Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Lost in the (Filipino) Vietnam jungle for 11 years!

Good grief! It has just dawned on me that this blog turned 11 yesterday!!!

Who would have thought I'd still be doing this after more than a decade. Oh well, it's not like I post all that often so NOT REALLY HARD WORK AT ALL, haha.

It's been fun, not least the one aspect which is different to my other blogs; the fact that I've met quite a few of the actors from those old B-flicks (met online at least). Actually, most of them found me, not the other way round. All good fun and a lot of hours spent watching entertaining B war flicks that never took themselves too seriously.

Too bad Nick Nicholson left us way too soon. Here's a toast to you wherever you are, sir. Thanks to everyone who ever helped out with info, films or even just posted comments on the blog and the fb page. Cheers.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

"The Ultimate Mercenary Collection" 6 film blu-ray box set

I've recently bought a brand new excellent blu-ray box set of five Italian/German flicks of the sort we like on this here blog! Four of them are directed by Antonio Margheriti and one by Fabrizio de Angelis! 

"Brand new" as in I've had it sitting on my Amazon want-list for a couple of years! But brand new compared to the old Japanese VHS releases of the very same films that I have in my collection. And they're fully uncut ... and English friendly … and it's blu-ray! Reason enough to celebrate I'd say. 

The box set contains six films, the last one being the original THE WILD GEESE (UK 1978) that the Italians ripped off with some of their films in this set (I assume. I haven't watched the original film yet). 

The five Italian/German films all carry English audio for the films!
Unfortunately this doesn't apply for the extras which are in German, or Italian with German subs. 

As I write this the set is available from Amazon Germany. Go here.

The films in the box set are: 

THE WILD GEESE (Andrew V. McLaglen, UK/Switzerland, 1978)
German title: "Die Wildgänse kommen"

TORNADO aka LAST BLOOD (Antonio Margheriti, Italy/Germany, 1983)
German title: "Im Wendekreis des Söldners"
Fully uncut. Several previous German vhs/dvd versions are cut

CODE NAME: WILD GEESE (Antonio Margheriti, Italy/Germany 1984)
German title: "Geheimcode Wildgänse"
Fully uncut. Arrow's UK blu-ray is cut 13 minutes!

COMMANDO LEOPARD (Antonio Margheriti, Italy/Germany 1985)
German title: Kommando Leopard
Fully uncut.

COMMANDER (Antonio Margheriti, Italy/Germany 1988)
German title: Der Commander
Fully uncut. The Arrow blu-ray is cut 1 minute

COBRA MISSION (Fabrizio de Angelis aka Larry Ludman, Italy/Germany, 1986)
aka Operation Nam
German title: "Die Rückkehr der Wildgänse"

THE WILD GEESE (Andrew V. McLaglen, UK 1978)
German title: "Die Wildgänse kommen"
In contradiction to the 5 Italian films, the UK film is of a lesser picture quality apparently; According to dvdcompare: "note the last 7 min 13 sec of the German BD are zoomed in and in much lower quality".

Thursday, 13 June 2019

COBRA MISSION - trailers


Philippines/Italy 1986
Director: Larry Ludman (aka Fabrizio De Angelis)

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Bruno Mattei's ROBOWAR finally ... FINALLY ... on bluray!!!

They may not be in the porn business but even so the good people over at SEVERIN are trying their best to give fans of action cinema a throbbing hard-on! And they're succeeding!! I mean what other reaction would anybody (who's an action flick aficionado) get when they learn Severin are putting out Bruno Mattei's 300% entertaining remake of PREDATOR, ROBOWAR (Italy/Philippines 1988) on blu-ray!!!

Street date June 25. There's various different versions (and prices). Go here for the stand-alone blu-ray. There's a dvd release as well (but get the blu-ray, cabron!). John Dulaney posted about the release on one of my old posts about the film (from 2010!). John was in the film and in 2011 he posted links to behind the scenes videos that he and Catherine Hickland did. Incidentally, those very same videos are now being included on the blu-ray. You saw them here first! (I just had to say that, haha). This is certainly an old dream come true. Thanks, Severin! (please put out heaps more Mattei stuff). 



