John S. Rad’s Dangerous Men

This is an interesting post to write in our April Fools’ Special series, in that neither of us has actually seen director John S. Rad’s action thriller Dangerous Men, it’s one of the hardest films to see as it’s never had a home video release in any form, at least that we’ve been able to ascertain. Its reputation stems from a select few theatrical screenings in the USA, which make it sound like a huge amount of fun, there’s also an utterly fantastic trailer which you can see on YouTube. I’ve always tried to avoid finding out too much about the film itself; I’ve not read any of the in-depth reviews or even the synopsis, the trailer and the films reputation does enough for me, so we’re not going to talk about the film itself, but we will look into its history and the events surround this very elusive film.

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Though listed on IMDB as being released in 2005, the film actually started production back in 1985 with filming happening on and off until it saw the light of day in the mid-2000s. Director John S. Rad was born in Iran and had made numerous films there before fleeing the country on the eve of Khomeini coming to power. Relocating to LA he started work on Dangerous Men and would seemingly carry on working on it until he self-financed its short theatrical release at a handful of LA cinemas in 2005. With barely any promotion the film vanished quickly but like many cult films word of mouth began to circulate about how bizarre this supposedly action thriller was.

The Dangerous Men Trailer

Rep cinemas in LA started picking up on it with both The New Beverley and the Cinefamily putting on screenings and attracting great word of mouth audiences. The film also made the jump over the Atlantic and had a screening in the UK at the Bradford International Film Festival back in March 2007. Things were looking up for this wild film; that is until the very sad news that director John S. Rad had passed away in 2007 of a heart attack at the age of 70.

LA Weekly obituary for director John S. Rad

Screenings continued for the next couple of years but then Rad’s family withdrew the screening prints and it’s not been seen since. With no sign of the film surfacing again for screenings, or even a DVD release, all we currently have to go on it the trailer and the last two minutes of the film, which someone has uploaded to YouTube. Watching the ending completely out of context really makes the film look so odd and entertaining, it just serves to make me want to see the film even more.

SPOILER: This is the last two minutes of Dangerous Men

I’ve been able to find two interviews online with director Rad, both of which do a great job of filling you in on his background and how Dangerous Men came to be made. Rad himself comes across as a super stylish gentleman, one who seemed quite happy with the course that his film ended up taking.

LA Weekly Interview 2005

Cinemad Interview 

One final point is that the Dangerous Men website is still live and online, head there and you’ll find a fantastic caricature of director Rad and a truly amazing semi-rap song about how great Dangerous Men is, apparently the rap was actually written by Rad himself, which makes us love him even more!

The amazing Song For Dangerous Men as written by John S. Rad

The main theme for Dangerous Men

So add Dangerous Men to The Duke’s Most Wanted Films List, we’d LOVE to see this and we’ll keep digging away trying to screen it at the Duke, we hope when do finally get to see it that you’ll all come and join us, we know you’ll love it just as much as we will!

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