Written, and Directed by Alvin Ecarma
Produced by Kent Bye, Cash Flagg, jr, and Alvin Ecarma
Edited by Ronald Edwin Hunkler
Director of Photography - Eric Thornett
Jack Carter - Frank Prather
Savitch - Cash Flagg Jr.
Rita - Pat Williams
Mal Lock - Andrew Hewitt
LETHAL FORCE is another extraordinary underground effort from the Baltimore area. As I'm finding out, Baltimore is replacing Cincinnati as the best place to find underground cult-film entertainment.
Unlike many underground efforts, this one is neither horror nor black comedy, although there is plenty of gore and laughs. Director Alvin Ecarma delivers that Holy Grail of underground genres, the action picture.
Other attempts at underground action have crossed my desk before and they have been some of the worst dreck I've ever seen. The filmmakers neither attempt to hide nor embrace the limitations of their production. What director Ecarma does is forget about limitations and delivers balls out fun in a wild send-up of 1960's spy flicks.
At the center is Cash Flagg Jr. as a ruthless hitman named Savitch. He's not the honorable anti-hero seen in so many John Woo flicks, he cold blooded like The Jackal (we're talking the orginal, not the sissy Bruce Willis remake). Mal Lock is a former victim of Savitch's who somehow survived the hit. How he did it isn't important, all that matters is he's out for revenge. His plan is to use Savitch's partner, Jack Carter, to get to the killer extrodinaire.
Savitch doesn't like being betrayed, not even to save a friend's son. With the set up in place, Savitch plans to kill every schmuck in sight.
Yep, it's that kind of action movie, the best kind. There's no sensitive bad guy nor any sort of respectable hero. Roles aren't defined so easily; complex emotions drive the story, not phony characterization. Satires shouldn't be this focused, it narrows their vision. But it works, and adding depth in a genre where none is required.
Flagg is becoming a cult icon to those in Baltimore area. Like Jacking Chan, Flagg does his own stunts. The difference here is that Flagg doesn't have a crew of 50 to maintain his safety. Some of the stunts have to be seen to be believed. He jumps, chops, and rips off heads with the best of them. The man is an ass-kicker in every sense of the word.
In a summer where every Hollywood action film has been 45-to-the-temple awful, it's good to see an underground effort that delivers so thoroughly.