A year before their jaw-dropper SHOCKING DARK, director Bruno Mattei (VIOLENCE IN A WOMEN’S PRISON) and co-writers Claudio Fragasso & Rossella Drudi (NIGHT KILLER, ZOMBIE 4) first collaborated on this brain-melting mash-up of PREDATOR, ROBOCOP and Philippines war movie mayhem: When a team of badass commandos is hired for a jungle rescue mission, they’ll instead find them hunted by a kill-crazed creature that is part man, part machine and all glorious ‘80s ItaloSleaze. Reb Brown (UNCOMMON VALOR), Catherine Hickland (ONE LIFE TO LIVE), Massimo Vanni (RATS: NIGHT OF TERROR) and Jim Gaines (ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD) star in this “freaking awesome must-watch for any action fan” (BMovieCitadel.com), now scanned in 4k from the original negative and loaded with all-new Special Features.  

Special Features:
  • Robo PredatorInterview with Co-Director/Co-Writer Claudio Fragasso
  • Italian Rip OffInterview with Co-Writer Rossella Drudi
  • Violence She WroteCareer Interview with Screenwriter Rossella Drudi
  • Robo-LadyInterview with Actress Catherine Hickland
  • Papa Doc’s WarInterview with Actor John P. Dulaney
  • The RobowarriorInterview with Actor Jim Gaines Jr.
  • War in the PhillipinesInterview with Actor/Stuntman Massimo Vanni
  • Catherine Hickland’s Behind The Scenes Home Movies
  • Trailer

Tuesday, 21 May 2019



Cirio H. Santiago (USA/Philippines 1984)

Cirio H. Santiago's THE DEVASTATOR on blu-ray

I own Cirio H. Santiago's THE DEVASTATOR (aka The Destroyers) on old ex-rental VHS but today I also received the new(ish) Code Red blu-ray (from 2017). I watched it right away and the print looks great. The disc also has a rather long interview with Terrence O'Hara (20 minutes) who was in the film, info from Katrina Leigh Waters, and the film's trailer. Good stuff  ^_^

Check a more thorough walk thru of the blu-ray on here.

Here's Bert Spoor talking about working on the film. It's from an old interview from Search My Trash site:

"The Destroyers, my first shoot with Cirio - I guess he liked my way of dying, because in this movie I probably died 4 or 5 times. And once I came pretty close to an accident. We were playing a couple of outlaws, defending our marijuana plantation!!! In one scene I was trapped, a booby trap was placed beneath a tree with a hanging rope, ending in a loop, I hook my leg and go face down, the camera stops rolling and my foot is placed in the loop. Camera rolls again. There were a couple of guys, pulling the rope, but with too much horse-power, I ended off-frame way too high. It had to be done again, and I was placed in position again, and "Action!"

And up again, at the right height this time, but I was moving and swinging too much, and Cirio wanted a 3rd take...

But half-way the 3rd take I went back down with the same speed as I got up. I hit the ground but was able to break my fall, the knot in the rope didn't hold and slipped. All four guys were down on their asses as well. I was furious, and told the director to find another stuntman to finish the take, I didn't feel much like hanging up side down again, well, they found me a double to finish the shoot. They placed a bamboo frame (having sharp spears in it) around his body.  I didn't know what was going on and asked someone what they were up to. I was told the booby-trap had a follow-up. This bamboo frame was supposed to pierce the guy as it swings down. Now it will be filmed backwards and later edited the reverse way. The same guys, holding the rope with the bamboo frame were to do the job again. On action they pull their asses off, and believe it or not, two of them slipped, and the bamboo frame went back all the way it came, the move came to a hold only inches before it was to hit the hanging man. My stomach turned: I was supposed to be hanging there, if I had, would the frame have missed me ????"

Saturday, 16 February 2019

MISSION INFERNO (South Korea 1984) - trailer

South Korea (1984)
Director: Lee Huk So

I've just found out IFD has opened an official YouTube channel. They have uploaded a ton of their trailers in good picture quality and many of them even in their original aspect ratio. Here's a trailer for one of the few war flicks on the channel, MISSION INFERNO. I reviewed the film for my old fanzine more than 15 years ago and I'm sorry to say but it is a piece of shit and I never wish to watch it again. However, if you hate yourself and life in general I suggest you go ahead and waste an hour and a half on it. The full film on YouTube.

