MovieReview: Double Target (1987) – Severin Blu-ray

March 3, 2023

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

After a slew of assassinations against military personnel, the boys in camo do the only thing they possibly can; namely call in beer guzzlin’, male model-type/ex-commando Bob Ross (Tarzan the Ape Man/Ator the Fighting Eagle‘s Miles O’Keeffe) to create happy little accidents of extreme violence on those responsible!

The only problem with that request is that it stands in the way of his primary life goal; namely retrieving his son from Vietnam, where he was forced to stay after the war… a goal he has attempted to fulfil by blowing shit sky-high with a rocket launcher fired from a helicopter.

Fortunately for the narrative, Ross is soon convinced (i.e. forced) by the asthmatic, and ludicrously named, Senator Blaster (Halloween‘s Donald Pleasence) and his own personal Col. Trautman, Col. Waters (Mike Monty) to undertake the assassination investigation back in his old ‘Nam stomping grounds, a task he has five days to complete or he’ll be left to rot!

The job totally blows too, as soon Ross is waylaid by a shark (in a sequence composed of stock footage and one of the shittiest shark props since Jaws 3 sprayed it’s 3-D(iarrhea) all over the silver screen back in ’83), immediately finds his son (Edison Navarro)and has to leave him behind again (it should be noted how gorgeous the cinematography of Riccardo Grassetti is in this sequence), and discovers a large Russian presence, lead by the villainous Colonel Galckin (Bo Svenson with nary a trace of anything resembling a Russian accent for 90% of his screen-time), which is sure to fuck up his day even further!

If you are familiar with the work of this film’s director/editor, Bruno Mattei (Rats: Night of Terror, Shocking Dark, and many, many more absolutely bonkers gems!) and his long-time co-writers Rossella Drudi and Claudio Fragasso (who co-directed as well) you may expect Double Target to be an over-the-top, explosion-filled, Rambo-esque romp… well, it truly fuckin’ is, so you were right. A detective is you, thanks for playing!

The players in this maelstrom of violence do their level-headed best to bring this tale to life with O’Keeffe looking like an ’80s-era action figure come to life (suitably so given the adventure at hand), Svenson providing the comic book heavy-vibes, and Pleasence doing whatever bit of business he’s up to in any given scene (and lookin’ mighty drunk doing it all as well)!

Adding to the experience is a rousing score courtesy of composer Stefano Mainetti that keeps the ambience quite epic indeed, and the action sequences that are truly jaw-dropping and involve vehicular chase-laden and/or explosion-packed set-pieces that would be impressive in films that cost 5x as much as this picture!

It should also be mentioned how gorgeous the transfer utilized for this Blu-ray release courtesy of Severin is; the clarity and eye-popping color are among the most impressive I’ve seen this year, and really makes the jungle locales shine!

Speaking of ol’ Severin; they have included interviews with Fragasso (who shares plenty of production info and anecdotes) and Drudi, as well as the film’s U.S. and Italian trailers.

A strong entry in the surprisingly large Rambosploitation genre (by the team responsible for many of those entries); Double Target is jammed with macho posturing, clenched jaws, and plenty of over-the-top action that is sure to satisfy!


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