LIGHT BLAST (1985) Reviews and overview

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Light Blast is a 1985 Italian sci-fi action film about a crazed physician with a death ray who threatens to destroy San Francisco… unless he is paid $10 million.

Directed by Enzo G. Castellari [Marino Girolami] (Escape from the Bronx; 1990: The Bronx Warriors; Great White; The Big RacketStreet LawHigh Crime) from a screenplay co-written with Tito Carpi.

The Faso Film/Metro co-production stars Erik Estrada, Ennio Girolami, Michael Pritchard, Peggy Rowe and Bob Taylor.

The soundtrack score was composed by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis for Raiders of Atlantis (1983) and recycled here.


In San Francisco, two teenagers playing hide and seek among the cars in an abandoned railway depot exchange affection. A white van arrives in the vicinity of the store and points a laser gun toward a large LCD clock. The teens make out, the laser fires and they melt.

Doctor Yuri Svoboda, a former University of San Francisco professor, threatens the city with his laser ray if he is not given $10 million dollars…


“As expected there are some amazing action sequences with some dangerous stunts complete with lots of slow-motion head shots. The action is plentiful but the numerous chase sequences seem only divert the lackluster story when the plot begins to drag. The plot also has far too many “convenient” set-ups that will have the viewer going “what are the chances!” Blood Brothers

” …the motivation for Soboda is weak and I still don’t understand the crystals or whatever causes his weapon to work; Warren’s partner Ben, while a solid police officer looks like a hackneyed caricature because of the way he wears his hat; and Warren has a girlfriend that doesn’t provide much […] These foibles are easily overlooked when you get to see melting faces and car chases.” Bulletproof Action

” …we get a kung fu funeral home worker, multiple acts of violence against Volkswagon beetles, a lot of slow-motion gunfights, explosions and people on fire and a super car chase with a dune buggy, plus you can’t have a car chase in San Francisco without a bunch of slow-motion jumps over those big hills.” Closet Monsters


“On top of being fast-paced, funny, violent, well-shot, and consistently good with no dull bits (no mean feat in itself), 80’s fanatics will get a kick out of the clothes, cool watches, phones, cars, microfiche, hats, tape players, an early form of GPS, and, of course, the infamous laser with its great effects.” Comeuppance Reviews

“The initial car chases are a bit slow in execution but feature mucho car smashing and are made up for with the insane dune buggy chase. The shootouts and fights are pretty solid though and you are never far away from the next action scene. Plus, who doesn’t want to see Erik Estrada fighting a buffed up nurse?” Cool Target

Light Blast remains one of those action films which barely has a plot and is almost always clunky in its delivery, yet with its none stop action it is the kind of film that you can stick on and (excuse the pun) have a complete blast with each time.” Cult Italia!

“It’ll pass muster for the uncritical action fan, I suppose, but those of us hoping for something more (an interesting story, compelling characters, creative dialogue, anything out of the ordinary that can set this one apart from the pack) had best turn our attention elsewhere. As it is, it’s one of those movies where the stuntmen and the explosions experts deserve to be listed above anyone else on the creative team.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

” …the special effects are dated, but they still look badass and are a great addition to the fun. This is an action movie at heart, but there is still some red stuff to see. Dialogue tends to be great fun and Estrada plays it dead serious, just as he should. Everyone seems to take it pretty seriously really and that is part of why Light Blast is so damn fun.” Marc Fusion

“Estrada hasn’t even begun to walk away from the post-carnage wreckage and the credits are already rolling – that’s how you end a picture! Get in, pile on the action, and get out! It’s all pretty spectacular, there aren’t any major lulls to be found, and Castellari shoots everything in his gritty pseudo-documentary street-level lensing style.” Modern Superior

“The virtue of any Enzo G. Castellari film is that it can be guaranteed to have some decent action sequences. The film consists of much in the way of car chases. In fact, the complaint would be that the film consists of nothing but lots of running round and car chases at regular intervals. The plot in between these scenes could have been sketched on the back of a postcard.” Moria

“Overall, Light Blast is good fun. It has all the action you’d hope for from a 1980s action movie. Just not done in a big-budget Hollywood way. Light Blast is instead a cheesy, low-budget, Italian version of the 80’s American action movie. And in my opinion, a good example of those things done well.” Ultimate Action Movies


Cast and characters:

Erik Estrada … Inspector Ronn Warren
Ennio Girolami … Doctor Yuri Soboda (as Thomas Moore)
Michael Pritchard … Swann
Peggy Rowe … Jacqueline
Bob Taylor
Massimo Vanni … Policeman in Warehouse
Louis Geneva
Francesca Giordani
Thaddeus Golas
Robert Paul Weiss
Sheldon Feldner
John X. Heart
Brad James
Steven Kravitz
Julie Conners

Technical details:

89 minutes

Original title:

Colpi di luce

Not fun facts:

Eight stuntmen were apparently seriously injured during the filming Light Blast due to the lack of the implementation of safety regulations.


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