Fight for Your Life
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Fight for Your Life is a 1977 action film distributed by William Mishkin Motion Pictures starring William Sanderson (of Blade Runner fame), who plays Kane, a hate-fuelled redneck who absconds from jail with his sidekicks (an Asian and a Mexican). They hole up in the secluded house of a black minister and his family, where harsh epithets are exchanged and the minister is forced to take action to defend his family.
Tagline: There is no greater violence than a father's revenge for the rape of his daughter.
Probably one of the most controversial exploitation films ever produced, largely because of its endless stream of racial abuse and on-screen exploits including rape, the terrorizing of a baby and the murder of a child.
Although the idea of criminals terrorizing the inhabitants of an isolated house is nothing new in the field of exploitation cinema (see The Desperate Hours, Death Weekend, The Last House on the Left and others), Fight For Your Life has been singled out for its profane and racist dialogue (most of it Sanderson's). One reviewer remarked that he couldn't have been paid enough to have been the only white man in the auditorium when the film played in Harlem.
Fight For Your Life was denied a British theatrical release in 1981, but a video release the following year allowed the public brief access to the film before it wound up on the video nasties list and was outlawed.
Briefly available in the United Kingdom on the independent video label Vision On, released circa 1982, but outlawed with the advent of the Video Recordings Act (1984), Fight For Your Life was denied a British cinema release when it was rejected by the BBFC in October 1981. Fight For Your Life remains unavailable in the UK, in any form, but was recently reissued in a fully-remastered DVD treatment in the United States, courtesy of Blue Underground, meaning that it can easily be purchased on Amazon.com, eBay and other outlets.