Heroes Stand Alone (1989)


Heroes Stand Alone
(1989)- * *

Directed by: Mark Griffiths 

Starring: Chad Everett, Bradford Dillman and Rick Dean

Everyone seems pretty happy that all the violence that has plagued the Central American country of San Pedro has finally ceased. Whatever war that they were formally involved in has officially ended. Tensions arise when a mysterious plane crashes in San Pedro. Zack Duncan (Everett) leads a team of commandos in a search for the plane's black box. 

Whatever was recorded on the box must be awfully important, because a joint team of evil Russkies and Cubans are also after the box. Then, as you might imagine, shootings and blow-ups ensue. But when Walt Simmons (Dillman) eventually spills the beans on what's really going on, Zack has to search his soul to find out the true meaning of "shootings and blow-ups". Who will be on the receiving end of this Zack Attack? Well, as you may have heard, HEROES STAND ALONE.

Yet another in a seemingly-endless stream of jungle slogs, Heroes Stand Alone fails to distinguish itself from its vast array of competitors. While Rick Dean and Bradford Dillman are the strong points in an otherwise completely mediocre and average affair, even their combined talents can't really turn 'Heroes into something that rises above the fray.

In the great video store year of 1989, we as consumers were really spoiled for choice. So Roger Corman must have figured he could pump out some more of the same-old-same-old and at least it would be an option for video store patrons who were perusing the shelves. Heroes Stand Alone is all but forgotten today, however.

Maybe David Carradine was unavailable, as he was probably elsewhere in the jungle making his own slogs, so they filled his shoes with Chad Everett. Helpfully, the back of the VHS box informs us that Everett is, and we quote, a "popular film and television actor". I guess back in the days before Imdb, you had to say something like that so people wouldn't think they'd be wasting their time watching a movie with an unpopular film and television actor.

In any case, Everett sports a rather unflattering Moe Howard hairstyle and doesn't have a ton of charisma, which is needed if you're starring in an action film. Rick Dean has a lot more going on than Everett does. 

As is the case in way too many movies of this sort, it needed a better villain and more baddies for our heroes to shoot. It also needed more Bradford Dillman. His speech at the end was great and we needed more scenes like that. Also we could have used more scenes such as the one where a real-life Mario gets shot. This guy resembles Mario way more than Bob Hoskins ever did. Yet another wasted opportunity.

While there is an exploding helicopter, and most of the military jargon revolves around SAMs, it's all very standard, unexciting fare. When the Corman factory was deciding who they should get to direct this particular jungle outing, they naturally picked Mark Griffiths, whose previous two films were Hardbodies (1984) and Hardbodies 2 (1986). He brings a bit of that juvenile humor to the film, but he doesn't seem to understand action all that well.

In the end, Heroes Stand Alone is forgettable and the peacenik ending is about as lame as it gets. We'd love to love the film, as some of the ingredients are there, but, sadly, it seems like it's going to be standing alone on the dusty old shelves of the past.

Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty

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