From the looks of its Blu-ray cover, 1997's Blast is the Asylum version of Die Hard. I especially love that there's a skyscraper exploding in the artwork, because there isn't a skyscraper in Blast. The whole thing is set at a pool...sorry, "aquatic center"...as a group of young women prepare for the Olympic games in Atlanta. It follows the Die Hard template completely, which is no different than a lot of other Die Hard rip-offs in the '90s, but the shamelessness with which MVD is marketing this new Blu-ray release is almost dizzying.
Linden Ashby (Mortal Kombat's Johnny Cage) plays Jack Bryant (!), a former Olympic competitor who flamed out and is now working as a janitor, gets caught up in the terrorist takeover of a...swim practice? Nakatomi Plaza is ain't. The Wishmaster himself, Andrew Divoff, plays the terrorist leader Omodo, who threatens to kill off every member of the girls' swim team until his demands are met. Only Jack Bryant can stop him! And wouldn't you know his Olympic sport happened to be taekwondo ? I guess curling wouldn't have come in as handy. Oh, and Jack's ex wife happens to be the assistant coach, meaning she's being held hostage by the terrorists too! I can't remember where I've seen that before.
Albert Pyun, a favorite of mine and someone I've written about again and again. Andrew Divoff plays the bad guy, so Adam Riske's on board. It's the kind of movie Rob would have rented from a Redbox if those existed in 1997. It's set at a pool, and Erika likes to swim. It has words in it, and JB was an English teacher. What I'm saying is that there are few film sites that will talk about a new Blu-ray of Blast with as much excitement and enthusiasm as we (I) will, even if it's not one of Pyun's best.
The cast is fun if you like these kinds of movies: besides Ashby and Divoff, the film stars Thom Matthews (Return of the Living Dead, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives) in a pair of comical shorts as the asshole swim coach -- this movie's Ellis. Tim Thomerson shows up as the cop who's trying to help on the other end of a walkie talkie. Rutger Hauer shot a day as a guy behind a computer; both his hairstyle and his role in the film are completely inexplicable to me. He's in a motorized wheelchair and is maybe playing the part as Native American? Yuri Okumoto (The Karate Kid Part II) is an FBI agent. Vincent Klyn, the memorable villain of Pyun's Cyborg, plays someone credited on IMDb as "Intense Man." Even Shannon Elizabeth shows up in a wordless role as one of the frightened swimmers. This movie is start-studded, provided you have the same definition of "star" as me.
Blu-ray release date: August 28, 2018
DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio (English)