Sunday, February 22, 2015

Non-Horror Exploitation: Strike Commando (1987)

I closed my eyes, put my hand in the inexhaustible well of 80's Italian B action movies and out came ''Strike Commando''. The title, the director, the year, the poster... Every single thing pointed towards another 100 minutes of cheesy goodness. 

While operating behind enemy lines, Sgt. Mike Ransom learns of a Russian presence in North Vietnam. Ordered to obtain proof of this discovery, Ransom returns to enemy territory but is captured and subjected to a variety of tortures. Eventually he escapes to continue his mission despite being hampered by a traitor in his own ranks.

That plot sounds familiar to you right? That's probably because Strike Commando is another shameless rip-off of First Blood: Part II. Mulitple scenes are literally copied to the smallest detail. Unfortunately the movie itself isn't as entertaining as First Blood: Part II is.

Strike Commando was made by a group of reasonable big names in the Italian 80's scene. Director Bruno Mattei (or Vincent Dawn as he was rather called when he was making action/war movies) needs no further introduction with movies like Virus and Rats. The writing was done by Claudio Fragasso, who took part in Mattei's earlier named movies and also had a hand in movies like the infamous Troll 2 and Zombi 3. Nex to that the whole cast of Strike Commando has a, long, history in Italian B-movies. From the leading actors to the extra's, they all played in a long lists of 80's pulp.

Back to the kinda disappointing movie. The action is never really spectaculair. This may have to do something with the ease in which war-hero Mike Ransom kills his enemies. The only thing he has to do is fart and the tiny Vietnamese fall to the ground in big groups. Even the big Russian bodybuilder, who was thrown in the movie to create some resistance against Ransom, seems rather weak. The movie hits rock bottom when the two massive warriors go 1v1 in a fistfight. In stead of fucking each other up with haymaker after haymaker they pull each other's nose and scratch each other like they're 5 year old kids. 

 Strike Commando turned out to be a rather weak one. It even fails as pure entertainment. The action just isn't explosive enough and the whole movie even seems a little amateuristic from time to time. I won't even start on the multiple ''drama'' scenes where we should suddenly feel really sad for a dying figurant.


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