Thursday, 20 September 2018

THE LAST HUNTER

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

FIELD OF FIRE

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!!!


THE PLOT
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

BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY

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.

THE PLOT
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

AFGANISTAN - THE LAST WAR BUS (Italy 1989)

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

aka WARBUS 2 / WARBUS II / THE LAST WARBUS / WAR BUS COMMANDO / AFGHANISTAN CONNECTION 

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)

aka LASER FORCE / KOMMANDO DOBBELGĂ„NGER

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

THE LAST HUNTER - trailer

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

THE DAY THEY ROBBED AMERICA (Ph, 1985) [REVIEW]

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.



Alright, pack up yer gear, let's get back into the jungle!

Hey there! 

It's been a while. Everything goes in circles - I'm not talking 'bout riding your bike. I'm being philosophical here. Yeah, philosophical on a site about trashy Nam war B-movies. Can you imagine. Everything in life goes in circles and that includes hobbies. Sometimes your hobby lasts for a year or two, or ten years, but at some point it goes into a standstill of sorts. When that happens to some people, usually when they're younger, they sell off their collection or simply chuck it in the bin. I realised long ago that often you'll regain your interest in whatever hobby you got bored with, and when that happens you'll be pissed off, kicking yourself in the head, and calling yourself a cunt and a motherfucker for having let your collection go. I've seen it happen to comic book collectors, film collectors and record collectors. They usually go, "Arr man, why did I get rid of all my shit - and I didn't even get any money out of it!" Haha. Well, enough babble, I've just watched my first Filipino Vietnam War flick for a really long time and here's a review. Hope you'll enjoy it. Welcome back! 

/Jack


Sunday, 12 April 2015

KILL ZONE (USA/Philippines, 1991) [capsule review]

Directed by Cirio H. Santiago

reg. 1 DVD
I watched Cirio H. Santiago's KILL ZONE last night. Now, I love Santiago's movies and that's just how it is. LOL. Good thing too at least in regards to this film cos, well, to tell you the truth it's an alright film but not a masterpiece by anybody's standards. The first 70 minutes were alright...ish, nothing too exciting, but the last 10 minutes. Man, those last ten minutes!!

Anyhoo, a quick plot description: The war in Vietnam is raging. Heaps and heaps of US soldiers are being killed all the time. Too, too many according to colonel whatshisface played by David Carradine. The problem: the Vietcong are on the other side of the border, in Cambodia and needless to say colonel Carradine's superiors won't let him send troops into Cambodia. Well, Carradine is a renegade colonel so he does it anyway. For the longest time we the viewers think he's cool for doing so but then... we get to the last ten minutes. And those ten minutes are totally bonkers. If the first 70 minutes were so-so the last ten minutes are worth the entry fee alone!

There's a bunch of well known faces in the film apart from Carradine; Nick Nicholson, Ken Metcalfe, Jim Moss, etc. And someone called Vivian Velez is in it as well and I've just discovered she was in a Filipino-US horror film called BLACK MAMBA from 1974, a film that also has John Ashley and Rosemari Gil in it. Why didn't I know about this film!!!

KILL ZONE is one of the few Filipino Vietnam war flicks that has actually been given a fairly decent release on DVD. It's out form Roger Corman's New Concorde. The film is presented fullscreen and there's no subs. The extras consist of a trailer for the film and trailers for EYE OF THE EAGLE 1 & 2 and one other film (I forget which one).

Entertaining enough for its 81 minute duration but not ranking at the top of the genre.
(Jack J)

TRAILER:



VHS (Japan)


Credits:

Cast (copied from IMDb):
David Carradine ... Col. Horace Wiggins
Tony Dorsett ... Sheriff
Rob Youngblood ... Capt. Jeff Holland
Vic Trevino ... Lt. Lazaro
James Gregory Paolleli ... Ropes
Geno Bolda ... Bloomquist
Jim Moss ... Lewandowski
Francis Evaristo ... ASP
Richard White ... Medic
Vivian Velez ... Waranya
Cesar Villanueva ... Lam
Ronald Asinas ... Sgt. Park
Ken Metcalfe ... Gen. Walter O'Neal
Ned Hourani ... Adjutant
Archie Adamos ... ARVN Capt. Tan Sau Thuy
Eddie Gaerlan ... Soldier
Roxanne Silverio ... Dien Loc
Bob Larson ... Intelligence Manager
Steve Rogers ... Officer #1
Nick Nicholson ... Corporal / Radio Squawk
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Ginnivan ... Helicopter Gunner (uncredited)
Philip Gordon ... VC Commander (uncredited)


Sunday, 20 July 2014

THE VIOLENT BREED - trailer


Portuguese dubbed trailer (not sure if it's a Portuguese or Brazilian trailer)
EDIT: it's from Brazil. 

Original title: Razza Violenta
Directed by Fernando Di Leo (Italy, 1982)

Thanks for the heads-up on the trailer to Vittorio Marcelli.


UPDATE:  the mighty powers at YouTube deleted the video at their site because of "third-party notifications of copyright infringement". It's bollocks!! Whoever notified YT most likely DOESN'T have the copyrights to this OLD Portuguese dubbed trailer. Besides, a trailer is an advert for a film, why the fuck do they even spend so much time on having trailers deleted. Full films I can understand but deleting trailers is just plain daft. Anyhoo, here it is again, uploaded via Blogger (which, ironically enough, is also now YouTube, haha).

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Lost in action somewhere in a long forgotten jungle hell...

Alright, maybe not actually lost in action but I'm sure you've noticed the absence of my presence anyhow. I've been doing blogs for the past 6 years and before that print fanzines for much longer - and I feel a bit tired. So it's time to take a break. No need to worry, mate, this isn't the end but as I said a break. I've already shut down my other blogs and this here is the last one to go on stand-by. Do people even read blogs any more? There was certainly more interaction in the early days. But then again I never did When the Vietnam War Raged... in the Philippines for the sake of interaction but simply to cover a category of films that hardly nobody covered. Anyhoo, thanks to everyone who's helped me along the way. Be seeing you.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Shopping tip #2: DESTROYERS + FIREBIRD CONSPIRACY

And yet another spiffy tip for ya: Jun Gallardo's FIREBIRD CONSPIRACY and Cirio H. Santiago's THE DESTROYERS (aka The Devastator) are up for auction from Kurt Nyfors in Finland. Both are on VHS in the PAL system and both carry the original English audio with local subtitles. The auctions run for another 17 hrs.



NB: I'm not the seller nor do I profit from the auctions.

Shopping tip: CANNIBAL MERCENARY REDUX VHS

Some months back I talked about the then new bootleg NTSC VHS release of a fan edit of the old gore cult classic CANNIBAL MERCENARY. Only 40 copies were made for purchase (plus a number of copies made for whoever helped with the release). One of the tapes has now made it to eBay so here's your chance to get this fan edit - if you live in the United States that is!!! The seller very clearly points out that he does NOT want to ship outside the US except for Canada. A pity really as I would have liked to make a bid for the tape myself (I never received a copy. I'm told it got lost in the mail, and a second copy never arrived either. What happened to them I have no idea. Maybe there's some happy thieving postal workers out there. Oh well). If you wanna make a go for it you have four days. Go here. Current bid is 15 dollars.

EDIT: final bid was $34.


NB: I'm not the seller nor do I profit from the auction.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

ROLF - THE LAST MERCENARY - trailer





Thanks to Cristian S from raroVHS for uploading this Argentine trailer for ROLF.

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.