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Review – Raw Force

December 16, 2007

I may now suicide – for I have seen the Greatest Movie Ever.

The Plot: A gang of human trafficers led by Thomas Speer (a luminous Ralph Lombardi)…

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kidnap young girls in the Phillipines and deliver them to the monks on Warrior’s Island (the burial ground for Disgraced Martial Artists!) for hundreds of pounds of raw jade per delivery.  The monks eat these poor women, which gives them the power to raise these Disgraced Martial Artists from the dead to do the monk’s bidding.

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Meanwhile, in Long Beach, a group of studly karate practitioners from the Burbank Karate Club led by Vietnam Vet Mike O’Malley (Geoff Binney) are off for a cheap cruise in the Phillipines.

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Here they meet the Maude-like owner of the ship, Hazel (Hope Holiday), the gruff Captain Dodds (Cameron Mitchell), foxy four-year vet of the LAPD SWAT team Cookie (Jillian Kesner), Ann (Jennifer Holmes) and her drunk husband Lloyd (Carl Anthony), Go Chin (Rey King) martial arts master – when not checking the stock of olives and pretzels – and others looking to have consequence-free sex in tropical climes.

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Mike just happens to have a color brochure(!) about the supposedly secret Warrior’s Island…

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and has convinced his friends to come along for the ride.  On a stopover in port, Speer happens to see Mike with the brochure and tries to dissuade Mike from going there, with little success.  Later, at the Lighthouse Bar (slogan – “good booze, wild women”) Speer’s cronies unsuccessfully try to kidnap Dodds to keep the ship from going to Warrior’s Island.

Luckily, all the martial artists infesting the ship keep Dodds from getting abducted.  Unluckily for the ship, the goons have filled the fuel tanks with sugar before it leaves port…

That night, during the obligatory sex party that spontaneously happen in films of the late 70s, the stylishly-dressed goons sneak abourd the ship and set it afire, but not without a lot of kicking and punching action.

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Dame Fashion declares the well-dressed kidnapper wear backless lazer tag vests and construction helmets…

The lead players manage to escape the ship on a lifeboat, which happens to ride the current to Warrior’s Island…
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Will our friends have to deal with both Speer’s jade gang and 10 or so blue-painted zombies (that only seem to move slowly when they’re not fighting) in order to escape the island? You need to ask…

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“O Sacred Masters in the sky, instill our fighting cadavers with kicking, slashing

strength to execute righteous slaughter!”

The movie was a part of a box set I bought called The Grindhouse Experience (and the dupe they used to make the DVD looks like it’s an old 3/4″ tape from all the dropouts), and looks like it’s a lost film from Cannon Films.  It feels like it should have – and I’m not doing the movie justice in it’s humor, unintentional and otherwise. For instance, Mike’s idea of romantic talk is to compare Pacific piranha to South American piranha, and when asked how he knows, replies “In the war , I saw a Viet Cong fed to them.”

I watched the entire movie at regular speed (no higher compliment).  The only misstep I think the filmmakers made was killing off a character called “Gun Moll” (Maggie Lee). She has a hilarious exchange with some schlep she’s about to sleep with about her ex-husband, which proved she had acting chops enough to go the entire rest of the picture.  If I had my way, I would’ve had her get on the lifeboat and go to Warrior’s Island rather than that insipid Anne woman…

If you happen to pick up this set – Watch this movie! Recommended!

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