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Directed by: Bruno Mattei
Starring: Reb Brown, Edison Navarro, Luciano Pigozzi, Alex Vitale, and Christopher Connelly
"He's A War Machine on the Warpath!"
Sgt. Michael Ransom (Brown) is THE BEST. He’s the finest example of an American soldier...maybe ever. He goes behind enemy lines to rescue some Vietnamese civilians, and even becomes friends with a young boy, Lao (Edison Navarro). His guide in this rough terrain is Frenchman Le Due (Pigozzi) - but maniacally evil Russian Jakoda (Vitale) will stop at nothing until he tortures and kills his nemesis, the “Americanski”. And even though Col. Radek (Connelly) may have suspicious motives, nothing, and we mean NOTHING - will stop this true American hero from getting revenge on the baddies. One way or another, you WILL pay Ransom.
Now THIS is what Comeuppance Reviews, as a website and as an overall entity in the universe, is all about. Ignore anything negative you may have read about this great movie. For pure, uncut, unadulterated entertainment, this level of awesomeness is possibly only rivaled by Deadly Prey (1987). This movie gives jungle action movies a GOOD name. It has countless, high-quality explosions, guard tower blow-ups/falls, non-stop action, stunts, and shooting, waterfalls, and of course the prerequisite torture scene. But it has a ton of weird/funny/off-kilter moments that truly make it rise above the pack. We won’t spoil them for you here, but trust us, you will love this movie and you have to find it if you don’t already own it.
While we also strongly support the later collaboration between the great Reb Brown and director Bruno Mattei, Robowar (1989), we believe this is the superior team-up of the two men. If you can’t get enough of that trademark Reb scream, you won’t be disappointed, as he really yells it up here. That includes a specific line reading of his enemy’s name, “Jakoda”, that you won’t soon forget. Probably because your ears will be ringing for days afterwards. But yet, Reb displays his sensitive side here too. For all his ultra-macho shirtless carnage, his relationship with Lao is tender and even tear-jerking. Lao wants to go to Disneyland where the popcorn grows on trees. For some reason, this really appeals to him. But, you see, Ransom is not an inhuman monster like Jakoda. He may have killed a few thousand people, but he’s a real human being who you grow to love. You definitely want Ransom on your side. God help you if you get on his bad side.
Like Jungle Assault (1989), the soundtrack is inappropriately 80’s (it being the Vietnam war and all) - but here the music cues are just so great it doesn’t even matter. The soundtrack by Lou Ceccarelli is pure genius. It features a killer opening song and it doesn’t stop there. Nintendo was huge at the time, and the music plus the action is almost like a live-action Contra movie. It truly is violent 80’s heaven that you can really sink your teeth into. Is there a CD of this?
The worst thing you could say about this masterpiece is that the editing can be a bit choppy at times, but even that adds to the overall charm. Strike Commando delivers the goods in spades. Rock on!
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett