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Guest review by: Deke Richards
Is it a good movie? Let me think about that for a minute. You have Enzo G. Castelleri, a top notch Italian director of that time at the helm, a stellar cast known within the exploitation/action field (The Hammer baby!) and a proven formula when it comes to the plot line. So, I would say a definite YES! This movie is the real low budget exploitation/action deal
It helped matters that director Enzo G. Castelleri, a man with big CAJONES, in terms of mean spirited storytelling and a great visual style was behind this one! One would only have to see the tough cop films he did in the 70s; STREET LAW, THE BIG RACKET, and of course the Franco Nero (another great, great man) 1976 Western classic called KEOMA to know how big Castelleri’s "action/sleaze" canon is. Now, unlike Enzo’s previous hard-core films, he approached the story here in a light-hearted fashion, giving us a fast-paced action/adventure yarn with an axis on “fun”. No looking at your watches here my friends!
The brilliant cast also contributed in making this flick such a wild ride, with Fred “The Hammer” Williamson deserving a special mention. Williamson is obviously having a hoot acting in this movie as he literally blasts his way through scumbag Nazis and I couldn't get enough of witnessing him do it. According to the body count he racks up, he liberated France all by himself with a cigar in hand no less! Great man! Bo Svenson who would appear in other movies with Williamson in the future (and one of the many DIRTY DOZEV TV movie sequels ironically enough), gets top billing in this one, and also has his kick ass moments as the leader of the rag- tag prisoners. And straight up his Magnum Force sunglasses were gold! I need to get me a pair ASAP!
Many big studios tried to do their own knock-offs of the DIRTY DOZEN (1967) but they never quite hit the mark. This flick manages to convey all of what its processor did so well and more. It is probably the best film that came out of that rip-off band-wagon and the Italian exploitation genre in general! No joke! SEE IT!
I mean you get a conversation piece between Quentin Tarantino and director Enzo G. Castelleri. A Documentary with the director, actors Fred Williamson, Bo Svenson and Massimo Vanni, special affects artist Gino De Rossi, and many others just to name a few.
You also get a locations featurette with the director and the trailer. Last but not least you get a bonus soundtrack CD off the only surviving original print of the film. Guess I could get rid of the old tape I made of this soundtrack off the TV.