“Was I supposed to laugh, or am I off my pills again? No matter. This movie sucked.”
– Ebert on Heinous Dan
Heinous Dan is a 1971 award-winning movie directed by Don Siegel, and the only movie in history which has made a former president vomit upon viewing from both intense violence and intense musical scenes. It retells the tale of "Heinous" Dan Surham, the world's toughest detective --- the only officer who boasted to have a greater criminal record than his offenders --- and his attempt to catch a dreaded, but very generic, serial killer. Currently it has a rating of 14% on Rotten Tomatoes, possibly due to the fact that the Tomatoes have rotted out to the point of having no taste.
Like all good action movies, Heinous Dan is notable for being a cause for a major increase in violence throughout the United States and an increase in the popularity of revolvers. It also created a plethora of movies and news stories with overly violent police officers for decades to come.
It has also had a television, play, and musical adaption, the last of which premiered on Broadway with a record number of middle-class libertarians attending opening night. Frank Sinatra, who played the role of Heinous Dan was also shot that night by several crowd members, all of which had the freedom to carry a weapon without a safety quickly revoked.
Taglines: "Detective Daniel Surham doesn't just catch criminals. He also castrates them." "Clint Eastwood is 'Heinous Dan'. And boy, does he shoot off limbs heinously."
Scene One: A Bank Robbery
[Scene: 1970s, a large town, a generic street with buildings on both sides. Heinous Dan, in his black 1970 Chevy Impala, skids on scene to a bank robbery. Smoke bellows from his tires as he emerges from his vehicle.]
Dan [Closeup on his badge, his ID, then his mouth, cigarette inserted, slowly moving up to his Aviator sunglasses.]
- So what's the situation here, officer?
Officer [Camera flip from closeup so officer can be seen next to Dan]
- Dan! Thank god you're here. We have a hostage situation. The robber won't let go of the hostages. Can you help us?
Dan [Spitting out his cig]
- I reckon I can. Do you have a line in there? Contact him for me.
- Right away. Mahoney, get me the line.
[Mahoney walks on screen and gives the officer the line. Dan slowly walks off screen toward the building]
- Dan? I thought you wanted to contact this guy.
Dan [Camera flip to near ground level, one of Dan's legs visible. Dan stops in his tracks, turns his head. Closeup on face]
- Well, contact him for me.
[Dan Continues, camera follows him at corner angles as he makes way toward the back door of the bank. Closeup on Dan's hip. He pulls out his . 500 Magnum revolver. Closeup on the door's handle. Dan moves the handle slowly, and opens the door. He hears the robber.]
- Officer, do you have your head up your ass? I told you fifteen times I won't release the prisoners...
[Dan advances around the facility. A 3/4 view of the cubicle complex is seen. Dan is in the back, and the shooter is near the front, near the tellers. Closeup on the robber.]
- ...NO! I'M NOT GIVING THIS HOSTAGES UP FOR A CUP OF CHOCOLATE PUDDING OR ANY OTHER FLAVOR OF PUDDING. Do you think I'm fucking retarded or something?
[Sound of revolver hammer cocking. The robber freezes, and drops the phone.]
Dan [90 degree rotation. Dan has the gun's barrel to the robber's head.]
[Back to the front view of the robber. He is tense. He reaches for his gun. Dan shoots it out of his way and pistol whips him to the ground.]
- Now let me ask you one question...
[Dan kicks him to the ground. Angled view with robber's right shoulder being closest to the camera as he is on the floor. Dan is stepping on him, and has his revolver pointed at his face]
- Well...do you feel lucky, punk?
Robber [Dan's Shoulder view, camera pointed at robbers face.]
[Camera flips back to previous position. Dan shoots the robber in the leg.]
- [Shrill of pain]
Dan [Closeup on Dan's face]
- How about now, huh, punk?
[He unloads the entire cylinder on the robber. Camera flip to outside, several minutes later. A body bag can be seen being loaded onto an ambulance in the background. In the foreground Dan is talking with the officer he saw previously]
- Shit, Dan. I never knew a revolver held that many bullets.
