It’s been 39 years since I first saw Brian DePalma‘s Scarface, and two fresh observations have suddenly hit me. Okay, one and a half.

The first concerns the “South Beach motel drug deal gone bad” scene — pure pornoviolence with a yellow chain saw. Tony Montana (Al Pacino) and Angel (Pepe Serna) have been overpowered by Hector (Al Israel), a Columbian cocaine dealer, and two cohorts, and told “give us your buy money or else.”

With Angel handcuffed to a shower-curtain rod, Hector saws Angel’s left arm off. Tony has been watching the carnage at gunpoint, two or three feet away.

But with Angel’s arm gone, he’s no longer constrained by the curtain rod, and has almost certainly collapsed into the bathtub. And yet Hector says to Tony, “Now the leg, eh?” How was that supposed to work exactly? Angel — bleeding profusely, in shock, probably close to death — is no longer hanging or standing but writhing in the tub, and probably howling for dear life. It makes no logistical sense.

The second observation is that after the shooting starts, Tony runs downs the staircase and drills the wounded Hector in the forehead. A natural revenge thing, but with dozens of horrified eyewitnesses looking on, Tony was being reckless. Are you telling me the cops didn’t get an excellent description of Tony from these onlookers? Not to mention the model and approximate year of the getaway car?

I’ll accept that no one happened to have a camera with them (even with Miami’s South Beach region having become a major tourist mecca), but if I were Montana I would have grabbed the yejo and escaped by the motel’s rear entrance and dealt with Hector later on. Way too many witnesses.

Tatiana and I visited the site of the chainsaw motel on 11.20.17, following a visit to the Key West Film Festival. The address is 728 Ocean Blvd., just south of 17th Street. Alas, it had been torn down and was being converted into a CVS.