Blastfighter directed by Lamberto Bava 1984
Ex cop Tiger is leaving prison after an 8 year stretch, played by Michael Sopkiw who unfortunately only starred in 4 films in his career, although of those 4 there were some classic Italian genre films like 2019: After the fall of New York and Massacre in dinosaur valley.
Through a series of flashbacks we learn that Tiger was doing time for shooting the murderer of his beloved wife. Picked up by a friend he is driven to a car park where his friend has a weapon Tiger requested; it's a beast of a gun that can fire smoke bombs, flares, rubber pellets, lead slugs, armor piercing, grenades and tear gas! It becomes pretty obvious that this weapon is going to play as big role as any of the characters.
The title Blastfighter might be a confusing one for the content present, I personally was expecting a science fiction film based just on the title, after some research it came to my attention that it was originally intended as a science fiction but for reasons unknown to me (please feel free to comment) the story was re-written but the title was kept because advertising had already begun. Tiger is the classic action anti hero loner, after a moral decision not to kill the judge that sent him to prison he sets off to the woods where his fathers abandoned cabin is located, like all cops with emotional baggage he plans to live out his days alone. Some of the local hicks take an instant dislike to Tiger particularly Wally who's older brother is played by the legendary George Eastman, Eastman's character Tom has a history with Tiger and there is noticeable tension when they are together, this tension will come to confrontation later in the film. Tiger plays it cool at first but when he finds out that the local hunters aren't just hunting for food anymore he is furious. A local Asian entrepreneur is reselling the animal parts to his medicine making friends, he is paying the hicks a lot of money for this merchandise with the only catch being that he wants all his animals alive. The locals at first limit their taunts to just practical jokes and verbal abuse in the form of hilarious dialogue. Eventually it escalates to attempts on his life.
When Tigers estranged daughter Connie arrives at the cabin there is hostility and inappropriate dialogue aplenty, just as Tiger starts to warm to Connie those pesky hicks return and kill his friend from the start of the movie along with Connie’s innocent boyfriend Pete. Connie is roughed up and injured in the fiasco this is when things really reach their pinnacle, tragedy strikes our hero and he is sent into a jungle rage! Unarmed Tiger needs to get back to the cabin to get one thing, the multipurpose shoots anything firearm.
When he finally does get back to the cabin and retrieves the gun all hell breaks loose. The action and revenge that follows is satisfying with plenty of exploding cars and missing limbs, the location really shines in the final 40 odd minutes with some great helicopter camera shots and jungle chase scenes. I really enjoyed Blastfighter, it’s stock standard action fare but like it’s Italian genre counterparts it amps everything up just a little bit further, it’s the kind of film you craved when you were 12 but could never find (well not me anyway).