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  White Fire Rough Diamond
Year: 1984
Director: Jean-Marie Pallardy
Stars: Robert Ginty, Fred Williamson, Belinda Mayne, Jess Hahn, Mirella Banti, Diana Goodman, Gordon Mitchell, Henri Guégan, Jean-Marie Pallardy
Genre: Action, Thriller, Trash, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Twenty years ago brother and sister Bo (Robert Ginty) and Ingrid (Belinda Mayne) Donnelly had to flee an Eastern European country with their parents under a hail of machine gun fire from the soldiers pursuing them, but their escape did not come without a cost. After sending them ahead, their father was gunned down and once they reached a beach a soldier chasing them shot their mother dead, though there was a silver lining in that they met Sam (Jess Hahn) who broke the killer's neck and adopted both of them. Now, they have a line in Turkish diamond smuggling...

Baffling the unwary ever since its initial release back in the mid-eighties, this WTF-fest was one of many low budget action flicks that emerged all over the world as production companies outside Hollywood (in this case a European co-production lensed in Turkey) attempted to emulate the success of the major hits in the field, a practice which continues to this day. It was the brainchild of a French filmmaker of largely soft porn projects, Jean-Marie Pallardy, although you'd be forgiven for not being aware of that thanks to his credit on the opening titles taking the form of his illegible scrawl of a signature. He managed to recruit two American stars, The Exterminator himself, Ginty, and The Hammer himself, Fred Williamson.

Not that The Hammer was given much to do, only showing up when the movie was over an hour into its plot, and even then offering the hard to believe statement "I detest physical violence!" before going on to belie that with his subsequent behaviour. You would not get too impatient waiting for Williamson, as there was plenty to take up your time here, mostly laughing if you had any kind of sense of humour at all. After that tearjerking flashback for the beginning, we are plunged into the now grown up Ingrid's double life as she works in a diamond mine whose offices are weirdly decked out like the Starship Enterprise, all the better to nick the merchandise from.

Not that this is a good idea due to the owner, Gordon Mitchell, tending to torture thieves to death right there on the premises, but Ingrid does free a bag of gemstones to bring back to Bo. However, no sooner have they secured the goodies than they are stolen from them by an Italian (I think that's the intended accent) crime boss called Sophia (Mirella Banti), but get away after an absurdly violent scuffle which sees Ginty fending off the heavies by taking a chainsaw to them, though Ingrid assists with a pole impalement, which is nice. One boat ride with a topless woman later, and they're home, but there's a more attractive proposition than small diamonds at the mine - how about one great big diamond?

Sure, it's radioactive for reasons unexplained, but it must be worth millions (Two thousand carats!" quoth an impressed Mitchell), so the rest of the movie details the characters trying to get their hands on it. There is a complication that has nothing to do with the giant stone, and that's Bo's over-fond relationship with Ingrid: witness her nude swim which is crashed by Bo, who after she emerges from the water whips off her towel and tells her it's a pity she's his sister as he gets an eyeful. As if that were not bad enough, she is - spoiler! - shot dead with a dart gun (!) by Sophia's henchmen and after drowning his sorrows in a bar, Bo takes home a woman he meets there, strikes up a love affair because she looks so much like Ingrid, then persuades her to have plastic surgery to look identical, which she did anyway. Then they fall in love, all because she reminds him so much of, well, you get the idea, leaving White Fire uncomfortable when it's not hilarious - or hilarious because it's uncomfortable. That's without mentioning further gratuitous violence and equally gratuitous rock ballads; frankly bizarre.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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