Blastfighter (Lamberto Bava, 1984)
Blasterfighter might look like a shoot-em-up extravaganza serving up course after course of violent obliteration but the film is, in fact, a fairly measured thriller. Upon being released from prison, where he was incarcerated as a result of murdering his wife's killer, an ex-cop purchases a super-shotgun with the aim of assassinating the lawyer that put him away. He chickens out at the last minute, however, and returns to an isolated log-cabin from his childhood with his estranged daughter. It is not long before he falls foul of a local gang of game hunters and what starts as a series of mean-spirited pranks escalates until our hero is forced to go on the run pursued by an ever increasing army of huntsmen.
The performances are generally strong and the locations are photographed so that they at times appear beautiful and at times terrifyingly inhospitable. Character motivations and internal logic also seem unusually considered for a movie with a title like Blastfighter.
Of course, our hero can only be pushed so far and once he snaps he goes a little knife-happy on a few of his pursuers. Then when it becomes clear he is circling back to his log cabin, and buried super weapon, anticipation for a violent finale builds. The film's restraint is not only its biggest surprise but its key weapon. It builds tension carefully, then releases it in one almighty explosion.