A Real Blast!
Susanne Carter (Jillian Kesner) has journeyed to an unnamed Asian country to find her sister, a journalist, who has gone missing. Susanne doesn’t know what happened to her and after not receiving a reply to an urgent telegram she sent, she came to this place to see what’s going on. Susanne begins to investigate, following leads and clues, and soon stumbles onto a local mafia that is running drugs and guns and all sorts of illegal things through their local martial arts tournament. Susanne, being a martial arts instructor herself, is not helpless, and she beats the ass of many a man in her search for answers. The police find her sister’s dead body and just like that, Susan’s quest changes from missing person to revenge, and God help anyone who stands in her way.
Firecracker is one of the most unapologetic exploitation films I have ever seen and is a delight to the eyes, ears, and heart. You want gratuitous kung-fu fight scenes? You got them. You want people getting gunned down while they try to awkwardly run away? You got that. You want fights to the bloody death for no apparent reason in a martial arts tournament? Yep. You want your heroine kicking the ass of her assailants, clad only in bra and panties? Don’t worry, Firecracker has you covered. You want an awkward sex scene, where the man shreds the clothing of the woman with a pair of knives, and then submits to her doing the same to him? Oh, yes. And you want it all wrapped up in one of the most audacious and ridiculously awesome synth scores of all time? Look no further, my friends, look no further. Throw in a head getting kicked into a whirring table saw and eyes getting gouged out with a pair of fighting sticks, and you have yourselves quite a bargain. Kesner is simply terrific in her role, very physical and tough yet still vulnerable and all heart. She is surrounded by a cast of amateurs but that’s okay because it just adds to the rough charm of the film. Some might be a bit offended by what’s inside, calling out the gratuitous moments of nudity and violence, but I simply call that a good day at the office.
Here is a film filled with vivacious life, always thrilling, sometimes chilling, and thoroughly entertaining. You have a new fight scene every ten minutes or so, classically evil villains, a bit of an intriguing, emotional twist at the end, and lots of action. I mean, lots of action. This thing never lets up and has rocketed into my top ten martial arts movies simply because of its pure, dynamic momentum and aggression. This one gets right to the point and chops you across the face with no apologies given. Firecracker is indeed explosive, and an all-time exploitation classic.