Colonel Scott McCoy (Chuck Norris) and Major Bobby Chavez (Paul Perri) have been issued a new order by General Taylor (John P. Ryan): bring in the man responsible for all of the cocaine in the U.S., drug kingpin Ramon Cota (Billy Drago), in alive for a trial. They succeed, but Cota gets out on bail and after his court case, has Chavez’s pregnant wife and his brother both killed.
Chavez heads out on his own and is captured by Cota’s forces, tortured and killed. The DEA tries to stop Cota as well and they all get captured. San Carlos’s president Alcazar and his corrupt generals all benefit from the drugs and protect Cota, so McCoy has to go in on a stealth operation.
DEA Agent John Page (Richard Jaeckel) helps McCoy get his man, who keeps goading him into killing him, which is hilarious because McCoy just lets nature take its course by the end of the movie.
Chuck said of this, “I researched drug kingpins during the three years we worked to prepare for this movie and much of what I read convinced me that you’re dealing with unconscionable, truly vicious individuals.”
Originally known as Stranglehold, this was directed by Chuck’s brother Arron and written by Lee Reynolds (Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold).
Much of the film was shot at an unfinished hilltop mansion called the People’s Park in the Sky that Imelda Marcos started building in 1983 as a guest house for Ronald Reagan. Chuck said, “It had never been used. When Marcos was booted out, it was just left, an empty shell. We bought it, made $1 million worth of refurbishments, since it wasn’t in good shape, and even built a swimming pool. And then we blew it up.”
Sadly, there was a major tragedy during the making of this movie, as five crew members were killed in a helicopter accident. The film is dedicated to the memory of pilot Jojo Imperiale, stuntman Geoff Brewer, cameraman Gadi Danzig, key grip Mike Graham and gaffer Don Marshall. Chuck and Aaron gave blood at the hospital but there was no saving them. John P. Ryan and stuntman Matthew Gomez survived.
For more info on all three Delta Force movies, get Austin Trunick’s The Cannon Film Guide Volume 1: 1980-1984.