Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Fireback


FIREBACK (1983)

Directed by: Teddy Page
Screenplay: Richard Harrison (as Timothy Jorge)
Starring: Richard Harrison, Bruce Baron, Gwendolyn Hung, Ann Milhench, Jim Gaines, Ray Vernall & Mike Monty

The man of a million cheap ninja movies, Richard Harrison, is on ass kicking form in this cheap action revenge flick, which while not a ninja film per se, does feature a sword swinging ninja in one of its copious action scenes. Harrison is Jack Kaplan a man of moustache and cool action movie name, who is in Vietnam demonstrating a new awesome gun. It’s a machine gun, a bazooka and I’m pretty sure it can pop popcorn in its handy built in microwave oven it’s that bad ass. No sooner has Kaplan finished demonstrating how good the gun can blow shit up he’s attacked, captured and thrown in a POW camp. It’s not long before a rescue team is sent in to liberate Kaplan and get down to, well, blowing shit up. Once rescued and returned home, Kaplan discovers his wife has been kidnapped and he is being framed for a bunch of crimes he didn’t commit. Not messing about, Kaplan gets down to searching for his wife and looking for the bad guys, meaning he is going to blow a lot of shit up.

Now Fireback is a whole load of cheap-jack Philippine shot action craziness but somewhat disappointingly abandons the plot it seems to be setting up about the super-awesome mega gun seen in the opening scenes in favour of your standard dude-needs-to-rescue-his-girl-from-a-bunch-of-other-dudes-revenge-nonsense. Fair enough but having Harrison go after the dudes who stole his mega gun and left him for dead in a POW camp would have been a whole lot cooler. Seems the mega cool gun scene was just their so the makers could stick a picture of it on the video cover! Oh well, and once one can get over their hoping-to-a-see-mega-gun-action-extravaganza disappointment, Fireback is still a decent slice of action baloney.


For one we have Richard Harrison, who actually appears throughout the entire film instead of only in some tacked on ninja scenes at the beginning and end (and also allegedly wrote the script in one night!), going through the motions as the ever worried hero looking for his kidnapped wife. The likes of Bruce Baron and Mike Monty (who made frequent appearances in these types of action films throughout the 80s) also show up as various bad guys/cops and, as mentioned, a ninja even shows up on several occasions to challenge Harrison to some deadly combat. So all good really.

Director Teddy Page (Jungle Rats, Blood Chase) keeps everything rollicking along and there is a surfeit of bullet riddled action and explosions to keep the cheesy action fan happy. There is also a surplus of random oddness in between all the action to keep the absurd factor bubbling: including a bad guy with a golden hand (!), an actor credited as Ed Harris (but not that Ed Harris!) and Harrison even builds another super-cool-mega-gun, A-Team style, in order to blow up the bad guys real good. Proceedings even get a little downbeat come the final third meaning Fireback is an oddly entertaining action fest that walks a fine line between action silliness and gloomy earnestness.


4 comments:

dave_or_did said...

Didn't we watch this on one of our video weekends under a different name?

dave_or_did said...

Oh no, it was called Fireback and it featured in the very first Weekend writeup alongside Rollerblade 7!

http://davesfilmreviews.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/another-weekend-of-trash.html

Oh the horror....

drive2 said...

haha, holy crap I've sat through this twice and didn't even realise it. Ha. enjoyed it more the second time...

Roller Blade 7: dear god no...

dave_or_did said...

It was quite a while ago to be fair and I can't remember anything about it other than the video cover!