Sunday, February 27, 2011

Light Blast (1987)

I always forget how much action Light Blaster delivers, this underrated San Francisco-action movie directed by maestro Enzo G. Castellari. During the story we're treated to three car chases, a couple of shoot-outs and at least one classic fist fight. Not to mention the nice amount of melting faces and cheesy one-liners. Thanks to Code Red we can finally see this on DVD, in a nice fullscreen version which easily is the best I've seen it so far (but I guess there's always a Japanese ultra-rare tape that is perfect according to the collectors) and is well worth purchasing.

The mighty Erik Estrada is Inspector Ronn Warren, a happily (!!!) married cop who lives on a boat. He's a nice fella, but enjoys killing bad guys fast and effective - even more or less naked, as he does during his first scene in the movie. But a man filled with revenge, Dr Yuri Soboda (Ennio Girolami, old-fart beefcake) is out to earn some money with blackmailing the city, or else he will melt and burn down a lot of innocent people and buildings! The only problem are that Inspector Warren is after him, and very few escapes the vengeance of Erik Estrada!

This is not heavy, serious Castellari. This is light-weight Castellari with a lot of sunshine, bloody squibs and a not so serious tone. And it's very entertaining. Compared to other Italian action flicks from this time it looks quite expensive, with great San Francisco-settings and a couple of fantastic set-pieces in the middle of the city. How they managed to shoot the final car-chase without spending a fortune is something that still surprises me, I mean, the permits? The cost of shutting down those streets and highways? I have no idea how they did it, but it looks great.
I've said it before, but once again: Erik Estrada is one underrated actor. He might not be able to do any meatier parts, but as a hero with a gun he's more than competent. He handles the action very good and makes us kinda believe in the cheesy dialogue. He certinally has charisma to carry a whole movie, and he shows it very clearly here. I especially like how Castellari choosed such a light-weight actor and tossed him into some quite bloody action, it makes it even more cool.

The melting people is a special thing, I'll admit that. This is not state-of-the-art melting, but very primtive - even for a eigthies genre movie. Sure, some people say it looks more realistic than todays CG effects, but that's just bullshit. It looks crap. But hey, it's cool as hell! And I love seeing melting effects even if it looks like my mother made it in five minutes. I wouldn't want to have Light Blast without these effects, seriously.
Light Blast is a fine, well-made action movie with lotsa good stunts and bloody shoot-outs. Now if someone could release Hammerhead on DVD, that would make me a very happy man.


The Goodkind said...

Well damn, don't know how I've missed this one for so long.

Anonymous said...

Castellari was very underrated. Hell i even love those tv movies from the early nineties with Bud Spencer and Philip Michael Thomas. ûbercool!!

Jack J said...

(but I guess there's always a Japanese ultra-rare tape that is perfect according to the collectors)

Yes, absolutely! I have this Japanese VHS and it's a PERFECT release. I really DO NOT see a need for this DVD release!!!!!


Ty said...

This movie just rocks. So many great stunts and Estrada was at his best.