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Fight for Your Life (1977)

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 ... See full summary »


Robert A. Endelson


Straw Weisman

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Judd Robert Judd ... Ted Turner
Catherine Peppers Catherine Peppers ... Mrs. Turner
Lela Small Lela Small ... Grandma Turner
Yvonne Ross Yvonne Ross ... Corrie Turner
Reggie Rock Bythewood ... Floyd Turner (as Reginald Bythewood)
Ramon Saunders Ramon Saunders ... Val Turner
Queenie Endelson Queenie Endelson ... Dog
William Sanderson ... Jessie Lee Kane
Daniel Faraldo ... Chino
Peter Yoshida Peter Yoshida ... Ling
Bonnie Martin Bonnie Martin ... Karen
David Cargill David Cargill ... Lt. Reilly
Richard A. Rubin Richard A. Rubin ... Captain Hamilton
David Dewlow David Dewlow ... Joey
Nick Hardin ... Tony (as Nick Mariano)


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There is no greater violence than a father's revenge for the rape of his daughter See more »


Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

16 May 1980 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Hostage See more »

Filming Locations:

Florida, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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 »


Ted Turner: The measure of a man is dignity.
Jessie Lee Kane: The measure of a man is POWER!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Australian classification board - the OFLC - passed the film uncut in 2005. The DVD version released by Stomp Visual in Australia is the same as the US unrated version. See more »


Referenced in Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The Shocking Truth (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Misunderstood Exploitation Classic
7 February 2006 | by Crap_ConnoisseurSee all my reviews

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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