The Bad Pack (1997)

The Bad Pack (1997)- *1\2

Directed by: Brent Huff

Starring: Robert Davi, Ralf Moeller, Jeep Swenson, Brent Huff, Sven-Ole Thorsen, Roddy Piper, Larry B. Scott, Shawn Huff, Marshall R. Teague, and Vernon G. Wells

In the dusty border town of Los Robles, Texas, an evil white supremacist group led by Lamont Sperry (Teague) and his loyal henchman Sven (Ole-Thorsen) set up shop. I guess if you hate Mexican people, you go to the source, right? 

Well, two brothers decide the only way the destitute community can rid themselves of the baddies is by checking the ads in the back of Soldier of Fortune magazine, and hiring some mercenaries to kill them all. They take a train to L.A. and meet with a man named Biker (Wells), but he refuses their offer. Eventually they find the right man for the job: a one-man fighting force named McQue (Davi). What follows is classic “Assembling a Team” as McQue goes and finds people with special, individualized skills for the mission: Dash Simms (Piper) is the driver, Remi Sykes (Shawn Huff) is the sniper assassin, Kurt (Moeller) is the muscle, etc. This newly-christened (but never actually said out loud) BAD PACK is promised millions of dollars from the cache of the evildoers if they succeed...but will they?

The Bad Pack is a disappointment. With a galaxy of B-Movie stars on display and Brent Huff both in front of and behind the camera, you’d think it would be a no-brainer to make an awesome action classic. Not so much. But they did get the ‘no brain’ part right, as the movie is very, very dumb. It’s filled with stultifyingly stupid dialogue that drags down the whole project. Also, it needed more action. Saving all the action for the big climax is a no-no. Seeing as this is a supposed action movie, you should really have action DURING the movie. Doesn’t Brent Huff, of all people, know that?

There’s something sanitized about it - what little action scenes exist throughout the movie are quick and bloodless, and there’s minimal bad language and no nudity. It’s almost an action movie for the whole family. 

While it was great to see fan favorite Robert Davi in a lead role like this - especially when he’s foiling robbers at a diner with his canefighting skills or popping extended, unnecessary wheelies on his bright green motorbike, we wish the movie overall was of a better caliber and better suited to his skills. And because the whole outing is pure 90’s (of the pay-channel and back-shelf-of -the-video-store variety), there are not one but two scenes of Punchfighting: one with Battle Creek Brawl’s mega-meathead Jeep Swenson (R.I.P.) and Ralf Moeller, and another with Brent Huff and some other guy. Presumably these were the scenes meant to tide us over until the finale.

Marshall Teague, as the main baddie, looks a lot like George Lucas in this movie. And that’s in the scenes when he doesn’t look like Kenny Rogers. This really brought to the silver screen what George Lucas is probably like in real life. Yet another character we didn’t mention thus far, Jeremy Britt (Scott) plays a Black nerd (Blerd?) whose only function in The Bad Pack is that he owns a laptop. He claims to be the guy who “gets them the information”, as if the other members of the team don’t have access to the internet. But it was the golden age of Urkel, so, that decision makes sense.

But that leads us to two terms we coined - first is the Lone Tiger effect, when you think a movie is going to be good because of a stellar cast, but instead it’s a mess because there are TOO many characters and no one gets enough time in the sun. That’s The Bad Pack. 

Also it’s a Lacktion movie: a supposed action outing that lacks action. That’s The Bad Pack as well. Add to that some annoying characters and some light bathroom humor, and our good will is falling precipitously. And it’s all such a waste. The potential is CLEARLY there for a better movie, but it falls flat. Roddy Piper as a DRIVER who only marginally participates in the (of course) final warehouse fight? Are you kidding me? But on the bright side, Ralf Moeller stole his scenes and is quite good in it, as is Shawn Huff (that would be Mrs. Brent Huff).

Sadly, audiences who watch The Bad Pack are Huffing the fumes of the glory of the past work of the participants.

Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty

Also check out a write-up from our buddy, DTVC! 


Roger Renman said...

I agree completely. Amazing cast, crappy movie. Roddy Piper RIP.

venom said...

Not Roddy Piper's best work admittedly but still not bad.

Ty said...

Roger and Venom: Total waste of Piper and just about the whole cast. Could've been way better!