Apparently, this international release from IFD is a cut and paste job. For info on the original films check Kommanditist38's info in the comments section to my original post (from 2010!) here.

The full film on YouTube:


For the film's credits on IMDb go here.

Thursday, 20 September 2018


Italy/Philippines (1980)
Italian title: L'Ultimo Cacciatore
Director: Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony M. Dawson)
Reviewed release: Code Red blu-ray (2016)
Cast: David Warbeck, Tisa Farrow, Tony King, John Steiner, Bobby Rhodes, Margi Eveline Newton, Massimo Vanni, Alan Collins, Dino Conti, Gianfranco Moroni, Edourado Margheriti, Jim Gaines, Ron/Romano Kristoff

Antonio Margheriti's THE LAST HUNTER is without a doubt one of my favourite Vietnam War flicks from the Philippines. Well, from any country actually. I rewatched the film recently on the cool reg. 1 DVD from Dark Sky that I bought a couple of years back. The presentation was as awesome as I remembered it. Cool picture quality, anamorphic letterbox and cool extras. Well, I've just got hold of Code Red's blu-ray (that came out in 2016) and it basically blows the DVD out of the water! The picture quality is that good!

THE PLOT. David Warbeck's character is an ex-draft card burner who's now fighting the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War. He gets assigned to go deep into territory behind enemy lines to blow up a radio transmitter. To help him on the journey he hooks up with a group of badass tough guys, Tony King, Bobby Rhodes, Edourado Margheriti (Antonio's son)  - and a female reporter that they're assigned to escort thru the jungle. She's played by Tisa Farrow. And yeah she's Mia Farrow's lesser known sister. She was also in a few other legendary Italian genre films among others ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS (Zombi 2) and BLAZING MAGNUM (Una magnum special per Tony Saitta). According to Wiki THE LAST HUNTER was her last film. She's dubbed in the film for some reason.

Anhoo, the road thru the Viet Cong jungle is paved with death and gore (old-skool practical effects fortunately!). At some point they make it to an American division located in a cave in a mountain. The commander is John Steiner who is always great fun to watch in Italian genre films (the blu-ray has a new interview with him and Tony King). At some point the cave is attacked by the evil VC but Warbeck's character makes an escape. He thinks his friends are all dead but, well, that would be a spoiler if I told you. Enough plot details. THE LAST HUNTER is full of shootings, violence, gore, and action.

Margheriti made two Vietnam War movies that star Warbeck (he made more than two Vietnam War flicks but, alas, the rest sans Warbeck). The other one is TIGER JOE which, unfortunately, hasn't been released on neither DVD nor blu-ray (the fully letterboxed Japanese VHS is currently the best release anywhere). THE LAST HUNTER is the better of the two films, though.

I highly recommend the new Code Red blu-ray but if you either stumble over the Dark Sky DVD on the cheap - or you just have money to burn I highly recommend you get hold of the DVD as well as it has a pretty good doc presented by Antonio Margheriti's son Edourado Marghetti. Filipino film regulars Jim Gaines and Ron Kristoff are also in the film but uncredited.

PS: John Steiner is now a real estate agent in California. Check out his website here.

Danish trailer:

Danish ad-mat:

THE LAST HUNTER played in Denmark as "Junglebrigaden".

Tuesday, 4 September 2018


Philippines/USA (1990)
Direted by: Cirio H. Santiago
Cast: DAvid Carradine, Eb Lottimer, Henry Strzalkowski, Jim Moss, Ken Metcalfe, Steve Rogers
Version reviewed: PAL VHS (CIC Video, Denmark), fullscreen, English audio, Danish subs

Two days ago I watched Santiago's BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY (check my review) and afterwards I checked the film's trailer on YouTube. The trailer's uploader commented that BEYOND uses leftover footage from another Cirio H. Santiago directed movie called FIELD OF FIRE. Later that day I mentioned this on the When the Vietnam War Raged... facebook page and Eric Spudic commented: "FOF is personally my favorite Cirio Santiago film. I've seen it probably 20 times." Woah! I knew I had to try and get hold of the film after this recommendation! ... And then it dawned on me that I had the very same film sitting on one of the shelves at my private grindhouse video cinema ("grindhouse" cos some of those video tapes sure are worn!). And I checked if I'd posted about the film on this blog before and discovered that I posted about having bought the tape ... bloody eight years ago!!!

