March 17th, 2008

G.I. BRO (1978) ** ½

Bo (Snowbeast) Svenson, Peter (Dr. Strange) Hooten and Fred (That Man Bolt) Williamson star in this WWII flick from Enzo G. (Escape 2000) Castellari as military deserters who escape during a prison transfer.  Along the way, they capture a German soldier and force him to guide them to the Swiss border.  When the dirty Kraut gets killed, the team joins up with the French resistance, and in exchange for amnesty, they sneak aboard a German train with the intention of dismantling their top secret weapon. 


The title suggests that this is going to be a blaxploitation version of Rambo, but this is actually a fairly decent low budget Italian Dirty Dozen rip-off.  Castellari does a good job at maintaining your interest for the most part, as someone or something gets shot up pretty good every ten minutes or so.  While the film’s obvious low budget prevents it from really cutting loose and becoming an all out action movie, there’s enough general mayhem to make it worth a rental at best.  There is one classic scene when the soldiers stumble upon a bunch of skinny dipping women who just so happen to be toting semi-automatic machine guns.  It’s a great, cheesy, WTF moment that stands heads and shoulders (and breasts) over the rest of the middling war movie clichés.  Had the movie featured one or two more moments of nutty invention like this one, I’d be willing to cut it a little more slack, but as it is, G.I. Bro falls into the “Close, but no cigar” category.   


This is reputedly one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite films and he’s even planning to remake it (under it’s alternate title, The Inglorious Bastards) in the near future.  In fact, a couple of the film’s stars have even appeared in some of his films (Svenson was in Kill Bill Vol. 2 and Williamson was in the Tarantino penned From Dusk Till Dawn).  Williamson went on to star in Warriors of the Wasteland for Castellari. 


AKA:  The Inglorious Bastards.  AKA:  Counterfeit Commandos.  AKA:  Deadly Mission.  AKA:  Hell’s Heroes.  AKA:  The Dirty Bastard.