» » Band of the Hand (1986)

Short summary

Juvenile lost causes are reformed by a war veteran using survival tactics.
In an attempt of resocialisation, five hopeless juvenile criminals are sent away from prison into the Everglades for a survival training under the Indian Joe. When this is successful, they move back to Miami. However this offends the former illegal inhabitants of their house, all loyal customers of drug baron Cream. The conflict leads to armed fights.

Trailers "Band of the Hand (1986)"

The film was released in theaters but only after it failed to air as a pilot for a network television series.

The destruction of the cocaine processing factory by the Band required three contingents of firemen, hundreds of extras, eight Doberman pinschers and their assorted trainers, dozens of stunt men and the invention and precision of a team of special effects personnel so that the Band became the heroes that executive producer Michael Mann so specifically describes.

When Michael Mann, executive producer of Miami Vice (1984), was first presented with the concept for this film, he found it so exciting that he instantly agreed to become its executive producer without even having seen a first draft of a script. Within three months of his initial meeting with Tri-Star Pictures, Mann had worked so successfully with screenwriters and first-time collaborators Leo Garen and Jack Baran that the film was ready to roll in Miami Beach, FL. Principal photography began on Sept. 30, only four months after Mann's first meeting with TriStar executives.

After the dangerous and drenching days filming in Florida's Everglades, the cast and crew were delighted to shoot matching sequences in the still wild but less treacherous and deserted Crandon Park Zoo, greater Miami's original zoological park on Key Biscayne. Director of photography Reynaldo Villalobos was able to match his "wet, liquid, hot" look, first achieved in the Everglades, in the sub-tropical garden of Crandor Park.

Michael Carmine, who played Ruben, also appeared on Miami Vice (1984) as Snake. Carmine was a respected actor and his sudden death from heart failure at the age of 30 shocked the acting community in 1989.

Nestor (James Remar)'s extravagant lifestyle is supported by the underbelly of Miami Beach life. Executive producer Michael Mann (I) said,: "The cocaine dealers are anything but small-time but our heroes, the kids, and their life is what 'Band of the Hand' is about . . . their life on the skids. It's flamboyant and full of color but it's not $4-million estates on islands in the Bay. That's not their life, The milieu of 'Band of the Hand' is a sub-strata of the street life, what's happening underneath the rock, below the pavement".

The producers worked out a unique deal with Miami Beach officials ensuring that when shooting was completed, the production would leave the area--i.e., the repainted and refurbished exteriors of Art Deco homes, the park, and various other structures--in an infinitely better condition than when they first began to work there. As a result, there was a playground built that was fully landscaped on Collins Avenue at 2nd Street in the south end of South Miami Beach.

Nestor (James Remar)'s state-of-the-art cocaine processing factory, built amid the ripening avocado trees in a Florida City grove, was the setting for the last five days of shooting on the movie.

What appealed to executive producer Michael Mann were "the surprises". Mann said, "And the strangeness of it. Here you have five basically criminal sub-culture juveniles coming together and healing themselves. What was interesting to me is how they respond when they're thrown into a really hostile environment, first the Everglades, then inner-city Miami, where the conflict is so pronounced. They have to learn to survive by ultimately finding some kind of bond with each other . . . or die". Director Paul Michael Glaser added, "[The picture] vibrates with the energy of these ghetto kids fighting with the elements. Ultimately, we have the synthesizing of the city in the jungle, the jungle in the city".

Theatrical directorial debut of Paul Michael Glaser.

Further up Biscayne Boulevard in Miami is Hamilton House, another waterfront condominium, which was converted into the bedroom suite of Weston's house. This penthouse-duplex was filled by production designer Gregory Bolton with top-of-the-line Michael Memphis Design Group Graves-style furniture: witty, glossy, and readily relocatable to any museum's decorative arts collection.

Almost half of the movie was shot in South Miami Beach.

Four miles up from Collins Avenue, in the ritzy Bal Harbour part of the city of Miami Beach, the green marble foyer and its adjoining circular drive was the backdrop for a major confrontation between Carlos and Nestor.