Vietnam. A new type of military fighter plane is shot down over enemy lines. One pilot dies, the other gets away but is shot in the leg. At the US military base head honcho David Carradine rounds up his most hardcore badass men and informs them they have to go and get the pilot out as "he's a walking encyclopedia" in regards to the new type of plane. The Viet Cong simply aren't allowed to get him first.

The lead from BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY, Eb Lottimer, and his right hand from that film, top notch Filipino actor Henry Strzalkowsk, and a bunch of other guys, pack their gear and set off for the jungle once again (without Carradine. David is in the film for about 10 minutes or so even tho it's his mug plastered all over the front cover, and his name - the only actor's name - is written in huge capital letters. He sure was a selling point!). Little do they know that the evil Viet Cong are aware of every step they take as the VC's got a man on the inside of the US camp. From here on and for the remaining duration of the film it's one long and highly entertaining tour de force thru the jungle to find and get the wounded pilot out of there.

Will they succeed? Will they survive? And is David Carradine gonna do any of his "slowmotion kung-fu"? I urge you to track down FIELD OF FIRE and find out!

Lemme say it right off the bat, I fully agree with Eric Spudic! This is one muther of an entertaining flick!! And after BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY I kinda needed that. I must admit I thought BEYOND was kinda lame (except for the last 20 minutes. See review from two days ago).

I haven't been able to find a DVD or a blu-ray so I reckon there probably aren't any. Boo-hoo! This needs a proper release on a shiny coaster. I highly recommend you find a VHS or a download of this and watch it right away.

For more company and cast info: Check Andrew Leavold's blog
For more detailed review: Check CritCon

Monday, 3 September 2018

Going to the movies in 1981

Someone sent me this clipping from a newspaper in Denmark from the 24th of February 1981 (i.e. the day after it premiered in Denmark). Junglebrigaden is the Danish title for Antonio Margheriti's THE LAST HUNTER (aka L'ultimo cacciatore).

It stars David Warbeck and was followed by two sequels, TIGER JOE and TORNADO - Warbeck is in the first but not the latter. But it's the first one, this one, that is thee shit! I rewatched it the other day and it's just so fucking awesome you must watch it if you're into Vietnam War B-movies! I would certainly have loved to have seen it at the movies when it came out in 1981.

By the way, if you haven't already noticed, Code Red in the US has put out THE LAST HUNTER on blu-ray! It came out in 2016 but I didn't order mine till a couple of days ago. According to dvdcompare.net the blu-ray is fully uncut! The reg. 1 DVD from Dark Sky that I own is unfortunately cut. Not by much, sure (cirka 15s + a bit of dialogue), but still. Cut is cut! 

EDIT: I've got the blu-ray now and the picture quality is definitely an upgrade from the DVD releases! Better picture quality, more picture info, uncut, and it's an English language print (the Dark Sky DVD is from a French print that has non-translated French onscreen text at the beginning of the film). A highly recommended release.

I wish a label somewhere would find it in their hearts that we really, really, really need the David Warbeck sequl (TIGER JOE) on blu-ray rather today than tomorrow!

Saturday, 1 September 2018


Philippines/USA (1991)
Dir: Cirio H. Santiago
Cast: Jan-Michael Vincent, Eb Lottimer, Jillian McWhirter, Vic Trevino, Henry Strzalkowski, Nick Nicholson, Steve Rogers, Mike Monty, Vic Diaz
Version reviewed: Reg. 1 DVD (New Concorde) fullscreen, English audio, no subs. 
Extras: three trailers

It seems the pile of Cirio H. Santiago films is a treasure trove that just keeps giving. You close your eyes, reach out and grab something. You hope for a beer, a peach or a boob but most of the time what you get is yet another Santiago flick that you haven't seen, hahaha.

