It's amazing. This is actually a Fred Olen Ray movie that had a budget. Normally his movies look like they got made with a shoestring budget and are also too often completely unwatchable, mainly because of that. I don't know who ever decided to give Fred Olen Ray some big money to work with this time and I also really don't understand why. It's not like his movies ever brought in any big money or have a good reputation. But you know what, the fact that this movie had some money behind it actually also makes it a somewhat decent watch at times. It makes you wonder if perhaps Ed Wood also wouldn't have been capable of making some decent movies if he was given some more money to work with.

But still Fred Olen Ray managed to mess things up. First off all, the build up of the movie takes way too long. I think this is because Fred Olen Ray is accustomed to and familiar with this storytelling approach. When you have a $0 budget to work with normally you have to become creative with your storytelling and stretch your story out as far and for as long as possible, without actually doing or showing something. But this is simply not the sort of approach you want from a straight-forward, tough, action-flick.

But also the story in itself is pretty bad and formulaic but told even worse by director Fred Olen Ray. It has plenty of silly and bad moments in it. I mean, those Vietnam flashbacks were all kind of awkward and didn't really add anything good to the story. I understand why it's all in there but it feels so out of place and totally unnecessary.

A reason why people still probably want to see this movie is because of its cast. It has David Carradine, Lee Van Cleef, Mako and Michael Berryman. What more could you want from a movie? I must say that without their star power this movie would had probably a way worse and more ridicules movie to watch. I had never actually seen Lee Van Cleef at such an 'old' age. You probably wont even recognize him the first time you see him in this, he looks like a real genuine, balding, gray, grandpa, even though he was only in his early 60's at the time. He also died only a couple of years after this movie. Some people just age fast I guess.

One thing that Fred Olen Ray also doesn't know to handle is its action. Most of the sequences really aren't shot too well and the editing also helps to make it look clumsily at times.

This movie at times has some hints of a good and entertaining, silly '80's action flick in it but Fred Olen Ray still managed to downgrade this movie overall to a below average one. I still like to say his name a lot though, Fred Olen Ray, Fred Olen Ray, Fred Olen Ray!


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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