Opposing Force (1986) Poster

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6/10
Everything Is Possible
claudio_carvalho15 May 2016
The veteran Major Logan (Tom Skerritt), Lieutenant Casey (Lisa Eichhorn) and a group of selected Air Force pilots go to an isolated island for training for prisoner of war. The team jumps out of the plane using parachute and they are captured in the island and sent to a camp under the direction of Commander Becker (Anthony Zerbe) and Sergeant Stafford (Richard Roundtree). Each pilot is submitted to torture and humiliation in very realistic situation, but pilot Botts (Robert Wightman) is selected as a kind of example of humiliation to the other prisoners. Becker unsuccessfully tries to convince the tough Lieutenant Casey to give up the training since he is not prepared to have a woman but she does not accept the request. When Logan learns that Becker raped Casey during the night, he realizes that Becker is insane and the training has become reality. Now Logan, Casey and Botts have to fight to survive.

"Opposing Force", a.k.a. "Hellcamp", is a full of action film about a group of elite soldiers that discover that their training is for real since the commander is insane. In 1986, this storyline seemed to be impossible, but in the present days the news informs many cases of accidents in realistic military training. Who knows? My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Força Oposta" ("Opposing Force")
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7/10
Wow
xredgarnetx13 January 2008
OPPOSING FORCE, better represented by its original title, HELLCAMP, draws its inspiration from THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME/ZARKOFF'S HOUNDS, and in turn clearly served as inspiration for G.I. JANE. Major Tom Skerritt joins a band of young elite soldiers, including a female (Lisa Eichorn), who are sent to a remote island for special training. They are quickly caught by soldiers stationed on the island and subjected to all sorts of realistic POW conditions: minimal food, frequent beatings, mind games, isolation units, forced marches and even waterboarding. No one breaks, least of all Eichorn, which infuriates the base commandant (Anthony Zerbe) who by his own admission has been on the island too long. He cracks under the strain and instead of ending the "exercise," ups the torture quotient, zapping Skerritt with electricity and raping Eichhorn. Zerbe's sergeant, played by Richard Roundtree, stands by and does nothing about any of this. Zerbe then sends Skerritt off into the jungle, pursued by his evil Asian henchman, played by steely-eyed George Cheung. Skerritt quickly turns the tables on the bad guys and pretty soon, it's all-out war between Zerbe's and Skerritt's men. Skerritt is terrific as always, and Eichorn play a proud and determined soldier who shows she can hold her own against the enemy. The film is quite graphic and contains large dollops of nudity and deaths. Full of unexpected twists and turns, HELLCAMP is well worth your time.
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Anthony Zerbe
LadyMarchHare7 December 2008
Zerbe scares the sh*t out of me again! Seriously, this guy plays menacing like few can. Not just a mindless hunter type of fear...his villains are cunning, his gaze unsettles and his smile sends shivers down your spine. This movie makes me cringe with his sadistic portrayal of Becker. A man who convinces himself that his actions toward the female prisoner are for her own good. He justifies everything he does to her and never seems to realize that he is doing these things because he wants to. That is frightening to watch.

Roundtree's character is disappointing. Too weak for a big man like him to play. He is, in essence, the Nazi, just following orders even though he knows they are wrong. By the time he wakes up to his cowardice, it is too late. But in the same vein as Zerbe's character, the tormentors have rationalized their actions, and as history shows us, this seems to be how these things play out. People under control, looking weak, held by people in authority who start abusing their power over them. I've seen the Iraq example given several times, or Gitmo. It is a fair comparison...so is the Nazi model.
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6/10
A good premise gone seriously astray
dinky-413 January 2008
They had the makings of a good movie here. A group of soldiers are taken out to a jungle camp for a rigorous P.O.W. survival course, but instead of a "controlled" experiment, they begin to suspect that the camp's commander has gone "over the edge" and is turning the experiment into a deadly reality. However, the premise is muddled by adding a female soldier to the mix, a choice which seems gimmicky and which throws off-balance the rest of the plot. (Ironically, the female angle is probably what "sold" the idea to the studio.) Some viewers may enjoy the male-bondage scenes but it's sad to read that the actor who plays Ripkin and is memorably shown tied bare-chested to a X-shaped cross committed suicide in 2001. Anthony Zerbe, America's answer to Frank Thring, is unimaginatively cast as the villain. And yes, the movie seriously weakens in the last 10 minutes.
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3/10
G.I. Jane meets Dr. Strangelove on the River Kwai
zBirdman7 May 2004
"Opposing Force [1986]" wasn't as good as "Dr. Strangelove" and it wasn't as good as "The Bridge on the River Kwai". Heck, it wasn't even as good as "G.I. Jane", which is pretty sad.

