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Fight for Your Life [1977] [US Import]

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Product details

  • Format: Anamorphic, NTSC, Dolby, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00018YCTQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,440 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


William Sanderson, Robert Judd. Three escaped cons take a black family hostage and subject them to brutal torture, racial humiliation and sexual violence. 1977/color/86 min/NR/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By L.J.F.64 on 23 Mar. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A trio of convicted murderers escape from a transportation van and go on a killing spree and eventually take a black family hostage.

Fitting into the home invasion/revenge genre this is one of the more surprising films of it. William Sanderson delivers an outstanding performance as the deeply racist Kane who at every turn is a vile lowlife to everyone he meets, he really does convince as the nasty thug, the others in the film are good but it's Sanderson's film. Although this isn't a gory film, there is a fair amount of violence but nothing graphically strong, there was one scene that was particularly shocking, when a small boy is beaten to death with a stone by one of the escapees. The last 20 mins of the movie are genuinely exiting when the tables are turned & the results are satisfying. The only problem with the movie is the criminals constant racism does grate a little and the whole hostage situation (before the Turners gain the advantage) goes on a little too long. Those are just small things though as this a very surprisingly well made low-budget thriller with some great thrills and excitement.

This film which was banned outright in the U.K. during the video nasty era, does contain some the most disgusting racist language I've seen and may put some off, but elsewhere in the movie it's no more violent than others in the genre and is very watchable.
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Format: DVD
Quality action / revenge thriller from the late 70s, lots of action scenes, decent acting and a good plot. Can't understand the 'banned' status of this but then again were are talking about it being forbidden by the wet bags at the bbfc. It does have a bit of racist language but nothing to go overboard about, as a previous reviewer says it has one scene of moderate nastiness but on the whole it's nothing to get worked up over. Enjoyable flick, well worth a watch, I've got this one in my collection as I like to watch it quite often. Recommended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By the fiddler on 6 Sept. 2012
Format: DVD
yes banned but not as bad, they where more worried about the "Racist" stuff than violence, still are.
The film is more Blaxploitation than grindhouse horror. The music is brillant, actor is ok, but worth seeing, A] to see why it was banned b] to wonder why it was banned and the state of minds of the UK Censors in the 70/80s.
The film is NOT REGION 1, it freezone NTSC, which means it plays on region 2.
It is a classic in the Blaxploitation genre that is over looked, because of the video nasty label, so those into Blaxploitation seem to stay away and Grindhouse banned collectors get up set it is not that nasty.
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By Sally Phipps on 19 Feb. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
All ok
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 15 reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
not for the squeamish, not for the politically correct 8 Jun. 2004
By Manfred Zeichmann - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE some years ago on a n-th generation videotape and despite the atrocious picture quality it made an enormous impression on me. Luckily there is now this definite UNCUT edition of this 1977 grindhouse classic available on a great looking DVD from Blue Underground, so I did not hestitate to upgrade.
A word of caution: FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE is not for easily offended viewers.
The plot has three vicious scumbag criminals - a racist hate-filled white sadist, an Asian American and a Latino - escape, when the prison truck transporting them is involved in a traffic accident. They shoot a prison guard, hijack a pimp's car and flee to the countryside. Needless to say that they commit some violent crimes along the way, until finally they take an African American family hostage. A nightmare of sadism, racist degradation, humilation and rape for the black family begins, and two white friends of the family (a young woman and a boy) visiting are brutally murdered by one of the home invaders. Finally police, led by a tough cop nicknamed "Rulebook" REILLY, siege the family's home. I don't want to give the end away, but the promotional tagline "They took it until they couldn't take any more!" already indicates that it's comeuppance time for the baddies...
Wow! What a sick and sleazy grindhouse movie! It is genuinely shocking, in no small part due to the powerhouse performance delivered by William SANDERSON as ultra-violent racist. He is extremely convincing in his role, calling his victims every name in the book and constantly shouting racist insults and comments (which I am not allowed to quote here). If there was an Academy Award for most abundant use of foul language in a movie, FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE would undoubtedly win it.
Needless to say it is very violent, particularly in the scene, where the small boy is beaten to death with a stone.
Watch at your own risk!
Some words on the DVD: print quality is great, and there are some nice extra features. There are three trailers (one aimed at a white audience highlighting the crime aspect, another aimed at black audiences with emphasis on the Afro-American family's revenge and a so-called teaser trailer, which strangely consists of a single still). Forget the teaser trailer. The other two are very good, but both give away too much. The trailers are basically a 3 minute version of the movie, so you better don't watch them before the main feature. There are also TV-spots, an audiocommentary (on which I can not comment, since I did not listen to it) and a very nice still gallery, consisting of poster artwork, a newspaper ad, videotape covers and lobby cards of mostly German origin, where FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE played theatres under the title of AUSBRUCH ZUR HÖLLE (= escape to hell).
