Monday, 8 March 2010
Order of the Eagle
ORDER OF THE EAGLE (1989)
Directed by: Thomas Baldwin
Written by: William Zipp
Starring: Frank Stallone, William Zipp, Jill Foors
Is Order the Eagle the best boy scout action film ever? Is it the only one? If so, then it is probably the best and the worst. Produced by 80s and early 90s low (low) budget action specialists Action International Pictures (AIP), Order of the Eagle features much of what their films were full of: bad acting, low budgets, ridiculous plots, all seemingly shot somewhere in Middle America. But thanks to a scenic setting, a novel (albeit, silly) premise, some pretty cool action and this viewers extremely high tolerance for crappy action movies, Order of the Eagle is actually a lot of fun.
Starting off as a flick about an Eagle Scout sent off into the woods to earn a badge for surviving in the wilderness or something, he stumbles on a crashed plane and a device containing some highly top secret and sought after disks. Suit wearing, city dwelling, bad guy Frank Stallone wants them back (for some reason or another) and sends off a team of crack tracker/assassins (read: goons with automatic weapons) into the wilderness to retrieve them and kill the scout. Fortunately, said scout runs into kindly, bearded, ex Vietnam soldier cum woodsman William Zipp, who helps him fight off the ever inept goons with machine guns.
Despite the fact that the acting is often awful; Frank Stallone disappears halfway through the flick and the main bad guy then becomes some weird English bloke complete with wellies (!) and an Indian tracker sidekick; the team of deadly assassins are a complete bunch of inept fools, even though they all get their own cool introductions to show how bad ass they are; and the whole flick is blatantly a vanity project for writer/producer/star William Zipp to show how awesome he is (despite spending most of the film running around in what appear to be ladies boots!), Order of the Eagle is pretty cool.
The makers use their location to good effect, the action is pretty tight, machine gun heavy and come the second half non stop and it all has a low rent charm about it. Hell, they even find time to squeeze in some nifty booby traps a la First Blood and some ninjas too. Awesome!
Who knows why the flick was sold on Frank Stallone and the whole Eagle Scout angle as both are abandoned barely halfway into the film but as a low budget, wilderness actioner quickie, Order of the Eagle is goofy, AIP produced fun.