Directed by: Tony Zarindast
Starring: A.J. Nay, Cherry Williams, Kimberly Evans, Doreen Alderman, and Tony Zarindast
Death Flash (AKA Solitary) is a ton of enjoyable fun from start to finish. You just have to love movies like this – they really are true gems. Director/Co-Writer Tony Zarindast predated his Hardcase and Fist (1989) with this treasure, although this one doesn’t feature Beano. Well, I guess you can’t have it all. Zarindast even has a small role as the Machine Gun Joe character, Mr. Russo. One of the most pleasurable aspects of Death Flash is just how 80’s it is. This movie is 1986 through and through, and no 80’s fan can afford to miss it.
He also will engage in barfights with tough guys in order to defend the honor of his wife’s singing voice. Her band sings a catchy tune called “Secrecy” (performed by Cheryl Jewel), but some rowdy bar patrons don’t approve. They then feel the wrath of Nay.
The music overall is yet more classic 80’s, and mostly performed by a man known, mysteriously, only as Mrozinski. The soundtrack should be released on CD and/or vinyl, and this movie should be released on Blu-Ray stat. It could be packaged with Hardcase and Fist and put out under the banner of “The Tony Zarindast Collection”. Here’s hoping (against hope) that that happens soon.
All the classic clichés that we know, love, and can’t live without are here, including the aforementioned barfight, a truly excellent WYC (White Yelling Chief) in Captain Stanhope (de Soto), lots of punch-ups, blow-ups, shootings, and motorbike-to-helicopter chases, among others. There’s a terrific shootout in a bar with some pinball machines, most places characters go (including strip clubs) have stand-up arcade machines such as Centipede and Pac-Man, the cocaine is plentiful, the hair is big, and the women’s clothes are asymmetrical. Duncan even has a Black partner in Dawson (Lewis) – because the 80’s-ness wouldn’t be complete without a reference to Crockett & Tubbs.
For the atmosphere alone, Death Flash is worth seeing. It’s a pleasant surprise from a time when energetic and enterprising filmmakers could make action movies on a rock-bottom budget and come out with a winner. Comparisons to Samurai Cop (1991) and Miami Connection (1987) wouldn’t be unwarranted. It’s just that they’ve gotten more attention of late. Now that Death Flash is on Amazon Prime (as of this writing), hopefully that will change.
Thank goodness for A.J. Nay, thank goodness for Tony Zarindast, and most of all thank goodness for the 80’s. It was the best decade ever and Death Flash is proof. The whole thing might not be polished to the degree some people might like, but, much more importantly, it’s just FUN. We guarantee you will be entertained by Death Flash, and that’s more than a lot of movies with many more resources can claim. We really recommend it.
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett