December 26, 2013
Hello. How ya doin’? Happy holidays. I’m just sweeping out the ashes in the “draft post file” here…the long-awaited jungle companion to The Most Interesting 1980s Fantasy Movies in the World.
Presenting, in order of the five stages of trash…
The Most Interesting Trashy 80s Jungle Movies Made in the Philippines in the World:
Trash stage 1: Nearly a normal movie, but two or three scenes reveal the truth.
1985. Directed by the immortal Ed D. Murphy.
Vietnam vet returns to SE Asia to find his lost love and son. He meets a toilet salesman and is taken prisoner by a gang of druggies. He tries to escape and it becomes a jungle hunt movie. It’s too competent to get much love from trash fiends, but too far out to get much love from anybody else.
Greatest flamethrower scene not involving Klaus Kinski.
“Bless our lucky stars for second chances”
Trash stage 2: Preposterous plot full of holes, but brazen editing gives it a brisk pace.
1986. Directed by Jun Gallardo.
Officer in Vietnam War gets caught up in a plot full of twists and surprises. General Giap was captured twice in the movie’s first 38 minutes! General “McMoreland” wants the bling! The French mercenaries weren’t wussies! Too bad the lead actor “Michael James” was a wussy. This movie could have been epic had it been headlined by Brent Huff, Reb Brown, Robert Patrick, David Carradine, Richard Harrison, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Klaus Kinski, Miles O’Keeffe, Richard Young, Jerry Kimble, Richard Norton, Rom Kristoff, David Warbeck, James Iglehart, or Rick Hill.
Greatest use of hats and scarves to differentiate factions and NPCs, because otherwise it would seem like indiscriminate slaughter even more than it already does.
Moody abstract stuff punctuated by thunderous explosions, alternating with smooth jazzy 80s synth melodies.
Trash stage 3: Even a martial arts champ needed to earn a living. And at $79.99 per tape, he was living good!
The Wolf, aka Jungle Wolf
1986. Directed by Charlie Ordonez.
Ron Marchini is the writer, producer, and star. I salute his persistence. He is needed in a troubled Latin American country to perform a jail break and prisoner exchange. This uses the few funny scenes from its prequel, Forgotten Warrior, as flashbacks and adds snap karate and a fat cousin with a heavy machine gun. So there’s no reason to ever watch Forgotten Warrior.
Greatest flashback containing a rainbow and funeral pyre.
Recurring theme song:
“Back back in action. He’s fighting for their lives.
Back back in action. He’s got the will to survive.”
Trash stage 4: Now this is just the whole movie crew having fun.
1983. Another one directed by Jun Gallardo.
There is a team that performs a POW rescue in the jungle. Everybody dies except Richard Harrison. I think the voice actors got hammered one afternoon and decided to watch the film and re-record the dialog track in one take. We learn that Tetchie Agbayani smells good.
Greatest strip club scene since Lenny.
Epic theme song copied from some other movie that I can’t quite put my finger on, repeated over and over and over.
Trash stage 5: All other stages combined and more.
Nine Deaths of the Ninja
1985. Directed by Emmett Alston.
A better James Bond parody than the Austin Powers movies. It’s on the short list of best movies both set and made in the Philippines.
Greatest saving throw vs punji pit
Greatest pick up line.