Back to back with two of the most infamously bad directors. Godfrey Ho represented China, and now Bruno Mattei represents Italy. Bruno Mattei is known for the Z grade of action film which this film represents perfectly, and it also stars Reb Brown of Space Mutiny fame. I've touched on Bruno Mattei with the fun Terminator and Aliens rip off Shocking Dark as well as the other type of film he's known for, sleazefest exploitation films like Women's Prison Massacre.
Strike Commando is sort of like your average run of the mill actioner that is set in the Vietnam war. Reb Brown stars as the incredibly dull, completely undeveloped good guy who needs to find out the hidden link between Russia and Vietnam. He is given permission to investigate this in his own method, which means no team and no pesky commanders. But then once he gets captured, it means no help is coming either.
The capture scene and escape was reminiscent of The Deer Hunter, but the movie this really ripped off was Rambo part 2. In part two, Rambo was sent to Vietnam by a bunch of uncaring diplomats that turned their back on him once he was out the door. If Deer Hunter is first rate (which it is) and if Rambo 2 was second rate (sure, that works), then that puts Strike Commando probably in....6th rate. Yeah, this movie was not "good" in any sense.
Doing about 5 minutes of research just now, I found something kind of odd. Reb Brown was mostly an action film star, nothing weird about that. However, it's funny cause all of his action movies are based around Vietnam. Now, I know there's nothing really odd about that, he was the right age and all. It's just funny to me that one actor would end up getting cast as a Vietnam-era soldier multiple times. He must've felt at the end like he practically did go to Vietnam. He probably spent more time on the sets of movies about Vietnam then some actual soldiers spent in Vietnam.
All side tracking aside, this movie was not good. It was the sort of movie that makes you watch, you don't get side tracked as easily as some other films, however I kept wondering how much was left, and I kept noticing how second rate everything was. Reb Brown makes a really uninteresting star also. It's no wonder he never "took off" as a star. Being Captain America in the 70's and acting in one movie with Gene Hackman are no doubt his career highlights, and I am not surprised in any way.
The film was made in the Philippians, and the scenery is nice. It would look better on a high transfer DVD instead of Amazon Prime, but hey I take what I get. According to the 2 minutes of research I just did, this is not available on DVD at all, which would not be surprising since it's public domain no doubt and I'm sure no one gives a shit about it in any way shape or form.
I give it a subpar film, Z grade in intention 2.5 stars. It was actually not all that bad. Good riff fodder probably.