Monday, December 14, 2009

Apocalypse Mercenaries (1986)

A couple of months back I was looking around a Best Buy store and a friend noticed a stack of about 15 copies of something called Inglorious Bastards 2: Hell's Heroes. I had no idea that there was a sequel to Enzo G. Castellari's 1978 action movie, and after about 30 seconds of research I found out there isn't. Apparently Video Asia who owns the distribution rights to Hell's Heroes decided to capitalize on the recent interest of films called Inglorious Bastards, and slapped it in front of the title. I then realize this DVD is a set of four action films dealing with war as BASTARDS did. The package contained no information about these movies at all except for their titles and I figured they'd at least be cheesy fun.

Cut to today where I finally popped the disc into the player and decided on Leandro Lucchetti's APOCALYPSE MERCENARIES. I had no familiarity with Lucchetti or the film so all I was hoping for was entertainment for its 85 minute runtime.

The film starts out as a group of 5 mercenaries, each with a specific specialty, get together to do something. What that something was took a while to figure out. After getting through the credits which showed much of the action which was to come, including the same bridge blowing up no less than three times, were finished, it took another forty minutes to get to plot. Those first forty minutes were nothing but the group walking around encountering something and blowing it up. An airstrip, some barrels, a bridge, anything that the Nazis used they were destroying it. I would estimate that at least half of everything up to this point was recycled footage from at least a few other movies, all of which was extremely poorly edited in.

Eventually a plot is revealed, the mercs are going to destroy a secret Nazi hideout built into some caves. So now our heroes have a reason to be carrying large guns which have taken down German bomber planes and turned them to dust, and dynamite which they use without thinking twice. Its more of the same, as the group fights to get to the cave, and by this point I've honestly all interest in the movie. There was one scene that made laugh though. The Nazis had intercepted a radio transmission from the mercenaries and sent bombers to their camp. The camp was in an open green field. The camera cuts to a shot of one of the members on a radio calling for help and you can see outside of his tent and there is clearly snow on the ground, it cuts back to the bombs hitting the ground and its green. After a few chuckles I realized that this whole movie was just sad. Yes, our heroes saved the day and defeated this group of Nazis but I couldn't have cared less.

I've seen a lot of bad action movies and this ranks up there. It wasn't the worst but there really wasn't much redeeming about it. The acting was terrible, the dubbing sounded like they were just reading from a book, a large chunk of the whole movie wasn't even made for this movie. I was hoping for fun, I got a nap-inducing crap fest. I hope the other three movies in the DVD set are better, but I'm not expecting it.


And to add to my disdain for this movie I can't find a poster or any type of artwork from the movie to include in this entry. What a joke.

Edit to add: Just learned that Video Asia is a company widely known for bootlegs. Not a surprise at all since the video was obviously sourced from a VHS in not too great of shape and had burned in Asian subtitles. Just a heads up to any of you DVD buyers out there, watch out for Video Asia.

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