Carlos is played by Danny Quinn son of Anthony Quinn , while Nikki was played by a rather young Lauren Holly. The two were actually married in real life in 1991. Her very public 1994 divorce included accusations of abuse and had him claiming that her careless spending squandered their fortune and her accusing him of infidelity and refusing to work. A few months later she met Jim Carrey on the set of Dumb and Dumber (1994), and they were secretly wed for a total of ten months.

Leon (I) (Moss) shot to international fame when he appeared in Madonna (I)'s music video for her hit song "Like a Prayer". After his star turn in Крутые виражи (1993) alongside John Candy he opted to drop his last name and worked simply as Leon.

Principal photography began in Florida's Everglades . The 1.5 million acres of sub-tropical jungle--home to alligators, crocodiles and two-ton manatees--was the most challenging, treacherous and simultaneously visually exquisite setting for the film. Air boats were loaded with essentials only: cameras, film, bug spray, food, handguns--the swamps are crawling with poisonous rattlesnakes and copperheads--make-up, costumes and portable bathrooms. The crew, working mainly in chest-high water, was pared down to critical members only. The 20-minute ride from shore to the coral-reef hammock island was both noisy and exhilarating as the air boat glided through the Glades, dodging the water hyacinths and myriad forms of flora and fauna, which at times resembled an Iowa wheat field in shades of green.

The movie was shot entirely on location in and around Miami Beach, FL, between Sept. 30-Dec. 13, 1985.

A little further up Miami Beach was the site of the interior of the halfway house, a building named "The Elizabeth Apartments". Inside this nearly totally gutted shell, the individual rooms for the Band and Joe were created, each room a reflection of their specific personalities.

Espanola Way, a street on Miami Beach between 15th and 16th at Collins Avenue, was the scene of the major rumble between the warring gangs of Moss and Ruben.

During the 1997 divorce of his father Anthony Quinn, Danny Quinn testified under oath that he had in fact physically abused Lauren Holly during their rocky marriage. He testified that "I would grab her; I would punch her; I would kick her. It was awful. There were times I really wanted to hurt her." During the ugly divorce suit between Anthony and Iolanda Quinn, Danny also testified that his Academy Award-winning dad beat his mother.

Martin Ferrero, appearing here uncredited as the hardware clerk with a profound knowledge of gopher extermination methods, is one of Micheal Mann (I)'s "stock company", having appeared in Схватка (1995), Crime Story (1986) and 23 episodes of Miami Vice (1984)

Stephen Lang and Bill Smitrovich both went on to appear prominently in Micheal Mann's later productions of Охотник на людей (1986) and Crime Story (1986).

