Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Fight for Your Life|
Actors: Robert Judd, Catherine Peppers, Lela Small, Yvonne Ross, Reggie Rock Bythewood
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
Studio: Wea-des Moines Video Release Date: 02/24/2004
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Not for the squeamish, not for the politically correct
Manfred Zeichmann | Austria | 06/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE some years ago on a n-th generation videotape and despite the atrocious picture quality it made an enormous impression on me. Luckily there is now this definite UNCUT edition of this 1977 grindhouse classic available on a great looking DVD from Blue Underground, so I did not hestitate to upgrade.
A word of caution: FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE is not for easily offended viewers.
The plot has three vicious scumbag criminals - a racist hate-filled white sadist, an Asian American and a Latino - escape, when the prison truck transporting them is involved in a traffic accident. They shoot a prison guard, hijack a pimp's car and flee to the countryside. Needless to say that they commit some violent crimes along the way, until finally they take an African American family hostage. A nightmare of sadism, racist degradation, humilation and rape for the black family begins, and two white friends of the family (a young woman and a boy) visiting are brutally murdered by one of the home invaders. Finally police, led by a tough cop nicknamed "Rulebook" REILLY, siege the family's home. I don't want to give the end away, but the promotional tagline "They took it until they couldn't take any more!" already indicates that it's comeuppance time for the baddies...Wow! What a sick and sleazy grindhouse movie! It is genuinely shocking, in no small part due to the powerhouse performance delivered by William SANDERSON as ultra-violent racist. He is extremely convincing in his role, calling his victims every name in the book and constantly shouting racist insults and comments (which I am not allowed to quote here). If there was an Academy Award for most abundant use of foul language in a movie, FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE would undoubtedly win it.
Needless to say it is very violent, particularly in the scene, where the small boy is beaten to death with a stone.
Watch at your own risk!Some words on the DVD: print quality is great, and there are some nice extra features. There are three trailers (one aimed at a white audience highlighting the crime aspect, another aimed at black audiences with emphasis on the Afro-American family's revenge and a so-called teaser trailer, which strangely consists of a single still). Forget the teaser trailer. The other two are very good, but both give away too much. The trailers are basically a 3 minute version of the movie, so you better don't watch them before the main feature. There are also TV-spots, an audiocommentary (on which I can not comment, since I did not listen to it) and a very nice still gallery, consisting of poster artwork, a newspaper ad, videotape covers and lobby cards of mostly German origin, where FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE played theatres under the title of AUSBRUCH ZUR HÖLLE (= escape to hell).
A hugely recommended DVD!"
Great entertainment, but certainly won't appeal to everyone
ACS | ARIZONA USA | 04/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If there was ever a movie that could push the audience's buttons, it was Fight for Your Life. During its limited theatrical run, it reportedly caused near riots in theaters wherever it was shown. The movie follows three escaped convicts, led by racist hillbilly psychopath Jesse Cain (William Sanderson), who take an African-American family hostage in their home and torture them. Cain spews vicious racial epithets almost constantly as he and his cohorts (who, ironically enough, are Latino and Asian) subject the family to a host of racial and sexual humiliations. Though it's easy to dismiss as mere exploitation, Fight for Your Life speaks volumes about what America had on its collective mind in the late 1970's, reflecting anxieties about the effects of drugs, violent crime and volatile race relations on the country. Of course, it's also great entertainment. Thanks to a strong script from Straw Weisman and Robert Endelson's smart direction, there's never a dull moment in this film, though it certainly isn't for all viewers. Four stars out of five."
Intense and very gritty 70's exploitation film.
Puzzle box | Kuwait | 06/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fight For Your Life is definetely not for those who have a weak stomach or those who are easily offended, this film was a perfect example of Gridhouse cinema in the way that it shows how relentless and viscous the psychotic criminals were and there also quite racists and it was almost like a relief when the black family got their revenge. The film obviously has a strong subject matter as it deals with racism and like another reviewer said it was definitely not PC, I don't think that a film like this would be made nowadays so its quite controversial it was very nasty but still great. If you like exploitation films then your going to love this, Fight For Your Life is a surprisingly well-observed grindhouse classic about three violent prison escapees (led by Jessie, played by William Sanderson) who take an African-American family hostage, submitting them to racial humiliation, rape and murder. The fact that the movie still bothers viewers to this day with its in-your-face racism, violent child murder and over-the-top violence and nastiness makes it some kind of warped classic well worth your time. There is also a scene that is guaranteed to make you cringe which involves the psychotic criminal Jessie scaring a screaming and crying baby by shoving a loaded pistol into it's face and a nice and gory window impalement. Yes the villains were quite despicable but I guess it was meant to be that way, you will definetely feel angered by the behavior of these criminals and this also caused a few riots back in 1977 when it was released. Blue Underground did a great job with the extras and it also has some interesting trailers for the film itself, the anamorphic letterboxed transfer (1.66:1) has a considerable amount of grain during dark scenes but colors are bold and beautiful and most of the scenes have a polished look to them. Some sequences have a very soft look to them with no detail but this is probably due to the original shoestring photography. I highly recommend this to 70's exploitation fans but this will definetely offend some people out there so you have been warned, check it out."
A good movie - hyped "offensive" content.
Mondo Vendo | Detroit, Michigan USA | 05/08/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is not the big racially tensed extremely "politically incorrect" offender it is hyped up to be. The William Sanderson character constantly uses racial slang insults nothing more. Oh, he makes the preacher sing and dance or he'll shoot him. Big deal.
I watched this movie based on its big reviews of being extreme offensize film. It is not. Not even remotely. I am a big fan of Blue Underground but they are clearly guilty of hyping this on false pretenses.
Still while it did not satisfy my extreme film interest, it was surprisingly enjoyable for other reasons.
I particularly enjoyed when the preacher and his family were forced to sing for the William Sanderson character and turned it around on him by enthusiastically singing "Glory Glory Halleuyah" happily.
It is a good film worth seeing but don't expect the shocks it is advertised to deliver. It works on a much more innocent level. It is not something I want to watch over and over but I do have a fondness for the one scene in particular."