Sunday, April 27, 2014

JAKE SPEED (1986) starring Wayne Crawford and John Hurt

Originally posted Friday, August 25, 2006 2:52:20 PM

I remember being grade 5 or 6 and writing a story where The Hardy Boys had me join them on a case, part of the appeal of the escapist fiction is that we can join in these adventures.

JAKE SPEED offers this opportunity. The movie starts with kidnapping of two American girls in Paris. Next we see the family upset by the loss of their daughter Maureen. Grandpa comes with the advice that the family should bypass the State Department and try to contact the handful of men who can really help. Mack Bolan The Executioner, Remo Williams The Destroyer and Jake Speed. Grandpa recommends Jake Speed.*

C'mon Grandpa we all know these books aren't real, no way Jake Speed can help because he's not real.

Maureen's sister Maggie goes home and gets a note from Jake Speed. Maggie takes her friend with her to the meeting (the friend gets some of the best lines in the film referring to Jake Speed as Speedy Jake and Remo as Romero and The Urinator of Reamer)

We get to see several Jake Speed novels which were published by Gold Eagle (Now those novels would have to be some of the rarest pieces of Aggressor material)

Next thing Maggie knows she being whisked off to Africa for an adventure ("But I don't want an adventure I want my sister back" she screams at Jake at one point.)

The film lags slightly once we hit Africa and discover that Jake's trusty HARV (heavily armoured raiding vehicle) hasn't arrived yet and the adventurers are stuck driving normal jeeps. Des informs Jake that Doc Savage used to drive these. Jake grumbles that Savage isn't even in the game anymore.

We see an abortive attempt to find Maureen but all this makes Jake seem incompetent, with our adventurers fleeing in defeat.

Then we wait, wait for HARV to arrive, wait while Maureen runs off and is told that Jake and Des are conmen.

Finally HARV turns up and the adventure starts again and we discover that Jake's archenemy Sid is behind all this. We see Jake fall into a lion pit, take on an army, engage in a high speed car chase.

I generally enjoyed this movie except for the dragging middle part.

*Imagine if he had of recommended Remo, I can see the family beating down the door of Folcroft Sanatorium and Smith having a fit.


  1. It was a fun movie. I don't think it was meant to be an all-action flick, just a campy play on the men's adventure novels of the time. I wish we had the movie script and could make a mock up paperback of the Jake Speed series. Just for fun. G

    1. That's probably true Tom but that middle part really drags. There was a tie in novel published by Gold Eagle but it must have had a very small print run as I've never seen a copy for sale.

    2. There is a mock up Jake Speed book cover at