'Jake Speed: Special Edition'
(Wayne Crawford, Dennis Christopher, Karen Kopins, John Hurt, Donna Pescow, et al / Blu-ray / PG / (1986) 2019 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: In a world where, unbeknownst to the public, all famous pulp fiction heroes are real, one of them, Jake Speed, agrees to help desperate Margaret Winston save her sister from sadistic white slaver Sid, who's operating in Africa.
Blu-ray Verdict: For my money, 'Jake Speed' is a damn fine movie with a wonderful message. It has its flaws, of course, like being rather too slow at times and yes, it introduces its villain too far into the story for my liking, but it has a decent Z-grade cast (although I've always admired the work of Karen Kopins, who has the straight-laced good looks of Sandra Bullock).
But with all this going against it, 'Jake Speed' really is rather inspiring, thanks to a charming script by Wayne Crawford (who plays the title role) and Andrew Lane.
Why do I find it so inspiring? Because it says to me "Hey, why not try to be a good person?"
The story is essentially a stranger in a strange land premise with good and heroic Jake Speed being placed in the real world where bad things happen to good people.
Jake is more than a Boy Scout. He's more than a knight in shining armor. Jake Speed is the patron saint of optimism in a dirty, mean and evil world.
It's because of this that 'Jake Speed' really needed to be a hit. I mean, imagine movie industry that really pushed itself to portray good and decent people.
I'm not saying that we should be watching The Waltons in every theater at the cineplex, but that it would be nice if more movies such as 'Jake Speed' would get a chance.
Sure, the movie has violence, blood and guns, but the overall message is that if you try hard enough to be a good person, you'll beat the forces of evil every time.
In closing, 'Jake Speed' is an amusing parody of Indiana Jones and other adventurer films that were popular during the '80s. Wayne Crawford stars as Jake Speed, an adventurer who's always battling evil doers wherever he goes.
With his assistant Desmond Floyd (Dennis Christopher) they globe trot looking for some action (and some decent story lines). The duo meet a young woman named Margaret (Karen Kopins) who's sister has been kidnapped by an evil white slaver trader (John Hurt).
Again, a sappy and cheesy film that doesn't pretend to be something that it's not. So if you enjoy your movies that like to have fun then this is most definitely the movie for you, my friends! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via a brand new Blu-ray (1080p) HD presentation and comes with the Special Features of:
Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original 35mm interpositive
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original lossless mono audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Paperback Wishes, Cinematic Dreams, a new interview with co-writer/producer/director Andrew Lane
The Hard Way Reads Better, a new interview with producer William Fay
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
'Jake Speed' Original Movie Trailer