5.5/10
451
5 user 7 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.

Director:

Gilbert Cates
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Cast

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 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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 1988 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

A sors fegyvere See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the last film of Dean-Paul Martin See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Building Heartaches
Written by Willie Nelson
Tree Publishing Co., Inc. (BMI)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Decent enough eighties thriller
3 July 2007 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Some of the best thrillers I've seen got incognito releases in the eighties (Michael Winner's "classic" Scream for Help springs to mind!) and Backfire is another decent little thrill ride from the best decade for trash movies. This film does well in that the plot is simple and easy to follow, yet it still manages to keep you guessing all the way through. Don't get me wrong, I love a good complicated thriller; but sometimes keeping things simple can work just as well, and Backfire goes some way to proving that. The film, like many American movies, has a backbone that centres on the Vietnam War and how it invades the lives of those that fought in it. Donny is a Vietnam Veteran who supposedly lives a perfect with his lovely wife Mara in their nice big house. However, he is plagued by nightmares of the war he fought in, and when these nightmares start to become reality; it would seem that there is foul play involved. But, all is not what it seems and the plot thickens when Mara meets a stranger in a bar.

It has to be said that the character drawings are not particularly impressive and could have used some work to make the film work better than it does, but the script is generally good enough to hold the plot up and keep things flowing well. The cast isn't overly impressive either and doesn't feature any massive names, though the actors involved fill their roles fairly well. The female lead is Karen Allen, who you may remember as the leading lady in Raiders of the Lost Ark, while there are also roles for Keith Carradine and Jeff Fahey. The film doesn't have much in the way of atmosphere, though the war themes are well utilised. Many eighties thrillers were of the 'steamy' variety, and it has to be said that there isn't a lot of that here. There isn't much in the way of violence either, so the film mostly relies on drama to portray the story, and that seems to work pretty well. I have to say that the ending came as something of a surprise as I thought it was all building into something much impressive! Still, if you get a chance to see this you might as well; there are certainly worse films out there!


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