The Boondock Saints was released in 1999 starring Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flannery as our twin, mafia killing, vigilante protagonists. Directed by Troy Duffy, the film didn't perform well at the box office, having only been in theaters for a week in select locations due to the Columbine Massacre. Thanks to word of mouth and home video sales it blossomed into a huge cult hit and was followed by a sequel a decade later. With the third film in the works I thought It'd be fun to go back to where it started. Here are five fun facts about The Boondock Saints.
1. The brothers' mother was cut from the film!
The mother of Murphy and Connor was originally in the film and was even suppose to narrate some parts of the movie. The role was played by Janet Wright, but the scene where she appeared was cut. However, you can check out the scene here - you're sure to have a laugh.
2. Sylvester Stallone was almost cast!
Throughout the film, the brothers receive help from our favorite three cops and a detective. Willem Dafoe made Paul Smecker unforgettable and was incredible, but did you know the studio originally wanted none other than Sylvester Stallone!? Miramax already had a working relationship with Stallone and wanted to bring a bigger name to the film to help garner views.
3. The script was inspired by many real-life events!
Director Troy Duffy has stated his personal experiences had a huge part to play whilst writing the screenplay. He saw numerous horrible events as a bartender and bouncer in an L.A. bar. In his apartment building, he saw a junkie stealing money off a dead body. The film itself opens with a scene about the story of Catherine Genovese, who was murdered in Queens in 1964. It was widely reported that many onlookers saw the event unfold but no one reported it or came to her rescue, despite her horrific cries for help. The event came to be referred to as the bystander effect or "Genovese Syndrome".
4. Ranked 21st for most occurrences of a certain word!
Our saints and our buddy Rocco like to use the word fuck. A lot. 246 times to be exact. The film ranks 21st for most occurrences of the word. Other films around the same usage are Pulp Fiction, Casino, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, for comparison.
5. Critics and The Catholic Church hated it, but fans wanted more!
The Boondock Saints was panned by critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, where the film holds a 20% rotten rating with critics, describes the film as “a juvenile, ugly movie that represents the worst tendencies of directors channeling Tarantino."
Luckily, the fans made the film a success. With a huge home video take in it eventually enabled the second film to come out a decade later. As for the church, the amount of violence in the script made it almost impossible for the filmmakers to find a church that would allow them to shoot. Church of the Covenant, where some of the scenes are filmed, is not a Catholic church, but a Protestant one. No Catholic churches in the area would allow filming in their sanctuaries due to the violent nature of the film. Duffy also allegedly received a letter from the Archdiocese of Toronto that detailed the church’s hatred of the film and called Duffy the “spawn of Satan.”
Did you find these facts interesting? Let me know in the comments section!