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Hands of Steel (1986)
"Vendetta dal futuro" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Sci-Fi  |  29 August 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 1,046 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 31 critic

A cyborg is programmed to kill a scientist who holds the fate of mankind in his hands. He fails and hides in a diner in a desert run by a woman who likes him. The people who sent him are after him and so is the local arm wrestling champ.


(as Martin Dolman)


(story) (as Martin Dolman) , (screenplay) (as Elizabeth Parker Jr.) , 6 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Paco Queruak
Janet Agren ...
Claudio Cassinelli ...
Peter Howell
George Eastman ...
Raul Morales
Roberto Bisacco ...
Cooper (as Robert Ben)
Pat Monti
Andrea Coppola ...
Eddie (as Andrew Louis Coppola)
Donald O'Brien ...
Professor Olster
Frank Walden
Darwyn Swalve ...
Anatola Blanco
Amy Werba ...
Dr. Peckinpah
Francis Turner


Sinister industrialist Francis Turner, played by John Saxon, creates a cyborg known as Paco Queruak (Daniel Greene) who has been programmed to terminate the leader of an ecological faction that stands in the way of the dystopian country in which the story is set. After failing in his mission to eliminate the ecologist, Paco flees to Arizona where he must face his opponents; and ultimately choose between his humanity and robotic natures. Written by Zach R.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


30% human, 70% robot, 100% lethal. [Scandinavian DVD cover] See more »


Action | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 August 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hands of Steel  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Saxon, strictly adhering to Screen Actors Guild rules, refused to act in any scenes shot in America (all his scenes were shot in Italy) as this was not a union film. He credits SAG with saving his life as otherwise he would have likely been on the helicopter that crashed claiming the life of his co-star Claudio Cassinelli and has not violated any SAG guidelines since. Two different but identically painted Bell helicopters were used for filming; the aircraft seen in close-up shots with Mr. Saxon has Italian registration, whereas the one seen flying - the helicopter involved in the fatal crash - has American registration. See more »


The car that Paco Queruak drives from the city to the junkyard in Arizona is a third-generation (1982 or later model) Chevrolet Camaro. However, when Hunt and Peter Howell set the car ablaze the junkyard, it has changed to a second-generation (1970-1981) Camaro, as evidenced by the more curvaceous rear end styling. See more »

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User Reviews

100% Testosterone-driven exploitation
5 November 2007 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

THIS is a totally awesome, adrenalin rushing, down and dirty in-your-face 80's Italian exploitation effort, but of course you have to be cautious who you may recommend it to! If you're, for example, attending a convention for people with an enormous IQ and you got a couple of hours to kill, you probably shouldn't suggest watching "Fists of Steel" because the script's intellectual value is rather questionable. Or in case you're a guest at a feminist gathering, I wouldn't advise mentioning "Fists of Steel" neither, as the film is literally stuffed with macho characters and typically male showdowns. In fact, to put it rather bluntly, "Fists of Steel" is a movie for guys, and preferably guys that like their heroes invincible, their women docile, their action & violence graphic & plentiful and their dialogs and story lines rudimentary. I'm not implying you have to be a retard in order to enjoy this film (otherwise, I'd be one myself) but it's merely a relaxing and undemanding film to watch after a hard day's work or together with a group of friends where there's loads of beer and pizza.

"Fists of Steel" is basically an attempt to cash in on the huge success of James Cameron's "The Terminator", but without the rather complex time-traveling structure and advanced character developments. In futuristic America, where acid rain hurtles down daily and breathing poisonous air may kill you, beefcake Cyborg Paco Querak is programmed to terminate a blind & crippled environmentalist whose movement is seriously annoying big-shot industrialist John Saxon. However, Paco's conscience prevents him from finishing the job and he flees into the Arizonan desert. He entrenches himself in a cheap & sleazy motel where he falls in love with the friendly owner, arm-wrestles against aggressive truckers and patiently awaits the army of hired killers to come after him. There isn't a single moment of dullness in this movie and I was actually sad when it finished. The arm wrestling contests are incredibly entertaining to behold (muscles all over the screen), the car/truck/helicopter chases are extremely exciting and the fistfights are so harsh you can almost feel them. Daniel Greene is more than adequate in his heroic Cyborg-role but the supportive cast is even better with the almighty John Saxon as the über-bad guy, George Eastman as the jealous lead-trucker and Claudio Cassinelli (who sadly died during shooting) as one of the relentless hit men. Cassinelli's untimely death clearly caused a scripting problem, as his character is killed off screen. As always, Sergio Martino's direction is fast-paced and competent but nothing more than that. He was one of Italy's busiest and most versatile directors during the 60's, 70's and 80's, so don't expect too much typical trademarks or personalized styles as he just wanted to finish the job quick and proper. Claudio Simonetti, the multi-talented brain behind cult band Goblin, was in charge of the music and that's another reason for avid fans of Italian exploitation film to track this puppy down. Great testosterone-driven entertainment, love it or hate it!

17 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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