Monday, July 20, 2009

Blastfighter (1984)

One day a napkin arrived at my doorstep. It was sent directly from the US and the sender was David Zuzelo. The napkin was special because it was a message to me, written directly over pieces of food and saliva and signed with "Mr God". I will share a photo with you someday. Well, this napkin is holy for me, because "Mr God" there is actually Michael Sopkiw, the best action hero ever to hit the screen. He only made four movies, and I would say that at least two of them are among the best I've seen in italian action: After the fall of New York and Blastfighter.

I never been a real fan of Lamberto Bava. He's always been to uneven for his own good and have a tendecy to make movies that look like TV-productions. But of course, he's the man behind Demons, You'll Die At Midnight and Macabre. He also directed Monster Shark (with Sopkiw) and the extremly boring Demons 2. But I always hail Blastfighter as his masterpiece. The rumour says it started as a science fiction-movie by Lucio Fulci, but sometime along the way it transformed into a Rambo-esqe action-opera!

For once the story is quite well written, but the star is (except Sopkiw of course) is the action and atmosphere. Shot in Georgia, US, and with Billy Redden (the banjo-boy in Deliverance) in a fun cameo, it's a real beauty of a movie. Wonderful dark forests, a tense little town with more rednecks than in Skåne (a part of Sweden) and grim faces in every corner of the screen. Sopkiw plays Jake 'Tiger' Sharp (ain't that a perfect name of a hero?) and he returns to his old city after spending some time in prison. He's getting to know his daughter (who seems to be almost his own age) and also George Eastman as old friend Tom.

But of course the shit hits the fan quite fast and suddenly everyone with a rifle and with a sister and brother as parents, starts hunting Tiger... and he hits back, fast-hard-brutal! It might take a little while to unfold itself, but Blastfighter is one hell of a movie. The action fastpaced and gory and Sopkiw is THE MAN! He fights, shoots, cuts and explodes himself through the enemy. This is really good. I'm getting more and more impressed by this movie everytime I see it, and it's a shame that Sopkiw just did these four movies and Bava return to his (mostly) mediocre horror movies.

I have, not mentioned a couple of different tape versions, the german dvd. It's slightly cropped on the sides, but it's worth buying because of the nice cover-art and it's uncut. The quality of the picture itself is good, far from perfect, but still the best english version out right now. I heard the italian dvd has the correct aspect ratio, but only an italian language track and nothing else.


lizzardking said...

"a tense little town with more rednecks than in Skåne"

WTF?? ;D

Ninja Dixon said...

Just a reference to the huge popularity of Sverigedemokraterna in Skåne. I guess only retarded rednecks votes for them ;)