For years, Band of the Hand had me fooled with its “From the maker of Miami Vice” poster line. I always thought this was a Michael Mann directed movie and not one by one of the directors of several episodes of that show, Paul Michael Glaser, who also played Starsky. That said, Mann is one of th executive producers.
Even knowing that, I kinda love this movie. It’s all rather dumb — five teenage criminals get rehabilitated by Vietnam vet and Native American Joe Tegra (Stephen Lang, who is also in Mann’s Manhunter, so maybe that’s another reason I was confused): rival gang leaders Ruben Pacheco (Michael Carmine, who sadly died of AIDS when he was thirty) and Moss Roosevelt (Leon, Derice in Cool Runnings), as well as drug dealer Carlos Aragon (Danny Quinn, who was married at one time to co-star Lauren Holly, who plays Nikki), James Lee “J.L.” MacEwen (John Cameron Mitchell — yes, the writer, director and star of Hedwig and the Angry Inch is in this movie and fights evil drug lords) who killed his father and car thief Dorcey Bridger (Al Shannon).
After surviving training in the swamps and cleaning up their neighborhood, Joe is killed by gangsters who include Laurence Fishburne and James Remar as the big bad Nestor. Of course the Band of the Hand comes together and makes a plan that I am in amazed by as someone who loves wacky revenge plots.
The craziest thing about this movie is that it has a Bob Dylan song written for it and he’s backed by Tom Petty (who produced) and the Heartbreakers with backing vocals by Stevie Nicks.
“We’re gonna blow up your home of Voodoo
And watch it burn without any regret
We got the power, we’re the new government
You just don’t know it yet”
Let me say that again: Bob Dylan wrote a song for Band of the Hand.
The Mill Creek Through the Decades: 1980s Collection has a ton of great movies at an affordable price. It also has Punchline, Who’s Harry Crumb?, Vice Versa, The New Kids, Roxanne, Blue Thunder, Suspect, Little Nikita and Like Father, Like Son. You can get this set from Deep Discount.