* * *
AKA: Hostage Dallas
Directed by: Dwight H. Little
Starring: Edward Albert, Audrey Landers, and Joe Don Baker
Here is the on-screen crawl viewers of Getting Even will read when they pop the tape into their VCR:
Afghanistan: The Spring
A new lethal weapon
has been developed. It kills silently by ravaging the body. It is a
poisonous gas that destroys the flesh. There is no known defense.
The U.S. Government has recruited the one man capable of capturing and disarming this weapon.
His mission: PROJECT VIPER
His name: TAGGAR
describes the plot of Getting Even better than we possibly could. But
there are a few other things this helpful intro left out. Taggar, or
“Tag” for short (Albert) is a Bruce Wayne-like industrialist/adventurer
from Dallas who
wears power suits during the day while in his massive skyscraper, Taggar
Enterprises, and at night travels with an elite band of special ops and
gets into action-packed scenarios.
Taggar Enterprises specializes in “Chemicals, Robotics and Microtechnology”.
Plus they have their own book, their building has a “TE” helipad for
the official “TE” chopper, and they even have stylish “TE” jackets for
their employees to wear in their downtime. Tag even zooms around in his
rockin’ sports car with “TAG ENT” as the license plate. All this
success must have really cheesed off rival Texan chemical researcher
King Kenderson (Baker). He acts like a classic cowboy but deep down is
an insecure man, constantly afraid of being labeled “a loser”. The
flashy, capable and awesomely-named Taggar gets his goat so much, he
steals canisters of the deadly gas weapon described above and threatens
to release it over Dallas unless he gets fifty million dollars.
with the help of Paige Starson (Landers), Taggar snaps into action in a
series of stunts, fights and chases in a variety of different vehicles
to take down Kenderson and save Texas. Can he do it?
Here, Edward Albert
throws his hat into a fairly crowded ring as another camouflage
face-painted, rocket launcher-toting hero. He resembles a cross between Tom Selleck and Robert Goulet,
and the whole affair is classic 80’s action fun. The plot is a bit
bizarre, as rival chemical researchers battle for supremacy, but this
different take makes Getting Even (not to be confused with the other
Getting Even, 1988 with Harrison Muller, Jr.) worthwhile. The war between the
suave city man and the “country bumpkin” is a tried-and-true “country
mouse vs. city mouse” tale, but this one has lots of classic 80’s
computers and a blasting theme song.
In the dialogue department,
we get gems such as the shouted “Adios, Russkies!” during the opening
action scene, and the ultimate moment in this film, or perhaps in all of
Edward Albert’s career (and yes, I am aware we’re talking about Punchy
himself) is when he yells at top volume and intensity, “KENDERSON!!!!!!!!!!” Great stuff. Great I tell you.
the film is set in Dallas to try and capitalize on the popular TV show
of the time, but with an eye on giving action fans a reason to visit
that city. It seems Taggar would have fit in well on that show.
Released on VHS in the U.S. on Vestron, if you see it somewhere, pick up Getting Even.
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett