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Blastfighter 1984
Description: Former cop Jake 'Tiger' Sharp returns to his old hometown after having been in prison for the murder of his wife's killer. Illegal hunting seems to be widespread and inbred rednecks control the town with an iron fist. Jake manages to create himself an opponent to hillbillies and he and his newly found daughter had to flee for their lives. Fortunately, Jake a GAT that can shoot grenades and rockets ...
Released: 15 Nov 1985 Director: Lamberto Bava Writers: Luca De Rita, Massimo De Rita, Morando Morandini Jr. (story), Dardano Sacchetti (story) Actors: Michael Sopkiw, Valentina Forte, George Eastman, Stefano Mingardo Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Blastfighter Reviews:

Lamberto Bava does it again with this Italian action film that manages to be almost as entertaining as his cult classic, DEMONS! In many methods the movie follows the same action-orientated template with hostile rednecks replacing supernatural creatures and the heroes gradually picked off one by one by the terrible guys. However, the realism of the movie adds to the suspenseful aspect. Beginning fairly weak key, we watch as happenings gradually build out of hand (Bava takes time to develop the case instead of rushing it and making it unbelievable) until the rip-roaring climax that will please action fanatics everywhere. Before then, the movie is packed with incident and genuinely manages to stay exciting all the while. The plot is not very complex and takes influence from a number of another films. FIRST BLOOD is the obvious choice, but there are also some surprising references to THE EVIL DEAD and even a western homage! This is a movie packed with burning vehicles, gunfire and lots of heroic staples. Michael Sopkiw (MASSACRE IN DINOSAUR VALLEY) is nice as the lead and gets to cross waterfalls, abseil down sheer cliffs and take part in some nice stunt action. Stuntman Massimo Vanni even shows his face in a cameo as a dying cop and supplies some nice death scenes. Sopkiw, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Bruce Campbell, breathes life into the hero of Jake Sharp, who should easy have been unlikable and stiff. The hero is solemn, introspective and rather rude to those around him, but nonetheless you search yourself rooting for Sopkiw as the movie progresses.Bava fills a several roles with familiar faces to the exploitation fan. Testing Sopkiw's main adversary is the everytime imposing George Eastman (ANTHROPOPHAGUS THE BEAST) as hulking, crippled redneck, Tom. Eastman now has a developed hero (the only villain that has) and does well with his performance. The action sequences are well staged and create nice test of the wooded territories for the chases. They're also bolstered by a stirring synthesiser score. The film is cute grim and kills off loads of "good" characters, plus a lot of animals receive shot etc. Yet Bava still manages to retain the entertainment despite this overwhelming nihilism and rewards the viewer with the climatic destruction of about three dozen terrible guys, all gun-toting rednecks without an ounce of wit or intelligence about them. When Sopkiw's amusingly kick-ass gun comes into play, the movie explodes with gruesome gore results (sadly excised, as usual, in the UK cut) and more explosions that you can trust possible. My only complaint is with the very end of the movie which makes absolutely no thematic sense to this viewer. Otherwise BLASTFIGHTER is a gotta for fanatics of cheesy Italian action.


Having watched "Blastfighter", I can actually proudly tell for myself that I've seen the whole repertoire of lead actor Michael Sopkiw. Not that this is such an exhausting or praiseworthy accomplishment, as this peculiar macho star only ever appeared in four movies, but they are nevertheless rare and offbeat highlights in the genre of shameless early 80's Italian exploitation cinema. Sopkiw's career was quite bizarre, because he only played four leading roles and then fully disappeared from the movie industry, but the films he did are forever printed in my head and all still rank high in my list of private guilty pleasures. "After the Fall of Fresh York" and "Massacre in Dinosaur Valley" are his two most superior achievements, whereas the double detail he shot with director Lamberto Bava is putrid but tremendously amusing cheese-material! "Monster Shark" is a daft and utterly retarded "Jaws" rip-off and this "Blastfighter" is an outrageously inane travesty of the Sylvester Stallone car "Rambo". This is an incredibly askew and misfire of an action flick; hilariously entertaining for all the wrong reasons. The screenplay is incoherent and full of holes large enough to rush a reasonably huge bobsled through, the inept dialogs create you go "WTF?" each couple of mins and the overuse of typically 80's syrupy chansons is mildly infuriating. We launch with Sopkiw's hero – awesomely called Tiger Sharp, ha – walking out of prison after doing his eight years of time for murdering his wife's murderer. Why his wife died or in what sort of scandal Tiger got involved eight years ago we never search out. We just knew he was a cop in the Bronx and actually he returns to his hillbilly-infested hometown somewhere in Arizona. At least I think it's in Arizona, because that annoying theme song repeatedly sings something about "Sunset across the Arizonian border". Anyway, Tiger promptly gets into conflict with a bunch of redneck lumberjacks led by the crazed brother of Tiger's former greatest mate Tom. George "Anthropophagous" Eastman depicts Tom and I truly, madly, deeply adore this guy! Tiger then receives a visit from his teenage daughter Connie (although it takes an terrible long time before he realizes she's his offspring) and it looks as if he finally found some peace and quiet in his chaotic existence. But the vendetta with the rednecks escalates, and Tiger is unwillingly forced again to dust off his multifunctional machine gun. Watching "Blastfighter" is an indescribable experience and I only address myself towards fanatics of Italian exploitation cinema, because all the another 'normal' film lovers are likely to label this as the worst film ever made. Don't receive me wrong, it IS one of the worst films ever made but also amateurishly charming, irresistibly cheesy and the ideal piece of junk to watch together with friends. Each slightest aspect about this film is unintentionally zany, like the wannabe sentimental moments with the Bambi deer, the "Deliverance" homage near the beginning, the continuously straight-faced acting performances, the exaggerated showcasing of hillbilly clichés, the copious amount of action sequences that look identical to "Rambo", the seemingly unceasing number of hostile lumberjacks that our character is up against, the demented father/daughter interactions and the fully bonkers final confrontation with Tom. Michael Sopkiw is a handsome (kind of resembling Franco Nero) and reasonably talented actor and he probably deserved better than to star in trash like this. I can't possibly afford to grant a positive rating to "Blastfighter", but rest assured it's an entertaining and highly suggested film!


I am not usually a large fanatic of action movies. That is, American action movies. Being a fanatic of Italian horror films, I was attracted to this movie because of the director, Lamberto Bava. This was fun film to watch, and kinda funny to-unintentionally. It was funny to see the Italian take on American rednecks from Georgia- did a cute nice job of it, but very much a caricature of rednecks. I don't wish to spoil it, but there is a lot of over the top cases where the viewer will say, "they wouldn't do that!", or "that wouldn't ever happen!". But that is the joy of watching films, to see things that couldn't or wouldn't happen in true life. This is almost a cliché' for a action film from the 80s. Explosions, large guns, and a sweaty dirty hero. I had to pick up a DVD-R from somebody, I don't trust that this is distributed by any company at the moment- in the US at least.



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