1982 - 86m.
This movie has a veritable smorgasbord of everything that you could want in a b-movie and it makes an impression in just how much it manages to pack into its short running time. During the first act, there are a lot of boobs with a bit of action. In the middle, there is both action and boobs. The action takes over in the final act with all kinds of crazy shit going down including kung-fu fights between our heroes and zombie warriors, cackling monks, a villain with a Hitler moustache, piranhas, explosions, and more. If you are a b-movie fan, you will find something appealing in this flick whether you are into nudity, cheesy dialogue, goofy martial arts, or just plain silliness.
The movie opens with a deal going down on Warriors Island where a villain who looks like a bad American tourist with a chubby Hitler head and an eye-twitch is trading commodities with a group of monks. The Hitler guy is bringing women to the monks that they are using to resurrect dead martial arts warriors. In exchange, he is receiving jade that the monks have mined. Meanwhile, a trio of men are embarking on a voyage to the same island as part of an adventure vacation. They board a boat the is skippered by b-movie mainstay Cameron Mitchell and is populated by an interesting group including a female karate cop, her cute blonde cousin, an Asian cook who happens to be a Bruce Lee clone, and an older hostess who is loud in a Phyllis Diller/Mrs. Roper way. Before disembarking, a couple of the tourists visit a whorehouse that is raided by Hitler guy and his cronies who are on the prowl for some new kidnap victims. A fight ensues and the guys return to the boat. After disembarking, things get crazy on the boat as a party starts and a number of the female passengers show some skin including Jewel Shepard (Return of the Living Dead) and Camille Keaton (I Spit on Your Grave). Yet another fight ensues that takes advantage of most of the boat including an entertaining scene where one of the heroes battles a henchman in a room where a naked woman is tied to a bed. Eventually, the remaining passengers leave the boat and find themselves on Warriors Island where they have to contend with the kung-fu zombies, the monks, Hitler and his feather earring-wearing sidekick, and piranha-infested waters.
This is one of the few movies that I watched with my parents when I was young that got turned off due to the subject matter. This was preceded by an awkward half hour as I was really into Raiders of the Lost Ark and all of the Indiana Jones ripoffs that came out in its wake but I do not think that my parents were prepared for the multitude of leering tit and ass shots that were on display. I think the bored looking stripper that kept dancing during a bar fight was the point where my first meeting with Raw Force came to a close. For years, I tried to track this down and it was a tough one to find. Thankfully, when I did end up watching it again, I had much more appreciation for all of the other elements that are on display. Although the movie slows down a bit once the gang reaches this island, the filmmakers were smart enough to throw piranhas and zombies into the mix as well as a decapitation to keep things interesting. My only complaint is that much of the fighting takes place at night and can be difficult to see on my worn VHS copy. Thankfully, Vinegar Syndrome is rescuing this film from obscurity with a beautiful new print slated for release later in 2014.
Fans of the work of Cirio Santiago and low-budget action flicks that were made in the Philippines (you know who you are) should seek this movie out as I am almost positive that you will not be disappointed. You will instantly recognize Santiago regular Vic Diaz as the main monk. B-movie fans will also recognize Jillian Kesner (Firecracker) as Cookie the karate cop and Geoffrey Binney (Hot Potato) as Mike, the hero who winks at the camera at the end. This is a great flick to watch with a few beers and like-minded friends who will understand the awesomeness of it all. (Josh Pasnak, 8/31/14)
Directed By: Edward D. Murphy.
Written By: Edward D. Murphy.
Starring: Cameron Mitchell, Geoffrey Binney, Hope Holiday, Jillian Kesner.