The film revolves around a basic ethical problem: In a simulated prisoner-of-war situation, how far can you go before you start breaking the law? What exactly IS the law in such a situation? How can you simulate the torture of someone without actually torturing someone? Can you intentionally inflict pain? How about breaking bones? Mock executions? Sexual abuse? Severe blood loss? Real guns with bullets? Death? Somewhere between these is a really fuzzy line dividing "acceptable" from "atrocious".

Now, what could you do if you found yourself in such a training program and the lines between simulation and reality begin to vanish? What could you do? This movie attempts to portray this dilemma.

I found it interesting to see the types of tactics used in "resistance training". I have a brother who went through the USAF's POW training program. According to him, it was pretty close to the mark technically.

The film has a fairly good premise, but it doesn't have a particularly good story. I wondered if it might be based on some actual event, but it became pretty apparent that it wasn't when the explosions started. They must have changed scriptwriters three quarters into the film, because it takes a real extreme turn and devolves into a somewhat pointless shoot-em-up with lots of distracting explosions.

I found it to have a rather unsatisfying ending; again, kind of pointless. I'm left wondering what the point of the whole thing was - I'm beginning to suspect there simply wasn't one. It could have been much better with just a little more story to go along with the fireworks.
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5/10
GI JANE without the US flag waving
slnixon3 July 2000
Tom Skeritt provides a surprisingly emotional performance as a military man that has been captured along with his platoon, including a female trainee/friend. When the base commander decides that the war games need to be more realistic and rapes the girl, the team realize that their only hope is to escape. The movie then becomes a kill or be killed hunt.

Violence, brief nudity, adult subject matter, coarse language
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6/10
Interesting concept
grahamsj316 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
The basic story line has been reviewed by nearly all the others, so I'll more or less skip that. But it is an interesting concept. It deals with the training of military personnel to deal with becoming a prisoner of war. Escape and evasion, refusing to answer questions even under the threat of torture and basic survival under primitive circumstances are all covered in this syllabus. When the film was made, the US had no women working anywhere near a combat area, but of course, that has now changed. With women now in combat situations, and having already had a couple of them become POW's, the question becomes how the heck to train them for possible capture? I'm not suggesting that POW training include rape or even stripping of the POW, but males going through the course are routinely stripped of every stitch of clothing. Should women be treated any differently? No....and yes. If the military gives the green light to clothing deprivation for female POW's, I believe that the captors would spend their time ogling naked women who were, (they'd think) put there for their enjoyment. It's a very sticky question, and one that is bound to arise. So far, the real captors of US women haven't sexually molested them, but it's only a matter of time. Recently, Americans have been accused of sexual torment of Iraqi POW's, not including rape. But had there been some female POW's who knows what might have happened. This film brings that question into specific relief and begs to be answered. Time will tell. It IS ironic that this film, so topical now, was made a while back!
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5/10
Hell Camp because, war is hell
Chase_Witherspoon26 July 2010
Strong cast elevates this otherwise minor action-thriller into something halfway decent. An elite army force is sent to a remote island to simulate extreme combat conditions, in order to prepare physically and emotionally for active duty. Once there, they're quickly captured and subjected to inhumane treatment which soon becomes criminal in the extreme. The camp commander's inscrutable methods have long been feared, but not until now is the whole gamut of his atrocities and sadism exposed. When head captive Logan (Skerritt) finally realises the crimes that are being perpetrated against his outfit, he goes berserk and demands and end to the simulation, but of course the psychotic camp commander Becker (played by crazy-eyed Anthony Zerbe, a fine actor better than this material) remains 'in character' (so to speak), and keen to erase any suspicion of wrong-doing.

The curve ball to all this is that one of Skerritt's men, is, well, a woman (Eichhorn). Her place in the team already under heavy scrutiny and unfavourable with the men, she finds herself the easy target for Zerbe to exploit. Zerbe is convincing, if somewhat one-dimensional, while Roundtree as his straight-shooting offsider provides much needed balance. George Cheung is chilling as an ex-Viet Cong assassin used by Zerbe to prowl the jungles in search of human prey. Eichhorn doesn't have the easiest of roles to play, her character subjected to constant indignities, although she still manages to project femininity and vulnerability in spite of her macho GI Jane persona.

