Thunder (1983)

2.0 out of 5

Too bad this unapologetic regurgitation of First Blood stars the most uncoordinated action hero to run across a film frame: Marc Gregory, he of the teenage girl/horse canter. The man struggles mightily with the burden of miscasting.

The movie was shot in Page, Arizona, with breathtaking vistas and Monument Valley scenery aplenty, but the film stock looks to have been saturated in slave-ship bilge, and most of the movie's image quality varies somewhere between yellow-purple color schemes in daylight and those that best support numerous bad day-for-night shots. This is a small complaint, considering the acting, storyline, and stunts, with the exception of a few A-Team crashes, fall so short of the Italian B-movie mark, the viewer may actually watch the whole movie out of pity.

Most entertaining is the movie's use of slow-motion in scenes of Gregory getting his face slugged, complete with echo effects. Director Fabrizio DeAngelis obviously had a field day, blowing up half of Page, and the dubbed actors, like Antonio Sabato, must have watched a lot of bad westerns in the first place to dub their lines with such sincere, hayseed accents. Sabato's grotesquely bulging biceps do most of his acting, anyway.

The movie's best stunt: Gregory happily throws himself through a plate-glass window to evade the cops but emerges without a scratch.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics