“Fire Down Below” – 1997. Dir. Felix Enriquez Alcala.

With Stevan Seagal, Stephen Lang, Levon Helm, Randy Travis, Marg Helgenberger with Harry Dean Stanton and Kris Kristofferson.

“Do you want me to take him out?”

“Son, you couldn’t take out a cheeseburger from a drive-through”

I own a majority of Seagal’s earlier films. I think they are so bad they are good (aside from “Under Siege” which is actually good). In “Fire Down Below” we find Seagal now an EPA Agent who gets sent to some small town in Virginia to investigate a millionaire (Kristofferson) who owns coal mines or something and has been dumping toxic waste into a river or a lake.

Seagal enters the town undercover as a Missionary through the town’s church to help people fix up their homes. The town’s preacher is Levon Helms (The Band’s front man) who introduces Seagal to the townsfolk. He takes a liking to Sarah (Helgenberger) who lives with her brother Earl (Stephen Lang) who had molested her as a child. Kinda intense for a Seagal film…

This movie is so fucking bad it’s awesome. The cast alone is sweet. Harry Dean Stanton who is always worthy of a good performance, plays the town “retard” – although he’s sharp as a tack and just plays that so Kristofferson and his goons leave him alone.

Stephen Lang is enjoyable in the typical cliché bad man role, Randy Travis is cool as a quick drawing dirty FBI Agent and Kristofferson is tough as fucking nails as the heavy. He’s so smooth and cool he rivals Dean Martin. Kristofferson just has the aura around him that just makes him so fucking cool.

The writing is vintage Seagal film – it’s so fucking campy and filled with slap yourself in the forehead one liners. I don’t know whose idea it was to have Seagal as a leading man in action films but it did work for quite a while. He had a nice little run…until he hired personal assistants as sex toys.

Review: 7/10

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Author: Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

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