Plot & Details
A crime caper that gaily spoofs such antecedents as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and nods its head more than a few times to the work of Quentin Tarantino, Very Mean Men opens in a bar, where a bartender (Matthew Modine) finds himself serving drinks to a tough-looking guy (Martin Landau) he pegs as a cheap drinker. In order to keep the miniscule tips coming, the bartender makes up a story about warring mob families in the San Fernando Valley. In one corner there are the Minettis, who are led by Gino (Ben Gazzara), a mobster who's mellowed with age. Gino wants to make amends when Big Paddy Mulroney (Charles Durning) complains that Gino's clan is invading his side of the Valley. Gino's temperamental son Paulie (Scott Baio, sporting peroxided hair and a goatee to match) gives Mulroney money, only to then stiff Mulroney's waitress daughter on a tip after having lunch at the family's diner. Soon ethnic insults are flying like bullets, and everyone is out for revenge.