CANNON MONTH 2: Hell Squad (1985)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Hell Squad was not produced by Cannon but was sold on videotape by Cannon / MGM/UA Home Video.

Whether you call this Hell Squad, Commando Squad and Commando Girls, this film presents you with a very realistic military mission: a group of Las Vegas showgirls train to rescue Jack (Glen Hartford), the son of a diplomat who has discovered the existence of an ultra neutron bomb that wipes out people and animals but not buildings.

Jim (Walter Cox) is the man who will train Jan (Bainbridge Scott, who is also in the similar Mankillers) and her girls and get this, they get paid $500 a week and $25,000 when they bring back Jack. That’s nowhere near the money they should be making!

Hell Squad was directed and written by Kenneth Hartford (The Lucifer ComplexMonstroid), a notorious carny type who started as a film distributor as Herts-Lion International Corp. One of the movies he had was Carnival of Souls and if you guessed that Herk Harvey never saw any money because of Hartford, well, hooray for Hollywood.

You may also say, “Isn’t this movie just The Doll Squad?” Well, yes. That’s also Ted Milkas’ castle that the girls attack at one point.

It’s amazing because the plot of this movie is very much this: girls get mission, girls kill terrorists, girls go back to the hotel and take a bubble bath together while Jack gets abused, repeat.

The funniest part of the whole thing is the Scooby-Doo ending where the evil leader gets his mask ripped off and we learn that it was really Jack’s secretary all along. Jack just sighs and says, “I’m shocked. It just goes to show you can work with a person and never really get to know them.”

Video Junkie even reports that comic book writer Don Glut was the actual writer and got screwed over. Are you surprised? How about the fact that Glut wouldn’t give the ending away until he got paid, which is why the last thirty minutes get so weird?

As for the Hell Squad, they are played by Tina Lederman, Maureen Kelly (who was in some episodic TV), Penny Prior, Lisa Nottingham, Loren Chamberlain, Kathy Jinnett, Kimberly Baucum (who is also in the Sylvia Kristel movie The Arrogant) and Madeline Parquette (who did a few small parts in movies like Casino and a Disney TV movie You Ruined My Life; she played a card dealer in both).

So if you love female soldiers being forged out of showgirls, bubble baths or like me need to see every movie Cannon had something to do with, Hell Squad has what you need.

PS: Gregory Conley sent me this on Twitter:

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