A.K.A. Copi di luce
Directed by Enzo G. Castellari
89 Minutes /Lightening Video / Cropped from 2.35:1 to full screen
A mad scientist utilizing a cutting-edge laser weapon holds San Franciso hostage with he and his henchman looking to extort the ungodly sum of ten million dollars from the city. Erik Estrada is the only man that can end the terror, but the viewer is pretty much fucked.
The worst Castellari effort I've seen yet. Estrada mugs a lot and attempts in vain to act like tough shit. The problem is he's Erik Estrada, being the kind of actor/personality that screams he's that actor/personality no matter who he is or what he does on-screen. Everyone else is wallpaper waiting for their undoubtedly sky high paycheck. Of course I'm kidding.
The most amusing thing about this whole pile of shit is the meager extortion amount. The scientist eventually ups it to twenty million, to which the mayor just about shits a brick in response. He even gets a letter from the President essentially stating no matter how high the casualties, there's no way they'll pay. Even in mid-'80s cash, I can't imagine an ultra high tech laser and a coastal barge packed with supercomputers to control it costing any less than seventy million plus.
Castellari's direction seems very constrained and the film frequently feels as if were made-for-television. The mid-section is filled with muddling action and bland twists as the scientist's identity is revealed. The ending can't seem to come fast enough as well with the credits rolling right after the baddie bites it. There's some explosions, bloody squibs, and a few cheap laser-induced body melt effects. Skip it.
VHS Picture: 6/10
VHS Sound: 4/10