Peter’s Retro Movie Review: Blastfighter (1984)

September 24, 2012

Blastfighter (1984) Posterby Peter Nielsen

In Blastfighter, an Italian-produced and directed action-flick, the hero is an ex-con who’s just been let out after an eight-year-long stint in prison. His name is “Tiger” Sharp and he used to be a police officer. That is until he shot his wife’s murderer at point blank range. He did it right in front of the guy’s lawyer, which, you guessed it, is what got him thrown in jail.

Now that Tiger’s free again, part of him wants revenge. But mostly, he just wants to be left alone. Upon his release he’s picked up by one of his police friends who gives him a state-of-the-art “shotgun.” The weapon can fire any kind of ammunition you can imagine. Everything from darts to smoke-bombs to grenades!

Hell, it might even shoot spears and dead farm animals, for all I know. It’s a very cool looking gun, which, unfortunately, isn’t used until the end of the movie. A bit disappointing since that’s one of the movie’s key selling points (just look at the poster!).

Tiger looking for some peace and quiet... right after he takes this shot.

Tiger looking for some peace and quiet… right after he takes this shot.

I suppose Tiger’s given the gun to kill the lawyer who’s responsible for his time in prison. But when Tiger finally gets him in his sight, he decides it’s not worth it and drives away. He goes up into the mountains where he grew up, planning to spend the rest of his life in peace.

But we all know that’s not going to happen! It wouldn’t be much of an action-flick if it did, right?

Tiger soon realizes he’s not going to find the peace and quiet he wanted after he stumbles across three local rednecks shooting a deer. They don’t kill it, because the guy they sell animals to wants them alive so he can use them in Asian medicines.

Tiger accuses the hunters of animal cruelty and kills the deer himself, which doesn’t go over well with the rednecks. For them it’s all about making money and they don’t want any outsiders destroying their livelihood. It’s from this point on things escalate and get worse… It’s fisticuffs and bombs a plenty!

Who's got the s'mores?

Who’s got the s’mores?

A young woman moves into Tiger’s cabin. He has no clue who she is and she gets on his nerves soon after showing up. The woman, Connie, turns out to be Tiger’s estranged daughter. Despite the years apart, they slowly begin building up their relationship again. Connie is played by Valentina Forte (Body Count, Cut and Run) but is listed as Valeria Blake in the credits.

As the violence gets worse, the rednecks set their sights on Connie. But now Tiger’s really pissed and the time has come (finally!) for him to pull out his nifty-looking big gun. Blastfighter is a bit slow to begin with and takes its time to build momentum. But from the moment Tiger pulls out that gun until the end it’s just filled with kick-ass, wall-to-wall action. It’s bad guys getting shot to pieces or blown apart left and right!

Blastfighter was directed by Lamberto Bava. He’s a filmmaker whose name mainstream audiences won’t recognize. But if you’re a fan of Italian horror, you know the name. He’s responsible for Demons and Demons 2 among others. Since Blastfighter was an Italian-produced flick most of the cast is from Italy. However, in the credits they’re listed by their American aliases. For instance, even Lamberto Bava is credited as John Old Jr.

Be veh-wee, veh-wee quiet... we'ya huntin' wabbits!

Be veh-wee, veh-wee quiet… we’ya huntin’ wabbits!

Tiger Sharp is played by Michael Sopkiw (2019 – After the fall of New York) and George Eastman (Antropophagus, Endgame) plays Tom, the guy who runs Tiger’s little hometown.

I can’t help it, but I kind of liked Blastfighter. I’ll be the first to admit that the acting is… well… how can I say this eloquently? It’s crap, ok? But as I’ve mentioned in earlier reviews, I love this type of movie so I don’t really mind too much. As long as the movie is entertaining enough, it’s ok in my book. Blastfighter sure does deliver in the action department, that’s for sure! It also has a very cool cameo-appearance, but I’ll get back to that in a moment.

The music is a bit of a weird mix and the opening credits are accompanied by an awesome 80’s synth track. Then, the score takes a sharp 180° turn and we hear a country & western song instead. This happens throughout the whole movie. It’s a bit bizarre and distracting.

Oh... sorry boys. Did I come at a bad time?

Oh… sorry boys. Did I come at a bad time?

One of my very good friends is a walking encyclopedia of Bee Gees knowledge and there’s virtually nothing he doesn’t know about the Gibb-family, so Ronnie… listen up now! I’ve found the connection between a low-budget Italian action movie and the Bee Gees. The lovely country & western tune I mentioned is titled “Evening Star” and was written by Barry and Maurice Gibb. You didn’t see that one coming, did you?

Ok, time to tell you about the cameo. At one point Tiger walks into a local store. There’s a weird looking guy playing the banjo inside. My first reaction was… “NO WAY! It can’t be! They didn’t… did they?”

The answer is: “Yes, they friggin’ did!”

The guy playing the banjo is Billy Redden, the same weird looking kid who played the banjo in one of the greatest scenes in cinema history from the movie Deliverance (1972).

And with that awesome piece of trivia, I’ll leave you this week. The next time we meet, the Forgotten Flix crew will be in full horror-mode and the spectacular event known as “The 2012 October Spooky Flix Fest” will have begun. You will join us, won’t you?

But until then… why not leave a little comment about Blastfighter in the section below? We do love hearing from you!

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2 comments on “Peter’s Retro Movie Review: Blastfighter (1984)

  1. Ronnie Olsson Sep 24, 2012

    Cool! “Evening Star” is a song the Gibb brothers originally wrote for Kenny Rogers’ album “Eyes That See in the Dark” which Barry Gibb produced for him in 1983. The album is probably more know for the inclusion of “Islands in the Stream” though.

  2. Peter Nielsen Sep 24, 2012

    See what I meant about “walking encyclopedia”… 😉

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