29 years after the release of Geoffrey Wright‘s Romper Stomper (’92), one of the most indelible, pared-to-the-bone, punch-kick-and-wallop flicks about hate groups ever made, I happened to re-watch an especially memorable gang-fight scene.
In this unfortunate era of #StopAsianHate, the scene feels cathartic as hell and even joyous in a certain sense. I would love to see such a scene reenacted in any present-day environment in which anti-Asian sentiment is presumed to reside.
It starts with six or seven skinheads (led by an astonishingly young and slender Russell Crowe) beating up on three or four Vietnamese guys in a family-owned pub. But word gets out immediately, and a large mob of furious Vietnamese youths arrive and beat the living crap out of the skinheads. Hate in and hate out. Bad guys pay the price. Glorious! Hashtags are well and good but, as Woody Allen said about Nazis in that MOMA-party scene in Manhattan, baseball bats really bring the point home.