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Simple fellow
    I found this movie in a video store shelf when I was 14. At the time, this movie was phenomenal. This movie gives you a very nostalgic feel of what the 1980's would be like in Miami. I am a very big 80's buff so this was a definite for my collection. I am very pleased to see they released it on DVD. What really makes this movie neat is that at the time, almost all of the actors were unknown, with the exception of James Remar. This movie is based upon the many programs that were employed to straighten up troubled minors and make them realize the value of life. Unfortunately, many of those programs were cut because of mismanagement, lack of funding, or were bogus boot camps run by abusive individuals. I do believe with the right people, a program like this can work, and that is what this movie portrays. Although this plot is fictional, it still leaves you with that feeling of "Wouldn't it be great if this actually worked". This movie was one of the first '80's films I can recall to touch racism, drug trafficking, assault weapons, gang warfare, and the effect it had on the youth at the time and put a positive spin on the outcome. One more thing, Bob Dylan and the Heartbreaker's (from Tom Petty) recorded a song for this movie specifically that cannot be found anywhere else. It is called "Hell Time" and it is pretty awesome. The rest of the soundtrack could use some work as they did not include Mr. Mister or Prince. If you enjoyed the Miami Vice series or if your a big action packed '80's buff, I highly recommend this movie whether you rent it once or add it to your collection as I did.
  • comment
    • Author: Ffan
    This is one of those movies that you had to see when it first came out. It also helps I think if you were the same age as the kids in the movie. The locations were magnificent. And some of the performances were not too shabby either I might add. This was an atypical 80's movie, set in Florida (do you think that a Miami Vice relation was intentional?). When I was a kid I loved this movie, and upon watching it again recently, I didn't even remember how cheesy it was. I just remembered these 5 deadbeat kids, forced to work as a group to survive, and everyone thinking that it would never work. Even now that I've seen it and know how cheesy it is, I still just remember it the way I used too.
  • comment
    • Author: Zicelik
    When I was a kid, I used to watch BAND OF THE HAND all the time because it always came on HBO. I know it's a cheesie movie, but there's something about it that makes it cool. Is it the fact that Bob Dylan sings the theme song? Is it future star Laurence Fishburne in an embarrassing pre-fame role as a drug lord? Or is it the cool shootout's on the playground and the drug factory? Whatever the case, it's a neat nostalgic piece from the Reagan-era anti-drug Zeitgeist, and it just equals cool.
  • comment
    • Author: Tane
    This movie is just THE BEST. It's absolutely hilarious - a total knock off of Miami Vice. I found it on VHS tape at a thrift shop and gave it a go. I had forgotten how many up and coming BIG name actors were in this.

    James Remar makes an excellent villain. A young Laurence Fishburne is also very good as a Little Haiti drug dealer. Lauren Holly is also great in an early role as Nikki, lover of BOTH member Carlos.

    The first half of the film as the Band train with Joe in the Everglades, learning how to survive is done very well, with the Band naturally complaining about everything at first but slowly and surely adapting. The final big battle at a Miami dope farm after Joe's death is great as well, where the Band of The Hansd finally put all their experience with their mentor to the test.

    The film is, in short, great. Not excellent, but great, and I strongly recommend it.
  • comment
    • Author: Agrainel
    The people who rag on BAND were probably the same who bought Don Johnson sport coats in the 80s and are now ashamed. You trendy-then now-pretentious fools, it's not supposed to be freakin' Shakespeare! BAND is a stylish 80s flick with plenty of heart, action and coolness. It's the ultimate fantasy for 15-year-olds. Five troubled 'yoots' are sent to an experimental last-chance program in the Everglades run by Joe, a mysterious Miccosukee Indian/Nam Era elite commando. (See? Already off to a good start)! Joes lays it down: learn to live in this wilderness or die. The 2nd half of the movie (and 'program') takes place in a Miami ghetto run by local drug lord LARRY Fishburne, replete with cute lil' lines buzzed in the sides of his high-top fade. (There's also an underaged Lauren Holly to consider, long before that drooling idiot Carey came and went).

    War ensues in the hood as Joe trains the yoots to fight. Purists and prudes can shove it...when Dorcey's machine gun lights up the street from the roof of the feel-good 80s pastel renovated crackhouse it's a spinal moment. The characters don't have to be 'deep' cause they're all the way likable and automatic gold star for the guest appearance of a vulcan cannon (aka "that's a goddam minigun!") If you don't dig this flick, YOU'RE OUT OF MIAMI!
  • comment
    • Author: allegro
    For my brother, "Billy Jack" was the film that was low budget, cheezy and darn good when it came to telling a story you really WANTED to hear. For me, it was "Band of the Hand."

    Though I was in the ultimate conservative environment (1st school after Marine Boot Camp), I couldn't help but love the melding of "the establishment" and a bunch of kids who were definitely from the "wrong side of the tracks." Most important, it let someone show some teens that they could make a difference, even if the method might have been a bit much.

