High Risk (1981) Review

high risk review

I still can’t believe this one-sheet was contemplated, discussed, designed, tweaked, approved, printed, and distributed. Someone had to have lost their job over this. And when compared to the film’s other one-sheet that I’ve used in this review you REALLY have to question the artistic motivation for creating this truly shitty-amazing one-sheet for the rather kick-ass action flick High Risk, which I’ll be revisiting later this evening. Released in 1981 and starring the motley crew of James Brolin, Chick Vennera, Bruce Davison, and Cleavon Little, the plot centers on four friends who fake a weekend fishing trip to their wives, when in reality they fly down to Colombia in an attempt to rob a notorious drug lord. None of them have ANY combat experience. Lindsay Wagner, James Coburn, Ernest Borgnine, and Anthony Quinn all give robust supporting performances, while everyone takes the material just seriously enough in order for all of it to work despite the inherent stupidity of the set-up.

And make no mistake, this is a completely absurd action-adventure flick, written and directed with tongue-in-cheek abandon by Stewart Raffill (The Adventures of the Wilderness Family, The Sea Gypsies, The Philadelphia Experiment, The Ice Pirates, Mac and Me) who also wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty with some rather awesome pyrotechnics and action set-pieces. And now for come cool credits – composer Mark Snow went on to write the iconic theme for The X-Files and cinematographer Alex Phillips also shot Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia for Sam Peckinpah. High Risk is available on a very crappy public domain DVD release – Shout! or Twilight Time or Kino needs to get on this one and pronto!

Review by Nick Clement

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