California Cowboys (1984)
"Escape from El Diablo" (original title)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 4.9/10 from 34 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

A young American is framed and thrown into a Mexican prison. His friends journey to Mexico to break him out.



0Check in

Top 25 Trivia Items From the Last 25 Years

Here are some amazing facts and figures to deepen your appreciation of the movies you love.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 5879 titles
created 20 Oct 2011
list image
a list of 94 titles
created 28 Aug 2012
list image
a list of 9997 titles
created 26 Nov 2013

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: California Cowboys (1984)

California Cowboys (1984) on IMDb 4.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of California Cowboys.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Night Warning (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An orphaned teenager finds himself being dominated by his aunt who's hell-bent on keeping him with all costs.

Director: William Asher
Stars: Jimmy McNichol, Susan Tyrrell, Bo Svenson
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Five former cub scouts have a reunion and go camping on the mountain they never conquered. High jinks ensue due to their childhood enemies and a group of escaped convicts who mistake them ... See full summary »

Director: Danny Bilson
Stars: Louie Anderson, Richard Lewis, Richard Belzer
Action | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3/10 X  

This movie follows the rivalry between a small-town southern sheriff and a small-town teenaged thief who steals cars and destroys them with the sheriff's daughter by his side.

Director: Charles B. Griffith
Stars: Jimmy McNichol, Janet Julian, Walter Barnes
Class of 1984 (1982)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Andrew Norris is a new teacher in an inner city high school that is like nothing he has ever seen before. This school is so dangerous that the students have to go through a metal detector ... See full summary »

Director: Mark L. Lester
Stars: Perry King, Merrie Lynn Ross, Timothy Van Patten
The White Shadow (1978–1981)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A white former NBA professional retires from the pro game and gets a job as a basketball coach in a predominantly black inner-city high school.

Stars: Ken Howard, Kevin Hooks, Byron Stewart
The Pianist (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Jean and her sister, played by Macha Grenon, have a life long infatuation with the Japanese Pianist who once lived across the street from them during their high school years. The film is ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Gagnon
Stars: Gail Travers, Macha Grenon, Eiji Okuda
Impact (2000)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Director: Christopher Robin Hood
Stars: Jack Bradley, Michele Howard, Shawn Kerwin
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Joanne, Patty, Brian, and Craig prepare the old dorm building to be torn down. They are pursued by a serial killer with a wide range of murder methods, ranging from power drill to ... See full summary »

Directors: Stephen Carpenter, Jeffrey Obrow
Stars: Laurie Lapinski, Stephen Sachs, David Snow
Dress Gray (TV Movie 1986)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a first-classman's insignia is found on the riverbank near the drowned body of plebe David Hand, the specter of murder casts a shadow of scandal across the U.S. Grant Military Academy.... See full summary »

Director: Glenn Jordan
Stars: Eddie Albert, Alec Baldwin, Lloyd Bridges
The Master (TV Series 1984)
Adventure | Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

An aging American ninja master and his headstrong young apprentice search for the elder man's daughter.

Stars: Lee Van Cleef, Timothy Van Patten, Shô Kosugi
Madman (1982)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A murderer comes back to life and stalks a summer camp.

Director: Joe Giannone
Stars: Gaylen Ross, Tony Fish, Harriet Bass
True Blue (1989–1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Stars: John Bolger, Leo Burmester, Nestor Serrano


Credited cast:
Jimmy McNichol ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Luis Barboo ...
Asher Brauner ...
Steve Caballero ...
José María Cañete ...
Suzanne Danielle ...
Penelope Horner ...
Mother Superior
Mike McGill ...
Tommy "D"
Patrick Mower ...
Juan Carlos Naya ...
Patricia Quinn ...
Bernard Seray


Pauli and his friend Daniel hop on their bikes and ride across the border to Mexico to try out a bar called Rosa's Cantina, which happens to be next to the infamous El Diablo prison. Though some of the locals try to warn the two gringos away, Pauli unwisely insists on going in. In the course of the evening, he manages to start a fight with the many prison guards unwinding from work, and gets arrested. Daniel, who managed to avoid arrest, tries repeatedly to negotiate for Pauli's release, but eventually decides that the only way to free his friend is for him to take more direct action. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »



| |


Release Date:

8 June 1984 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

California Cowboys  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"Midnight Express" for teenyboppers
21 August 2004 | by (Minneapolis) – See all my reviews

This movie's more than 20 years old and yet no one, as yet, has offered any comments on it, so here goes ...

Although it has the superficial quality and low-budget look of a straight-to-video feature, "El Diablo" offers an hour-and-a-half of time-killing entertainment for the undemanding and easily-pleased. Its plot vaguely calls to mind "Midnight Express" since it involves a young American male thrown into a brutal foreign prison, but the treatment has a light "Beach Party" touch befitting its youthful cast of blond and bland Californians. These cast members get to indulge in surfboarding, in-line skating, motorbiking, skateboarding, and windsurfing, and there are a number of comedy scenes mixed in with scenes of Timothy Van Patten being beaten up in prison by a sadistic guard. The results are never very convincing but the movie makes no demands on its audience and is content to be seen and then forgotten.

"El Diablo" gives Ethan Wayne (John's son) his first adult role though "adult" may not be an accurate term. He plays one of those "mysterious strangers" who comes to the aid of Jimmy McNichol but his character is poorly developed and his tough-guy actions are unpersuasive. (Seeing him and McNichol fight off a gang of thugs borders on the laughable.) Wayne, does, however, offer a bit of "beefcake" for those looking for some youthful "eye-candy."

The Mexican Tourist Bureau will be understandably displeased with this movie's patronizing stereotypes.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
South Riding TWS_Fan
Discuss California Cowboys (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: