Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Original Title: American Hunter
Year: 1988
Director: Arizal
Writer: Deddy Armand
Genre: Action

Synopsis: Agent Jake Carver dives head first into a back and forth struggle with a terrorist group over the possession of an important piece of microfilm that could bring about the fall of Wall Street and perhaps the Western World.

Lethal Hunter, or American Hunter, or whatever the fuck it is called, is a film that dreams are made of. Yes, you heard (read) me correctly. _______ Hunter is a film where cinematic wishes actually come true!

What follows is my actual conversation with myself while watching this amazing film.
(Paraphrased of course)

"God these guys are talking a lot. Thirty seconds really does seem too long here. I wish a fat dude in a Jeep would drive through the window."


"You know, they are hitting a lot of cool action movie staples here, but I do wish I could see some white guy kung fu in a cardboard dungeon."


"LOL, nice one movie gods. Can you keep it up? Like... I wish there was a painfully awkward shower scene with lovers who don't take off their clothes!"


"Man I can't take it!

Helicopter chase?"





Stone washed Canadian tuxedo??? (aaaalmost)"


"OK, OK...
What about THIS?

I wish for an Asian kung fu master...

...with a Ricky Skaggs hairdo and stache circa 1985...

...fighting an old white dude in jogging pants...


...over a pond with cement mushrooms like Super Mario Bros. platforms!"


Goddamn, Lethal Hunter!

You win!

Arizal brings the pain here with this flick. If you think I've spoiled it at all with all these photos, you may be right in a sense. But believe me- this film really can't be spoiled. It is not about the plot. The synopsis I wrote above covers the film for the most part. What we get here, and I say this a lot about the films I cover it seems, is a fantastic collection of ridonkulous action sequences and some hilarious shit all adding up to a story that could be told in five minutes otherwise.

Chris Mitchum stars here looking as suave and badass as a man in stonewash and wide lapels can and doing his best Joel Higgins from Silver Spoons impersonation. Edward Stratton III with deadly feet! Mitchum is as stiff as a board, of course, but I think his look and this acting add to the entertaining effect of the character. This guy Jake Carver is a lover and a fighter, a kung-fu master out not for personal interests but rather to promote good! I love his approach to the multitude of situations he finds himself in as they all seem emotionless and just cut-and-paste.

Sure, it may be due to a lack of talent, but in this sort of film, it just fits... it works.

We aren't here for a compelling dramatic performance. We're here to see Jake Carver do backflips and punch the slobber out of Peter O'Brian's stupid face!

Yes, Mr. Rambu himself makes an appearance here, but beware O'Brian fans. He's only here as a snaky little character role... a guy named fucking HOPE SELECK! What the fuck? Hope Seleck gets what he certainly has coming to him in very satisfying fashion. Quick and dirty, and you will smile if you have a heart.

The two baddies in the film, Adam (Bill "Super Foot' Wallace) and Frank Gordon (Mike Abbott) are hysterical in their own rights as well.

Bill Wallace looks like he's be your uncle Frank, but kicks like a motherfucker and sweats like two of them. It was hard to get a read exactly on his martial arts skills as his go-to move is a high kick to the mouth. Repeatedly. He loves that shit! And Adam also loves animals apparently. They do not get into the reasons why at all, but Adam is seen a few times caressing exotic animals. His only interests in the film seem to constantly kidnap one chick, find that goddamn microfilm, and petting his monkey.

Sorry, it's not as exciting as that sounds........pervert.

Wallace gives a sweaty, nutty performance... just going batshit crazy at times at the drop of a hat. I can't say it's a great performance per say, but it is certainly entertaining.

Mike Abbott on the other hand.... well, I'd say he is equally entertaining in his own way to the Super Foot, but for much different reasons. This guy is best at being a fuzzy ape in a fucking speedo. You will love his mustache and mullet. You'll adore his awkward poolside make out session. You'll wish you were him when he talks half-naked on a cordless phone as if it were a walkie talkie!

There's so much awesome happening here in this pic, I don't know what to do.

On an aside, I think it's hysterical how guys in these Indoaction flicks have such "dude next door drinking Miller and grilling some dogs" names. Yes, Jake Carver is a bit of an action flick name. But how dangerous does an insane villain named 'Adam' sound? Frank Gordon? Even in the classic (in certain circles indeed) The Stabilizer... our hero is named Peter Goldson! Thank baby Jesus we get a Greg Rainmaker there to even things out a bit!

And to totally contradict myself, let me remind me that Rambu plays Hope Seleck here.

Yeah, I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about apparently.

You're in for a treat when you can track down an Arizal film. I've seen all I can find, and this is one I have watched more than once. The stories are brutally simple, but we can see that screenwriter Deddy Armand and Arizal love to just chain these scant tales together with as many stunts, explosions, gunshots, fights, vehicle chases, rapes, etc. as possible. It's the kind of film you can put on and enjoy while only paying half attention, but the more you watch, the more you are gonna just find your blurry, VHS-ripped cinematic wishes coming true.

Highly recommended for the right audience; one that loves some mindless action.

Score: 8 / 10

1 comment:

The Gentlemens Guide To Midnite Cinema said...

*This is Willy*great review Loaf. "Lethal Hunter... He kills THE BAD GUYS AND MAKES THEM PAY.. HE WAS A LETHAL HUNTER!" Mike Abbott is GOD.