- You must be thinking to yourself: Did I shoot six shots, or an entire cylinder?
- [Laughs, then suddenly stops.] But do you ever think they'll be able to identify the body now? I mean, sure, shooting him to death --- that's standard procedure --- but did you really have to burn his face off afterward ---
- Does it matter when he was holding up 20 people in a bank?
- --- then piss on his corpse?
- Don't blame me for my incontinence. I'm just trying to do my job.
- Aw hell, Dan. You're right. Thanks for putting a stop to the robber. Now I can sit my fat ass down in my favorite seat over at the Dunkin Donuts. Think you could join me, Dan?
- Listen...you know...I'd really like to...but...
[Beeping noise comes from a radio in Dan's car]
- I've got a job to do. Call me when there's a problem I can care about.
[Dan runs into his car and goes on his way.]
Scene Two: In Which the Arch Nemesis is Met
[Scene: Heinous Dan arrives into a crime scene, and gets out of his car. Forensic detectives are photographing a body lying on the ground. Camera is focused on Dan and a Detective near a chalk outline taking photos.]
- 'the hell happened here?
Detective [Aligning his camera, then snapping photo.]
- A serial killer, that's what.
- You mean there's a serial killer running around and I haven't heard about it?
- Well, the guy is pretty generic. It's completely pathetic --- almost no challenge whatsoever. He follows everything to the letter in a crime manual. He even leaves his name on a calling card, see?
[Detective gives card to Dan. Closeup on Dan as he reads it. Then closeup on card from Dan's shoulder. The card reads "ARIES SERIAL KILLING SERVICES: We'll kill to get you a good deal! Representative Andrew Murphy: 555-1234 EXT +13"]
Dan [Camera returns to previous angle]
- Andrew Murphy? What the hell kind of name is that? Hmm... Do you mind if I give this guy a call?
- Not at all. Just make sure to get a search warrant if you're going to visit the guy.
[Abrupt camera flip to Dan inside a house punching a man with an already bloody face screaming, holding him by the collar. The camera is behind Dan, 45° rotated right in order to see the killer. The camera is moving as Dan is moving him toward a wall. He props the killer against it.]
- You want a fucking search warrant for me to get into your house? I've got your fucking search warrant right here!
[Dan pulls out his Smith & Wesson]
- Now you better tell me what the hell you've killed, how you did it, and anything else I should know you sick freak!
Killer [Eyes closed, crying]
- I WANT MY LAWYER!
[Dan punches him in the gut. Killer repeats the phrase above, with more conviction and desperation.]
- I WHAT MY LAWYER!
[Killer screams a blood curdling scream]
- You better wise up, punk, and tell me what you've done, or you'll be at the same end of that gun with the trigger pulled.
Commissioner [Off camera]
- That will be enough interrogation for now, Heinous.
[Dan lets go of the killer's collar, letting fall to the floor and quiver as he turns his head to look behind him. Camera slowly follows suit. The commissioner is standing by the door.]
- I entrusted you'd be a fine officer in this case. Clearly I overestimated you.
- Now sarge, this man is a dangerous serial---
- Don't think I don't know that, Dan!
[Commissioner walks over to the killer, and pulls him up by his shirt]
- I mean, look at this man! You didn't even manage to punch his upper teeth in!
- I apologise Commissioner. I should have known better.
- This is a damned disgrace to our force, Dan. Because of this, I'm taking you off the case. Don't bother this man again. We'll have other police officers on the case. If it were any other man I would have fired you already, but I know you do better than this.
- Shouldn't we arrest this guy already?
- No, Dan. He's just a serial killer. We have bigger fish to fry. We've got pot-smoking hippie liberal youth to worry about. Sure, a serial killer kills a few people here and there and we occasionally have to clean a few bodies up, but these youth pose the real danger to society. Think of the protests, Dan. Think of the protests! We'll be forced to eat tofu burgers before retirement if we don't put these people in prison!
