From the bowels of the late 80′s and rescued from the VHS nether regions of Detroit, Michigan comes Armed Response. Jim Roth (David Carradine) is a Vietnam vet just trying to lead a normal life running a bar in China Square while dealing with his two knuckleheaded brothers and ornery pappy (Lee Van Cleef). When brother Clay gets killed in a double-cross exchanging a priceless statue for Japanese businessman Tanaka (Mako) the Roth clan decides to keep it in the family and launch an all out Armed Response.
Channeling his rage-fueled Nam flashbacks Carradine slowly slaps his way through Tanaka’s organization until the final showdown where he breaks out a small cache of weapons that he brought back from the war to take on Tanaka’s army lead by rhythmless psychopath Fortune Cookie (Michael Berryman).
As seen on Everything is Terrible.
Brought to you by Scotch… videocassettes. Paul Reiser makes his way around Hollywood in a mint Chrysler LeBaron visiting the great NBC celebrities of 1989 like Greg Evigan of My Two Dads and Richard Tyson of Hardball. Who?
After an unsuccessful attempt by the Intelligence Operations Agency to assassinate The Dictator (Robert Forster during his stint as go-to Hollywood Islamic extremist) and reinstate exiled democratic leader Kassar (Louis Jourdan Swamp Thing) to a nameless Middle Eastern country in Northern Africa, The Dictator swears vengeance on Kassar and his family sending death squads led by a Iron Maiden loving master-of-disguise (Hugo Stiglitz, who Quentin Tarantino went on to name one of his Inglorious Basterds characters after) and a Bollywood heartthrob (Kabir Bedi) to a quiet Mediterranean island to take care of business.
The IOA brings in George Kennedy, lured by a bag of Big Macs, and his elite team Counterforce to protect Kassar. The team is easily identified by their hats and Jiffy Lube jumpsuits with Counterforce patches plastered all over them. Counterforce consists of a Mexican named Harris (Jorge Rivero), Nash (Andrew Stevens), a spiritual guy who meditates before snapping necks, a cocky rookie referred to as “Fly Boy” (Kevin Bernhardt) who just wants to see some action, and Isaac Hayes who rhymes almost all of his lines.
We quickly find out that Counterforce sucks at protection as Kassar is shot up and subsequently attacked while in the hospital and then his wife and kid are kidnapped. They’re mainly interested in shooting bad guys who then fall over balconies. Tired of “getting hot lead up their asses,” Counterforce goes on the offensive. After squeezing in a light workout, they launch a plan to save Kassar’s family that involves free-climbing several hours up a sheer cliff face to infiltrate the terrorists’ fortress and invading a yacht guarded by tv-loving Greeks.
I believe I’ve done enough of this thinkin’, now it’s time to do some serious drinkin’.
Price: $.25 | Location: Salvation Army
I’ve started a new YouTube channel called Dead VCR (named for this wonderful camcorder title) to house my bad VHS collection. My first video is Laser MIssion which I found in a chest-high cardboard box full of kids’ videos at the local Salvation Army. The title sounds like a really bad Atari 2600 paddle game.
Laser Mission has two noteworthy stars in Brandon Lee and Ernest Borgnine. The back cover refers to Borgnine’s character as The Laser Master. This was what sold me. The Laser Master starring Ernest Borgnine sounds like the title of the greatest movie never made.
The basic story is Lee’s character, Gold, is a mercenary with a heart of, well, gold sent by the CIA to rescue Dr. Braun (Borgnine) who knows how to create a nuclear weapon using the world’s most precious and recently stolen diamond. There’s not much explanation of how someone becomes a nuclear weapons expert with a specialization in lasers and rare diamonds.
The film features bad accents, especially Borgnine’s, old school stunts, some of which look like they found guys on the street willing to jump out of a moving Jeep for $10, a high body count mostly involving drive-by shootings in an indestructible VW van, and a lot of horrible dialogue, the best coming from the sexual tension between Lee and the buxom female lead. There’s also a rocking power anthem “Mercenary Man” that plays countless times, cued up anytime there’s a remotely dramatic pause. I’ve included it twice in the video just to give you a good feel for its power.
For a more detailed analysis of Laser Mission check out this lengthy review via Something Awful. Somehow this film was released into the public domain and is available in full on YouTube and the Internet Archive.