Reviewed By-David Zuzelo Directed by Jobic Wong Starring Sam Jones, Christopher Doyle and a bunch of guys who get killed New DVD Germany-Code 0 PAL Format
"Three weeks training and you expect us to fight the V.C.??? YOU BASTARD!!"
This gritty and grim (and cheap) Hong Kong production is everything you can ask from a grim and gritty cheap film! It is loaded with fun characters, dubbed voices you know, gore galore and action sequences a plenty to satisfy your need for Jungle Violence. Heck, they even throw in a game of "Will The Burning Rat Set the VC Drenched In Gasoline Ablaze" just for fun! Released in various cut forms around the globe, the new DVD from Germany claims to be the uncut print. While it still seems jumpy in the narrative sense, which may simply be bad filmmaking or distributor recuts, the gore and violence levels are certainly beyond the norm and rival the more bizarre films of Indonesia for sheer balls out insanity.
While it skimps on plot, the film does have character. Nguyen is put in charge of helping to find men to drive some US Army trucks to and fro as troops abscond from Vietnam after the war. After some unruly guys are roped in and selected for cannon fodder a kindly soldier decides to train them. Hey, it’s Sam Jones…FLASH GORDON! Anyhow, he puts the men through a training program and teachs them how to fight and drive like soldiers. Of course, we know it won’t be enough to save them, but these scenes are entertaining as the men engage in cross country racing and various kung fu lessons. Actually, it’s hard not to like the guys--and just knowing they are going to get picked off once they are trained is actually a downer. Did I mention the local game of driving motorcycles under logging trucks for money? We’ll get back to it, because once the mission gets underway, those tricky V.C. quickly pounce and capture our boys.
Then things get bad.
The Evil Commander is played to scummy perfection by perpetual fatty bad dude Mui Sang Fan and he sure does like tormenting his captives. After he accuses one of our hapless heroes of trying to escape (which is something we don’t see) the movie jumps from action film to downright splatter classic as he buries the guy up to his neck in the sand in the sun. Oohh… bad. Then he shaves his head! Ooohhhh…worse. THEN he takes a razorblade and slits open the top of his head! OOOOOOhhh…REALLY BAD! AND THEN he pours acid through the hole…until the sorry sonovabitch LEAPS OUT OF HIS F’IN SKIN!!!
And that is just before the halfway point when Jungle Heat gets hot with action sequences, gory saw murders, a hellacious escape by tearing apart your own hands, Sam Jones Fu, Fiery Rat Roulette, Fatty’s Vile Behavior and an ending that will make you go…awww no. NO!! NOOOOOO! Remember that game that leads to various bodies getting squished and crushed by logging trucks? It comes back to haunt you in the end!
It is what it is…and Jungle Heat is pure Tough To Kill madness and fun. Violent and fast paced, this is man-sized entertainment that isn’t afraid to throw some huge snake on the characters just to watch them squirm. And don’t even get me started about how far I ejected my soda from my nose when they pulled out the giant bandsaw fu sequence. Seriously. Far from classic, any fan of gory action will get exactly what they want however… and it certainly doesn’t leave any itch unscratched or any characters unscathed.
While I can’t compare the mysterious Jobic Wong to any director of serious talent, I will say that his willingness to heap on the melancholy for his heroes alongside the obvious glee he takes in killing them off is unique and exciting…good on him, he really created a low budget classic that sadly is more talked about than seen. But thanks to NEW DVD in Germany, this does not have to be the case any longer!
The DVD is a very nice little package that makes the most of what elements could be cobbled together to create a longer version of the film. The film is letterboxed and quite nice looking though the source material changes when the censored bits arise making it easy to spot them. It’s hard to begrudge anyone this, as without the deleted footage, the film would be far less interesting. The English language audio is very strong, much more so than the German language track—and overall it’s a pleasing presentation. Once you get to the extras however, there is a nice bonus to be had with the deleted footage. As a gallery of cut scenes, these are shown from the lesser source print, but in full frame and not matted to match the feature. This works IMMENSELY during the acid bath/skin leap, making the effect more shocking and obscene than is noticeable from the presentation. While it would be preferable to have been able to see this in the main feature, in today’s uber-crit market, the transition between ratios would have probably garnered more criticism than it would have been worth. Bravo to NEW for making this material available on the disc twice, it’s appreciated. Also, you get a nice Hong Kong trailer for Jungle Heat as well as an amazing trailer for Sammo Hung’s film The Victim. There is a quiz in German for those who care to play as well.
If you are reading this, chances are you will enjoy Jungle Heat-an action film with balls…and the willingness to bite ‘em off and spit ‘em in your face just to get a rise out of the viewer!
Story: 3 Bottles of Acid Picture: 2.5 Bottles of Acid Audio: 2.5 Bottles of Acid Extras: 3 Bottles of Acid Your Outrage: Priceless
Overall…A MUST…or it’s a flaming rat for you!
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