- No buts, Dan. You're off the case.
[The Killer lifts himself up]
Killer [Timid voice]
- Can I leave, sir?
- Absolutely n--
- Yes, yes you may. Sorry for bothering you, fellow.
- I think I'll go to the hospital now. Any more blood loss from those blows to the face and I'll be a grave man next morning...
[Killer puts bloody hand on Dan's shoulder. Dan moves it off.]
- Chief, you have a fine officer, here. I've never seen anyone with that much conviction to beat up an admitted serial killer. Nice work.
[The Killer walks into his garage. Dan angrily walks away into his car parked on the street, and drives away.]
Scene Three: A Hostage Crisis
[Scene: Dan is driving away from the scene of the crime. He brakes onto the side of the road, turns off his car, and facepalms (Camera angle focused on him doing this from driver window). Flip. At the killer's home, the killer drives away in his Beetle, cutting right a block away from Dan and heading toward the fast food restaurant "O'Finnerty's". Flip. Dan gets a call on his radio. He takes his hand off his head and listens.]
Department Dispatch [On radio]
- Dan, we've got a situation here at the local O'Finnerty's. Do you think you can get there?
- I'm on my way.
[Dan turns his car back on (Camera angle flips to just outside a turn, which his car clears) and starts to race to the O'Finnertys.]
- ...Rats on every side...at least I can clean up crime and brutally kick ass while doing it...
[Flip. Dan's car arrives at the O'Finnerty's. Police cars are all around the parking lot, with the killer's Beetle in view. The door to the front is chained up, and a man dressed in a cow costume holding up a cardboard sign with the words "MEAT IS MURDER" crudely written in black ink. There is a ladder in the front of the store, presumably where the protesters got up. Several other protesters are also present. He carries a microphone with him. Dan steps out of the car and walks toward the commissioner, who is already there.]
- HOLOCAUST ON YOUR PLATE MAKES ME WANT TO ORALLY DEFECATE! MEAT IS MURDER! MEAT IS MURDER!
- Oh for Christ's sake...
Commissioner [Closeup during his lines]
- Damn you, you sandal-wearing pot-smoking animal rights activists...clogging up prisons and making our police cars smell like we've been burning our wife's candles! You see, Dan, that is what's wrong with America. [Pointing to protester] These people open their mouths and complain about food on top of buildings while starving and demeaning themselves, while hurting or annoying good simple folk trying to get a burger. Seriously, what the hell? Has their LSD not worn off or something?
Killer [Being carried off into a cop car with handcuffs]
- I'm insane, and I wouldn't even do this.
- Is this seriously important, or did we run out of cases again? I've got bigger problems to worry about than high college students.
[Dan pulls the officer carrying him away from the Killer, forces him onto his knees and shoots him multiple times without once really paying attention, most of the time focused on and talking the dialogue above with the commissioner]
Dan [Unzipping his pants's front zipper. Closeup on Dan's face. The sound of pissing on fabric can be heard.]
- I've killed naked rapists chasing women with butcher knives and incarcerated serial killers, and now I'm reduced to this.
[Camera changes to a rooftop perspective, at the shoulder of the protester in the cow costume. Dan walks up the ladder to the protester.]
- I bet you came here to take us down, didn't you?
- No, I came here to get your names and addresses. You know, for the funeral home. It'll make our job of identifying the bodies a lot easier.
- What do you mean?
- You see, when people like you go and protest on the roof of a business, the proprietor isn't usually very happy. They come up to the roof with their guns and start shooting you guys down.
- Not if you pigs get to us first!
- Oh no, we won't shoot you. We can't shoot you by law. But the proprietor can. There was this one case I was on --- couldn't identify the bodies because they were burnt to a crisp, my partner talking them down included. And all the ashes were all mixed together, and we couldn't tell what particle went with which protester. Almost made me throw up in my mouth a little.
