Peter’s Retro Movie Review: White Fire (1984)

August 13, 2012

White Fire (1984) movie posterby Peter Nielsen

When the movie starts we’re immediately thrown into a very dramatic chase scene. Two grown-ups and two kids are seen running for their lives through a forest. The dad tells his wife and kids to run for the beach where they are to meet the American, while he stays back to try to lure their pursuers in another direction. You, of course know that it can’t end well and both parents end up dead with the American taking the kids, Boris and Ingrid, to safety.

We now jump ahead 20 years in time, Ingrid and Boris, or Bo as he now calls himself, work for a mining company and diamonds is their business. They’re not completely honest and steal diamonds from the company to sell on to wealthy buyers. But don’t worry… the company is also corrupt, so it’s not like they’re real crooks, right? The man behind the diamond heists is the American who saved them when they were kids and has been taking care of them ever since. His name is Sam and is played by Jess Hahn who’s had quite the career in French cinema. He was mostly cast as “the American” in them.

Say hello to my BIG friend!

Say hello to my BIG friend!

Ok, so… during their latest heist they’re intercepted and caught by another group of diamond thieves. They escape, of course, and the ensuing fight on the docks is BAD-ASS, with Bo wielding a chain-saw and Ingrid a boat hook. All this… while the awesome 80’s theme song plays in the background. We’re barely 20 minutes into this damn movie and I’m laughing and cheering already! God DAMN, I love this type of movie and White Fire has now climbed onto my list of favorites. I’ve actually wanted to watch this for quite some time now. Don’t ask me why, I just wanted to, ok?

Two reasons were, of course, Robert Ginty and Fred “The Hammer” Williamson in two of the lead roles. Robert Ginty is, I suppose, mostly known from the two Exterminator movies, but also from the comedy Loverboy. He plays Bo in White Fire and is a man of action, rocking a kick-ass mustache. He loves his sister and will do anything to protect her. However, that love is maybe carried a bit too far, as is most evident in the swimming pool scene, which is another reason why I wanted to watch this movie. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

How'd you get your mustache looking that good?

How’d you get your mustache looking that good?

I just want to get Fred Williamson out of the way first. Not that it’s an easy task getting Fred “The Hammer” Williamson out of one’s way. Some might even say it’s an impossible task!

This former pro-football player is more or less bad-ass personified in a crap-ton of action flicks, like Black Caesar or Vigilante, and in White Fire he is Noah, an assassin who’s looking for a woman named Olga. She has a bounty on her head, which he wants to collect. Olga will eventually come to play a much larger part in their lives than they’d first thought, but you’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

Ok, back to the swimming pool! Sam and his wife are preparing dinner and sends Bo to call his sister in to eat. Ingrid is in the pool doing a couple of laps while Bo is spying on her. She’s played by Belinda Mayne (Krull, Lassiter) and is very beautiful, very shapely and very, very naked in this scene.

Belinda Mayne as Ingrid.

Belinda Mayne as Ingrid.

When she gets out of the pool, Bo steals her towel and basically just stands there ogling her, and I bet he wants to give her some brotherly love right there. It’s awkward and very inappropriate and it made me laugh whilst thinking that there’s no way that they just went there…

The title of the movie, White Fire, refers to a legendary large diamond which is found in the mines and the director of the mining company, Olaf, wants this for himself. Bo and Ingrid also want to get their hands on it, so you just know there will be bloodshed. Olaf is played by an actor with the name Gordon Mitchell, who was a body-builder and made himself a career playing “muscle-men” in a lot of Italian produced movies. He actually has quite an impressive list of credits on IMDB.

The director of White Fire is Jean-Marie Pallardy and to be honest, I really don’t know much about him and didn’t really check either. What stood out was that he had his signature in the opening credits, which I thought was a little unusual. That is apparently a trademark of his! He’s mostly made B-movies and soft-porn flicks which, come to think of it, might explain the incestuous tones in White Fire.

Action aplenty!

Action aplenty!

The acting in this is absolutely atrocious at times and many of the insert shots have obviously been done with no thoughts of continuity what so ever! Clothes changes frequently in the same shot, and it’s so blatantly obvious that you almost stand up and go: “What!! Really? Are they serious?” It’s almost like a spoof, you know, and I’m still not absolutely 100% sure that it’s NOT done on purpose. When, or if, you see it, you’ll know what I mean.

But aside from all that… White Fire is still a movie I’ll return to many times, I think, because it has all the ingredients of B-action movie greatness! It IS pretty violent and brutal though, but hey… aren’t they all? There’s the fight on the docks, there’s the swimming-pool scene, there’s the obligatory shoot-out finale and there’s even an awesome montage!

What more could you ask for? An abundance of kick-ass mustaches? Well, then you’re in luck because they’re all over the place! I’m not ashamed to say that I love this movie, because it’s mindless entertainment at its best and sometimes that’s all that’s needed, right? Add a beer or two and a bowl of popcorn and you can count me in anytime!

So, until next time my friends… please tell me if you’ve seen this week’s movie-choice and also what you thought about it, if you have!

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