Philippine War Week: Black Fire (1985)

If their work in Jungle Rats (reviewed this week, look for it) wasn’t enough to satiate your Philippines-based, Rambo-inspired Namsploitation . . . Jim Gaines, Teddy “Chiu” Page, and Romano “Rom” Kristoff are back in Black Fire. (Go ahead, make fun. But I loved renting these Rom-Rambo knockoffs back in the day. My Rom-ness is only matched by my Michael Sopkiw-ness and my Mark Gregory-ness.)

Kristoff is Sgt. Frank Johnson — aka, Code Name: Black Fire — who is not just a lethal Vietnam killing machine: he’s a lethal ninja warrior killing machine: a skill the bulky Stallone didn’t know and couldn’t do if he tried. But our favorite Spanish expatriate martial artist can! But Agent Black Fire is so skilled that he’s become not only a danger to the ‘Gong, but to his own men: his commanding officers mark him for termination. And beware of Black Fire’s special ops, missile-equipped crossbow!

After suffering a concussion from a grenade blast in ‘Nam, Sgt. Frank experiences childhood flashbacks as a ninja in those dreams: he’s tapped back into is inner Qi — and he’s gonna need it. Upon recouping, Sgt. Frank is sent to San Sebastian with his buddy Sgt. Jim Anderson (yep, Jim Gaines) to work as U.S. military advisers . . . or investigate “something” (does it really matter; we’re not here for plot points). And the duo stumble into the (white-suited, natch) base commander’s illegal weapons ring. Yep: Black Fire must be terminated.

This one’s got it all: bad guys in eyepatches, exploding huts, exploding towers, “dramatic” slo-motion scenes of screaming as the bullets fly, and the ubiquitous, out-of-sync bad dubbing. Are there suspicious stock scenes you’ve seen before? Is the music muddy-familiar?

Uh, is this your first time watching a Silver Star Film production? Quick asking stupid questions and enjoy the “Rambo” of it all.

And, remember our “Ancient Future Week” of old computer-based movies from the ’80s and ’90s? Check out the very cute Chantal Mansfield (In her only movie role? Why?) banging out the data on the green-on-black MS-DOS CRT helping our Sgts. Frank and Jim solve the war crimes.

You can watch Black Fire on You Tube.

About the Author: You can visit R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

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