Hardcase and Fist (1988) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This grade-z film is worth a description, because it is a bad movie which is bad enough to be good.

Hardcase is a cop who was set up by his ex-partner. Fist is his cellmate in prison. They are about to be transferred to another prison because the FBI needs Hardcase to turn state's evidence. Apparently there is a rule which states that you may take your cellmate along when you are transferred. At least we have to assume that's the rule. The sound in the film is so poor that we can't actually hear what they are saying.

They are in a marked prison vehicle (Warning! Do not approach, secret prisoners inside!), being transferred to their new quarters, when the van is intercepted by four cars full of mobsters intent on Hardcase's demise. The head of the group is about to kill Hardcase and Fist, but he can't, because Hardcase saved his life in 'Nam. So this baddie and his girlfriend get in the police van and speed H&F away, with the other mobsters in hot pursuit. 

This leads to a train track, where H&F get across the tracks just ahead of the speeding train, leaving the other mobsters trapped on the other side. Oldest movie trick in the book! Eventually they abandon the marked prison vehicle and make their way on foot to a run-down shanty, where they attempt to steal the poor owner's car. The owner of the car/shanty is about to kill them when they explain they were in 'Nam, at which point he invites them in for coffee. (I didn't make that up.)

They have a relaxing cup of java, but soon the shanty is surrounded by dozens of mobsters, plus Hardcase's ex-partner, all of whom are blasting away with guns and rifles. They stop shooting for a minute or two, and the ex-partner shouts at the top of his lungs, "Hey, Hardcase, I got something I want you to see." You expect that he'll have something actually visible from shouting distance, like Hardcase's girlfriend, but instead he holds up some tiny pictures, and shouts, "Recognize this? ... or this?" Mind you, he's about 50 yards away. Despite the distance, Hardcase is able to identify them all faster than Ken Jennings could rattle off the U.S. Presidents, and he shouts back at the top of his own lungs, "Yeah, that one is a picture of the fan belt from a 1958 Chevy ... no, 1959. That one is a rare Stan Musial rookie card. Oh, yeah, that one is Debra Winger at her senior prom. And that one is ... hey, that's my girl ....."

Hoo, boy, is he ticked off then, and he starts blasting away an his ex-buddy and his dozens of accomplices. Soon H&F realize that they are too badly outnumbered, and they have to get to the shanty owner's car to escape. Fist uses the ultimate fighting tactic - he runs outside unarmed. You see, Fist is a Movie Asian Guy, and it's against his code to use firearms. Luckily, the bad guys recognize the same code, drop their own firearms, and attack him with rakes and pitchforks and other makeshift weapons. It's even more fortunate that they never attack him with more than one guy at a time. While Fist pummels each of them in turn, the others wait politely for their own chance to get whupped.  


Stacey Nemour is seen very briefly topless on her back

Maureen Lavette climbs topless out of a hot tub.

Debra Lamb does a very long strip act in a thong.

Fist finally gets the car back to the door of the shack, and H&F drive off amid a hailstorm of bullets. Well, I guess technically the bullets are only for Hardcase. I think they just hurl those little throwing stars at Fist. It's that Asian Movie Code thingy. All the mobsters get in their own cars and follow them.

Guess how our lads get away? Are you ready? Is your guess written down? Is it locked in?

They beat a speeding train to a crossing and leave the mobsters on the other side of the train. 

Yup, same old trick. Another train.

At this point director seems to have realized that his film was only going to be 40 minutes long, so he started to pad out the running time with filler.

  • They show the entire freight train going by, cut to H&F slapping fives on one side, cut to the mobsters pissed off and waving fists on the other side, etc.
  • Then H&F go to a strip show, and we see the entire act of one stripper, who turns out to be Fist's wife. She is a good stripper, but that's a lot of running time. This particular stripper, Debra Lamb, has done this particular novelty act, fire-swallowing while she strips, in other films as well (Satan's Princess, for one).
  • Then we see H&F clean house at the strip club, just for fun, I guess.

I guess that got us back on track with the timing, because H&F then finally proceed to the place where the mobsters are holding Hardcase's girl. How did they know where to go? I guess Hardcase read the address on the back of the distant picture that the guy was holding up in the earlier scene. There are about 100 mobsters guarding the girl, but this is no problem. About 50 of them attack Fist without any guns, and they all wait their turns while he kicks their asses one by one. The other 50 come after Hardcase with handguns. Here's how this works. One by one, each guy runs out into the open and fires 2-4 shots, all of which miss, and after which Hardcase fires one shot with his own handgun and kills him. 

Repeat 50 times until out of guys. Hardcase never has to reload at any time.

The good guys win, pump their fists in the air.

The end. 

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen letterboxed, 1.85:1

  • no bonus features except an r-rated theatrical trailer

One reader at IMDb caught something I missed near the end. Hardcase is in a small car chasing a bad guy in a station wagon when, through the miracles of modern technology, they switch vehicles! I guess by that point I was just praying for it to end.

Although this is rated an anemic 2.7 at IMDb, it appears to be one of the better films from star/writer/director Tony Zarindast. The Mystery Science Theater 3000 team took on one of his other films, the notorious Arizona Werewolf, which is rated 1.8 - 30th worst of any movie ever made. 

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews on line 

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 2.7.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is an F, but highly recommended for those who love the type of bad movies which are fun to laugh at.

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