Jake Speed (1986)

When her sister is kidnapped by a gang of white slavers, Margaret (Karen Kopins, Troop Beverly HillsOnce Bitten) knows she needs a hero  to save the day. That becomes Jake Speed (Wayne Crawford, who wrote the script and also appeared in Barracuda and Valley Girl, another film he produced and fought the studio to keep Martha Coolidge in the director’s chair) to life from the pages of pulp novels.

Along with his trusty sidekick Desmond Floyd (Dennis Christopher Chariots of Fire, Fade to Black), Jake is ready for action. He’s recommended by Margaret’s grandfather, along with Mack Bolan. Everyone thinks that the old man is insane, but it turns out that somehow Jake is a real person.

Everything sounds awesome, right? Well, it turns out that ringleader of the slavers is none other than Jake’s arch-nemesis: Sid (John Hurt, Alien)! It’s obvious that Hurt had a blast making this film.

I love that this movie is a tribute to the pulps. In the world of this film,  Remo The Destroyer Williams, Mack The Executioner Bolan and Doc Savage are all real, with the novels about them actually true facts. Jake even talks about these men as his contemporaries. If you’d like to see two movies that came from the pulps, you should check out Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins and Doc Savage. Of course, the best pulp-inspired movie ever made is Raiders of the Lost Ark, a film that this movie owes some debt to.

Me? I’m a sucker for any movie that gets meta.

Director Andrew Lane, in addition to producing several films with star Wayne Crawford, also directed 1989’s Zach Galligan starring thriller Mortal Passions — that box art was a video store favorite — and 1991’s Lonely Hearts, a movie that dares to pair Beverly D’Angelo with Eric Roberts.

Ready to watch this? Grab the new Arrow Video release on blu ray. This release features a brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original 35mm interpositive, as well as a new interview with co-writer/producer/director Andrew Lane as well as one with producer William Fay. As usual, Arrow does an amazing job giving you the absolute best version of a film for your library.

You can either watch this for free on Tubi.

DISCLAIMER: This movie was sent to us by Arrow Video.

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