Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except

Josh Becker | 1985 | 84 mins | USA

What a movie! If Matthew Bright had no concern for production values, and loved stupid action movies instead of teenaged girls, this is the movie he would make.

The film's performances are wooden. Intentionally so. Maybe Becker didn't set out to make a movie with terrible actors, but that's what he could afford, so that's what he used. The script is full of hilarious scenes that let you know that they know that you know and that they know. Don't bother making fun of Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except. It's impervious to your mocking. It's 84 minutes of non-stop entertainment.

The heroes of the film are a strange low budget cross between the A-Team and the gang from Predator. Maybe I'm only saying that though because one member of the team (Tank) looks like Mr. T, and another's (Love Machine) name is "Love Machine", but I don't think so.

Without giving too much away (unlike the film's trailer, which shows all of the money shots from the last half hour); Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except takes place in 1969. A gang of Vietnam vets come home after a haunting (for them, not us) loss in the fields of Vietnam. Jack Stryker, Tank, Love Machine, and a Lt. whose name escapes me, form the team that we cheer for. Tank, Love Machine, and the Lt. decide to pay a visit to their old friend, Jack Stryker, who was BRUUUUUUUUUUTALLY injured in Vietnam. What follows involves a lot of drinking, a lot of bikers, a lot of gory deaths, and a lot of a long-haired and sword-toting Sam Raimi playing the leader of a murderous gang/cult.

It's good times through and through.

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