Terror Force Commando (1986)- * *1\2
Directed by: Richard Harrison
Starring: Richard Harrison, Gordon Mitchell, Alphonse Beni, and Rom Kristoff
Zero (Kristoff) is a terrorist whose goal is to assassinate the pope when he swings through Cameroon on his African tour. Michael Baiko (Beni) catches wind of Zero's plan and ends up teaming up with the mysterious Mathews (Harrison) who, in his words, "works for Uncle Sam". While our two heroes are going from Cameroon to Rome to try and stop Zero, a man named Milhench (Mitchell), the chairman of the Organization of World Peace, is also in grave danger. Things get personal when Zero kidnaps Baiko's daughter. Will Zero be stopped before it's too late? Will Baiko and/or Mathews be the ultimate TERROR FORCE COMMANDO?
Directed by Richard Harrison, co-written by Harrison with Romano Kristoff, co-produced by Harrison and starring Harrison, clearly this was a labor of love for the man. Although neither Teddy Page or Godfrey Ho are involved here, Terror Force Commando (or TFC) is like the lost movie by either Page or Ho. Harrison must have learned a lot from those two guys after working with them so often throughout his career, and it shows. If Page and Ho were your teachers, TFC is the final homework assignment.
If you're familiar at all with Teddy Page, Godfrey Ho, Richard Harrison, or Rom Kristoff, you'll have a good idea of what to expect with TFC. It has that "foreign" vibe to it that we've become so accustomed to over the years. Fights break out, guns are shot, and disco plays on the soundtrack. There are some pretty brutal headshots as far as the gun-shooting is concerned. Maybe it's because the film was partially shot in Italy, but they have that Italian gore feel to them.
Kristoff gets a chance to be the baddie this time around, which is a chance of pace from his usual "Rombo" roles. The Africa scenes and Alphonse Beni may remind you of David Broadnax. The choice of Cameroon as a filming location was unusual, and because this is not a jungle movie, it's not a slog. Sure, there are some slower moments, but then Richard Harrison will show up with his fedora and trenchcoat and usually save things.
If this wasn't such a 'cheap and cheerful' production, perhaps Harrison could have gotten another star for the film, such as a Donald Pleasence. We were happy to see fan favorite Gordon Mitchell, however, and his character name, Milhench, must have been inspired by Harrison's Blood Debts (1985) co-star Ann Milhench. There's also a man listed in the credits as Jerry the American. We don't know who he is, and this is his one and only film credit that we know of, but we'd like to know more about Mr. The American. He's truly a mystery wrapped inside a riddle.
While the title is a bit misleading - it sort of leads you to believe this will be an exploding-hutter and it's not - there are still things to appreciate about TFC. But maybe we're being overly generous, because we had waited many years to see the film. It was released in many western European countries, but it never came out here in America. So, it remained virtually impossible to see here until recently, when it was uploaded to a thing called the Internet.
Despite its rarity, Terror Force Commando remains a curiosity. It's worth seeing if you like these sorts of strange underground action movies, but it is unlikely to win anyone over if they've never seen things like this.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty