CANNON MONTH 2: The Human Shield (1991)

During the Iran–Iraq War, U.S. Marine Colonel Doug Matthews (Michael Dudikoff) is training the Iraqi troops only to learn that America is an evil empire that often surrounds itself with even worse allies in the pursuit of blood for oil. Oh wait. I mean that he learns that some of the Iraqis, led by Ali Dallal (Steve Inwood), who are killing innocent people. He challenges Ali to a fight and loses.

Five years later, America’s enemies have changed because “The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.” Iraq has invaded Kuwait and Doug’s diabetic teacher brother Ben (Tommy Hinkley) is held hostage so that the Iraqi leader — you guessed it, Ali Dallal — can get one more shot at killing Doug.

Doug has some help, a Kurd named Tanzil (Uri Gavriel) and his ex-girlfriend, Lila (Hanna Azoulay-Hasfari) who is now married to Ali. Ah, what a tangled web!

This was the last film of director Ted Post, who everyone knows made Hang ‘Em High, Magnum Force and Beneath the Planet of the Apes, but I celebrate his TV movies like Night Slaves, Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate and Five Desperate Women as well as his Chuck Norris movie Good Guys Wear Black, the somewhat giallo Nightkill and, most essentially, The Baby.

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