A hugely recommended DVD!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Great entertainment, but certainly won't appeal to everyone 8 April 2004
By ACS - Published on
Format: DVD
If there was ever a movie that could push the audience's buttons, it was Fight for Your Life. During its limited theatrical run, it reportedly caused near riots in theaters wherever it was shown. The movie follows three escaped convicts, led by racist hillbilly psychopath Jesse Cain (William Sanderson), who take an African-American family hostage in their home and torture them. Cain spews vicious racial epithets almost constantly as he and his cohorts (who, ironically enough, are Latino and Asian) subject the family to a host of racial and sexual humiliations. Though it's easy to dismiss as mere exploitation, Fight for Your Life speaks volumes about what America had on its collective mind in the late 1970's, reflecting anxieties about the effects of drugs, violent crime and volatile race relations on the country. Of course, it's also great entertainment. Thanks to a strong script from Straw Weisman and Robert Endelson's smart direction, there's never a dull moment in this film, though it certainly isn't for all viewers.
Four stars out of five.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
He's A Racist And He Loves His Cream Soda 15 Oct. 2005
By Stanley Runk - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Fight For Your Life a.k.a I Hate Your Guts(a much snappier title) is a trip. It's pure 70s exploitation in the vein of the David Hess classics like Wes Craven's Last House On The Left and Ruggero Deodato's House On The Edge Of The Park. But instead of teenage girls or snooty yuppies, we have a black family instead. Basically we have a trio of convicts who take a black preacher and his family hostage. The promise of "cooperate and no one will get hurt" is thrown right out the window as the leader, Cane, proceeds to call them every racial slur you can think of. Then, he subjects them to humiliating acts that fit into racial stereotypes. And it only gets worse after that. Pretty relentless and brutal actually. Not brutal so much in terms of violence, but because of how awful these s.o.b.s treat this family. Needless to say this film is not endorsed by the NAACP. I'm actually surprised black actors agreed to be in this film and hear these lines, take after take. Sure, it's only a movie, but man! Usually when you have a bigotted character in a film, that's a big part of the overall theme, like in a John Singleton film for example. Here, the bigotry is here for no other reason than to show how rotten this man is. William Sanderson, who you might remember from those old A&W commercials, as well as small comedic parts in films, steps into the David Hess-like role of Cane. His buddies are a latino and an asian man, yet he doesn't seem to have much of a problem with them. Why did I give this film 5 stars? After all, some parts are unintentionally funny, kinda cheesy, the acting isn't always up to snuff(mainly the police), and the low budget definitely shows. I rate this highly because it had an effect on me. Exploitation films almost never have an effect on me outside cheap amusement. Maybe it's coz I have a wife and kid, and seeing the situation this family was in, my rage grew with every passing minute of the film. I don't think I've ever wanted to reach through the tv screen and strangle a film character before this. Sanderson must be a fantastic actor if he could make me hate him so much. I think anyone can guess that the tables eventually turn, and boy does it feel great when they finally do! This film may not play out to be as notorious as it's reputation states, but it was made a long time ago, and we've been desensitized to this kind of stuff over the years. At the time it came out, I'm sure it kicked up a real $!@*storm. Violence? Not too much. At least, nothing that an exploitation fan hasn't seen before. Maybe a little much for the average Michael Bay fan. I'd highly recommend this one. Like I said, it's a trip.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Bill Maher Would Be Proud 18 Mar. 2004
By Sir Jub-Jub - Published on
Format: DVD
"Fight for your Life" may be the most politically incorrect film of all time. The story concerns an escaped trio of convicts, led by a crazed white man, who infiltrate the home of an African-American family. This leads to a series of racist humiliations and other forms of degradation of the family brought on by the morally corrupt men. This late seventies film is impossible to fully describe and still remain within the realm of good taste. Scenes of a very young child having his head bashed in with a rock, gang rape and the aformentioned racist humiliation are but the tip of the iceberg of atrocities. This is obviously a difficult film to watch. Amazingly, just when you think the film is nothing more than old-school Times Square sleaze, some very unexpected plot twists occur. I will not go into what these twists are so as not to ruin the film for those that may view it. An interesting note is that the racist white convict is played by William Sanderson who is best remembered as "Larry" from the "Newhart" t.v. show. This is a film I am sure he keeps of his resume. The DVD by Blue Underground is superb as usual with their products. There is a commentary track as well as a series of trailers labeled as "white" trailers and "black" trailers with very different messages. This is a film that simply could not be made today which may very well be a good thing. While I gave this film four stars, it should be noted that if you are sensetive to blatant racism, you will not want to watch. It is very simply a low grade exploitation picture that is unlike any you will ever see.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not bad. Kinda dorky, but fun. 1 Dec. 2012
By Robert Orlin Franklin Johnson - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Not really sure what all the flap is about over in England, but it could be time for some folks to take the proverbial "chill pill". The dialog was cheesey & wooden in most places, but in a fun way. The movie wasn't so offensive as it was funny, deriving unintentional humor from lines & situations that just didn't ring true A few racial slurs, implied rape & a couple of poorly filmed murder sequences with some frontal nudity just don't add up to a ban on this film, IMHO. Buy it, view it & laugh a little.
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