    One more thing: Lauran Holly may have been "eye candy" for the movie but she DID have a powerful albeit limited role, and that impression has positively affected my opinion of her in later roles. James Remar (you ladies know him from Sex and the City) did a good psycho role as well.
  • comment
    • Author: Felolak
    Good story, good acting, good music. Oh, and it's freakin' hilarious. I first saw this movie as a kid with friends and we loved it for the hilarious lines and characters. Now as i watch it at age 24 i still love it. Its one of those movies that has so much unintentional comedy that its such a pleasure to watch.

    And the cast isn't to shabby either. You can even find Lawrence Fishburn, credited as Larry Fishburn, playing a coke peddling pimp. I highly recommend this film.

    And if for nothing else, watch this movie to see Lauren Holly attempt to pronounce "brujeria."

    "I keep askin', where's the facility?" - Ruben Pacheco
  • comment
    • Author: IGOT
    I didn't really give this film much thought when I first saw it advertised on a VHS tape I have at home years ago. But after a few years, I did get curious and decided to have a look-see. And I have to say I'm glad I did.

    Yes, the fashion and dialogue etc. is very 80s in this movie, but then again, every movie sooner or later shows signs of age. So I'll forgive the Miami VICE fashions and stereotypical characters and concentrate on what made this film good. The central performance of Stephen Lang as 'Nam vet Joe Tiger (pronounced Tee-ger) is very good as he takes it upon himself to train a bunch of juvenile delinquents whom the law has deemed as being beyond redemption into becoming survivors, fighters and ultimately those who will right the wrongs of society.

    Yes, it is far-fetched, but movies are supposed to be about escapism, aren't they? The actors playing the teens range from okay to over the top, but handle the action well. And once again, Mr. James Remar, one of my favourite actors makes an excellent villain. A young Laurence Fishburne is also very good as a Little Haiti drug dealer. Lauren Holly is also great in an early role as Nikki, lover of BOTH member Carlos.

    The first half of the film as the Band train with Joe in the Everglades, learning how to survive is done very well, with the Band naturally complaining about everything at first but slowly and surely adapting. The final big battle at a Miami dope farm after Joe's death is great as well, where the Band of The Hansd finally put all their experience with their mentor to the test.

    The film is, in short, great. Not excellent, but great, and I strongly recommend it.
  • comment
    • Author: Hawk Flying
    Seems like an episode of Miami Vice, thats probably because Michael Mann is the producer. Even while it is silly at times there is good flow to the movie. The soundtrack rocks and there are good performances by Larry Fisburne, James Remar,Lauren Holly & Stephen Lang. I'am surprised that with the popularity of Grand Theft Auto Vice City this movie does not collect royalties with the look of Miami in the 1980's. The only crime is that the only copy around is a crappy full screen DVD put out a few years ago. I doubt there will be a better version anytime soon so fans of the movie better make do with this copy. Maybe Michael Mann will feel bad and put out a better version. In the meantime enjoy a slice from the 80's.
  • comment
    • Author: WOGY
    This is such a wonderfully dorky, cheesy movie. I have always liked it, and I've watched it many times. I love the clothes, the soundtrack, the hairstyles, everything. The story is pure crap, but I enjoy it nonetheless. Perhaps the best part of all is the actors who've achieved so much since then: a pre-Matrix Laurence Fishburne, a pre-Jim Carrey Lauren Holly, and best of all, a pre-Hedwig John Cameron Mitchell! Who could have imagined that cute little silent Crazy would grow into the singing, song writing victim of a botched sex-change operation? Not I. It just makes Band of the Hand more fun. And was there ever a cooler Indian than Joe? I think not. My siblings and I giggle like mad whenever he appears on screen.
  • comment
    • Author: Xal
    "Band of the Hand" has no trouble standing on its own; it's jammed with plot, the cast is colorful, and the very notion of using society's rejects to clean up the streets somehow fits right in with the time. That sort of DIY community- outreach angle mixed with coming-of-age urban drama . . . and "Lord of the Flies"? How the hell do you pull that off? I enjoyed this because it does pull it off, and you'd be surprised at how well that's done. Also, that's one hell of a soundtrack.

