Re: RARA-AVIS: mel and payback

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 06 Jun 2002

miker asked:

"but before we move way off the payback movie subject, is that the movie that started the trend of everybody holding their gun sideways? definitely a true cinematic inspiration."

From an essay Andrew Vachss wrote for the October, 1998 issue of Pulse
(Tower Records' giveaway magazine):

"So, words (whether spoken, sung, read) don't so much motivate as reflect. What they may do is provide some handy tips as to method for a motivation that already exists. That's why the Emergency Rooms of big cities are full of sociopathic little triggerboys with unique facial damage -- from shell casings ejected into their eyes when they held their precious nines parallel to the ground, Hollywood style, instead of the way the pistols were designed. Movies didn't give them the desire to commit homicide . . . but they sure showed them 'how.'"

So it certainly predates Payback. I think it was a Ken Bruen novel
(possibly A White Arrest) that contained a hilarous scene with a would-be hard guy standing in front of a mirror trying to decide how he is going to hold his gun (oops, guess that should be pistol, as my brother learned in the Marines, a gun is a whole 'nother thing), going through all of his movie-learned options. One was Sean Penn in State of Grace. I haven't seen the movie, but did Penn actually hold his pistol upside down?

Sorta related, director John Woo has often claimed he knows nothing about real shooting, everything he knows about gun-handling he learned from watching Alain Delon.


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