Strike Commando 2 (aKa Trappola diabolica and Heroin Force) is a 1988 war film directed by Bruno Mattei (Hell of the Living Dead, Rats: Night of Terror, Cruel Jaws, Women’s Prison Massacre, The Other Hell, Violence in a Women’s Prison, Zombie 3, Shocking Dark, Robowar, Night Killer, and Strike Commando) and Claudio Fragasso (Monster Dog, Night Killer, Zombie 4, Beyond Darkness , Troll 2, and Scalps). It’s a direct sequel to 1987’s Strike Commando. It was written by Rossella Drudi and Claudio Fragasso (Strike Commando, Zombie 3, Shocking Dark, Violence in a Women’s Prison, Robowar, Hell of the Living Dead, Double Target, Born to Fight, The Crawlers, and Cop Game). It was shot back to back with Zombie 4: After Death using some of the same cast, crew, and equipment. The original Strike Commando is now available on blu ray from Severin Films, check out my review here!!!!
Sgt Mike Ransom (played by: Brent Huff from Gwendoline, Cop Game, Born to Fight, The Rookie, Black Scorpion, and Oblivion 2: Backlash) is back again in the jungle trying to save squad leader Maj. Vic Jenkins (played by: Richard Harris from Orca, The Wild Geese, Major Dundee, Unforgiven, Patriot Games, and Gladiator) that’s been captured by a group of drug smuggling terrorists. He is being held for hostage for some very rare and expensive diamonds. The one man wrecking crew battles the KGB, rogue CIA agents, and an army of ninjas as he tries to get his friend back. He is stuck working with a tough bar owner named Rosanna Boom (played by: Mary Stavin from Octopussy, A View to a Kill, House, Caddyshack II, and Howling V: The Rebirth) to complete his deadly mission. Ransom has been through hell and back, it’s time to get some revenge. Can he make it out alive again or has his luck finally ran out????
Strike Commando 2 starts out slow compared the first film. It definitely picks up later on and it rewards you for your patience. It’s more story and dialogue driven for most of the film. The other one was non stop action and stunts, this sequel builds it all up until the last act. This is more of a Raiders of the Lost Ark and Romancing the Stone rip off rather than Rambo like the original. Reb Brown is replaced by Brent Huff for this follow up. Honestly, he’s not as good as Brown in the Ransom role but he fits this type of sub-genre. He is there for the action when it actually kicks in and not really the acting which is a little ironic because like I said this one is more about that aspect rather than being loaded with bullets and explosions like last time. I am shocked that Richard Harris did Strike Commando 2 to be honest but he’s the best thing about this low budget production. No matter what material he gets, Harris always delivers a quality performance and this late 80’s action flick is no different. Former Bond girl Mary Stavin is top notch eye candy and she is a solid sidekick to Ransom. She actually makes Huff’s performance better than it should be due to their chemistry here. Strike Commando 2 has more a few familiar faces which includes Ottaviano Dell’Acqua (Zombie 2/3/4), Massimo Vanni (Shocking Dark), Vic Diaz (The Big Bird Cage), Luciano Pigozzi (Strike Commando), Jim Gaines (Robowar), and Michael Welborn (Strike Commando). It’s refreshing to see a sequel that’s really different compared to the original. The first one is far superior but it’s a still fun and entertaining action flick, 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. This is the very first time that this late 80’s Italian action feature has been released on blu ray in the entire world. The extended cut is a little over 6 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 finale here. The jungle action 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! “Guerrilla Zone” is an almost 17 minute interview with co-writer and co-director Claudio Fragasso. He chats about the original having success so they got three times the budget for this sequel. He talks about upping the production value and making it more Americanized. He talks about it not doing as good as the first time because it was much different. He brings up directing and working with Richard Harris for this. It’s in Italian with English subtitles. “Michael Ransom Strikes Back” is a little over 14 minute interview with lead actor Brent Huff. He says that he replaced Reb Brown for the role due to a scheduling conflict. He talks about them filming Strike Commando 2 during the day and Zombie 4 at night. He was dating the lead actress for Zombie 4 at the time so they didn’t see each other much because they were working at opposite times. He chats about working with Richard Harris and Mary Stavin. He tells a few stories about them including Mary staying up all night at the casino then going straight to the set to work with no rest. He mentions that he is still friends with her. He jokes about killing the same stunt man in Strike Commando 2 about 6 times at various moments during the feature. He got really sick doing a scene that they didn’t use in the final cut. He chats about some of the other work that he did overseas. It has a “Trailer” for Strike Commando 2″. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!