A mean trashy exploitation picture about three convicts who escape from jail and hole up at the house of a black minister. There are a few nasty scenes where the minister's family is being ...
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A demented nun sliding through morphine addiction into madness, whilst presiding over a regime of lesbianism, torture and death. Sister Gertrude is the head nurse/nun in a general hospital,... See full summary »
A mean trashy exploitation picture about three convicts who escape from jail and hole up at the house of a black minister. There are a few nasty scenes where the minister's family is being repeatedly terrorized by the thugs. In the end the minister turns the tables on the 3 convicts and gives them their just desserts.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The film was rejected for a UK cinema certificate in 1981 by the BBFC and later ended up on the DPP 72 list of official video nasties. See more »
The first time we see the Turner family's pet dog on the couch, a wire is seen and a hand to the left of the screen is clearly moving up and down. The wire is attached to the dogs tail and is being used to wag its tail, suggesting the dog is being friendly. See more »
Fight For Your Life (FFYL) is a hugely misunderstood film. Pretty much every low budget film with any kind of violent content was labelled a "video nasty" in the 80s but FFYL's notoriety even stands out from the rest of the "video nasty" crowd.
FFYL's bad reputation mostly stems from the film's rape/revenge scenario, which has resulted in comparisons with films like "I Spit On Your Grave" and "The Last House On The Left". While I greatly admire both of those films, they really have little in common with FFYL as far as tone and context are concerned. They all share a rape/revenge plot twist but the sexual assault in FFYL plays a relatively minor role in the film and is less graphically presented than rape scenes in mainstream fare such as "The Accused", let alone "Irreversible".
The other main aspect of FFYL's notoriety is the accusation of racism. The use of racist terminology is confronting and the scene in which Kane makes Ted dance and sing is, in my opinion, more shocking than any of the violence. However, the film is never less than sympathetic with the plight of the Turner family and the way in which their revenge is presented excludes the presence of any kind of racist agenda as far as I'm concerned.
Overlooking the controversy, what remains is a tightly constructed and expertly paced thriller. The film is quite brilliantly scripted. The characters ring true and the dialogue is sharp and often funny. The actors, with the exception of the ham who plays Lt. Reilly, all give great performances. William Sanderson, in particular, is magnificently vile as Kane.
Don't let this film's unjust reputation put you off. FFYL is a very good movie that deserves a wider audience.
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