- Thanks. I threw up in my cow suit, asshole.
[The protester pushes the ladder off the building with his "hoof". Dan jumps off. Camera goes to the ground, by Dan, surrounded by a few police officers.]
- So, are they coming down, Dan?
- Well, judging by the fact that they just pushed the ladder and me off of the building, I'm guessing they aren't exactly happy.
- Well, what are we supposed to do now?
[A Lincoln Town Car pulls up violently into the front parking lot, and skids to the front door. Donald "Donny" O'Finnerty steps out of the car with a Taurus .44 magnum.]
Donny [Closeup for dialogue]
- Okay, I'm giving you five fecken' seconds to get the fuck out of my restaurant, before I shoot your frickin' animal loving brains out of your horse feckin' asses.
[Closeup of a protester, who gets wide eyed.]
Dan [Camera is behind Dan's back, the chief is in view, and so is Donny, who breaks the glass door in with his pistol and proceeds to get inside. Dan turns his head to the chief.]
- I think you should call this one a wrap.
- If you say so. [Pulls out radio] Pull back, all units. Situation in the O'Finnerty's under control. Let's pull back and find our way back to the waffle house.
[On the roof, O'Finnerty is beating down the protesters. He shoots the man in the cow suit. The man in the cow suit bellows a Wilhelm scream. The units are not concerned, and have already begun to pull out, including Dan. A murmur is heard from the roof.]
Donny [Shouting from roof]
- Don't feckin' test me about the environment and what I sell until you are sober enough to frickin' get a frickin' real job! We have frickin' lettuce on our burgers! How feckin' green do you want our burgers to get, you rebbit? [Shoots]
Scene Four: Tracking Down the Killer
[Scene: It is several days later, in the commissioner's office. The camera is pointed at the door. Dan walks in.]
- Please, Dan. Take a seat.
[Camera moves with Dan, to a seat next to the commissioner's desk.]
- What is it this time, jackass? Am I behind my beating quota again, or is it that you don't count kills anymore?
- No, Dan. In fact you're fifteen bodies and a foreigner ahead of your quota for his week. Remember that person you shot a few days ago at the O'Finnerty's protest?
- Yeah, the Serial killer?
- Well, it turns out that wasn't actually the serial killer.
- Then who the hell was it?
- Apparently you killed Paul McCartney.
- The singer?
- No, the drug addict.
- Who cares?
- That's besides the point. The body was burned already anyways. We'll just send some sort of apology note to the family with that template we always use. Anyways, I'm assigning you to the case again.
- So you took me off the case just to assign me to it again?
- No. I took you off the case because you were being a lazy ass. Now get the hell out of my office and kill that shithead before I assign Bremner on the case again.
[Dan walks toward the door and opens it about to go out.]
- And Dan?
- This time, pay attention to who you're shooting. The ACLU is getting suspicious of your actions again. Next thing we know we have a petition on our doorstep.
[The phone rings on the Commissioner's desk. He picks it up.]
- Hello? ...Mayor? ... Really? ...God damn him... I'll hire him on the force by next week.
[The commissioner puts the phone down.]
- Well, there's some good news and bad news, Dan.
- What's the good news?
- That serial killer dispersed a few protests today, and we're going to hire him on the force.
- If that's the good news, I don't want to know what the hell the bad news is.
- Well, he's heading toward the Oil Shipment Services Incorporated fill-yard in the middle of San Francisco, in a bus full of elementary school children from the local Catholic school and a small cat. And he's demanding 1000 dollars. I want you to go to him and tell him that he can stop it now, because we're hiring him.
- Do you want me to bring him into your office with a bullet hole where his brain should be, or should I call you over to kiss his ass before the coroner gets there?
- God damnit Dan, don't kill the man! We need to hire this guy!
- If you're going to do that then I suggest you get another messenger boy, because this one has too many morals.
- Wait! I'll give you a raise!
- Do you think I'm really that low-brow?
- I'll throw in my car.