Vietnam 1975. The war is coming to an end. When our film begins the Americans are pulling out. We get about 25 minutes of fighting, shooting, and then some more fighting. Scenes that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Towards the end of the 25 minutes of people jumping, falling, shooting, etc. I kept thinking this was probably the most disjointed film I'd seen. But then ... the plot actually began! The first 25 minutes were just, kinda, the intro.

An American patrol boat and its crew has just left the shore. They are on their way home when they get a radio call to come back to pick up an ex military guy who happens to be a war hero. At the same time a female journalist is trying to find said war hero but is chased thru the streets by angry Vietnamese men. They're not Viet Cong or anything they're just angry (it's one of those things. It just does not make sense).

She comes across a church and decides to hide in there. Incidentally, a nun is holing up in there with a bunch of American bastards, haha. I'm not being derogatory here, they really are bastards as they're the outcome of American soldiers having had fun with Vietnamese women. And now the nun tries to hide these half-breeds cos the Vietnamese don't take kindly to these kids of half American origin. To cut to the chase; the journalist and the war hero both get on the patrol boat and from then on the film is one lone ride to get thru dangerous Viet Cong controlled waters. Lots of shootings. Lots of ducking. Lots of sailing, and more shootings and ducking. And at some point they get to a heavily guarded bridge. Oh, what to do now?

BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY is by no means a great film. If Cirio H. Santiago had cut out the first 25 minutes it could have become a decent film. Now it's an okay...ish film. The final 20 minutes are what saves the film but it's still no masterpiece by anybody's standards.

There's quite a few familiar faces throughout the film; Nick Nicholson  is there, he even has a bit of dialogue this time around, and so is Steve Rogers, Mike Monty and Vic Diaz. The latter two are in the movie for 1-2 minutes each. What a waste. Henry Strzalkowski has lots of scenes and dialogue. There's probably some more I didn't recognise.

One of the main characters is played by Jan-Michael Vincent. Unfortunately, he's not too well these days. The hero is played by Eb Lottimer and the female journo by Jillian McWhirter. She has the screen personality of a fruit basket I'm sorry to say. She was in (at least) three Santiago films; this one, DUNE WARRIOR and STRANGEHOLD. Later she was in the truly unpleasant American horror movie THE DENTIST 2 (1998) (I'm not saying that in a bad way. I quite like horror flicks but I hate going to the dentist's and I find the two THE DENTIST movies some of thee most unpleasant horror films out there to sit thru!). She's dropped completely off the radar by now.

I found a trailer for the film on YouTube (unfortunately in the wrong aspect ratio, someone had changed the correct fullscreen picture to 16:9 widescreen, so I'm not gonna bother linking to it here) and the uploader pointed out that many of the scenes in BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY are from another film (also by Santiago and from the same year) entitled FIELD OF FIRE (1991). I think I might have FIELD on VHS somewhere but I haven't actually watched it. It stars David Carradine and Eb Lottimer (check credits on Andrew Leavold's blog).

The DVD from New Concorde is serviceable - at least it looks slightly better than video. Part of the "American Valor" (sigh) DVD series.

The IMDb states the film is from 1992 but the print clearly says 1991.

PS: sorry about the glare from the window in my house. The DVD picture looks better than the pix in this post. 


The trailer uploaded by the official Roger Corman YouTube channel (not fake widescreen like the one I mentioned in the above!)

Saturday, 25 November 2017


Ex-rental VHS / Norway / English dub / Norwegian subs / cut status?
Hi res scan courtesy of VHS Wasteland


Directed by: Pierluigi Ciriaci (as Frank Valenti)
Note: the Danish VHS cover clearly lists "Ted Kaplan" (aka Ferdinando Baldi) as the director on the front of the cover but that is clearly not correct. Also, the onscreen title does indeed spell Afghanistan without a "h". 