    But the best way I can describe this movie is "Miami Vice-adjacent", which suits me perfectly. This has the feeling of an episode from the show's first couple of seasons. Most of the cast are carry-overs from the series (as well as the filmmakers), and it captures the gritty style, whether you're sweating to death in the 'glades or staying alive on the neon streets. All of it's seedy, and none of it's especially light - even though we're talking about a teen movie. In its own way, this is a treasure.

  • comment
    • Author: Nuadazius
    When I first viewed Band of the Hand in the 80's it had a profound impact on me. At first I thought that the treatment of the youth was too much. But the movie showed the positive impact of uniting to overcome societal ills and personal weaknesses. This movie is a good model to use in similar communities with similar situations. Although things may not seem the way they do in the movie, people who have experienced personal challenges may agree that Band of the Hand showed how certain strategies can have successful results. Band of the Hand can be summed up as: Unity is the key to success. I am planning to rent the movie again to compare it to today's problems in effort to find possible solutions.
  • comment
    • Author: Renthadral
    In an attempt to ease themselves back into society, five juvenile criminals are sent away from prison into the Everglades, for a survival training under Indian Joe.

    When they have successfully completed their 'training', they move back to Miami.

    However this means the illegal inhabitants of their house have to up sticks and leave without warning, all loyal customers of local drug baron Cream.

    The conflict leads to a street war of sorts.......

    It's another one of those films from the eighties where you would have had to be there I. Order to appreciate the full cheesiness of the narrative and mise en scene, because seeing for the first time in 2015, it's a real dog of a film.

    It's as if the makers have taken every single politically incorrect ethnic stereotype, made them a gang member, and joined them in to some sort of unit, all led by a caked in make- up Stephen Lang, who looks like he doesn't want to be there one bit.

    Add a sub-plot involving James Remar trying to channel Willem Dafoe in To Live And Die In L.A, and separate incoherent narrative with music video type scenes, and you have this epitome of the eighties, which I would usually love, but the characters are just so unlikable and offensive to their native culture, you cannot help but really strongly dislike the film.

    The film cannot decide who it's for, it's way way too dark for younger people, and too bonkers for the Freidkin and Mann audience it desperately wants to grab, so it ends up in purgatory.

    But the music is good, and some of the camera-work is as bonkers as the outfits, but come the end, it just doesn't work in anyway.

    Watch Toy Soldiers instead.
  • comment
    • Author: Forey
    Trashy, brainless, and oh-so-80s action melodrama stars Stephen Lang ("Avatar", "Don't Breathe") as Joe, an American Indian & Vietnam veteran who runs a program to reform troubled youth. Five punks - Ruben (Michael Carmine), J.L. (John Cameron Mitchell), Carlos (Danny Quinn), Moss (Leon), and Dorcey (Al Shannon) - are dragged out to the Everglades and deposited there, where Joe teaches them survival instincts and teamwork. Once back in Miami, the gang is *somewhat* more mature, and they go up against vicious drug runners including Cream (Laurence Fishburne) and Nestor (James Remar).

    To be honest, "Band of the Hand" is a hard slog for a while, since it's hard to give a damn about our protagonists for an extended amount of time. (This IS an overlong movie.) But things improve as "Band of the Hand" progresses, and debuting feature director Paul Michael "Starsky" Glaser gives this production a certain amusing amount of 80s excess. It bears the mark of its executive producer, 'Miami Vice' creator Michael Mann. It's noisy, it's silly, it's violent in a sometimes cartoonish way, and it's got a hip soundtrack. The centerpiece of said soundtrack is a priceless, catchy rock ditty written and sung by Bob Dylan, with Tom Petty's band The Heartbreakers backing him up.

    The acting suits the material. Top billed Lang is fine in a low key portrayal. The young cast is lively, with a cute Lauren Holly playing Carlos' love interest. Remar is okay as our primary villain, and other familiar character actors like Paul Calderon, Bill Smitrovich, Michael Gregory, and an unbilled Martin Ferrero all turn up as well.

