BRUNO MATTEI WEEK: Strike Commando 2 (1988)

Only the genius — or madness — of Bruno Mattei, Claudio Fragasso and Rossella Drudi could take a Rambo ripoff made in the Philippines and decide to add ninjas, the KGB and no small amount of inspiration from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Sgt. Michael Ransom’s (Brent Huff!) owes a debt of honor to his Vietnam squad leader Vic Jenkins (Richard Harris!), who has been captured by heroin-selling terrorists who want ten million dollars worth of diamonds. Now, everyone is going to pay.

How else can I sell this movie to you? Oh yeah, Vic Diaz is in it! Plus, the Strike Commando works with a girl he meets in a bar who is in the midst of a drinking contest named Rosanna Boom. Yes, that’s her name, but I’d forgive you if you called her Marion Ravenwood. She swears more than me, which is saying something, and is played by 1977 Miss World Mary Stavin, who was also in Mattei’s Born to FightA View to a KillHouse and Adam Ant’s video for “Strip.”

Italian stalwarts Ottaviano Dell’Acqua and Massimo Vanni are also in this movie, which was shot at the same time as Zombie 4: After Death. And speaking of recycling, a lot of the jungle action here also shows up in Mattei’s Cop Game, which is also beloved in my world.

The movie has a great twist which I didn’t see coming. Then I realized that the movie had been missing one of the essential Rambo ingredients. We had not yet seen our hero get tortured. Yes, like a southern tag team babyface, he must sell and sell to build for his comeback on the man who has turned heel on him, then emerge from the mud and the blood and the filth and unleash unholy hell on people who only care about diamonds when the Strike Commando’s one true love is the unending thrill of bullets, brawls and blowing things up real good.

You have no idea how excited I am that Severin is releasing a 4K version of this movie.

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