Originally recorded for my own other ‘assignment’ at Popzara Press, here’s an extra special interview where I had the pleasure of speaking with writer Denis Hamill, who wrote the original story and script for legendary director Walter Hill’s new revenge thriller, The Assignment. The film stars Michelle Rodriguez as a male hitman who’s been transformed into a female against his will by a crazed doctor, played ghoulishly by Sigourney Weaver. Chaos ensues, people die, the credits – and heads – will roll.
While I much preferred the film’s original titles – Tomboy, A Revenger’s Tale or even (Re)Assignment – the current version finally hits theaters April 7th, though is available now in select VOD markets (weird, I know). Naturally, the premise has caused significant bunching of panties across the nation’s most easily offended, with some charging the film (incorrectly) as “transphobic” before even seeing it, naturally.
These self-appointed guardians of the LGBTQ Community, and transpeople in particular, often talk about their charges in the abstract, like ranking artwork for a public showing. They talk of “intersectionality” with all the passion of a cartographer, and of violence inflicted on gay and trans “bodies” as if said bodies lack the autonomy to make decisions for themselves. Seldom do they speak of them as (gasp) human beings, with the ability to make up their own minds to be offended or not. There’s nothing like trading one use of gross oversimplification for another!
Denis was a joy to talk with, open and friendly, and rightfully hurt that his simple exploitation revenge thriller was taken as anything more than what it aimed to be; a simple exploitation revenge thriller – with a forced-feminization twist. Listen now to a veteran journalist, novelist, and occasional screenwriter (he also wrote the 1897 Richard Pryor comedy Critical Condition, which bizarrely starred half the cast of Full House) talk about hurt feelings, bad journalism, and more.
Managing editor (Popzara), frequent radio guest/producer, enemy of stupidity, all-purpose survivor.