Belated Friday Fisticuffs: Revolt (1987)

Obviously, it’s well past Friday, but I just had to write about one of the strangest movies I’ve seen in a very long time. My folks came for a visit on Friday and Saturday, then we had a CPR class to attend on Sunday as well as a Super Bowl to watch. Monday I was swamped with work AND it was my birthday and then yesterday I was in the city covering a Comic Book Men Q&A with Kevin Smith and the boys. So, I’ve been busy, but not too busy to talk about this incredibly odd movie.

Revolt is a mystery. It’s a mystery how something so bad could get released, why absolutely nothing about this film can be found on IMDb and why the heck, even with all that, it still wound up on Netflix Instant. I am not kidding you guys when I say that I checked about ten names from the cast on IMDb hoping to find the title Revolt or even a film from that year on their resumes, but it was a total bust. Heck, this is the only poster I could find and it’s smaller than the usual ones I like to run, but it’s the largest I could find.

So, the origins and background of this film are completely unknown aside from what’s actually seen on the screen and, my oh my, there is a lot going onscreen in this movie. First and foremost, you need to understand that this movie is terrible. The acting is bad, the story is far more overwrought and confusing than it needs to be (I had trouble differentiating characters for most of the film), it tries too hard to address real issues that should probably be handled better and even includes a voiceover in the first ten minutes that sounds like something out of an After School Special that completely disappears. Heck, I almost wish it would have stuck around because it would have cleared a few things up. But, even with all that, I had an amazing time watching this movie. It’s a “so bad it’s good” kind of thing absolutely and if you dig those kinds of movies, I’m fairly confident saying you will LOVE this one.

So, in addition to the terrible acting (at times it seems like aliens dressed as people saw a movie and this is their attempt at making their own) and the hilarious voiceover (“There’s a drug dealer on that train…Ah, there he is.”) it also seems as though most of the vocals were dubbed over later. You know how that wound up working out well for Robert Rodriguez when he made El Mariachi? Well, it doesn’t work here. Continuing the strange “Is this a foreign film?” vibe, it also includes some sound effects that dudes making Hong Kong action films in the 70s would shake their heads at. An old man gets knocked over and they do that “bundle of sticks falling from a great height” sound effect. It’s bonkers!

But, then it gets serious. Plenty of people close to our heroes get straight up murdered. Heck, one of their sons (or somebody’s son, I really have no idea who’s related to who) gets hit by a car. Is any of this really necessary? Usually I’d say no, because there’s a sexual assault and the guy who does it only gets shot, which doesn’t seem like appropriate payback, BUT this movie also has a bigotry component revolving around problems in Iran that INSTANTLY make every single white person in town turn into a raging racist who doesn’t want anything to do with the Iranian family in town (who are kinda sorta at the center of things, I think). Heck, even the little kid (the one soon to have a nasty run in with a car) gets the shit kicked out of him at school AND harassed by a blond woman who’s either a teacher or just a meddling mom.

And, of course, being Friday Fisticuffs, there are fights in the movie. None of them are really worth talking about, though they do look real. Heck, I’m not sure if these aren’t just people beating the crap out of each other. The real gold comes towards the end of the movie when a blond guy and a brown-haired guy take their weapons to the bad guy’s camp and they jump around like crazy (the blond guy is like a friggin gymnast in this thing). This is the closest you’ll ever get to a Contra/Super Contra movie from the 80s and it’s worth watching just for this scene (and there’s a lot more goodness to enjoy if you’re a fan of the badness).

I hope I’ve included enough nonsense from the movie to convince you guys to check this movie out on NetBox. If not, know that it contains the calmest phone conversation between one bad guy (who looks like he could be Stone Cold’s uncle) and the other where they very calmly talk about giving the Iranian people in town trouble because they’re from Iran. You’d think they were discussing picking up a new ladder with how unemotional they are about the whole thing.

Please, do yourself a favor bad movie fans and watch Revolt as soon as you can. I haven’t gushed this much about a bad movie in possibly ever and hope you guys can share in the unique joy this film brings.

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