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A fashion photographer and seven models travel to a South American island fortress, ostensibly to do a fashion shoot. In reality, the photographer is a mercenary, and their job is to free an imprisoned rebel leader.Written by
The monologue by Rallis (José Ferrer) was originally meant to be longer. The crew ended up shooting a rehearsal of Ferrer's revised monologue based on a suggestion by Ferrer. Ferrer's monologue was one hundred percent flawless. See more »
Gisele Sivi! One of these days, you'll oil your body and wrestle with me.
You're not even in my league, shitface!
You're lucky you have visitors around. But they can't stay forever. When they leave, you come to my room and I'll put out my cigarette on your nipples.
[Sivi spits on the floor by way of response]
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You couldn't make it up. Except they did: it took two guys to write the story of Frank Ryan, a tough mercenary (played by the inimitable Brian Thompson) who's hired to rescue a foreign rebel leader, and does so by teaming up with a bevy of hot female agents and posing as a gay fashion photographer on a location shoot. Thompson even gets to kiss Oliver Reed and then shoot all his bodyguards.
Every line is a classic. Random quote: "Murder, blood, and paranoia are going to make fine company where you're going." The direction is equal to the words. Nico Mastorakis (aided by Peter Rader) is a trash auteur of Albert Pyun proportions and aside from some okay Steadicam shots the movie is as flat as painted brickwork.
Reed plays the bad guy, Bartos, with an outrageous Johnny Foreigner accent and that walrus moustache of his. He's keeping the rebel leader captive and somehow can't see through the good guys' ruse. Too busy molesting his female staff, perhaps. Meanwhile, Frank's boss is played by George Kennedy, who you'll remember foaming at the mouth in The Naked Gun.
The editing is in a league of its own awfulness. There's a scene early on when Frank is creeping into Bartos's office, and we keep cutting back to the party downstairs for half a second at a time. It's not tense, it's just jarring. And in the final shootout it's virtually impossible to tell who's shooting who.
All of this should add up to a dismal movie, but there's too much fun and conviction and energy for it to be wholly dismissed. Kind of like Plan 9 in that regard. And there's a legitimately great scene where Frank is reporting back to the boss on a bugged line, so he's having to convey his progress via fashion metaphors - "Cosmo are 'dying' to meet!" Unfortunately there's not enough action, and precious little peril, to achieve the Commando gold standard of 80s action movie rewatchability. (Well, it just snuck into 1990.) What there's plenty of is camp, including numerous big-haired fashion shoot/military training montages and more than one raucous female prison. Plus henchmen so stupid they make video game A.I. of the time look smart. Oh yes, and the worst sex scene in film history, complete with actual pan pipes.
Put this one on your 'So Bad It's Good' shelf. It's objectively terrible but somehow irresistible.
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