Sunday, November 28, 2010

Phantom Soldiers (1987)

"Phantom soldiers" wearing black bio-chemical uniforms move from village to village slaughtering everyone. Group of green berets are send to find these soldiers but they are ambushed and captured. They are reported MIA. Texas ranger Daniel Custer (Max Thayer) is brother of one of the MIAs and he goes back to Vietnam to find his brother.

Opening scene where these "Phantom Soldiers" attack village and slaughter everyone is without doubt one of the most brutal opening sequences. Just jaw dropping mayhem.

Whole movie is a wild action ride: lots of gun fights (i think that they used something like zillion blanks to make this movie...) and lots of explosions and these scenes are very well executed. Gas masked bad guys is a brilliant idea and it separates this from your typical vietcong vs US jungle action.

One of the most brutal and best Filipino jungle actioners i have seen so far. Highly recommended.

Directed by Teddy Page (credited as Irvin Johnson).


Paul Cooke aka Buckaroobanzai said...

Ah Phantom Soldiers, what a Perfect Filipino fandango of Action / Cult greatness. The opening sequence with those menacing gas mask wearing, fatigued soldiers is one of the most original moments in Eighties Action cinema. This is a True collectors item & one to seek out on Japanes VHS. Irvin Johnson's very best movie for sure, and he has made some very decent movies. Very overlooked workmanlike Action movie maker, along with Arizal.

Kult Eye Bleeder said...

Definitely. And yes, Arizal needs more respect. He is one of the best action directors ever.

Karl Brezdin said...

Loved this movie but I have to question the practicality of those phantom soldier uniforms. They just seem to be a poor fit for the hot and humid climate and it wouldn't surprise me if the extras under the masks had occasional bouts with heat stroke. However, they look INCREDIBLE on camera which is all that matters at the end of the day.

I've only been able to track down two of Thayer's three Filipino actioners. This makes a nice companion watch with No Dead Heroes but this is clearly the superior of the two.

Kult Eye Bleeder said...

No Dead Heroes in also on my to-watch list. So many interesting movies, so little time.

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