In Cashiers du Cinemart #14 Skizz Cyzyk and I chose our Top Fifty Modern Day Midnight Movies and LETHAL FORCE made its way to the top of the list. One of my most favorite films of all time, LF has finally gotten the DVD release it deserves from Unearthed Films! It's now available for purchase (or for rent)!
Alvin Ecarma's LETHAL FORCE boasts geysers of blood à la the LONE WOLF & CUB films, blazing guns (and latent homosexuality) from John Woo's A BETTER TOMORROW, and a bevy of stylistic and thematic nods to other favorite films from CONAN THE BARBARIAN to EVIL DEAD 2 to ARMOUR OF GOD. Even the temporary soundtrack present when I saw LETHAL FORCE at a riotous MicroCineFest 2001 screening (where it walked away with the Audience and Judges' Awards for Best Feature Film) possessed musical cues (and sound effects) from ENTER THE DRAGON, FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, and other films of high regard.
Frank Pritchard stars as Jack Carter. He's a well-meaning patsy caught between his old friend, Frank Savitch (Cash Flagg Jr.), an unstoppable assassin, and Mal Lock (Andrew Hewitt), a wheelchair-bound super-baddie with a legion of white-masked goons at his command. Director Ecarma does well to keep things fresh in what could otherwise be a staid action film with wonderfully kinetic camerawork and large doses of dry-witted comedy.
The tricky hybrid of comedy and action could have easily failed, turning LETHAL FORCE into a ridiculous farce like THE NAKED GUN or a silly gest like THE JEWEL OF THE NILE. Rather, this small-budgeted film ($12K!) wonderfully succeeds on all levels. The film is technically adroit and chock full of laugh-out-loud outrageousness.
I really can't say enough good things about LETHAL FORCE. Each time I watch it, I find myself enjoying it even more than the last.
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