Mill Creek Drive-In Classics: The Firing Line (1988)

It’s a Reb Brown joint. He gets kicked to second-lead and replaced by a helicopter. Gene obviously had something to do with it.

Look. It’s a foregone conclusion we’re watching a Jun Gallardo — who is doing his thing as Jim Goldman this time around — Philippines pastiche of a Stallone and Arnie joint. The fact that it stars an ex-TV Captain America and Gene Simmons’s ex-Playmate mate is icing on the Siopao.

As usual, well, not always: sometimes we are in Vietnam in these movies. This time, we are in the Philippine-doubling jungles of Central America where a U.S. military advisor becomes disillusioned by the brutality and corruption of the Central American government which hired him to straighten out the usual sociopolitical gambit. So Reb Brown, aka Mark Hardin, switches sides. When the government learns he sympathizes with the rebels: he’s jailed and tortured. With the help of an imprisoned hot blonde (cue Ms. Tweed), they break out and kick ass . . . and in Shannon’s case: bitch, screech and whine in a torture worse than any corrupt central American government can diabolically deploy.

The “more” meaning Reb Brown. At least Rutger Hauer wasn’t in a movie with Shannon — or Gene would have him box-bumped, too.

On the plus side: we are in a real and not plastic jungle. And there’s real military equipment. And real helicopters. But knowing our Philippine war flicks like we do: we know it’s all cut in from another film and probably one of Godfrey Ho’s, Teddy Page’s, or Cirio H. Santiago’s, let alone one of Mr. Goldman’s own films.

The DVDs of this are easily found in the bins at your local “everything is a dollar” emporium. The reality is that much was spent on the film: one dollar . . . with bad everything across all of the film disciplines. But Reb Brown (Yor Hunter from the Future) was washed up (in Hollywood, not our analog beating hearts) and the Italians weren’t calling . . . and thank god Shannon had Gene’s KISS spoils to live a decent life. Yeah, Shannon, “We’ve had enough of this sh*t,” too. But there’s always Reb tearin’ it up in Robowar.

It’s all part of Mill Creek’s “Drive-In Classic” that’s also available on You Tube.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

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