Cast (from the print): Mark Gregory, John Vernon, Svina Gersak, Antony Freeman, Bobby Rhodes, Branko Djuric

Sell-thru VHS / Denmark / fullscreen / English dub / Danish subs / uncut

Yesterday, Don Gordon Bell commented on my post about the original film WAR BUS that Ferdinando Baldi directed (as "Ted Kaplan") in the Philippines in '85 and that Don starred in. WAR BUS is good fun and very entertaining. I knew I'd had a Danish sell-thru VHS tape of a film that the cover calls "Warbus 2" sitting on my shelf for a really long time. And since I'm going to update my 9 year old post about the original film anyway, I figured it was as good a time as any to watch this sequel. Or rather the film that my Danish video tape sold off as a sequel to Baldi's original film anyway. Hell, the blogs I checked out before watching the film also refer to it as somewhat of a sequel, either in retitle or as an unofficial follow-up. After having watched the film I think I can tell you with 100% ... no, change that to 300% ... certainty that this is a sequel in distribution retitle only! Haha.

The good people over at Blood Brothers Reviews blog state in their review that the film was released in Italy as "Warbus 2". But I've checked various Italian web sites and it seems the film was actually released in Italy under the English language title of AFGANISTAN - THE LAST WAR BUS. The onscreen title on my VHS also carries this title (notice it does spell Afganistan without a H). However, the Italian sites also include "L'ultimo bus di guerra" in brackets after the title. I reckon this is just a translation by the Italian sites (and maybe even provided the film studio) to explain to non English speaking Italians what the title means. The fact that the IMDb also includes this Italian translated title as though it's part of the title doesn't mean much to me. It's just a translation of the title, not actually part of the title. I think most of you have figured out by now that the bloody IMDb is as reliable as a wet piece of spaghetti for bungee jumping. They also call it an Italian/American coproduction for crying out loud, simply because there's an American (John Vernon) in the film.

Mark Gregory plays Johnny Hondo, a Green Beret who's sent to outskirt places to rescue American prisoners of what ever local conflict they've gotten themselves into. He's just returned to the US after one such mission (that kicked off the film so we had something to look at while the intro credits ran). Upon his arrival home he's told his dad is in hospital. On his death bed Johnny's father, a high ranking US soldier, tells his son that soon he'll be asked to go on a mission and that it's an impossible mission. In other words, Papa Hondo tells his son to commit suicide just in order to save Hondo Senior's reputation. Great dad, huh!

Anyhoo, Johnny hooks up with the army guy who's played by John Vernon and he informs Johnny that 9 years earlier his father was in Afghanistan when the Russians invaded the country and things began to heat up. Hondo Sr. got hold of some mucho importanto papers that the American government would like to get their hands on. But he had to leave them behind, hidden in ... a school bus. Now it's Hondo Jnr.'s job to go in, get the papers, and get out again.

The rest of the film is said trip to downtown war torn Afghanistan. Somewhere along the line Johnny Hondo befriends a local teenager and saves two American POW's. They find the school bus and although it's a slow moving motherfucker they decide to use it to transport them back to civilisation. And nothing can stop this old heap of junk; not Russian army helicopters, tanks, machine guns, bazookas, fire, hand-grenades, foul language, nothing!!! One of the two POW's is played by Bobby Rhodes who you'll recognised if you're into horror films; he was the black pimp in Lamberto Bava's DEMONS!

AFGANISTAN - THE LAST WAR BUS is written off by most blogs as pretty shitty. The three reviews on IMDb all write it off as drek as well. And no, it's not great by anybody's standards but I must admit I was entertained (but then again I'm entertained by poking sleeping dogs with a stick). Most of the problem is basically ... Mark Gregory. He's got as much personality as the tin of chopped tomatoes that I'm going to use for my dinner tonight. He would have been perfect as cyborg in Italian post-apocalypse movies. Mark Gregory makes Steven Seagal look like Robert de Niro. But even so, he's actually been in quite a few cool Italian genre flicks; 1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS, ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX, THUNDER 1-3 (aka Thunder Warrior 1-3), JUST A DAMNED SOLDIER, DELTA FORCE COMMANDO, TEN ZAN - ULTIMATE MISSION.

