Jake Speed (1986) – Film

“Jake Speed”

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When Margaret Winston’s sister is kidnapped, Grandpa knows just who to contact to rescue her.   Unfortunately, Jake Speed is a fictional character from a pulp novel series.  Or so everyone believes. Uncertain of his claims, but unwilling to give up hope, Margaret is swept away by the real life Jake Speed in the adventure of a lifetime, she travels to Africa to save her sister from slavery.

This is a brilliantly over the top 80’s extravaganza.  Full of spunky, endearing characters, quippy dialogue, and an entertaining story that, despite it’s ridiculousness, manages to pull you in.  A cast with convincing chemistry, who embrace that this is a campy film,  manage to keep an undertone of seriousness while bringing to life the sensationalistic feel of the best pulp fiction stories.

The multi-talented (writer/actor) Wayne Crawford is Jake Speed, hero of a popular pulp novel series.  Fresh faced Karen Kopkins, is Margaret.  Full of guilt after her younger sister is kidnapped, because she encouraged her sister to travel the world, Margaret allows Jake to drag her into danger and intrigue, giving her a great adventure worthy of his next pulp novel.    Dennis Christopher, is Desmond Floyd, Jake’s sidekick and co-author, with an eye for who and what would make a good story.  The always charismatic John Hurt is the fiendish Sid, Jake’s nemesis, human trafficker, murderer, and all around villain.

If you’re looking for an entertaining  action/ adventure flick, full of witty dialogue,  a fun, bouncy soundtrack (Keep your eye out for the scene featuring a creative rendition of Michael Sembello’s “Maniac”), and don’t mind something rather dated, with a lower budget and production value, that treads the line between campy and cheesy,  you’ll enjoy this one!

I gave this 3 1/2 bottles of cold beer.

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