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The Last Hunter (1980) - Blu-ray Review

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The Last Hunter (1980) - Blu-ray Details

Movie Review

3 beersOne does not need much of an explanation when a spray of bullets is delivering his or her message straight out of a deafening M60 in the humid jungle. That message is often heard loud and clear. And, in The Last Hunter (the first Euro-sleaze-and-cheese flick to tackle Vietnam), the point is to keep the action hot and heavy and very, very brutal.

Italian filmmaker Antonio Margheriti’s trashy war flick, The Last Hunter, was originally made to cash in on The Deer Hunter. I doubt anyone thought it would someday have a life of its own – even if Margheriti just wanted to have some fun with war. It’s schlocky as hell, low in funds, and operates like the exploitative flick that it is…until it shifts gears and amps up its commentary on, you guessed it, the futility of war itself.  You see, Margheriti saw an opportunity to make a comment on war.  His producers?  Not so much.  The end result is a film that goes back and forth between a little bit of the ultra-violence to the super seriousness of the permanent scars of war itself.

This cult title is actually a well-shot film, thanks to some incredibly charged handheld moments deep in the jungle courtesy of cinematographer Riccardo Pallottini, as The Last Hunter tells the violent (or is it a love) story of when Captain Morris (David Warbeck) met Cambodia. We already know all is not well with Morris from the opening scene in which an annoying GI in a Saigon bar and an invading army of Viet Cong upends his rest and relaxation into a violent mess of blood and fire. There’ll be no escaping this war.

Before his friend Steve can even pull the trigger to the gun he holds at his own skull, Morris finds himself being airlifted into Cambodia to put an end to a radio signal blasting anti-American propaganda. A soldier’s duty is never done. 

What follows is a sick journey straight into a heart of darkness by way of a macaroni war flick, that sees no problem with testing one soldier’s might and sanity level thanks to hard-hitting firefights in the jungle, the constant stench and scenery of rotting corpses, and a bunch of whacked out characters knee deep in their own dementia, including a rather apeshit Major Cash (John Steiner) who sends his soldiers into enemy territory solely to bring back some cocoanuts. Sgt. George Washington (Tony King) is an absolute blast to watch in this war zone.  Hell, even Jane (Tisa Farrow, sister of Mia), a photojournalist on assignment has a few hang ups of her own to work through. And all of this plays out with Franco Micalazzi's score chomping away at the dangerous foliage around the soldiers.

With the release of the vicious The Last Hunter, the Obscene Publications Act of 1959 had a brand new target in its sights. The Last Hunter, while violent and completely off its rocker, is more fun than it is political but that didn’t stop it from being considered a part of the whole Video Nasty freak out of the early 1980s. Even its twist of an ending couldn’t give these assholes a pause. Thankfully, The Last Hunter gets the last laugh thanks to an impressive BRAND NEW HD transfer from Code Red.

And so I have to ask you, albeit through the mighty Edwin Starr, “War! Uh. Good God!  What is it good for?”

Film Details

The Last Hunter (1980) - Blu-ray Details

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime: 95 mins
Director: Antonio Margheriti
Writer: Dardano Sacchetti
Cast: David Warbeck, Tisa Farrow, Tony King
Genre: Thriller | War
Tagline: The Most Horrific War Movie Ever Made!
Memorable Movie Quote: "I don't give a shit about top priorities."
Theatrical Distributor: World Northal
Official Site:
Release Date:
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: February 10, 1984
Synopsis: War is Hell… and to carry out his top-secret mission, one soldier will make a deal with the Devil. Italian fright-master Antonio Margheriti (Cannibal Apocalypse) turned to the horrors of war for this explosive action film set near the end of the Vietnam conflict. Following the grisly suicide of his shell-shocked friend, Captain Harry Morris (David Warbeck, Tiger Joe, Hunters Of The Golden Cobra, The Ark Of The Sun God) accepts one final mission: to go behind enemy lines and destroy a Viet Cong radio tower broadcasting anti-American propaganda to US troops. Aided by a ragtag squadron of commandos and shadowed by a beautiful photojournalist (Tisa Farrow, Zombie, Some Call it Loving, Search and Destroy), Morris carries out his search and destroy mission with extreme prejudice, straight into the heart of darkness.

The Last Hunter (1980) - Blu-ray Details

Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Code Red DVD
Available on Blu-ray - February 13, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles: None
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A, B

With an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a 2.0 DTS-HD sound mix, Code Red presents The Last Hunter on 1080p with a solid HD upgrade mined from the original camera negatives. It’s a high detailed affair, adding noticeable defects in the overall budget limitations. The jungles are leafy green and the explosions are rocket red. Colors are strong and black levels are good, too. There are few textures running throughout but the ones we get are nice. And fleshy. There is some grain and some pixilation, but nothing too terrible that should prevent you from purchasing if you are fan of war flicks.

Supplements:

Commentary:

None

Special Features:

With an introduction from Code Red’s Banana Man and Tony King, the film is the true draw to this impressive release. The supplement items include new interviews with King and John Steiner. The original trailer is also included.

Interview with star Tony KingInterview with star John SteinerOriginal Theatrical Trailer

The Last Hunter (1980) - Blu-ray Details

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