Movie of the Week: Blastfighter (1984)

Hey cool, this is the first Lamberto Bava movie I've seen that I really like. And it's very atypical for him, looking more like a PG-rated action movie from a major U.S. studio. 

There are probably some debts to First Blood (1982) here, as well as the Death Wish franchise and Deliverance. But never mind the predecessors, this stands on its own as a well-paced thriller, with a grueling manhunt sequence that lasts for over 40 minutes (until our hero gains access to his futuristic SuperWeapon, and the true Blastfighting begins, only to end a few minutes later to roll the credits). I'm just going to spoil it for you: a whole town full of demented hillbillies with guns chase a guy for a long time, then he turns the tables and blows them all up. It's very edifying.

This Italian production was filmed entirely in Georgia, where life is cheap. Nice original score by Fabio Frizzi, who also composed for Fulci's best known films (The Beyond, City of the Living Dead, Zombie). 

If the movie's title seems inappropriate, it's because the production company was planning on a science fiction film. When they lost the budget, they made this instead, but were locked into using "Blastfighter" as the title. Hence the deus ex machina ending. 

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