"Hell Camp" does begin to deteriorate in the second half, as Zerbe's megalomania becomes all consuming, and the sadistic brand of torture he employs is sure to be objectionable to many audiences, particularly the female cohort. Good cast, but not enough restraint in managing the violence, which ultimately becomes gratuitous and vulgar - the climax and conclusion also less than satisfying. Proceed with caution.
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6/10
Becker's World
sol12188 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
**SPOILER ALERT** Almost unknown little action movie that's some twenty years ahead of its time in showing the public how prisoners are treated in an enemy or allied POW camp.

In conditioning a group US servicemen and one woman to the rigors of prison life their not only tortured and humiliated by their captors but water-boarded and driven almost insane with ear-splitting sounds and music to deprive them of their sleep. These are the very same tactics we read about and see in both todays newspapers and on TV. Tactics that are being imposed on enemy combatants in both Gitmo-Guantanamo-and Abu Ghraib prison by the US military and CIA.

The group of US Military volunteers going under this inhuman and degrading treatment by Cpt. Becker, Anthony Zerbe, didn't know just what they were in for. It's that the Captain was not only an egomaniac but a psychotic as well. Brutally breaking down the helpless prisoners Becker found the only woman among them Lt. Casey, Lisa Eichhorn, a real challenge for him. In that Casey was by far the toughest of the bunch of POW he was in charge of.

After failing in everything he and his men could do to brake the plucky young womens will Capt. Becker came up with this "brilliant" idea of having Lt. Casey raped like in a real held by the enemy prisoner scenario with him of course doing the raping! When this got out to those fellow POW's who were imprisoned with Lt. Casey it lead to a prison uprising that sent Capt. Backer and his tin pot dictatorship, or Becker's World as he liked to call it, blowing up in his, and his fellow goons, face!

The passive prisoners lead by Major Logan, Tom Skerritt, took control of the prison, or Camp Becker, as Becker's men were out in the jungle looking for Major Logan. It was Major Logan who escaped and killed one of Becker's goons, Tuang played by George Chenug, earlier in the film.

Lt. Casey who despite all she went through by being raped beaten and humiliated by Becker and his men refused to break under the pressure. Left for days standing up in a "tiger cage" Lt. Casey, reused by Logan, still refused preferential treatment and went out in the unfriendly jungle to take on Becker and his men. Casey did this literally, she almost lost her right arm from a blast from a M-16, singlehandedly!

Besides the usual blood & Guts action scenes, that happened in the last fifteen minutes of the movie, it was without a doubt Lsia Eichhorn's portrayal of the gusty Lt. Casey that made the movie "Opposing Force" worth watching. Lt. Casey's courage wasn't in her, at the end of the film, Rambo-style ability to take on and defeat Capt. Becker and his men at their own game. It was her courage and determination to take everything Becker & Co. could dish out at her and refuse to break under it and still end up being he last man or in Lt. Casey's case woman standing!
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6/10
A timely concept; decent flick
smatysia7 April 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Lisa Eichhorn does some quite good work here, her emotional responses to the (SPOILER AHEAD) rape. Rape is always a tough thing for a movie to tackle, as the visceral horror is just too close for comfort. This scene, like most others I've seen, are a little hard to watch. However, I just never found her all that believable as an Air Force officer. Tom Skerritt was his usual journeyman, quality, believable work without flashiness. This one has a number of obvious plot holes, but then I guess there wouldn't be much to have a movie about otherwise. I found it somewhat timely now that we seem to regularly have women captured in wartime. I think we need to have a national dialogue on whether this is acceptable, rather than sweeping under the rug the fact that we ask young women to run the risk of sexual torture. I accept a fair amount of the original feminist agenda, but I think this goes too far. In my opinion, (oink, oink) women are just too important to waste in war. As to the movie, Grade: C-
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6/10
Better than GI Jane
oscardix24 July 2002
This film, i think i've seen it twice, is actually a really entertaining movie. Your really feel the hatred for Commendant Becker, and the suffering of the in-training POW's.

Tom Skerritt is good as always, he must be one of the best low budget actors there is.

