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Fire Down Below (1997)

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Going undercover in rural Kentucky, a environmental agents tries to prove the dumping of toxic waste in the local coal mines by ruthless industrialists.

Director:

(as Felix Enriquez Alcalá)

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Jack Taggart
... Sarah Kellogg
... Earl Kellogg
... Orin Hanner Jr.
... Orin Hanner Sr.
... Cotton Harry
... Reverend Bob Goodall
... Hatch
Alex Harvey ... Sims
Ed Bruce ... Sheriff Lloyd
Amelia Neighbors ... Edie Carr
... Phil Pratt
... FBI Agent #2
... Walter Carr
Yvonne Pollard ... Mrs. Carr
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Storyline

Environmental protection agent Jack Taggart is fighting big business types led by Orin Hanner who are dumping toxic waste somewhere in the Kentucky hills region. They also killed his fellow agent and are killing the nature of the region. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One Man. One Secret. One Chance in Hell. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 September 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alerte sous la Terre  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,073,094, 7 September 1997

Gross USA:

$16,228,448

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,000,000, 9 November 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bruce Willis turned down the lead role. See more »

Goofs

End credits: the producers thank the "Common Wealth" of Kentucky. Like several other eastern US states, Kentucky is a "Commonwealth" - one word. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Frank Elkins: I'm going to Kentucky to check on a case. When I'm back, we're gonna go hunting. Do some fishing. We'll get away from all this stuff.
Jack Taggert: I appreciate the friendship. Means a lot to me.
See more »

Connections

References Deliverance (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Mr. Spider (Little Body Rinctum)
Traditional
Performed by Levon Helm
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User Reviews

 
The Good & Bad Of 'Fire Down Below'
8 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

Since I haven't seen this since the turn of the 21st century, it would be interesting to see again just to see Marg Helgenberger. I really wasn't that familiar with her when I saw this movie a couple of times in the late '90s, although I had seen her before. However, now she's a very familiar face thanks to the hit CSI television show.

Anyway, the movie was a typical Steven Seagal film in that he's the likable hero, you had despicable villains that were easy to hate, and every action scene is Rambo-like in which Seagal never misses injuring his foes.

One big difference in this film from his earlier efforts: an emphasis an aesthetic cinematography. This had some beautiful rural scenes of Kentucky and in particular, a church on a top of a hill, in which a number of scenes take place. Not only is the country scenery nice but there are some good country songs in here and better yet - blues guitar music in the background throughout the movie. All of this was different for a Seagal film. Of course, the nice scenery was probably due to the fact Seagal played an Environmental Protection Agent ("Jack Taggart").

Also different was the fact that Helgenberger ("Sarah Kellogg") was not the typical gorgeous young sexpot normally paraded out in these martial arts films, but was rather plain with no makeup. She wore conservative clothing and showed no skin. (Contrast that to her CSI roles the past six years) Then again, Appalachia being the setting for this story, her dress and manner was appropriate and realistic.

Language-wise, most of the hard profanity comes from Kris Kristofferson's villain character, "Orrin Hammer, Sr.," in the first hour.

How they treated "religion" in this film was bizarre. Good, bad, good, bad - like watching a tennis match. The country reverend was the typical Hollywood wishy-washy minister: the kind would NOT see in this area in real life. The screenwriters are so clueless Seagal called him - a Protestant minister - "father" - as if he was a Catholic. Anyway, the wimpy reverend does "come around" at the end.

More examples: good-guy Seagal bows his head in prayer at church but also tells Helgenberger that "I don't hand out bibles." He also mentions UFOs and Zen to a sick little boy but also mentions "God's work" other times. He covers all the bases, I guess, from occult to the real thing. The bad guys attend church, but then they burn it down! Harry Dean Stanton tells someone that "church people talk down the others," but the next scene something positive is shown. I'm telling you: the theology in here would make your head swim.

Seagal plays a smug kind of guy but his smugness doesn't translate into an offensive jerk, perhaps because his character is so soft-spoken and he is, after all, the good guy. Every action scene in here is a Rambo imitation in which Segal beats up his opponents no matter how many of them are against him. It's ludicrous. Yet, most of the time it's enjoyable enough to watch and the sound-effects on those fights are actually entertaining, almost humorous.

About the film, I still like the blues guitar and the Kentucky scenery the best. The rest of it is pure Seagal nonsense....but entertaining.


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