Saturday, February 14
"Haha..Russian dentists make pretty good dentures."
Directed by Bruno Mattei
104 Minutes / I.V.E. / Cropped from 1.85:1 to full screen
Mr. Roll Fizzlebeef himself Reb Brown as an red-blooded "Amerikanski" (Mike Ransom) who finds himself floating along Vietnam's Mekong after a secret mission double cross by his own superiors. Eventually Ransom is meekly captured by a drunk Frenchmen and a gaggle of Vietnamese rebels and forced to lead an armed confrontation with their rival natives. During this stint, he befriends a young boy and discovers filthy Russian forces have their own designs on the proceedings. Following a successful extraction, Brown is returned to the jungle by his commanders to investigate exactly why said Russians are meddling in the battle. Ransom travels back to the rebel's location and finds a massacre--including the boy. Enraged beyond reason, he boldly calls out the Russians and is taken prisoner. Tortured but not beaten, Ransom plots his vengeance against forces both foreign and domestic...
This is great, totally brainless fun. Everything isn't taken seriously in the slightest and it's all the more hilarious for it. Reb Brown's acting skill is amazingly horrendous, yet his performance is quite endearing as he constantly mugs, screams (I mean a lot), and gleefully delivers some of craziest one-liners ever heard in a "war" film. Christopher Connelly and Mike Monty have beef-eatin' names and profusely sweat as Brown's tough-minded commanders. Alex Vitale is perfect as the buffed out Ruskie leader who speaks ridiculously broken English and engages Ransom in what's perhaps the greatest bare knuckle fight in cinema history.
What's especially fantastic is that by the time the credits appear, you truly get the sense everyone, from the makers to the actors, knew how idiotic the whole thing was. Considering Mattei made a career from unabashedly riffing whatever trend was popular at the given time, that realization is surprisingly refreshing.
As a Serious War Film: -8/10
As the Awesome Piece of Crap It Is: 7.5/10
VHS Picture 7/10
VHS Sound: 7/10