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07 May 2008 @ 03:47 pm
Fire With Fire [1986]  
 "Two lovers. One chance. No time." 

When detention camp teenager Joe Fisk (Craig Sheffer) see's the beautifully angelic Lisa (Virginia Madsen) in the woods during a camp exercise, he completely falls for her. He doesn't know her name or where she's from, but with the help of his best friend discovers that she attends a nearby Catholic school. Knowing this, Joe is told to forget about her. With disappointment in his eyes he heads off back to camp. Meanwhile, Lisa's thoughts are on Joe - wondering if she'll ever see him again.

Some time later, Lisa and her best friend go to the movies together, and while queueing outside notice the reformatory camp bus pulling up. As the boys step off the bus, Lisa can't believe her eyes: it's Joe. Throughout the movie the two can't take their eyes off eachother. It's only eyes for the time being as Joe is stuck with the reformatory lads and none are able to leave their seats!

Back at school, the class are discussing ideas for 'helping people' projects. One girl suggests sending clothes to Africa, however Lisa is unconvinced and dives in at the deep end with a wild and weird suggestion; invite the boys from the reformatory over for a dance. The teacher is none too keen, telling the class to vote on which project they would prefer. All but two hands shoot up for Lisa's idea.

The guys at the detention camp are told they are being invited to a dance at the Catholic school, and Joe can't believe his luck. A huge long list of rules are read out for the boys to follow, specifically not getting 'too close' to the girls and staying in the dance hall at all times.

When they arrive, things start off slow. After a while the dance picks up, although Lisa is nowhere to be seen. Joe avoids dancing with anyone, and sits on the sidelines wondering where she is. When she turns up, they both look for eachother, and after introducing themselves, decide to dance. Joe confesses; "I saw you in the forest", and hesitates before asking "did you see me?". Lisa laughs, replying "Of course I saw you. Thats why you're here!".

The dance lasts for quite a long while, and by the end of the evening the two have to be pried apart. Joe asks if he can call but Lisa tells him only parents are allowed phone the school. As he leaves, Lisa hands him 'a souvenir' - a photograph curled around the stems of a little bunch of flowers. As he leaves Lisa shouts "I'll tell Frank you said hi". He asks who Frank is, and she answers, saying "my father!". Later Joe uncurls the photograph to find her telephone number on the back.

When the chance arises for Joe to sneakily use the telephone in the camp's head office, he calls the school claiming to be Frank. He is put through to Lisa and from there tells her the lads will be working in the local cemetary and to meet him there. She does, and they continue to secretly see eachother whenever they can.

Both plan to run away together - although not everything goes completely to plan, and Joe and Lisa struggle to avoid separation thanks to the interferance of the law.

VHS box:

"Fire with Fire is the story of Joe Fisk, a street smart kid who has learned to fight for the things he wants.. and finds a whole new batch of troubles when he's sentenced to hard labour in a state youth reformatory. But he also finds Lisa, a beautiful, sheltered young girl studying at a nearby convent. It's love at first sight, and when their passions ignite, nothing can keep them apart.. not friends, not parents, not even the law. And anybody who attemps to come between them had better come prepared to fight Fire with Fire."

Although the ending of Fire with Fire seems a tad rushed and maybe not the most perfect of closure points, the rest of the movie - especially the twenty-odd minute dance scene - is absolutely brilliant. Coming from a person who generally can't stand love-conquers-all romance stories, I thought it was really lovely and sincere, and it genuinely did seem as though Joe and Lisa's characters cared for eachother.

The soundtrack is also brilliant and very enjoyable in itself, however as far as I am aware it is either unreleased or is just extremely extremely obscure. All the songs at the dance are perfect and it's a real shame they are virtually impossible to get hold of.

All round, I loved this movie, and really got into the story. You (well, I did!) feel sympathetic towards the whole situation surrounding the two lead characters, and, feel pissed off at the fact no one has bothered to release it on DVD.


Romeo & Juliet goes '80s; Reckless [1984], Valley Girl [1983]