- You've got a deal.
[Camera follows Dan, with switches. Dan leaves the room, puts on his sunglasses, leaves the building, then walks down the stairs, to the sidewalk, and into his car. He starts the car, and speeds toward a bridge in the middle of the city. He gets out.]
Dan [Camera closeup. Dan lights a cigarette he places in his mouth.]
- [To himself] Yeah. We've got a real deal, chief. Fuck the deal. I didn't buy a revolver to let it sit there and collect dust. I bought it to kick ass. Now let's see you try to get my job alive, dirtbag.
[Dan takes his revolver out of his coat.]
Scene Five: Climatic Battle on ICE! --- A Musical
[Scene: The killer, with a Luger in hand, is directing the bus driver as kids are singing Our God is an Awesome God. The camera is in the back of the bus, facing forward. The killer has the gun toward the driver's head in one hand, and a cat in his other hand, grabbed by its skin on top. It is hissing very audibly.]
- Our God, is an awesome God,
- He reigns, from Heav---
- Shut the hell up or I'll send your little cat [Pulls cat up and reads tag. Cat scratches him in eye] --- Ow! --- Abraham up high, and his brains down low.
- With wisdom, power, and love
- Our God is an---
[Closeup on cat. The killer loads a bullet into its chest. The cat screams, followed by the children. Camera abruptly flips before blood is shown. Dan sees the bus coming, and gets near an edge of the bridge in the lane which the bus traverses. He jumps, and lands squarely onto the roof of the bus. Camera flips to inside the bus ]
- Oh God no!
[The Killer starts to shoot at the roof. Camera flip to the top of the roof. He doesn't manage to hit Dan. Dan quickly reacts and gets onto the front end.]
- Suprise, asshole!
[The killer opens the door and throws the bus driver out it, and takes control of the vehicle. The driver yelps before a cracking sound is heard.]
- Outa my way, bitch!
[Dan tries to shoot him, but the killer swerves the bus making either person too unstable to take the shot. He is forced to take an exit, and ends up smashing into an ice rink, where a theatrical production of Ghetto Jamal and the Night Visitors is currently taking place, as evidenced by a poster which is visible before the crash. Camera flips to the lobby where half the bus is embedded into the building. The killer runs into the lobby, toward a door off camera to the right. Dan follows suit, shooting twice. The kids get off the bus screaming and run out the rink door. Camera flips to the ice rink, where the actors are singing a variation of the song Bohemian Raphsody by Queen, around the part in the lyrics where the lead (in this case Jama) sings "I'm just a poor boy from a poor family". It is interrupted by three shots. The killer runs onto the ice rink, and falls flat on his face.]
- [Screaming in pain] Piss! That hurt!
[He gets up, shoots security and gets to Jamal, which he holds by his neck with a gun to his head. Dan finally walks into the room. He takes two concealed knives from their leg holsters, and stabs them into the heels of his square-toed dress shoes. He then runs onto the ice.]
Production Actors [Singing]
- Let him go!
- No, I will not let him go!
Dan [Closeup, saying things in a serious and bad ass tone]
- [Lifting gun towards the killer] Let him go, you yellow-bellied son of a bitch.
Killer [Camera side view, Dan, Jamal, and the Killer all in view. Killer sings.]
- No, I will not let him---
[Dan shoots the killer. Closeup of the killer, in shock. A bullet would is seen in his head, he drops Jamal, who runs away. The camera pans right, defocused is an actor, who was also shot in the head by the same bullet. Focus to actor, back to killer. The killer falls down, and so does the actor. Dan walks up to the killer. Closeup of Dan looking at the killer's body.]
- Fuck this job!
[Dan takes his police badge out of his coat, and throws it at the killers head, then proceeds to kicking it off. The head lands in a permanent goalpost visible from one side of the production. The crowd does not seem extremely horrified. Dan then walks away. Roll credits.]
- Seriously, if I have to dispose of another jackass in this ice rink I think I'm going to vomit.