Blowback (1998) from Tuna

This  is a Canadian police thriller about a cat-and-mouse battle between a cop (Mario Van Peebles) and a serial killer (James Remar), both of whom are biblical scholars! The cop studied for the priesthood, and even memorized the bible, but decided he could do more good on the police force. The killer was raised by a preacher, and was so obsesses with religion that he killed his victims by imitating the martyrdom deaths of famous saints. He also left a scriptural reference in each of their mouths. As the film opens, we see a victim crucified upside down (Erin Dana Dalton). The cop catches the killer, but the victim is dead, and the cop got nailed through the hands before he bit off the killer's nose. The killer is tried, convicted and executed. Both the cop and his ex-wife  (Gladys Jimenez), who happened to be the prosecutor, witness the execution.

End of movie, right?


What they don't witness is that the killer is brought back from the dead by government scientists, given plastic surgery and a new identity, and programmed to become a government assassin.

I didn't make that up.

Cut to the future. The killer is exacting a brutal revenge on everyone responsible for his conviction, and Peebles is on the case with a new female partner. Since this film can leave no cliché untapped, we then proceed to the ol' "dedicated detective who gets thrown off the case but refuses to stop" gambit. Those of you familiar with this sort of movie already know that the cops female partner must die, and the film will end in the inevitable face-to-face showdown when the cop has to save his ex-wife from the psycho.

To their credit, they did not leave room for a sequel.

The film was derivative and cliché-ridden, and even included Peebles waking up from dreaming that he woke up from a dream.  Also, I am not sure why they chose not to make this a mystery, but the script let us in on the secret from the beginning, with no effort at misdirection, so the only dramatic tension consisted of wondering who would be the last victim before the killer was finally caught.



  • No features
  • No widescreen



Gladys Jimenez shows breasts in a sex scene, and also being crucified during the climax of the film.

Erin Dana Dalton shows breasts being crucified upside down - before the opening credits!

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews on file.


The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a C-. What I have written above seems pretty negative, but the film had four great breasts, some cool deaths, and kept me entertained. That makes it worth a C- by our grading system.

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