Welcome to WHEN THE VIETNAM WAR RAGED... IN THE PHILIPPINES!
Francis Ford Coppola filmed APOCALYPSE NOW in the Philippines in 1979 and when he went home he left all his sets and gear. Local film makers decided to use it and make their own "Apocalypse Now" and "Platoon" clones. This created a whole industry and for about a decade heaps of Vietnam War movies were filmed in the Philippines by people like Cirio H. Santiago and Bobby A. Suarez, and many more.
The lucrative (i.e. CHEAP) Filipino market also attracted Italian film makers like Antonio Margheriti, Joe D'Amato and Bruno Mattei who also came and made highly entertaining war films (Mattei also made CANNIBAL and ZOMBIE films there but that's an entirely different story!).
This is the only website in the world entirely devoted to these films!
If you are used to old American and European war movies you are excused for thinking all other war movies are the same, i.e. L-O-T-S of scenes of planning, trying to infiltrate behind lines in Nazi Germany, and endless scenes of slow moving trucks going by.
Well, that's not the way the flop mops on this here site!!
The keyword is TRASHY!!! The movies on this site are VERY different to the above mentioned ones. War flicks made in the Philippines are everything entertaining cinema is supposed to be: TRASHY! EXPLOITATIVE!! VIOLENT!!! And full of action, action, action!!!!!
These are not the films that you'll hear scholars talk about when they talk about serious Filipino cinema. They don't have a message and no you probably won't learn anything from watching them. But, well, I think my best response to that is to (slightly incorrectly) quote our finest present day philosophers, Beavis & Butt-head, "IF I WANTED TO LEARN SOMETHING I'D GO TO SCHOOL".
Trashy Filipino war flicks are about having fun. That's fucken it, man! And trust me most of these films deliver in the entertainment department in a biiig way. Oh, and if you are puzzled about why they made all these Vietnam War movies in the Philippines even though the Vietnam War obviously didn't take place in the Philippines - then, arr man, don't ask so many god-damn questions. Just get a beer (or lemonade) and some chips and crank up the TV. That's what it's all about!
Now, if you're new to all this I hope I've wet your appetite enough to want to find out more about these movies. I suggest you start from the beginning of the review list and just work your way downwards. Unfortunately, most of these movies were never released on DVD but try and see if you can find old video releases (eBay and Amazon are good places) or find a friend who has them and can hook you up with some dvd-r's. I'm sure a lot of the films are available via illegal torrent sites but I can't help you with links for even site names as I don't download films.
- Jack J (owner/creator of this website)
PAYING THE DUES:
Big thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way. Whether it be with info, dvd-r's, video tapes, etc, or even just recommendations. It's all highly appreciated!
Fred Adelman, Andrew Leavold, Nick Nicholson (RIP), Günter Müller, Ian F, Ryan Tekulve, Diabolik/Hans-Jørn, Miltos, Patrick B, Michael Gustavsson, Bert Spoor, Paul Cooke, Karlos, David Z, Bill Barounis (RIP), Simon Miller, Member-X, Frank (Australian Video Covers).