REVIEW: Masterblaster (1987)

masterblaster

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1987, First American Entertainment

Director:
Glenn Wilder
Producer:
Randy Grinter
Writers:
Randy Grinter (story and screeenplay)
Glenn Wilder (screenplay)
Jeff Moldovan (screenplay)
Cinematography:
F. Pershing Flynn
Editing:
Steve Cuiffo
Angelo Ross

Cast:
Jeff Moldovan (Jeremy Hawk)
Donna Rosea (Samantha Rosen)
Joe Hess (De Angelo)
Robert Goodman (Mike)
Richard St. George (Monk)
George Gill (Snake)
Peter Lundblad (Lewis)
Earleen Carey (Laura)
R.J. Reynolds (Jimmy Roy)
Julian Byrd (Gary Lee)
Ron Burgs (Bobby Jo)
Yoshimitsu Yamada (Yamada)

A deadly game of survival ensues when a group of various characters on a paintball tournament become the targets of a menacing killer.

In a remote area in Florida, the first annual Masterblaster tournament is being held. It is to be first of a local paintball tournament where various regional competitors across the nation will compete to see who will “survive” and who will be “killed”. This year’s inaugural competitors include war veteran Jeremy Hawk, local police officer Samantha Rosen, martial arts expert Yamada, bodyguard De Angelo, psychiatrist Laura, and rock star Lewis. The winner of the competition will receive fifty thousand dollars.

As the competition starts, Jeremy and Samantha begin to take a liking to each other as personal tragedies they both endured have brought them together. Meanwhile, something begins to happen. One of the competitors begins to take this game too seriously and finds the perfect opportunity to begin killing off some of the others. As bodies start to pile up, it is clear someone perhaps want the money all for themselves and has a background in this brand of training? Could it actually be war veteran Jeremy? Could it be De Angelo? Could it be Samantha? Or could it be someone no one expects?

Some may consider this a horror film and it shows in the depictions of corpses and the idea for 1987 is quite a certainty. However, the film can also be described as an action film with the mere fact that director Glenn Wilder is a seasoned Hollywood stuntman who to this day, is still doing what he does best. This would mark his only film as a director and uses his knowledge of stunts as well as cast stunt performers in primary roles. Glenn co-wrote the screenplay with producer Randy Grinter and the film’s lead actor, the late martial artist Jeff Moldovan.

Moldovan does pretty well for B-movie stature as lead Jeremy Hawk, a Vietnam War veteran who uses the Master Blaster tournament to ease the pain he suffered during the war, but soon finds himself once again involved in a situation where he must put his skills to the test. Donna Rosea plays police officer Samatha Rosen, who uses the tournament as a way to help her with her trigger finger as he slow reaction caused the death of her partner. If you have seen films like No Retreat, No Surrender 3: Blood Brothers, Only the Strong, and Bloodmoon, chances are you will recognize Joe Hess, a burly stunt performer who is also a world Karate champion and Hess, like Moldovan gets to show why he is a martial arts champion as bodyguard De Angelo.

In terms of the horror film portion of the film, which starts about forty-five of its eighty-minute running time, most of the depictions are cliched and even some of the leads up scream certain death. They involve hangings, a decapitation, and one getting an acid capsule to the face. When the killer is revealed, it becomes a double-edged sword as the revelation itself is quite a surprise. However, it is the reasoning of why killer acted is borderline ridiculous because in a way its cliched but at the same time a bit ambiguous.

Masterblaster is a pretty decent B-movie meshing of action and horror, filled with some pretty good choreographed fight sequences akin to American martial arts films of this era as well a nice twist to the revelation despite its laughable reasoning. Definitely a film B-movie fans will enjoy.

WFG RATING: B-

VHS
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