The 1980s is best remembered for its strong output of action classics. You had the likes of Commando, Predator and Die Hard offering up some of the highest octane, adrenalin pumping, masculine bravado it could manage. Then there were films like Blood Debts, low budget movies that have been remembered more for their contemporary comedic value, rather than the action they present.
I’ve always thought that a bit strange, especially given that the action seen in Blood Debts isn’t all that bad. It’s shlocky and comical, but in a way that is the charm of the action throughout. You’ll probably have seen the infamous final scene, in which Vietnam war veteran Mark Collins (Richard Harrison) fires a rocket launcher pistol and blows up the villainous drug baron. The movie then cuts to a plaque saying Collins turned himself in.
Yes, it’s that movie, and for those that know of Blood Debts for that moment alone you’ll be happy to hear that there are moments just like that scattered throughout the movie. From a man pulling a door handle so hard the door almost flies off of the set to some of the aforementioned comical action. Campy action at its finest, with overacting galore and a certain sense of comical achievement.
If only it weren’t so forgettable. Films like The Room and Thankskilling are synonymous with fans of midnight movies, and Blood Debts certainly slots into that category. From a technical perspective, the movie is abhorrently terrible; filled with bad lighting, dialogue pulled straight from every other B-Movie imaginable and awful performances. But all of that just adds to the charm and hilarity of watching it.
Mindless entertainment is always fun, and unintentionally funny movies are the best style of that. Blood Debts covers that base with some hilarious antics throughout, basing itself on a genuinely contemptible and disturbing story. At least the plot is all but forgotten about by the twenty-minute mark. Because if it weren’t, Blood Debts wouldn’t be nearly as funny as it is.