Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Hunt for Eagle One: Crash Point


Directed by
: Henry Crum
Screenplay: Michael Henry Carter
Starring: Mark Dacascos, Theresa Randle & Jeff Fahey

Much like the first Hunt for Eagle One this quickie sequel stacks on some sweet military jungle action despite a threadbare budget and plot. Dacascos and Randle are back as their characters from the first flick but good ole Rutger Hauer seems to have jumped ship and been replaced by good ole Jeff Fahey. He’s the gruff general on the sidelines barking orders and delivering a monotone voiceover. Meanwhile, Dacascos and his crew are sent off into the jungle and various shantytowns looking for an evil despot who has a device that is capable of crashing commercial airline jets. Having been the damsel in distress in the first film, Randle tags along with Dacascos and his team getting in on the action this time around. Gunfire aplenty follows.

Again much like the first film, Crash Point takes a good twenty minutes or so before it really gets going with some cheap looking credits, lots of stock footage and Fahey rambling on before the soldiers are sent on their mission. Once out in the jungles the flick sets a good pace and production values seem to improve, the filmmakers obviously spending their money (or what money they had) on the hunt-for-the-bad guy mission part of the story. It’s all pretty straightforward tough and gruff military stuff with some cheesy tough talk thrown in. The cast don’t get much more to do than run and shoot and Fahey pops up now and again to tell everyone how important the mission is.

Despite the low rent feel The Hunt for Eagle One films are pretty entertaining. Crash Point arguably has superior, tenser and better-sustained action scenes than the first film, with several running gun battles adding some much needed oomph to proceedings as well as effectively padding out the running time. A big gun battle that takes place at the enemy’s jungle compound (a set/location recycled from the previous film) and the epic chase/shootout through the maze like streets of a shantytown are the highlights and are impressively staged. Incorporating military tactics with chase thrills (and lots of gunfire) these action scenes are exciting stuff. As mentioned Randle gets in on the action this time around and Dacascos even gets a nifty little fight scene towards the end, an aspect which was sorely missing from the first instalment.

The Hunt for Eagle One films are low budget Roger Corman produced films for sure (meaning they are equal parts naff and awesome!) and will probably appeal more to the military action nut but with an always watchable genre cast and decent amounts of well executed action they’re worth a look.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Lunar Cop

LUNAR COP (1994)

Directed by
: Boaz Davidson
Screenplay: Terence Pare
Starring: Michael Pare, Billy Drago & Walker Brandt

Cop. Beverly Hills Cop. Robocop. Manic Cop. Psycho Cop. Omega Cop. New York Cop. Cyborg Cop. And, yes, even…Lunar Cop. Yep, the moon has only gone and got itself a police force in this mega barmy mid-90s Nu Image action-fest. It’s the future, the earth has been scorched and a portion of the human race (mainly rich douche bags!) live on the moon hoping to one-day return to earth. This dream may just be around the corner with the development of some kind of special formula/serum (I forget what it was called!) that can make the earth habitable again (or was it destroy it?). Anyways, the rich douche bag’s pack off their best moon cop (Pare) to earth to find said serum (once he’s kicked some ass on the moon thwarting off some terrorist types!) and when he gets there he discovers there are many humans already living and sustaining life on the once destroyed earth. However, there is also an evil biker gang causing trouble, led by the always manic Billy Drago, and as this is a 90s Nu Image sci-fi flick, the evil moon guys send down a cyborg (Nu Image sure loved their cyborgs in the 90s!) to make even more trouble for our lunar cop hero.

Now only a small portion of the film actually takes place on the moon (which includes some hilariously groovy miniature work) as Lunar Cop is basically just an excuse for another Mad Max rip-off/rampaging motorcycle gang action flick. Sure our cop hero is from the moon and dispenses knuckle-busting justice but this flick is your standard post-apocalyptic sci-fi nonsense. Well it’s better than standard as, while it is nonsense, it’s actually a lot of fun, decently made and stuffed to the gills with stunt heavy action goodness. Along with Billy Drago bringing his usual loony brilliance (he kills several people, attempts to rape the heroine and gets set on fire all within his first few minutes on screen!) and Michael Pare delivers one line of dialogue at a time before punching someone in the face or blasting them with his trusty sawn-off, Lunar Cop is jammed with all kinds a vehicular mayhem, stunt packed action, and gunfire that rarely lets up.

Decently shot (in the African desert) and with some impressive production values for a low budget film, Lunar Cop hardly ever lets up in its action goodness. Since it’s basically a Mad Max action film/post apocalyptic biker movie, the flick has a heavy dose of impressive motorcycle stunt mayhem. The stunt crew are certainly put through their paces and when folks aren’t crashing or falling of motorcycles they’re gunning down everyone and everything in sight. In fact, the action reaches an exciting crescendo when Drago and his gang make their final attack on the heroes compound in an impressively sustained onslaught of action. Then, the cyborg shows up and we get plenty of bone crunching, being thrown through walls, fist fighting action, as Pare has to kill it over and over again. Awesome.

Subtle it ain’t but Lunar Cop does have a cop from the moon, a shootout set on the moon and enough done-for-real-no-CGI motorcycle mayhem and gun-toting action (that Nu Image did so well in the 90s) that it’s an absolute hoot.


The Warrior's Way

Check out my new review of The Warrior's Way over at Far East Films.