HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sorry to Bother You
Last Days, The
Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, The
Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story
Once Upon a Time in London
King Lear
Under the Silver Lake
Satan's Mistress
Border
Lemonade Joe
Earth Maiden Arjuna
Sons of Katie Elder, The
Soldier, The
Mr. Topaze
Aquaman
One, Two, Three
Bad Times at the El Royale
Caretaker, The
Old Man and the Gun, The
Song of Bernadette, The
Creed II
Anna and the Apocalypse
Return of the Hero
White Reindeer, The
Lizzie
Wicked, Wicked
Faces Places
Strange Woman, The
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Sky Bandits
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Devil's Sword, The
Leprechaun Returns
Man in the Wilderness
Mug
Love Me Deadly
Look Away
J.C.
Filmworker
Sixty Glorious Years
   
 
Newest Articles
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
   
 
  Fire Down Below Steve AdoreBuy this film here.
Year: 1997
Director: Felix Enriquez Alcalá
Stars: Steven Seagal, Marg Helgenberger, Stephen Lang, Brad Hunt, Kris Kristofferson, Harry Dean Stanton, Levon Helm, Mark Collie, Alex Harvey, Ed Bruce, Amelia Neighbors, Richard Masur, Michael Krawic, Clay Jeter, Yvonne Pollard, Newell Alexander, John Diehl
Genre: Action, Thriller, Romance
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Environmental Protection Agency man Jack Taggart (Steven Seagal), working for the FBI, has been assigned to this region of Appalachia as there have been accusations of toxic waste dumping made and not only that, but strong rumours of threats and intimidation as well. Maybe even murder: the previous two agents to investigate found themselves dead in mysterious circumstances, and Taggart is capable enough to ensure he can avoid that fate himself, or so his superiors hope. First, he needs a cover story, and it is settled that he will pose as a carpenter who is there at the request of the local church to fix up the residencies that are falling apart. But not everyone is convinced, and he has to keep his wits about him...

Fire Down Below was effectively a follow on from Seagal's On Deadly Ground in that it had the same environmental concerns, mixed with his trademark brutality and explosions, and like that it was a huge hit which guaranteed his movies would be blessed with massive budgets and an adoring public clamouring for each new adventure for him. Or maybe not, maybe the opposite of that as while screenwriter Jeb Stuart's script had been passed around for a few years before falling in with Seagal, it did seem foolhardy to produce a yarn that had so many similarities to the star's biggest flop, yet this was precisely what they did, and guess what? This was a flop as well, damning him to straight to DVD forevermore.

Well, it wasn't quite that bad, as Seagal did manage to get his product into some cinemas, notably Exit Wounds four years later which was a theatrical success that he bafflingly failed to capitalise upon, but for the most part if you wanted to see him on the big screen you would have to attend some Eastern European grindhouse at best. Was there ever an action star who came onto the scene so lauded yet ended up so disappointing? It could simply have been the market, especially as the sort of action flick that he specialised in was tailing off once he began to make a name for himself, and the home video market was one that it consequently started to flourish in, but somehow he became a bit of a joke too.

Witness the scene in this after establishing kingpin Kris Kristofferson has been polluting the lovely scenery with his toxic waste, where instead of going to the authorities, he makes a beeline for the church where he delivers an actual sermon to the congregation about how they are being exploited and poisoned: it was somewhat difficult to take seriously. Not least because for an action movie, our hero had been indulging in a hell of a lot of carpentry, as if fishing for his own cable TV DIY show instead of handing bad guys' asses to them, though there was a reason for that. Originally Fire Down Below was a two hours-plus epic, but the studio got cold feet and opted to cut it down; now, not everyone would delete whole action scenes in favour of Segal making wooden steps and romancing Marg Helgenberger, but here we were.

She received a truly superfluous subplot to establish her as a damsel in distress for Taggart to rescue, tussling with a bad reputation for supposedly murdering her father and getting away with it (you can tell she's innocent because she keeps bees - in touch with nature, see) and a madman for a brother (Stephen Lang doing his psycho shtick). Perhaps more interesting was Harry Dean Stanton as the local dogsbody who Jack makes friends with, plainly there to be beaten up by the baddies so Seagal could avenge him, but coming across as the most authentic Appalachian among a horde of burly supporting actors playing the caricature good ol' bad ol' boys to the hilt. He even got to sing and play guitar a little under the end credits, which was a genuinely nice moment. Aside from a solid sense of place thanks to sweeping landscape photography, it's likely nobody watching was going to emerge outraged at ecological pollution, because you didn't watch these things to be lectured at. Less egregious than On Deadly Ground, then, but not necessarily recommended. Check out Steve's array of fancy XL jackets and coats, too. Music by Nick Glennie-Smith.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 791 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Shrimpton
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: