Sunday, June 13, 2010

BLASTFIGHTER (1984)


BLASTFIGHTER – where have you been all my life?

For some years now I’ve read comments from various Euro-Trash fans about the merits of Lamberto Bava’s 1984 film BLASTFIGHTER. Shot in Georgia with a mostly Italian cast and crew its part of that small group of movies made in the early 1980s by foreign producers taking advantage of low costs granted to bring any form of film industry to the South. This is how THE BEYOND got made in Louisiana, CANNIBAL APOCALYPSE was shot in Atlanta and various other Italian exploitation movies were made right here in Dixie.

From the title you would expect BLASTFIGHTER to be one of the many, sadly low budget 80s science fiction or post apocalyptic films that were being churned out by the dozen at the time. Indeed, I was under that mistaken assumption until I read the review of the movie by David Zuzelo in his book Tough To Kill. The film is actually much closer to DELIVERENCE in both subject matter and tone. Ex Atlanta cop Tiger Sharp (what a name!) gets out of prison, returns to his childhood hometown in rural Georgia and is harassed by the local assholes. After several run-ins with the troublemakers Tiger restrains himself manfully from killing them all but is eventually pushed to the breaking point when they attack his daughter. This violence provides the impetus for a final act battle in which the movie’s title actually seems appropriate.

Well structured, well directed, fast and exciting BLASTFIGHTER isn’t a perfect movie but it is perfect for anyone looking for a great 80s action film they might have never caught before. It’s well worth your time.