5 user 8 critic

Backfire (1987)

Disgruntled wife cheats on her well off husband, who's been suffering from PTSD ever since he came home from the Vietnam War. After an incident he ends up in a catatonic state. Soon, she begins to suspect that someone is after her.


Gilbert Cates




Cast overview, first billed only:
Karen Allen ... Mara McAndrew
Keith Carradine ... Reed
Jeff Fahey ... Donnie McAndrew
Bernie Casey ... Clinton James
Dean Paul Martin ... Jake
Virginia Capers ... Maxine
Philip Sterling ... Dr. Creason
Dinah Manoff ... Jill
Frances Flanagan ... Claire
Antony Holland ... Judge Hardin
Dwight Koss ... Deputy 'Buzz'
Gordon McIntosh Gordon McIntosh ... Big George
Wendy Van Riesen Wendy Van Riesen ... Alice
Eric Schneider Eric Schneider ... Dr. Cooper
Enid Saunders 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 »

Did You Know?


Final film of Dean Paul Martin. See more »


Referenced in Madonna: A Case of Blood Ambition (1990) See more »


Nashville Just Wrote Another Cheatin' Song
Written by Ed Molyski
Dunbar Music Canada Ltd.
See more »

User Reviews

Worth a watch
19 February 2000 | by MindwarpSee all my reviews

A shell shocked Vietnam Vet (played by Jeff Fahey) is driven over the brink by his greedy wife (Karen Allen) and her boyfriend.

Although the idea of this film is pretty interesting, and the cast is pretty good, unfortunately the script is not good enough to really make the story work. This makes the movie kind of predictable. Karen Allen chews up the scenery, and steams up the screen in a few nude scenes, as the greedy young wife born on the wrong side of the tracks in a small town.

Overall this movie is worth a watch, especially if you are a Karen Allen fan, but not nearly as great as it could be.

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Release Date:

22 April 1988 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Backfire See more »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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