Also, another problem is they dubbed John Vernon. Vernon has that there special voice of his - and they fucking dubbed him. What were they thinking! The best actor in the film is actually Bobby Rhodes. In addition to DEMONS and DEMONS 2 he has been in heaps of Italian genre movies and he's still working in the business.

The plot was most likely written on the back of a matchstick box and they couldn't read half of it cos the box caught fire. This film isn't gonna be on anybody's favourite film list anywhere in the world. Even some kid who's only got this one tape in his collection and who lives on a deserted island isn't gonna hold it as his fave film. I'm not exaggerating. Earlier I talked about how it's not a sequel but if you must count it as a sequel to WAR BUS it actually becomes even worse because the first film is a masterpiece in comparison. The reviewer on Blood Brothers Review blog pointed out that AFGANISTAN - THE LAST WAR BUS was one of the very last Italian "Macaroni Combat" films and yeah you can sorta see how this RAMBO rip-off genre had run its course by the end of the 80s. It had a good run though. Unfortunately, the only place Warbus 2 is going to be remembered as a classic is in Bizarro World.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

DEADRINGER (Philippines, 1985)


Directed by Teddy Page

Guest reviewer: Kurt Nyfors
I decided to dig out this old tape and have a look at some Filipino action. It stars a Max Thayer, that hasn't been to the gym for a while, and whole lot of Filipino action regulars like Mike Monty, Nick Nicholson, Mike Cohen etc. My absolute favourite character is the karate hotel clerk played by Willy Schober.

Right from the start it's evident that Max Thayer isn't liked in the Philippines, they try to shoot him, they try to knife him, they try to beat him, run him over - you name it.
This movie feels a bit like Teddy Page made it during lunch breaks and weekends. We get a lot of fights that imo looks quite goofy, almost like the guys are tired. Don't get me wrong, the movie is a hoot and highly entertaining.

The gangsters and henchmen also seem to be quite dumb. Just hide behind a bush and you're safe. Though our heroine underestimates them a little and gets caught. She stops her boat and crouches down behind the seats and hope they won't see her. Ok, they might be dumb but not t-h-a-t dumb.
The boat chase leading up to all this is a classic. It looks quite slow for starters. Then the gangsters take another route in order to cut her off, which doesn't work but after that they seem to be able to catch her anyway. So then they naturally start shooting at her with a grenade launcher. But now she's able to shake them off...

There's plenty of awkward moments. Like when Max Thayer walks in and wakes up Max Thayer. No, that's not a typo.
And when Max Thayer's laser (?) weapon suddenly appears. I also have to mention the waitress (owner?) that says she likes to see customers in her restaurant. And that she used to have a burger stand (or something like that), but her husband was so jealous that she started to work in a restaurant. Thanks for letting us know...

I occasionally got the feeling they weren't always using the same script, if there was one. Perhaps it was suppose to be about a super weapon. But then changed their minds, but decided to keep the laser(?) in the movie. Page has often super weapons in his movies, Harrison had a awesome weapon in Blood Debts, Robert Marius had one in War Without End etc.

Did they dub at least some of the guys? It sounds like Mike Monty has a sore throat. And did he dub some of Thayer's dialogue?

I can't help but wonder why this movie isn't better known. How could you not love it, it's just so entertaining.


Jack's comment: I'm not aware of any DVD or blu-ray release of this film but there's a laserdisc form Hong Kong! (English lingo, Chinese subs). Also on VHS in Japan (pictured) and there are versions dubbed into French and German and possibly other funny languages. My own VHS (in English) comes courtesy of Holland.

ALSO, check this highly entertaining interview with NICK NICHOLSON about the shooting of DEADRINGER on ANDREW LEAVOLD's blog. It's amazing that half of the actors didn't die on the set!!! 

Tuesday, 28 February 2017


aka L'ultimo Cacciatore
Director: Antonio Margheriti (Italy/Philippines 1980)

Letterboxed Danish trailer off an old Danish ex-rental VHS. Thanks to Diabolik for the original upload (this is a reupload).