    This is a decent, fun movie overall, even if the script ain't so hot. As was said before, it goes on a bit too long, but for the most part, it's *not* boring.

    Seven out of 10.
  • comment
    • Author: kinder
    This is one of those late-night paid cable network flicks that attempted to cash in on the success of "Miami Vice" and its cool but criminal look and style. Violent 80's movies like "To Live and Die in L.A.,", Manhunter, and Vice Squad seem to stand out along with "Band of The Hand" for their unique portrayal of the sleaze and the slime of the big city criminal underground of the 1980's. Especially with the cocaine craze sweeping up through the upper class southern states. This good little movie brings back memories of flashy clothes, sports cars, and suntans for those who appreciated this genre.

    This stars Stephen Lange (who I recently realized is Colonel Quaritch in "Avatar") perfectly casted as a militant survival expert who invents a program aimed toward helping violent juveniles by forcing them into the Florida everglades to survive by their own means, and what they learn along the way is respect and comradeship. Everyone from gang members to a small-time cocaine pusher to a whacked-out pyromaniac find their way back to the city and launch a full-scale war against a big-time drug dealer/pimp (played by a young Larry Fishburne) who is tied to an even bigger bad guy (intensely played by James Remar) who is also involved in Voodoo magic to further his criminal empire.. The band and their leader must learn to become one fighting force in order to take down the villains despite their differences.. Its a great blend of action adventure, survival in the southern bayou, exploitation and good old fashion 1980's crime mania. Watch as seemingly hopeless characters are transformed into urban superheroes that discover unity against the odds. The performances are well done, and the action is enough to keep you interested throughout. Also features an amazing soundtrack with music by Bob Dylan with The Heartbreakers. 80's enthusiasts rejoice!!!
  • comment
    • Author: Whitesmasher
    I remember when this movie came out. Seeing the music video on MTV of Bob Dylan singing away about the street life made me incredibly excited. I pictured a movie that would be like THE WARRIORS -- all gang fights, sexy chicks, and endless pounding rock music.

    Years later, I rented the film, and it was really like that -- for about two minutes during the opening credits. After that it becomes almost a Saturday Night Live sketch of a comedy, showing Eighties teens with silly hair dragging their sorry behinds through the swamp whining like toddlers while a stereotypical Indian brave keeps grunting stuff like "Teamwork!" and "Survive!" A CLOCKWORK ORANGE this ain't, folks. It's more like ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES, mixed with THE BREAKFAST CLUB, mixed with LORD OF THE FLIES.

    The film makers apparently couldn't decide what they were going for. The teen angst clashes with the gun battles, and the adult level crimes (including a creepy Harvey Weinstein style rape) just get shrugged off in a hail of bullets. The Indian is supposed to be the hero they all look up to, but he's never more than a cardboard cutout of stoic Injun virtue. He's really Injun Joe from TOM SAWYER, only played as a good guy.

