You know who was shit-hot in the 1980’s? John mother fuckin’ Rambo… we all loved his PTSD-infused spots of rough n’ tumble fun n’ games (mostly involving murdering large swaths of human beings post his first outing in 1982’s First Blood). You know who else loved his ass? The fucking creative team behind Troll 2, and my personal fav, Uncle Bruno Mattei…
How do I know this? Because I just watched the most Rambo thing ever created that doesn’t have jack-shit to do with Sly; 1986’s Strike Commando, and those are the cats that made it!
Ransom (Jesus, they aren’t even trying to hide it… anyway, he’s played by Yor: The Hunter From the Future himself, Reb Brown) is the sole survivor of a botched mission in ‘Nam while the war was raging hot n’ heavy.
Soon Ransom finds himself in the savior-biz as he ends up in a small village, who’s residents include the missionary Le Due (Luciano Pigozzi, who co-starred with Brown in the aforementioned Yor in 1983 for director Antonio Margheriti), that needs saving from a Russian presence, led by the sadistic Jakoda (Alex Vitale, in a performance that one would call “unreasonably over-the-top” if they were given to understatement) in the area.
This goes over like finding a shit in the punch-bowl with the bastardly Col. Radek (a scene stealing… and chewing Christopher Connelly) who decides our hero is definitely expendable given his penchant for being an all-American, violence-prone, pain-in -the-ass that will absolutely interfere with his day-to-day like a mother fucker.
Fortunately, Ransom has col. Traut… err, I mean Maj. Harriman (Mike Monty) to advocate on his behalf, so he’s given the go ahead to photograph (and only photograph) exactly what is goin’ down behind enemy lines… but once he finds out they’ve killed all of the villagers in his absence so he then goes absolutely bananas, giving a reprise of his famous “What America is like… ” speech from earlier in the picture to a dying child… it involved popcorn, malted milk, and genies, so it’s 100% on the money… and screaming Jakoda at roughly a million decibels over and over as he goes on the warpath… and gets immediately imprisoned accomplishing jack-fuck-all.
Anyway, all good things must end, and after a few more scenes lifted directly from Rambo: First Blood Part II, Ransombo makes his escape and… violence ensues!
So brazen and bold in it’s carbon-copy ways… yet more ridiculous than you can scarcely believe; Strike Commando comes across like the Bizarro Rambo… it looks kinda the same, but something is way off… okay, many things are off here… but in it’s surreal nonsense, Strike Commando becomes sheer brilliance thanks to it’s ability to entertain via it’s explosive action, acting dialed up to the nines, and dialog so baffling and jaw-dropping you’d swear it was written by a malfunctioning robot after scanning a David Morrell novel and told to ” just do it’s best”… but that fucker isn’t even plugged in… It’s. Not. Plugged. In!
Fuck, I lost it a bit there…
How about special features? Seems safe…
Included on this Blu-ray from Severin we get two interviews, one with co-director/co-writer Claudio Fragasso (where he reveals he’s making something called Karate Man, which you bet your ass I’m going to see come hell or high water!), the other with co-writer Rossella Drudi (who addresses the Rambo similarities and the film’s tone).
Also included are an “in production” trailer narrated by a dude that was as high then as I am now… and that’s saying something, and a regular ol’ theatrical trailer.
Fuck… can you imagine if Fragasso made like a hard-ass version of this like they did with 2008’s Rambo… that would be so fuckin’ bad ass! C’mon, Reb’s still out there… get to it… plus, I know everyone reading these wicked words would be totally into it, so there’s two tickets sold right there!
To sum it all up; Strike Commando is for those of you who like a movie to aim your rock-hard missile straight towards Explosive Action Boulevard; it’s loud, dumb, and oddly sincere… also many things explode.
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