Philippine War Week II: Phantom Raiders (1988)

If you walked into Prime Time Video and went to the right instead of the horror room to the left, you’d hit the back wall where action films lived. Rocky, Rambo, John Matrix and the A list heroes were always out, which left you to search through the ranks of Dudikoff and O’Keefe and man, that isn’t a bad place to be.

Miles O’Keefe is Python Lang — man, what a name! — here and he’s part of a team sent to destroy a Viet Cong training base. If you’ve seen any movie made after the second Rambo, you know the drill, but you’re here and huts blow up and machine guns and training montages.

A thirty-page script for ninety minutes of action feel like this was written Marvel style and it works right from the beginning, as a group of Americans are forced to fight in death matches complete with machine guns ready to kill their fellow soldiers and punjabi spikes to the back and body slams into tiger cages and man, I’m down for whatever comes next.

Sonny Sims only directed one movie and this is it, the sum totality of everything he wanted to say, all laid out for your eyes to see. What he wanted to give us was O’Keefe teaching people how to use throwing stars because that’s why we didn’t win Vietnam. It was all that simple.

Imagine if Apocalypse Now had even less plot and Mike Monty (Double Target) instead of Brando. This is that movie. There are a lot of people out there that will tell you that this has no plot or character development and I can straight up tell you those people are morons. You don’t rent a third or fourth-tier action movie to solve the issues of the day, unless the issues are “this hut in the Philippines needs to blow up real good.”

You can watch this on YouTube.

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