1 out of 5 – Would Recommend: Strike Commando

Main TitlesWelcome back to 1 out of 5 – Would Recommend, where b-movie stars are the best movie stars. Today, we’re looking at another Reb Brown action vehicle, 1987’s Strike Commando!

What’s The Plot?

Elite “strike commando” Michael Ransom (Reb Brown) is betrayed and left for dead by the shady Colonel Radek and must make his way back to states to exact his revenge. Along the way, he befriends some Vietnamese villagers (who end up dead for their trouble) and fights a Russian ubermensch.

Reb Brown: America's screamiest action hero!

Reb Brown: America’s screamiest action hero!

Who Made This Beautiful Garbage?

Italian b-movie impresario Bruno Mattei, who produced the last Reb Brown picture we watched. Like RoboWar, this movie rips off more famous American action movies with a fraction of their budget but with about 100% less stoicism.

Five Reasons to See It

  1. The scene where Ransom awakens in a Vietnamese jungle village is almost beat-for-beat Max Rockatansky waking up in the children’s grotto in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
  2. La Due, a French missionary who lives in the village that finds Ransom, is played by Luciano Pigozzi. Pigozzi notably played Brown’s old man sidekick in Yor, Hunter from the Future. I’m not even 100% sure the dude spoke English, so I don’t know how well they knew each other. Still cool.


    His character in Yor saves the day via trapeze. His character here runs away a lot and dies.

  3. The plot seems to be based on Rambo: First Blood Part II, albeit set during the actual Vietnam War with villagers in place of POWs.
  4. Ransom really oversells Disneyland to a Vietnamese kid, telling him that he’ll get a genie to grant his wishes when he goes. Not a reference to Aladdin (which hadn’t been made yet), just telling the kid he will literally be issued a magic being.
  5. “The rest of Strike Command demands vengeance! Serafinian! Sambello! Caine! Durney! They all demand justice!” – Probably not the radio call to make when asking the guy who left your team to die for a rescue.


Strike Commando is to the Chuck Norris action features of the 1980s as they were to the Schwarzenegger and Stallone pictures of the 1980s. It is the definition of b-movie, which is the zone Reb Brown thrives in. Its available in full on YouTube, and it’s not a bad way to waste an afternoon.

Reb's not good at emotions other than anger, really.

Reb’s not good at emotions other than anger, really.

 NEXT WEEK:  The police fight a Japanese gang steel on steel in 1991’s Samurai Cop!

About Chris Walker

Chris Walker (@back2past) is affectionately referred to as Back to the Past's social media lackey. He's all over finding nuggets of pop culture news, wherever they may be hiding!

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