nearly collides with his good friend Maubee (Robert Townsend). A briefcase goes flying out of his motorcycle, which clearly has something undesirable in it, but Quinn is in a hurry and decides not to bust his friend’s balls on it. At the scene of the crime, Tom Elgin’s house, it seems our boy Tom is hiding somethings and really not in the most sharing mood for facts and details and whatnot. Maubee’s notebook is found at the scene, and therefore suspect #1. Quinn asks for an autopsy, which doesn’t go over well with the higher-ups in government too well,and they move the body to the airport instead of the hospital to avoid the autopsy, but Quinn has other ideas. He gets other ideas and brings in another doctor in the dead of night.

That of course puts him in further hot water,, but that doesn’t stop him from snooping around Tommy boy’s house again. He has a confrontation with Tommy, threats are made, and Quinn ends up having another conversation with his wife. She tells him that Maubee was in fact there the other night to steal some things, but she showed him her hoo-hoo, and there was an understanding.

The doctor that Quinn brought in tells him that the man killed was by a snakebite, not by head removal, and that occurred after he already died from the venom. Uh-oh. His superiors don’t like that bit of information

There is a scene where Quinn walks into a bar and the whole place quiets down as he enters. They know he doesn’t take any shit. But instead of questioning anyone he heads straight to the piano and starts playing. The scene is pretty good up to that point…until Denzel opens up his yap and starts singing. It loses some of its luster.

It turns out, after a bit of detective work, Quinn figures out the case is filled with $10,000 bills, which were only printed in the 20’s and 50’s. An American is sent back to retrieve that case and will stop at nothing to get it back.

Quinn eventually tracks down Maubee who tells him the full story: a woman gets pregnant from the snake bitten headless dude (he wasn’t quite those things yet when he made his donation to her) and her mom, witch doctor curses him and gets her to delivery a snake to snake bitten headless dude. Maubee tries to cover it up with his hatchet job and takes the case full of money in the process.

Which brings us to the finale, where the American shows up in a helicopter and gets the money back at gunpoint. This leads to Maubee thinkings it’s a grand idea to jump onto the helicopter and hang on, for what end result is beyond me. He gets gunned down but Maubee stuffed a snake in the bag of money, which slithers its way to the pilot. Helicopter crashes, money burned up, case closed. Except Quinn really didn’t do shit. He didn’t live up to his “reputation” once during the movie.

Denzel was Denzel, pretty much a middling effort on his part. Everyone else was okay, nothing wrong with the performances. Leave aside the actual crime, there was several glaring problems in my mind: Denzel didn’t do anything to warrant his reputation like I said before, he didn’t do anything at the end to stop the American, that was Maubee. Secondly, the American was played by M. Emmet Walsh, who is a decent actor, but not the threat I would conceive for this part. It’s a passable movie, exceptional if you want to compare to 90% of my list, but one that I could not really recommend. I will give it 2 Red Stripes out of 4.

Once again 1980’s portion of my list, a big fuck you. Thanks for making my brain all smushy and whatnot.

Next up: I get my Revenge starting in the 1990’s.

Pillow out

The Nightmare so far…

1973 The World’s Greatest Athlete 1 / 4

1974 Deranged 0.5 / 4

1975 Shampoo 1.5 / 4

1976 Taxi Driver 3 / 4

1977 Black Samurai 1.5 / 4

1978 The Betsy 0 / 4

1979 Quintet 0 / 4

1980 Hero at Large 2/4

1981 Dogs of War 2.5/4

1982 The Beast Within 0/4: The Orangutan of Doom

1983 King of Comedy 3/4

1984 Blame it on Rio 0.5/4

1985 Lost in America 0/4

1986 Quicksilver (1/ 4)

1987 84 Charing Cross Road (1/ 4)

1988 Shoot to Kill (1/4)

1989 The Mighty Quinn (2/4)

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

12 responses to “Just Pillow Talk’s Birthday Nightmare: The Mighty Quinn (1989)”

  1. Jarv says :

    Holding steady on 1.17 average.

    Hehehe. This doesn’t sound too bad, actually, aside that Denzel isn’t very mighty .

  2. Droid says :

    The Not Very Mighty Quinn? The Lackluster Quinn? Or maybe just The Quinn?

    I’m very displeased to learn that this film does not feature a tiger in a hat in any capacity. I expect more from you, Denzel. For all your class, presence and whatnot, you fail to deliver the most important element. Just cut to a shot of a photo on a mantlepiece, of a tiger in a hat. Easy. What a shame.

  3. just pillow talk says :

    The Mighty piano playing Quinn.

    Looks Mighty good in his white dress uniform Quinn.

  4. Cathy says :

    Hello Jarv,

    My name is Catherine, I’ve been reading your blog, and I have to say I’m impressed by it’s high quality and clean presentation. I also liked your writing style, had fun reading your articles and reviews (Denzel Washington in a movie like this? really? wow), about films and entertainment.

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    • just pillow talk says :

      Dear Cathy,
      Can I ask how you fill about my journey so far into the bowels of cinema (for the most part) during my birthday list odessy? Do you think it would make you punch a chipmunk in the face? Laugh at children who cry over spilt milk? Does the “C” word make you feel uncomfortable, because some of the more dreadful movies tend to bring that out in reviews.

      BTW, I really like Texas Hold ‘Em, do you have that as one of your games?


      • just pillow talk says :

        Ugh, I apologize Cathy, sorry about my typo of “fill”, it should be “feel”.
        I was just so excited that you posted in my review, that I typed much too fast. Once again, sorry, do you have freecell as one of the games by chance? That game kicks ass.


  5. Xiphos0311 says :

    What the hell? You have a job to complete watching awful movies, get assaulted mentally, then review them and you go on vacation? Unacceptable!

  6. ThereWolf says :

    Pillow, you sound completely de-motivated. I’ve heard of ‘Mighty Quinn’ but it didn’t seem much of anything so I never bothered.

    Denzel on the piano sounds good though. Almost as good as Brad Pitt in a tree with dinosaurs.

    Excellent input from Cathy as well. I know exactly how you feel, Cathy – Denzel in a film like this, wow, indeed.

    • just pillow talk says :

      I admit it was tough to review, the 70’s and 80’s nearly wiped me out.

      I can only hope (crosses fingers) Cathy shows up again to provide some much needed insight into some of the movies I have to watch.

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