By Richard Winters
My Rating: 2 out of 10
4-Word Review: Erik Estrada saves Frisco.
A crazed scientist (Ennio Girolami) has created a laser gun that can melt people on contact. He uses it to kill a couple and then threatens to do the same to the entire city of San Francisco unless the mayor can come up with $10 million dollars. Rugged, renegade cop Ronn Warren (Erik Estrada) is assigned to track the culprit down and that he does while careening down the city streets in a race car.
The only interesting aspect about this movie is that it stars Estrada the one time big TV star from his heyday on the ‘CHiPs’ TV-series. I never cared much for that show and the only thing that I’ve seen him in where I enjoyed him was in the reality series ‘The Surreal Life’ where I found him to be humble and laid back, which I suppose happens to one when they have a long line of movies like these to their credit. I remember in the late 70’s he was considered an up-and-coming star and was known to have big ego fits on the set, which eventually lead to his co-star Larry Wilcox quitting. Then once the series ended he was trapped doing low grade stuff like this, which makes me wonder; can you really call it a ‘movie career’ if no one has seen the movies that you’ve done?
Overall if you approach this with decidedly low expectations then this film, which was produced by an Italian production company, but still filmed on-location in Frisco, is okay. Watching the laser melt people is entertaining as a sort-of cheap version of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The action is choreographed well enough to be mildly exciting and the budget isn’t so low that it makes everything look cheap. Estrada’s manning of a race car down the city streets at the end is fun, but highly improbable that he would be able to drive into oncoming traffic and not be hit or be able to find a car that was being stored inside a truck that would conveniently have its keys in the ignition and fully tanked up with gas.
The film’s biggest transgression is that it’s too predictable. It’s like they’ve stolen every other formulaic element from every other cop movie and then crammed it into this one. Estrada is dull and the actor playing the bad guy is equally bland making this at best a passable time waster.
My Rating: 2 out of 10
Released: August 13, 1985
Runtime: 1Hour 26Minutes
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Studio: Overseas FilmGroup