    They even work a spin on the famous scene of Tom getting all his old buddies to take turns painting the fence!
  • comment
    • Author: Lightwind
    1986 wasn't just responsible for the much stylish but less substance hit, Miami Vice. As a bonus, this cheesy delight, which had a one week release in Adelaide with only a one nightly session, hit the screens, then suddenly disappeared. It's poster and tagline were fascinating, and still today, looking back on this film, is one of the reasons, 86 was a great year for cheesy movies. BOTH is a good movie, very well directed, by Starsky and Hutch's, Paul Michael Glaser, who went onto to make on to make that unique Arnie pic, The Running Man. The premise is great, and in reality, it's something that actually should be operating with re offenders. Five juvies are taken out of jail, two of different races, going off at each other like savages, another one, a drug dealer who likes to dress good, caught in a sting operation, his girlfriend (a young unknown Lauren Holly) getting away, but coming back into the picture later. The other two are hard cases, unstable you might say, the youngest, only a kid, from an abusive childhood, who shot his old man. These five are taken out into the croc infested waters of the everglades, and dumped there, not the most appropriate place. They're met by a mentor, Joe (an always reliable acting talent, Stephen Lang) who teaches them the basics, how to survive and fend for themselves. They overcome many obstacles, the racist hating two, finally coming to a truce. This is the first half of the movie, that's slightly interrupted by the chief baddie, James Remar as a vicious drug lord Nestor, who's doing Nikki (Holly) and keeps real skeletons as trophies in his closets. He ever so nicely, orders Holly to go upstairs and take her clothes off, where back then, she was pretty hot looking. To the second, part of the film. Our juvie five, having passed the survival test, set up house, in Miami, giving a whole new revamp and colourful paint over. But remember they're here to do a job, which later becomes personal, but the band come through. I like movies with different premises, which is why I very much liked this. Mister Misters's 86 hit, Broken Wings, appears, but somehow doesn't work for a scene involving a squabble between Holly and Mr Slick dressed, juvie, boyfriend. It just didn't feel appropriate. But you can't fault the originality of the movie, where the strong performances of Remar and Lang, keep the film in check. This is one eighties flick, you must check out + a scene of Bikini clad Holly sunbathing on Nestor's boat, where he childs her on covering herself when black guys are around.
  • comment
    • Author: Xarcondre
    The Miami Vice influence is heavy in this silly cheesy film. Michael Mann is the producer. Director Paul Michael Glaser also directed several episodes of Miami Vice and you will spot several Mann regulars in this movie such as Martin Ferrero and Stephen Lang.

    Lang plays a military survival expert and former Vietnam veteran in the Florida everglades, an improbable native Indian. He has created a program to rehabilitate a small bunch of juvenile delinquents in this hostile environment, one of them even gets bitten by a snake. However the group of youths after some complaining soon bond in the Everglades.

    After that the youths move to a house in Miami, however they fall foul of the local drug lords who rule the area. The group led by Lang wage war against the violent gangs.

    There is a lot of mid 1980s music here as well as the title track sung by Bob Dylan. The film is uneven in pace, I could never buy these bunch being somehow rehabilitated and united in the Everglades, never mind becoming a fighting force in the streets of Miami.
  • comment
    • Author: Painbrand
    I first saw this film in the mid-eighties, when I was out of school on a snow day. I thought it was a great movie. So when I saw the opening credits pop up on the tv screen one day when I was channel surfing, I thought I would enjoy a nostalgic treat from my teen years. I got 15 minutes into it and realized that I must have had terrible taste in movies when I was 17, because this film was just flat out bad. I can still enjoy some of the other teen films from this era, i.e. "Breakfast Club", even if only for the nostalgic value, but not this turkey. It was just unwatchable.
  • comment
    • Author: zmejka
    Title this one "Miami Vice for the teen crowd".

    Basic plot - juvenile bad boys from south Florida are taken into the Everglades for training by a Vietnam-era mystic soldier-warrior. Standard struggles ensue - kids resent the soldier, kids don't like each other, conditions are tough. Naturally, they bond and become the titular "Band". Once the kids and the soldier are back in Miami, the film loses direction as they fight gangs, pimps and a nasty drug dealer.

    The most interesting thing about this film now is the chance to see a very green Larry Fishburne and Lauren Holly.

