SEARCH AND DESTROY / THE GLOVE
Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
William Fruet / Ross Hagen
George Kennedy / John Saxon
What's it about
A classic drive-in double feature from the late 1970s. The first film, Search and Destroy, centers around a group of Vietnam vets who face their deadliest foe, one of their own. The second film, The Glove, focuses on a bounty hunter in search of a bad mo fo with an even badder glove.
Is it good movie?
It was bound to happen. And it should have happened despite that Grindhouse completely flopped. Yes, the true 70ís drive-in double features are back, well, in DVD form anyway. Now complete with trailers (including the great looking Devilís Rain with William Shatner), theater introductions and, most importantly, two entertaining movies, this set by Dark Sky Films is a great cheesy, action-filled double bill that wonít disappoint. Why? Well, why not. These arenít films run to death on TV, which as someone whoís seem too damn many Arnold movies, I dig seeing something fresh yet old, if that makes sense. Also, these donít contain top notch talent. In fact, what talent they did attract seems a low point for the actors, but by God, thatís what makes them great. Nothing like watching actors who yearn to be elsewhere. Plus, the films possess a time capsule quality impossible to dub.
Search and Destroy is the first film which revolves around a surviving group of Vietnam vets who after attempting to reassimilate back into society, find that life outside the war isnít easy. But if their new day job sucked, things just got worse as they start being picked off by a mysterious, partially gloved killer. The story, which must have filled a whole 30 page script, quickly unfolds that the killer is none other than their own political liaison, a Vietnamese national who they had left behind in a battle. Apparently, being left to the enemy pissed him off, so our villain has traveled to the States to knock them off, one at a time. Search and Destroy works as a revenge flick, as if Rambo decided to hunt down everyone who ever wronged him. And like Rambo, this flick has some pretty impressive stunts for the budget and I was surprised by the directorís actual focus on the characters. For such a throwaway action movie, I expected less creativity, but I was strangely drawn into the characterís plight against a trained killer.
But forget all that. The best aspect of Search and Destroy comes from veteran actor George Kennedy, who seems less than enthusiastic to have this apart of his career filmography. Thereís a stellar scene where Kennedyís cop character shows up and interviews the victimsí friend. The friend asks, ďListen, do you know what happen to him?Ē Kennedy replies, ďIím a cop. I donít know anything.Ē Yes, on par with Cool Hand Luke.
Now the second film is truly something special. The Glove stars John Saxon from Enter the Dragon fame as a down and out bounty hunter who needs money fast to avoid becoming a dead beat dad. The Glove emulates the great detective noir tradition as Saxon narrates his adventures with a certain gusto, letting the viewers know how tough the modern world has become. Now Saxon must have read the script and envisioned the next great cinema villain as the Glove is a massive, blues-playing blackman who wears a bike helmet, foam padding, and a glove that can only be described as the Nintendo Powerglove. Only cordless. Well, his glove makes him super strong, able to cause unthinkable damage, or as much damage as the budget allowed.
Itís impossible to overlook the sheer goofiness of the thing, but thatís exactly what makes it worth the price of the DVD. If I was suprising drawn into the first film, I found this one truly, if not strangely fascinating. Saxon fully threw himself into character as if he truly enjoyed the experience despite the stupidness of the villain. Regardless, with The Glove, thereís action, suspense, cheese, and the best use of femur bones in deadly duel to the death. Saxon might have never become the next Marlowe, but Marlowe never encountered The Glove.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen (1.85:1) Anamorphic Widescreen.
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Drive-in Intermission Programming: Great authentic intermission programming. Nothing too great I guess, but it gets you in that right frame of mind for what's coming.
Trailer: Much like Grindhouse, this set features a handful of great trailers that are most likely better than the flicks themselves. The Devil's Rain with Shatner looked especially thrilling. Or lame depending of the POV.
A truly excellent double feature of little seen films that should have earned a placed in the cult film cannon. Pick this up. Go on. And grab the rum to enhance the viewing pleasure.