Director – Bruno Mattei (The Other Hell, Hell of the Living Dead)
Starring – Reb Brown (Howling II, Captain America), Christopher Connelly (Night of the Sharks, Airwolf), and Louise Kamsteeg (Bloody Psycho, Fashion Crimes)
Release Date – 1986
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 3/5
I absolutely love 80s action movies. They are just as fun and campy as any horror movie from the decade. I originally set out to review 80s action flicks but my love for horror and exploitation quickly took over what I was reviewing. With that being said, anytime I get the chance to review an 80s action flick you can bet your sweet ass and half a tit that I’m going to try like hell to review it.
When Severin announced the release of Bruno Mattei’s 86 action flick Strike Commando I knew I had to review it. I reached out to MVD who was handling this release and they were kind enough to send a copy my way. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler Alert** The film begins with a mission during the Vietnam war when an entire squad of commandos is sacrificed for a mission…except one, Michael Ransom (Brown). He survives and finds himself behind enemy lines with a price on his head. As he fights to get to the rendezvous he soon realizes that the man calling the shots for the U.S. army is actually a Russian spy and Ransom must die in order to keep his secret. **Spoiler Alert**
There was so many Rambo clones to come out of the 80s. Strike Commando was released just four years after First Blood and where First Blood offers a gritty look at post-Vietnam vets returning back to civilian life where Strike Commando takes us deeper into the Vietnam action.
The acting in this one is extremely cheesy but so much fun. Reb Brown is not one to win awards for his performances but he does deliver fun performances. He goes all in with Strike Commando and delivers an unintentionally funny but entertaining performance I’ve seen from him yet. The supporting cast is nothing compared to Brown’s characters. They were either added during filming or poorly written but the overall focus is on Ransom with very little character development beyond that point.
The story for this one is like 100s of other action films to follow in Rambo’s wake. We get a Vietnam soldier who is a one man army and can’t be stopped as he fights his way through the rice fields and jungles of Vietnam only to discover that he was betrayed. Honestly, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before but we get plenty of explosions, gunfire, fighting, and goofy characters. It’s great fun for a first time watch but I don’t see much of a replay value.
Finally, we get plenty of explosions and some gunfights but don’t expect to see a bloodbath here. Not a lot of blood to be found aside from some make-up effects. Overall, Strike Commando is exploitation filmmaker Bruno Mattei’s contribution to the mid-80s action film that is surprisingly fun. Mattei may be known for his sleazy and sometimes lackluster exploitation flicks but Strike Commando is a must see. This release from Severin looks absolutely fantastic and one I would highly recommend to collectors.
Includes both Theatrical and Extended Cuts
War Machine – Interview with Co-Director Claduio Fragasso
All Quiet on the Philippine Front – Interview with Screenwriter Rossella Drudi
STRIKE COMMANDO In-Production Promo