    The rest of the film is incredibly dated and just doesn't hold up today.
  • comment
    • Author: Cordann
    I made a list the other night of my top 5 worst movies ever seen. This was #1, so I thought I'd give it the honor of a post here. I have even given it credit for its validated 80's "cheese", and it still comes out bad. Actually, "cheesy" would be a gift for this train was just BAD. Lauren's a good thing she didn't use this for her resume entry into Hollywood! They woulda put her promptly into XXX for all her acting ability. But a very shrewd career move was made here-she married her co-star, Anthony Quinn's son, which explains why she was able to get her foot in ANY producer's door after this disaster. In case you are wondering, Showgirls is my # 2 worst movie of all time and this one, Band of the Hand, blows Showgirls away for pure, unadulterated, stink.
  • comment
    • Author: Roru
    This has to be one of the stupidest premises ever... Maybe this is a decent movie later on, but I wouldn't know. After about 15 minutes I had to change the channel because the entire concept of dropping five hardened juvenile delinquents off in the middle of the Everglades with only one guy to watch them is stupid beyond words! This wouldn't be legal for adult prisoners, much less teenagers. Also, they give the kids a knife! Since if any of the kids got so much as a snake bite they'd be sued for millions (even in the eighties), this just doesn't work. Cheesy B-movie horror flicks are more believable. If you can swallow the stupid premise, this one might be worth a look. Me, I give it a zero out of ten. Pure stupidity... not worth the waste of time.
  • comment
    • Author: Malak
    Ladies and gentlemen, afficionados of the '80s, fans of Michael Mann, allow me to introduce a movie most of you probably have never heard of.

    "Band of the Hand" came and went in 1986 like the millions of other movies of the '80s, some with more plot and less style, others vice versa. But what makes this any different than the rest of its ilk?

    Well, for starters, it was produced by Michael "Miami Vice" Mann (which accounts for the Miami setting and the Don Johnson clothing styles), it was directed by Hutch from TV's "Startsky and Hutch" (Glaser), a LOT of familiar faces are featured in the cast (Holly, Fishburne, Remar, Graham and Ferrero and Smitrovich from "Vice") and has that old "hey-let's-get-the-kids-together-and-clean-up-the-neighborhood" plot transplanted into Reaganomic drug-enforcement sensibility.

    On the down side, there is little to nothing in the ways of personality in the characters; they act just about the way you'd expect TV characters to act. Thing is - THIS IS A MOVIE! And while there are a lot of stretches where people say nothing and just do their thing while music plays on the sound-track for "emotional emphasis", there are a few dozen of these scenes too many for my taste (hey guys, a little dialogue so we'll know what people are thinking would be know, once in a while?). And WHY, in the name of every holy being you could possibly think of, did Mann think he had to ape EVERY SINGLE nuance from "Miami Vice"??? You know, Michael, you are allowed to do something different every once in a while.

    Thank god he learned his lesson later on and actually did better movies like "The Last of the Mohicans" and "Heat". Even 1981's "Thief" with James Caan was done better in style as well as story. Of course, "Miami Vice" wasn't on TV yet, either.

    As it is, just a reminder of everything that was pastel in the '80s. Other than that, this is a "Hand" that should be banned.

    Four stars, mostly for the look. Maybe "Band of the Hand" would be better if you watched it with the sound turned off? I'll have to try that sometime.
  • comment
    • Author: Jarortr
    Dylan's song was called "band of the Hand" not hell time or it's hell time now. which are lines out of the song but not the songs title. The song was recorded in sydney Australia in 1986 with the heartbreakers whilst they were on tour together. it was released as a single on 45, through mca which was the label the heartbreakers were with at the time. it was also on mtv with a video.

    that was a pretty good tour and it's a shame Dylan's video of that tour "hard to handle" didn't include petty & heartbreakers who were the opening act before bob took stage and became his band when he was onstage.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Stephen Lang Stephen Lang - Joe
    Michael Carmine Michael Carmine - Ruben
    Lauren Holly Lauren Holly - Nikki
    John Cameron Mitchell John Cameron Mitchell - J.L.
    Danny Quinn Danny Quinn - Carlos (as Daniele Quinn)
    Leon Leon - Moss (as Leon Robinson)
    Al Shannon Al Shannon - Dorcey
    Danton Stone Danton Stone - Aldo
    Paul Calderon Paul Calderon - Tito
    Laurence Fishburne Laurence Fishburne - Cream (as Larry Fishburne)
    James Remar James Remar - Nestor
    Tony Bolano Tony Bolano - Felix
    Frank Gilbert Frank Gilbert - Antoine
    Erla Julmiste Erla Julmiste - Celeste
    Deborah King Deborah King - Yvette
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