Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sometimes Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend

WHITE FIRE is a Turkish production that hooked me right from its in media res opening and a fire stunt that rivals FRAMED’s train collision and half of Grant Page’s repertoire in its brazen disregard for personal safety. Director Jean-Marie Pallardy, whose cinematic triumphs include softcore numbers like EROTIC DIARY OF A LUMBERJACK and EMMANUELLE 3, keeps the action coming in steady and sometimes bloody doses in this crazily plotted number he also wrote and produced.

Siblings Bo (Robert Ginty, who returned to America to star in the HAWAIIAN HEAT TV series the year this was released) and Ingrid (Belinda Mayne) plan to steal the legendary White Fire, a radioactive 2000-carat diamond found buried beneath the super-duper high-tech diamond mining facility where Ingrid works. After Ingrid is killed, Bo convinces a blonde named Olga (Diana Goodman) to have plastic surgery to look like his sister, so she can take Ingrid’s place at the mine and help pull off the White Fire heist.

Not only is the surgery crucial to the plan, it also allows Bo to have sex with his sister, a desire hinted at in WHITE FIRE’s weirdest scene (which is saying a lot), where Bo playfully yanks a towel off a nude Ingrid and leers at her.

Adding to the oddness is second-billed Fred Williamson, who had just been in WARRIORS OF THE LOST WORLD with Ginty. The Hammer finally shows up an hour into the picture as Noah, an enforcer looking for his boss’ missing call girl, Olga. That great face Gordon Mitchell (FURY OF ACHILLES) plays Ingrid’s corrupt boss, and the beautiful Mirella Banti (TENEBRE) is an astonishing sight as Sophia, an Italian villain who teams up with Mitchell to swipe the White Fire ahead of Bo.

There are also a lot of mustaches, gore, some natty Fred Fu, the fetching Miss Mayne frequently unclothed, a weird makeout scene during which Ginty flashes back to his childhood, oily men wrestling, more reckless fire gags, a goofy ‘80s power ballad theme, and a Bondian climax with guys in brightly colored jumpsuits getting blown up. WHITE FIRE has its dead spots, but is packed with enough WTF moments to make it a must-see.

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