Whenever it’s time to assemble yet another team to bring back more of our boys from Vietnam (watching these POW movies can leave one with the impression there are more Americans left in Vietnam than Vietnamese), special attention must be made to signing up the right combination of talents. For instance, you need an explosives or a demolitions expert, but you’re probably wasting a team slot if you take one of each since both are likely proficient at blowing up bamboo huts. (There’s nothing wrong with lots of exploding huts of course, but you don’t want it coming at the expense of guys having their throats slit by the knife expert.) Continue reading
“You’re saying Shooman is a KGB agent, out at the front, countering Vietcong attacks! Sounds like science fiction!” Sure does, but you know what else it sounds like? A Bruno Mattei movie! The fact that it was Romano Puppo who spit out this bit of soft-headed, hard-boiled dialogue only confirms it! (Puppo (Escape from the Bronx, 2019: After the Fall of New York) spends most of his scenes chewing out Brent Huff for calling him “Skipper” prompting the classic line, “this isn’t a goddamn yacht club!”) Continue reading
Joe (Robert Walker) is a corporal in the army with a two day pass in New York City. Instead of doing what most of us would do with it, like blow all our money on hookers, Joe decides he’s going to hang out at Penn Station. Continue reading
There’s a scene in some little bar that Steve McQueen’s John Reese isn’t supposed to be at where he’s getting himself some firewater and the barmaid is saying that he’s going have problems when the MPs find him there. “Are you looking for trouble?” she asks. He pours himself another and says “the world’s full of trouble”. And there’s no way you could argue with that, I thought. Especially since some shell-shocked combat burn out who only goes crazy when he’s not in battle is saying it! Continue reading
Captain Paul Stevens is living in the middle of turbulent times. He’s caught up in the evacuation of Dunkirk, discovers a bunch of his own men have been mysteriously killed and had their identity papers stolen, and perhaps most trying of all, is saddled with a hothead, borderline comic relief Sergeant named Mulligan. Continue reading
Three of the cinema’s best genres are finally mixed together to produce a love child of death, dismemberment, and amputee fellatio! Taking the very finest elements of the Vietnam POW movie, the stolen Nazi gold movie, and the micro-budget mid 1980s Italian action movie, Dog Tags manages to even work in a strip club scene for no reason except that director Romano Scavolini (Nightmare In A Damaged Brain) is just that damn good! Could anything less be expected from the brother of the writer of American Rickshaw? Continue reading
Heroes In Hell gives you an up close and personal look at the lives of a group of World War II POWs. It’s up close and personal not because you get to know the characters or you are treated to a day to day examination of what life in a German prison camp entails. It’s up close and personal because most of the freaking film is shot right in these guys’ faces! And it didn’t serve to build tension or give a sense of claustrophobic suspense so much as left the viewer straining to see around everyone’s big fat skull! Continue reading
The opening credits paraded by over a bunch of black and white newsreel footage of Nazis doing stuff like marching around and saluting one another. I thought some practical joker at the DVD plant had pulled a fast one on me and snuck a History Channel documentary in there. The only thing missing was a slightly bored narrator droning on about “the German war machine” and “France immediately surrendered.” Continue reading
At long last an action movie that articulates why its climax is taking place at the old abandoned cement factory outside of town. Too often, it seems like everyone just magically teleports to the docks for a final shootout (lots of shipping containers can get blown up and bad guys can end up dramatically floating in the water) or mindlessly cruises over to a power plant because all the catwalks can provide a lot of suspenseful chasing (and bad guys falling to their deaths) and steam valves can get ruptured, filling the area with smoke (and burn bad guys in the face), but without any logical explanation why the action had to shift from where it was happening to these locales. Continue reading
Following the collapse of the cannibals and barbarian film genres in the early 1980s, director Umberto Lenzi took a brief detour before finishing off the decade with a bounty of no less than six cheap and cheesy horror movies. A detour right into the heart of war-torn Yugoslavia!
Was Umberto documenting the ethnic cleansing that wracked the region following the fall of the Soviet empire? Was he leading a campaign of underemployed Italian exploitation movie directors to provide aid and comfort to displaced refugees by holding charity screenings of Nightmare City and Eaten Alive?
Are you nuts? Who cares about that war? I’m talking about a real war! World War II! The one where a handful of Johnny Yanks could take on the entire German army and carry out impossible suicide missions on an almost weekly basis! Continue reading