Well worth seeing.
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5/10
"You've got a limp and I've got tits. These aren't great things to have in the military."
utgard147 May 2014
A group of soldiers, including one woman, go on a training exercise on an island where they are hunted down and captured by sadistic Anthony Zerbe and his troops. Things get out of control and Zerbe subjects his prisoners to abuse and torture. What starts out as a decent idea for a military action-thriller turns into an exploitation flick that isn't much fun. Tom Skerritt is the only one of the good guys with any kind of personality, though he does little with it. Lisa Eichhorn is dull as dishwater. Richard Roundtree is wasted. Anthony Zerbe's performance is the whole show. If this had been made by Cannon, perhaps it would have been a little more fun. Still, it's watchable throughout. I was never bored. Ending sucks, though.
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2/10
One nice thing about watching free movies on Comcast On Demand....
BigBabe03 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
It's like playing a video in that one can stop the running of it, or fast forward or reverse it. Since really the only reason to watch this is to see Lisa Eichhorn get abused in various ways, I was able to zip from one such sequence to the next one. If you're interested in the plot, which I guess I can't call a rip off of "GI Jane" since the latter came along about a decade later, but that's what it feels like: Ms Eichhorn (who apparently is best known for not playing the Shelley Long part in "Cheers") is "Casey," an air force officer who has volunteered for some super macho training course, apparently meant to remind us of the real life SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) undergone by various commando types. Naturally she's the only woman taking the course. After the commander of the base (like the Scott Wilson character in "GI Jane") kindly warns her that he can do nothing whatsoever to protect her as the only woman involved, she's off to the races. Eichhorn has a kind of nice sisterly persona to her, but I didn't detect any of the inner steeliness that a woman would need to join the military in the first place and then volunteer for a course like this. Casey pairs off with an avuncular middle-aged major played by the usually reliable Tom Skerritt who unfortunately seems to be "phoning in" his lines here, like most of the rest of the cast. In due course they get "captured" (not much instruction in "evasion" is offered) and then this movie comes to life somewhat with the arrival of the Anthony Zerbe character, who deserves a new paragraph break.

Mr Zerbe is a personal hero of mine, now 74 with over a hundred titles on IMDb to his credit, mostly on TV and almost inevitably as the bad guy (although he did get to be the wise old "councillor" in a couple of the "Matrix" flicks). I've been enjoying his unique brand of smarmy menace since the 1970's. His characters sneer at any kind of "back story" or "motivation," they're just out to do you as much dirt as they can without even letting you have the consolation of thinking you're getting a rise out of them. Here he's "Becker," in charge of the training course (fascistic military types need a German surname, of course) who manages to function with no oversight from the brass whatsoever and (like Colonel Kurtz in "Apocalypse Now," also filmed in the Philippines) has gone off the deep end with his subordinates playing right along; maybe there was something toxic in the water supply? Of course he has it in for Casey from the get go; his scenes with her are pure Grand Guignol and worth the wait, especially with that handy fast forwarding. He has her "waterboarded" at one point (I don't recall even hearing that term until the Bush administration), stripped, de-loused, locked in cages etc. and in the piece de resistance, has her bound and gagged on the floor so he can "have his way" with her; this latter is rather minimally filmed, but sometimes less actually is more. (By the way the male soldiers in the course are also abused in various ways, but let's 'fess up, we're not watching it to see them.) This finally pushes the major over the edge; he leads the others in revolt, lots of people get shot etc. The violence is handled curiously flatly; overall there's a cheap made for TV quality to the whole enterprise; even the Philippine jungle that was such an important component of those Pam Grier prison flicks seems pretty tame here. Beyond the actors already mentioned, Richard Roundtree as Zerbe's chief underling has some fun barking invective at the captives; he has even more acting credits than Zerbe, but who knows him as anybody but Shaft? So bottom line, if you have about half an hour to kill (and don't have to pay separately for it), there's enough watchable material in "Opposing Force" to occupy about that much of your time...
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9/10
Marred by the Ending
david_barnett120 October 2005
Without saying how it ended, it is sufficient to say that the whole thing degenerates from about five minutes before the end. If the standard had been maintained throughout, the movie would be worth a seven.

One wonders in a way why a woman was added to the cast. (Well - not really!) The premise is a good one The situation the victims find themselves in is pretty terrifying and it's rather well done, but you get the impression the makers of the film lost interest towards the end, or as a previous contributor said, they changed writers and handed over to someone else.
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6/10
A mixed bag of torture and madness .......
merklekranz12 September 2019
"Opposing Force", or "Hell Camp" can be divided in half. The first half is honestly quite boring as volunteers for a secret military experiment on P.O.W. torture are degraded and tortured like you have seen in dozens of war films. Only here it lasts for just short of an hour. Anthony Zerbe is the Commander running the "Hell Camp", along with Richard Roundtree. Until Zerbe completely loses it and rapes Lisa Eichhorn, nothing much happens except the usual P.O.W. stuff. The rape sets off a rebellion and escape that turns the movie into a chase in the jungle similar to any "Most Dangerous Game" clone. While the second half is definitely better than the first, everything about "Opposing Force" is so familiar, that it all becomes a "so what". - MERK
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