Saturday, 25 February 2017


Original Filipino English title: The Sangley Point Robbery
aka American High Commando

VHS / Greece / fullscreen / English dub / Greek subs / uncut afaik 
300 dpi hi-res scan

Directed by: Manuel 'Fyke' Cinco
Philippines 1985

I'm not even sure if I should post this review on my When the Vietnam War Raged... in the Philippines blog or on my Backyard Asia blog! Hell, maybe I'll do both!

The thing is, the latter is a blog about wild and crazy Asian films and the first is dedicated to Vietnam War flicks made in the Philippines. And Manuel "Fyke" Cinco's THE DAY THEY ROBBED AMERICA is part Vietnam War flick - kinda without actually being a Vietnam War flick - and part wild and crazy Asian movie!

Most of these Filipino Vietnam War films are filmed in the Philippines but they're set in the Vietnam War which took place in, well, Vietnam, obviously. But this film, while it does take place during the Vietnam War, and while it does star an soldier who's just been fighting in the Viet Cong, the film is actually set in the Philippines! And lots of wild and crazy stuff take place! But, hey, it's been a long while since I wrote my last review of a Filipino Vietnam War movie and I'm stalling. Grab your beer and let's get going with the plot.

1971. An American soldier in Vietnam is captured and tortured by the Viet Cong. The soldier is played by a gwilo called James Acheson that I've never seen in any other film but who, according to the bloody IMDb, was also in the Vietnam War movie P.O.W. THE ESCAPE from 1986. The Viet Cong's got his girlfriend and they're going, "If you don't tell us what we want to know we're gonna off yer girlfriend". The soldier knows bloody well he's out of luck so he goes, "Fuck you and fuck the horse you rode in on". Fortunately, his mates arrive just in time to save him and kill the Viet Cong. Unfortunately, they've already off'ed his gf. After this he's a mental wreck and the army send him to a US base in the Philippines.

In the Philippines Rudy Fernandez plays a cop who kills a bad dude in the line of duty and decides to the force as a result. The bad dude's brother is obviously pissed off and asks one of his henchmen to off the cop but the henchman dude misses his mark and shoots the cop's dad instead. The cop, who's really a good law-abiding feller, then decides to participate in a bank robbery in order to pay for his dad's operation. He's got a wife and a girlfriend and neither of them are happy about the situation (!).

The ex cop and his posse of misfits plan to hit the American bank at the army base (!!) and needless to say it all goes terribly wrong. In the middle of the robbery a ton of American soldiers start shooting at them (what did they expect!), and the American solder who returned from Nam, his gf works at the bank and the ex cop and his gang kidnap her to use as a shield. They let her go soon enough but it still leaves her completely traumatised (quite funny actually, earlier on in the film she said to the soldier, who had experienced heinous things in Vietnam and had seen his ex girlfriend get killed in front of him, "you gotta leave all this behind and move on". Well, obviously she didn't handle being kidnapped for half an hour too well as she ends up traumatised in a wheelchair!). The ex Nam soldier decides to go on a revenge spree and starts to hunt down the cop and his mates one by one.

This is a quick run down of the plot and there's a lot that I'm omitting. THE DAY THEY ROBBED AMERICA is a wild and obscure film - but also slow in places and talkative. Obscure because the film doesn't stay in just one genre. It's part Vietnam War movie, part cop flick, part vigilante film, and it's part ... crazy Asian. It's not least obscure because we've actually got two main characters, the ex Vietnam soldier turned vigilante - and the ex cop turned bank robber. Neither of them are bad and as a viewer we feel for both of them. It's a dilemma and makes for a different and captivating storytelling in a genre that, despite being entertaining, is often more straight forward than straight forward.

In addition to  Rudy Fernandez I also noticed a few other well known faces, Nick Nicholson, David Light, and a few more. You can check the complete credits list on Andrew Leavold's blog.

Highly recommended.

VERSION REVIEWED: Greek ex-rental VHS. Fullscreen, English dub, Greek subtitles, good picture quality.

Bikini girls with machine guns

Yep, this video is from the one they're watching in Tarantino's JACKIE BROWN. It's an awesome video; I mean all it is is a bunch of scantly clad sexy babes with automatic guns going: "This is an AK47" pow pow pow pow - Haha. Absolutely fantastic! xD.