Ice T and Erika Eleniak. Those two alone were enough to peak my interest in Stealth Fighter (1999, 87 minutes). Then I saw it. Not bad. But there are two basic flaws: Erika doesn't get no where NEAR nekkid and the Ice man is a shadow of his Surviving the Game self. All in all, director Jim Wynorski does an admirable job dealing with those problem-os. In fact, he made TWO movies with them in 1999, the other was Final Voyage. Jim's a real B-veteran with classics like the immortal Sorority House Massacre II and the babe-a-rific Dinosaur Island on his resume. For this one, he borrowed a fake stealth fighter from TV's JAG, rounded up some stock footage of planes flyin around and made this global intrigue picture without even leavin Los Angeles. Whata pro.
The movie: Ice T (as Owen Turner) and Costas Mandylor (as Ryan Mitchell) are Top Gun-ish, hot-shot pilots. Turner fakes his own death to take up as a contract stick-jockey. He gets involved with a Latin American arms dealer with a beef against the US. They steal a stealth fighter and also raise some hell with an attack satellite -- including sinking an American nuclear submarine. Elsewhere, Ryan's wife (Erika Eleniak) tossed him out of the house because he was too busy being a hero, and not a good pappa to their little nose miner. He decides to give up his high-flyin days, but he gets called away for one last mission. Will he succeed? Watch for yourself. Just don't hold your breath waiting for Erika to unleash the goods. Oh, and look for former Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson as the President of the United States.
Notables: No breasts. More than 32 corpses. Arm rasslin. Star-Wars satellite. Bikini-clad masseuse. Exploding ship. Gratuitous Morse code. Air-to-ground combat. Gratuitous sunbathing. Exploding village. Fistfighting. Godzilla-style miniatures. Multiple gun battles. Air-to-air combat. P-whipping. Ear biting. Neck snapping.
Quotables: Ice T has a great rant, "Mr. President ... you can burn that list of psychopaths Martinez told you to set free. F@%# them! F@%# politics! F@%# you! Just don't F@%# with me. You F@%#! with me -- I'm gonna climb in that stealth bomber and start droppin bombs all over ... I just might fly over the White House and do a little F@%#ing redecorating on that piece of S@%#!"
Time codes: Erika joins the movie (27:40). Screamin yard monster enjoys aerobatics (29:45). Ice T goes off on the president (1:06:00). Two-man brawl with kung fu flair (1:16:30).
Audio/Video: Clean, sharp image throughout (other than some grain in night scenes). Great Dolby 2.0 surround. Everything blow'd up G-O-O-D! Nice sound on the fisticuffs also.
Extras: Impressive animated menus. Very Tom Clancy. Some specs on the F-117A NightHawk. Video release trailer.
Final thought: Much-o overpriced. If you can find a bargain, Stealth delivers pretty good bang for the smart-shopper's buck. Recommended.
G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.