A former policeman sets out to unleash violent vengeance upon deer poachers when they rape and kill his long lost daughter.A former policeman sets out to unleash violent vengeance upon deer poachers when they rape and kill his long lost daughter.A former policeman sets out to unleash violent vengeance upon deer poachers when they rape and kill his long lost daughter.
Michael Sopkiw ... Misunderstood action cinema icon?
Having watched "Blastfighter", I can now proudly say for myself that I've seen the entire repertoire of lead actor Michael Sopkiw. Not that this is such an exhausting or praiseworthy accomplishment, as this peculiar macho star only ever appeared in four movies, but they are nevertheless rare and offbeat highlights in the category of shameless early 80's Italian exploitation cinema. Sopkiw's career was quite bizarre, because he only played four leading roles and then completely disappeared from the film industry, but the movies he did are forever printed in my head and all still rank high in my list of personal guilty pleasures. "After the Fall of New York" and "Massacre in Dinosaur Valley" are his two most superior achievements, whereas the double feature he shot with director Lamberto Bava is putrid but tremendously amusing cheese-material! "Monster Shark" is a daft and utterly retarded "Jaws" rip-off and this "Blastfighter" is an outrageously inane travesty of the Sylvester Stallone vehicle "Rambo". This is an incredibly askew and misfire of an action flick; hilariously entertaining for all the wrong reasons. The screenplay is incoherent and full of holes big enough to rush a reasonably large bobsled through, the inept dialogs make you go "WTF?" every couple of minutes and the overuse of typically 80's syrupy chansons is mildly infuriating. We open with Sopkiw's character – awesomely named Tiger Sharp, ha – walking out of prison after doing his eight years of time for murdering his wife's murderer. Why his wife died or in what sort of scandal Tiger got involved eight years ago we never find out. We just knew he was a cop in the Bronx and now he returns to his hillbilly-infested hometown somewhere in Arizona. At least I think it's in Arizona, because that annoying theme song repeatedly sings something about "Sunset across the Arizonian border". Anyway, Tiger promptly gets into conflict with a bunch of redneck lumberjacks led by the crazed brother of Tiger's former best friend Tom. George "Anthropophagous" Eastman depicts Tom and I truly, madly, deeply adore this guy! Tiger then receives a visit from his teenage daughter Connie (although it takes an awful long time before he realizes she's his offspring) and it looks as if he finally found some peace and quiet in his chaotic existence. But the vendetta with the rednecks escalates, and Tiger is unwillingly forced again to dust off his multifunctional machine gun. Watching "Blastfighter" is an indescribable experience and I only address myself towards fans of Italian exploitation cinema, because all the other 'normal' movie lovers are likely to label this as the worst movie ever made. Don't get me wrong, it IS one of the worst movies ever made but also amateurishly charming, irresistibly cheesy and the ideal piece of junk to watch together with friends. Every slightest aspect about this movie is unintentionally zany, like the wannabe sentimental moments with the Bambi deer, the "Deliverance" homage near the beginning, the continuously straight-faced acting performances, the exaggerated showcasing of hillbilly clichés, the copious amount of action sequences that look identical to "Rambo", the seemingly unceasing number of hostile lumberjacks that our hero is up against, the demented father/daughter interactions and the totally bonkers final confrontation with Tom. Michael Sopkiw is a handsome (kind of resembling Franco Nero) and reasonably talented actor and he probably deserved better than to star in trash like this. I can't possibly afford to grant a positive rating to "Blastfighter", but rest assured it's an entertaining and highly recommended film!
- May 10, 2009
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