Manhunter (1986) - dir. Michael Mann
This is a whacky little genre flick. There are shot-for-shot reconstructions of scenes from Manhunter in Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs. You get the feeling Gil Grisham (William Petersen) from television’s CSI is based off Manhunter's Wil Graham (William Petersen). You can feel the 80s pulsing through every neon shadow. You know Winding Refn saw this and it helped him make Drive.
The film is laughable at times, iconic at others. But the atmosphere created is incomparable. The shootout at the end is flawless, the beginning is flawless. If you were able to swap out Brian Cox’s Hannibal Lecktor for Anthony Hopkins Hannibal Lecter… well you’d have one of the finest genre films I’ve ever seen. In fact, you still do. I can feel the threads of this film holding together so many of my favorites… and I’m not even a Michael Mann fan.