November 22, 2011

Movie Review: The G.I. Executioner

Netflix grabbed my attention last night, although I had no idea what I was in the mood for. I was going to grab some lousy horror film, as that has been my MO of late, but I wasn't quite feeling it. My taste was definitely leaning towards low budget and old school, perhaps towards the exploitation side of thins. Well, this led me to a little movie called The G.I. Executioner. Sounds promising, right? So, there I go, my movie for the evening.

The movie has an alternate title of Wit's End, which makes a bit more sense, being it is the name of the opening credits song and there are no GI's and no genuine executions either. The center of our action thriller is Dave Dearborn, played by the unlikeliest of action hero's, he is a former Marine and undercover reporter running a disco in Singapore. He is hired, despite being out of the business, to see what he can find out about a defecting Chinese nuclear scientist. He is brought in to track him down before being tracked down by the Chinese or the Russians.

He doesn't really seem all that interested, but he takes the job and soon finds that pretty much everyone he encounters wants him dead. This droves him further down the rabbit hole, where encounters a stripper, an ex girlfriend dating a gangster suspect, as well as other agents who want to kill him.

It is not a good movie, let's get that out of the way right here. It is entertaining in an exploitative fashion of low budget movies of the era. The dialogue is atrocious, the acting is poor, the action is not exactly well staged, and the story is disjointed at best. I cannot say I ever felt connected to the story or cared about how any of the pieces fit together. For example, what is the deal with Cindy (Janet Wood)? Sure, she is cut, but she is completely infatuated with Dave (Tom Keena), for no discernible reason. It is stand, I sort of liked the movie, but I did not care about anything in it.

The sights were interesting. It was shot on location, probably guerrilla style, which gave the proceedings a little authenticity. Sure, it has the regional requirements, it has the international cast, the faux intrigue, requisite female nudity, and odd plot twists required of the low budget B-movie nature, with the result being oddly watchable.

The movie was made in 1971, but languished on the shelf until it was picked up and distributed by Troma. The film's director would go on to direct the cult film Bloodsucking Freaks. It is a movie that doesn't really deserve much attention, but it is sure to have some fans out there. I won't lie, I would likely watch it again.

Mildly Recommended for the Discerning Movie Lover.

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