Directed by: Roger Mende
Starring: David Carradine, Kansas Carradine, Bruce Ly, Ashley F. Brooks, and Hugo Stiglitz
“Get out of my way.” – Joe Rourke
When Wyoming governor Joe Rourke (Carradine) visits the small South American country of Los Flores for some sort of goodwill diplomatic mission, he thinks everything will run smoothly and relations between America and this small, godforsaken country will be better than ever.
To add icing to that particular cake, his wife Gabby (Brooks) is traveling separately by bus to Los Flores with a group of multi-ethnic singing tots called the World Peace Singers. The Rourkes’s plan to meet up and save the world seems assured. But then, of course, tragedy strikes: a band of paramilitary commandos shows up and starts shooting everyone in sight and blowing up every available food and/or fruit cart. They then kidnap the singing children (most of whom we never hear speak, much less sing). (Come to think of it, perhaps we dodged a bullet on that one, unlike Joe Rourke). Yes, you read that parenthetical sentence correctly, Joe Rourke gets shot and is bedridden for a while.
Luckily, an all-female group of fighters known as the Panther Squad steps in and begins fighting the rebel army. Their coach is Master Ly (Ly). That’s right, they have a coach. Mainly because their prior experience consists of standing in the town square and doing synchronized light calisthenics for the bored townspeople. But they look cool in their matching black jumpsuits. After holding off the fighters as long as they can, “Action Governor” Joe Rourke emerges from his recuperation and begins kicking and shooting the baddies. Will Rourke and the Panther Squad save the children and/or Joe’s wife? We know neither he, nor the baddies, are afraid to…OPEN FIRE!
Lest we forget one of the main things that makes Open Fire watchable – the funny dubbing. Many characters “talk” without moving their mouths, or voices are heard from offscreen and you don’t know who is supposed to be talking, or the voices don’t match who we’ve heard speaking previously.
There’s also a first for us (at least so far as we can remember) – REPEATED overdubbing. You’ve heard us talk about repeated footage. Now we’ve got repeated talking! Not once, but twice (at least), David Carradine “says” the line “Get out of my way”. Then he proceeds to kick or shoot a baddie. He doesn’t do a ton of punching. He was probably maintaining character because he got shot. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Anyway, it’s the SAME line reading. They just replayed it. Well, why mess with perfection?
In the end, Open Fire (not to be confused with the Jeff Wincott film of the same name of a few years later) is your standard jungle blow-em-up with a handful of unintentionally funny moments. But it’s hard to sustain interest over a 90-minute running time.
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett