Strike Commando is a 1987 war film written, edited, and directed by Bruno Mattei (Hell of the Living Dead, Violence in a Women’s Prison, Zombie 3, Shocking Dark, Robowar, Night Killer, and Strike Commando 2) as “Vincent Dawn” (Rats: Night of Terror, Scalps, and Double Target). It was written by Rossella Drudi (Night Killer, Zombie 3, Zombie 4, Shocking Dark, Beyond Darkness, Strike Commando 2, and Troll 2) and Claudio Fragasso (Zombie 3, Zombie 4, Terminator II, Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Troll 2, Beyond Darkness, Violence in a Women’s Prison, and Monster Dog). It was followed up by the sequel in 1988, Strike Commando 2 was also released by Severin Films on blu ray!!!!
Sgt. Michael Ransom (played by: Reb Brown from Captain America 1/2, White Ghost, Uncommon Valor, Howling II: … Your Sister Is a Werewolf, and Yor, the Hunter from the Future) and his team of “Strike Commandos” are sneaking into a Vietnamese base, who are planning to lay explosives. Colonel Radek (played by: Christopher Connelly from Foxtrap, The Raiders of Atlantis, Manhattan Baby, 1990: The Bronx Warriors, and Django Strikes Again) and Ransom’s majors watch from a nearby vantage point. All prove to be successful, until one of the commandos is caught which brings them some dangerous attention. The commandos have no choice but to retreat but Colonel Radek who is in charge of the mission demands the explosives be set off as the commandos are still retreating. One of the explosives kill one of Ransom’s soldiers as he retreats. Ransom is blown into a river and left unconscious. He is found by a village boy plus his sister who treat and nurse him back to health. He speaks with Le Due (played by: Luciano Pigozzi from Robowar, Zombie 3, Strike Commando 2, The Exterminators of the Year 3000, and Yor, the Hunter from the Future) a retired French soldier who says the village used to be a church until the Viet Cong kept attacking. Ransom also learns that there is a Russian presence in Vietnam. Ransom agrees to take the Vietnamese village people to safety in an unknown location. Ransom calls his home base and tells his commander that he’s alive and where he could be picked up. Still stranded there, Ransom is forced to defend the village from the deadly Russians, Ransom finds out who the Russian leader is and he seeks revenge on the brutal Jakoda (played by: Alex Vitale from Beyond the Door III, The Bronx Executioner, Urban Warriors, Hands of Steel, and Robot Jox. Ransom takes Jakoda’s girlfriend Olga (played by: Louise Kamsteeg from Bloody Psycho, Fashion Crimes, and Caligula’s Slaves) hostage and uses her as bait. Ransom must defend these people, battle the Russians, and find out who betrayed him from his squad. Can this one man army pull all of this off????
Bruno Mattei, the king of Italian rip offs is back again with another entertaining knock off. This is basically the low budget version of Rambo: First Blood Part II with a little Missing in Action thrown in for good measure. The script and dialogue here is hilarious, it was written in Italian then it was translated into English which made things interesting here. I am not insulting them at all when I say that, I am a huge fan of the two main writers for this. This married couple always provides some fun scenarios and scenes with their work. The Disneyland scene is so bad that it’s good, the way he describes it to the kid is classic material. Reb Brown probably will never be considered a good actor but he is perfect for these type of films. He had no problem being a B-movie action star during his popularity in cinema. He cracks me up when he screams as he kills everyone in Strike Commando. This one has a real solid body count and it gets brutal at times. Alex Vitale was a great villain counterpart to Brown’s hero in this, those two were very similar when it came their acting style. The supporting cast had a few familiar faces in it from other known genre features such as Christopher Connelly, Luciano Pigozzi, Louise Kamsteeg, Jim Gaines (Zombie 4), Massimo Vanni (Shocking Dark), Michael Welborn (Robowar), and William Berger (Keoma). Let’s be real, you don’t watch these 80’s action flicks for the acting, this one doesn’t try to win any awards in that department. They knew exactly what they were making with Strike Commando, it’s ridiculous and over the top which works here. This Rambo rip off has all kinds of replay value, this is a great movie to watch drunk with a group of friends. Turn off your brain and have a blast with this one, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Severin Films! These 1080p (1.85:1) transfers of both the theatrical and extended cuts mastered in 2K from the original negative are major improvements compared to all the past home video releases of this late 80’s Italian action feature. The extended cut is a little over 11 minutes longer than the other version on here. It has a few different audio options which includes English: LPCM 2.0 Mono and Italian: LPCM 2.0 Mono tracks on the disc. This one was very independent and low budget so it doesn’t stack up against the bigger films it knocked off but it does still have some explosive moments during the action here. The chaos has a solid boost, the dialogue is very clean, and the music is elevated here. It has English SDH subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Severin Films! “War Machine” is an almost 20 minute interview with co-writer and uncredited co-director Claudio Fragasso. In the middle of editing his brand new film, the Italian film maker sits down to discuss this feature. He goes over the locations, using stock footage, and local crew for it. He brings up that the army let them use real weapons and vehicles for this production. He admits it was a Rambo rip off. He chats about the cast and tells a few stories about them. He mentions that Strike Commando was very successful during it’s original release. “All Quiet on the Philippine Front” is a little over 13 minute interview with co-writer Rossella Drudi. She says that she never visited the set for this one. She talks about wanting to do her own original story for this but Bruno kept pushing for her to steal from the Rambo films. She mentions that her husband Claudio co-directed this one. She chats about the cast and how the film had success during it’s release. She brings up the balance of drama and action for it. She says they borrowed from a Bond villain for the inspiration of the one in Strike Commando. She mentions revisiting this one and that it actually still holds up good. It has a promotional and standard “Trailers” for the film. It’s available right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!