Another day…another Leandro Lucchetti film! Today we have another review from TOUGH TO KILL-THE ITALIAN ACTION EXPLOSION, this time written by the master of Hutsploitation, Paul Cooke! Paul is also the webmaster of the amazing BALLISTIC BLOOD BULLETS blog, so check it out.
For me, this is by far the least of the Lucchetti films, missing out on the trademarked sleaze and loaded up with stock footage. But everyone starts somewhere and if nothing else we have the LANDGREN LUNGE to enjoy!
Exploding into Action before the opening credits get to cry out his name comes star Karl Landgren, armed with an inflammable back pack and sporting a flame thrower spewing out the hot stuff like an over indulgent drinker the morning after the new years eve party. His dead pan expression shows he means business as he flushes out an enemy soldier base camp during World War II. The mercenary apocalypse has begun!
The star roster scrolls out a list of recognisable Action favourites, teamed together as mercenaries to fight for the republican troops. Their mission is to locate and eliminate a Nazi command HQ that is central to the organised assaults against the Yugoslavian Liberation Army. Vassili Karis is the experienced team leader of a crack unit of specialist men and is known simply as Mister. His elite combo of men consists of Landgren as the do or die soldier armed to the hilt with heavy artillery, a pilot, a field surgeon and an explosives and demolition expert called Priest. This is no ordinary holy man as he has a self established interpretation of the bible, making up poignant psalms as effortlessly as piecing together devices of destruction.
The often used old film stock gives the movie a grainy authenticity that is appropriate to the films setting adding a texture that has the feel of wartime. The Bosnian hills give credence to the time period setting as Mister’s men hike the terrain as foot soldiers, sneaking past Nazi patrols in stealthy pursuit of their objective. They break from their objective to administer retribution upon a German officer who takes sadistic pleasure in raping and torturing a local young woman. Just before the pretty young woman dies from her vicious attack she tells of a train delivering arms to the German soldiers, camouflaged as a Red Cross Hospital transport.
The Action heats up as the crack commandos act upon the information relayed to them and raid an airstrip where Nazi troop planes await orders to lay siege. A shoot out soon follows with Karl Landgren coming into his own as he proves to be just as adept with a Big knife as he takes out a German soldier before igniting the flamethrower, stoically delivering the classic line ‘Excuse me Kraut I need a light’. Cue exploding aeroplanes as ‘The Eagle Has Landgren’d!’
Karis and Landgren lead the mercenaries into the enemy cave complex codenamed The Eagles Nest. As they fight to secure the HQ outside the air assault is put into disarray by the daring assault, aiding the Yugoslavian troops as they engage the enemy in ground force combat. With Priest blessing his handiwork of explosively set charges time ticks down for the surviving team of heroes to escape from the cavernous command centre, just as the encroaching German soldiers realise they have been compromised.
Star Vassili Karis is as commanding in his role as he is in his performance, alongside the bravado of Karl Landgren as the fearless freedom fighter with flawless follicles. Brushing shoulders with the bad guys these two stand out in an undemanding yet watch able entry , in a rarer than most war ‘B’ movie release that is well worth seeking out. The story and acting may be wooden but it’s the type of wood that whittles away ninety minutes of mindlessly fun entertainment, leaving no mental scar nor splinter to remind you of a bad experience.
3 Exploding Huts