Backfire (1988)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  23 June 1988 (Portugal)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 398 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 5 critic

Mara, the wife who wants more... Jake, the lover she wants more of... Donny, the husband the war almost destroyed... Reed, the stranger who answers everyone's darkest prayers. Mara and ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mara McAndrew
Donnie McAndrew
Clinton James
Virginia Capers ...
Philip Sterling ...
Dr. Creason
Antony Holland ...
Judge Hardin
Dwight Koss ...
Deputy 'Buzz'
Gordon McIntosh ...
Big George
Wendy Van Riesen ...
Eric Schneider ...
Dr. Cooper
Enid Saunders ...
Aunt Elizabeth


Mara, the wife who wants more... Jake, the lover she wants more of... Donny, the husband the war almost destroyed... Reed, the stranger who answers everyone's darkest prayers. Mara and Donny are the ideal couple, young, rich and attractive. Only the horrible nightmares of Vietnam that haunt Donny flaw their perfect life. The fury of artillery, the screams of the wounded, and the ominous putt-putt of choppers rage within him and suddenly, there is blood everywhere...Betrayal, deceit and murder ignite the tension. Is that only a backfire, or is someone firing back? Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Before the night is over, someone will be rich, someone will be dead, someone will be avenged.


R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

23 June 1988 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

A sors fegyvere  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Karen Allen often played touch football during breaks in filming. See more »

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User Reviews

Under my thumb... or yours?
21 July 2007 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

Donny McAndrew a Vietnam veteran is haunted by the experience of the war, and his conditions seems to be getting worse. His wife Mara seems concerned, but there's something greedy about her intentions when one night Donny finally cracks.

Likable, slick mystery thriller that works due to it not overly being too clever, but managing to stay one step ahead in its jaded mix of stimulating seductiveness and growing psychological tension. The shady web of paranoia, passion, deceit and underlining guilt never lets story become too comfortable, despite its casual air and fundamental process. Larry Brand and Rebecca Reynolds' compact script plays more towards the taut drama and keeps to this trend, than anything involving charged thrills. But director Gilbert Gates doesn't discard this aspect, but delivers a pinch-full of jarring jolts to feed the story than to just shock. The film's slight conclusion makes sense and threw me off, but it seems vague to how it came to end with this payoff, especially after what came before it. I wouldn't be surprised if you find it simply plain answer. Gates' expertly handles the excursion with neat, and profitable precision. He peppers up a few atmospheric set pieces, but not in heavy doses. The flowing photography is sharply poised and an extremely effective music score is scorchingly bold. The performances of the three leads; the superbly sly Karen Allen, a wonderfully enigmatic Keith Carradine and Jeff Fahey's terrifically scarred Donny are engrossingly delivered. Dean Paul Martin, Bernie Casey and Dwight Koss provide fine support.

A well-devised and at times innovative film that kept me entertained, even with the structure's creeping ambiguity.

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