Written by: Giuseppe Rijitano on May 2nd, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, March 1991
Director: Avi Nesher
Writer: Avi Nesher
Cast: Michael Biehn, Patsy Kensit, Tracy Scoggins, Robert Culp, Richard Jordan, Billy Blanks.
DVD released: April 11th, 2005
Approximate running time: 96 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: MGM DVD
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £12.99
Eddy Kay (Michael Biehn) is a simple guy. He bikes to work every day where he repairs watches and occasionally flirts with his customers, like sexy psychiatrist Dr. Anna Nolmar (Patsy Kensit). That is until he heroically rescues a woman and her child from a burning building and makes the late news. Colonel Taylor (Richard Jordan) just about to settle down for a whiskey and his evening wank (via pre-internet sex chatline) sees the news report and immediately loses his stiffy. Eddy was supposed to be long dead and the Colonel doesn’t like surprises, especially when he’s on the cusp of a major assassination operation. So he dispatches his team of highly trained killers to get the job done; Misters Brown (Billy Blanks), Grey, Redd, Black, Green and the lethal Miss Blue (Tracy Scoggins).
Eddy by the way has no idea why people are suddenly trying to kill him, he thought the gaps in his memory were down to alcohol and drug abuse, guess not! Lately though he’s been having flashbacks of extreme violence, freaky trips on a Hungarian train and pornographic images of a blonde writhing naked on a bed. Lucky for him, the Colonel’s team are having an off week and seem to be unable to close the deal; a failed stabbing, a botched vehicular homicide and an all out firefight in a parking garage leave Eddy bruised, confused but ultimately still breathing. Faster than you can say Kyle Reese, Eddy’s on the run with a sawn-off shotgun and a kidnapped blonde, Dr. Anna, in tow. Cue late 80’s fugitive style ultra violent action with lots of civilians catching stray bullets, a shoot out in a sleazy theater (amidst trench-coated patrons jerking off) and obligatory high speed car chases as the film races towards it’s distinctly sci-fi conclusion via an abandoned Arizona mental asylum and a political assassination attempt.
They just don’t make films like this anymore. Hitchcock-man-on-the-run-style action on steroids, despite being released in 1991 this one really feels like a leftover from the previous decade. Today’s equivalents are few and far between and tend to come off as OTT shaky-cammed music videos. Apparently the studio wanted Chuck Norris or Van Damme to play the role of Eddy Kay. Avi Nesher fought to keep Michael Biehn and Biehn even took a pay cut to show his dedication to the picture. Van Damme in fact went on to make the very similarly themed Universal Soldier the next year.
The slightly dodgy Manchurian Candidate meets Commando cheesy b-movie plot is helped considerably by late great character actors Richard Jordan and Robert Culp’s expositional chops. The action and fight scenes reach a level of kinetic bloody violence that seems to be absent from most of today’s ‘action’ fare (damn you PG-13!) and are very well done indeed; special mention to Billy Blanks Tae-Bo-ing his ass off at every opportunity and perennial slutbag Tracy Scoggins doing something a bit different for a change. Kensit on the other hand is standard blonde fluff thrown in for her obligatory sex scene, not that I’m complaining!
Anamorphic transfer looks very good indeed, strong colors, clean image. The stereo soundtrack is clean and clear.
If you thought you’d seen all the best b-movie action flicks of the late 80’s/early 90’s, think again!