* * *
AKA: The Last Mercenary
Directed by: Mario Siciliano
Starring: Tony Marsina and Ketty Nichols
“I tend to lead the life I’ve chosen."
Rolf (Marsina) is a fairly troubled loner working as an airplane courier in (what we think is) Tunisia.
He’s trying to forge a relationship with Joanna (Nichols) but things
are always going between smooth and rocky. When gangsters want him to
carry a shipment of drugs, he is conflicted, because his mother died of a
drug overdose. The gangsters beat him up and assault Joanna. Rolf then
has no choice but to go into the jungle and get revenge. Rest assured,
huts will explode and guns will go “pew pew”! Will Rolf come out
If you’re going to name a movie after a man’s name,
Rolf is one of the better names you can name it. With its silly dubbing,
absurd situations, good pace and killer music (by Fabio Frizzi - the
Modern Talking-like title song is sung by one Chris J. King), Rolf comes
out a winner. For example, after he is attacked by
the gangsters, Rolf summons the power of worms and leeches to heal him.
Presumably he has Dr. Doolittle-like powers? And the main bad guy is so
evil he literally uses children for target practice. When Rolf’s hands
are injured, it recalls not just fellow Italian production Django (1966), but
also none other than Jesus himself. Far from a dude with a “shirtless
shirt” and high pants, the filmmakers secretly tried to make Rolf a new
hero for our times.
Try to imagine a crazy Italian cross between
Cartel (1990), Heated Vengeance (1985) and Best Revenge (1982), but better. And the main
song repeats over and over again as in Laser Mission (1989) and White Fire (1984).
Luckily it is catchy and enjoyable. We were lucky to see this movie, as
it doesn’t seem to have gotten a wide release, but the version on the
“Mercs” DVD box set leaves a LOT to be desired. It looks like a simple
dub directly from an old VHS - and the VHS has tracking problems! There
are even glitches burned into
the DVD. Wasn’t anyone monitoring this stuff? Again, we were lucky to
see it, but Rolf deserves better.
Tony Marsina really Rolfs it up in this simple, but crazy and down-and-dirty revenge thriller. We recommend it.
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett