Sunday, January 8, 2017

Deadly Commando (Philippines Action, 1981)

1981 – Deadly Commando (Emperor Films International)

[Philippines release date 4th September 1981, also known as "Deadly Commandos"; re-released on 29th April 1982 as “Suicide Force”. Distributed internationally by Atlas Films, released as both “Deadly Commando” and “Suicide Force”, on French VHS as “Ultime Commando”, on Swedish VHS as “Dods Kommandot”, on Dutch VHS as “Raiders Of Death” and “Death Commando”and on German VHS as “Das Selbstmord-Kommando”. A French website also lists two other unconfirmed retitles, “Codename : Commando” and “The Savage Six”]

Directors Nick C. Casas, “S.C.”/Segundo Ramos “Dialogues” Donald Arthur [Suicide Force credits English Dialogue/Post Production to “The Voice Of America” Joe Ellison] Producer Prima Pascual Cinematography Danny Bustos Music “Derek”/Demet Velasquez Editors “S.C.”/Segundo Ramos, Michael Preiss [Suicide Force credits Ramos and H. Schulhof]

Cast Johnny Wilson (Commander-In-Chief), “George Pallance” [real identity unknown], Vic Vargas (Captain Borbon), George “Regan”/Estregan (Sergeant), “Ray”/Rey Malonzo, “Archer”/Ace Vergel, Rex Lapid, “Efraim”/Efren Reyes Jr, “Boy Garcia”/Rodolfo “Boy” Garcia (Cris, aka The Professor), Elisabeth "Rope"/Oropesa (Adora), Jimmy Santos, Freddi Yance, Ray Tomenes, Danny Riel, Tony Tacorda, Buddy Lanusa, Elly Perez, Nestor Brillantes, Gary Gallardo, Eliias Akcega, Henry Alducente, Joel Sandoval’s Group, Claudia Zobel, Rowena Roxan, Marian Abrazaldo, Menchie Roldan, Danny Amador, Matt Fullosa, George Tormida, Omar Indasan, Boy Sta. Maria, Pungay Sr, Jimmy Margallo, Cezar Andaya, Colonel Francisco T. Jucatan, Colonel Reynaldo G. Dilan, Captain Gregorio V. Cabatuando, Sergeant Major Victor Macatanay, [uncredited] Philip Gamboa [other sources also credit Virginia Montes, Suzy Garret]

Mini-review by Andrew Leavold

Virtually indistinguishable from the hundreds of soldiers-vs-rebels propaganda reels coming out of Marcos-era Philippines, the seemingly blessed Deadly Commando (aka Suicide Force; dirs. Nick C. Casas & Segundo Ramos, 1981) enjoyed a remarkable international run for a Pinoy goon actioner, being less than a handful of local titles sold at the 1982 Manila International Film Festival and sold for export by German company Atlas International. A visiting “American” General is kidnapped by Muslim separatists, and the Commander-In-Chief (Johnny Wilson) sends in Captain Borbon (Vic Vargas) and his crack unit of black-clad commandos known as the Savage Six (George Estregan, Rey Malonzo, Ace Vergel, Rex Lapid and Efren Reyes Jr), recently freed from a military prison, to bring him back alive. The group are aided by former rebel Adora (Elizabeth Oropesa) who gladly trades her freedom fighters for the prospect of peace; not so her brother Cris, the General’s kidnapper also known as The Professor (Rodolfo “Boy” Garcia), an uncompromising idealist intent on a bloody and protracted war with the Philippines government. With this and Emperor Films’ follow-up Death Raiders (also dir. Segundo Ramos, 1983) there’s plenty of action of the bland “shoot, fall down” variety, although kung fu specialist Malonzo gets to trade chops during a bar brawl, while Estregan, true to form, has his tongue down the throats of not one but two bar girls! With an uncredited Phillip Gamboa as the General’s driver, and a very early bit role for doomed bold superstar Claudia (Shame) Zobel. 


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