Review: The Last Hunter
Blu-ray: The Last Hunter (1980)
The first release from new UK boutique Blu-Ray label Treasured Films, The Last Hunter (seen here making its UK blu-ray debut) is just the type of film that I love, and one which I hadn’t watched since on an old VHS copy many years ago. Needless to say, this was a much better viewing experience.
After a (literally) explosive beginning where the best friend of Captain Henry Morris (David Warbeck) commits suicide, Morris then accepts a deadly mission to go behind enemy lines and put a stop to the broadcasting of anti-war propaganda, which is damaging the morale of American troops…but which they still insist on listening to throughout the entire movie, much to the chagrin of their Major, who prefers to blast out the sound of gunfire as they are holed up in a bunker and surrounded by the Viet Cong.
Thus begins an hour and a half of the most ludicrously entertaining “‘Nam action” that you can imagine.
Director Antonio Margheriti, fresh from the Vietnam themed Cannibal Apocalypse, once again keeps limbs being removed from bodies and the blood flowing copiously, as (many) bullets are fired, grenades thrown and explosions showcased…oh those glorious 80’s explosions that I’ve mentioned many times in reviews and spoken about on the podcast, are once again here on full display, and as always bypassing virtually all of the health and safety laws that are in place today…I’m sure that many eyebrows were singed, and at one point an inflight helicopter comes dangerously close to being a smouldering wreck.
There is of course a female character for the obligatory topless scene, this time it’s Tisa Farrow as reporter Jane Foster, a woman who seemingly is quite attracted to Morris at first, but her attentions get sidetracked when a group of high on drugs American soldiers in the bunker decide that they want to gang rape her…one of them calling out that “I want the frontsies“.
Obviously a scene where a woman is being held down on the floor by numerous horny men intent on raping her and ripping her clothes off is quite disturbing and intense, and thankfully the American Major appears in time and puts a stop to it all.
However, it is here that one of the most bizarre about-turns in movie tones happens, as the Major orders one of the soldiers to run out of the safety of the compound and into the open ground occupied by the VC to go and get a coconut for him. Here follows a 3-4 minute scene where the soldier (after donning a bright red baseball cap…just to make him even more visible) runs through the undergrowth and open fields, all while avoiding VC gunfire, explosions and landmines, just to grab a coconut…made even more outrageous by the choice of music that plays which wouldn’t seem out of place in an episode of Benny Hill where he was being chased by a bunch of scantily clad females.
Needless to say, this was one of many scenes which cracked me up and I loved it.
As much as I love David Warbeck in movies, its was Tony King as Sergeant George Washington who stole the movie for me, with a performance that I’m sure Robert Downey Jr. based his character on for Tropic Thunder, complete with comedy asides and inappropriate dialogue…calling an Asian character by the name of “Who Flung Dung” being one such example.
I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it ad infinitum, the 1980’s produced some of the most entertaining movies you’re ever likely to see, many of which only saw the light of day via a VHS release, and thankfully Treasured Films are helping to keep titles such as this available, complete with great picture and sound, and some very interesting and informative new special features.
Grab this while you can as it’s limited to 2000 units, and I very much look forward to keeping you informed on all other releases by Treasured Films.
Limited Edition Contents
- Rigid slipcase with exclusive artwork by Graham Humphries
- 60 page perfect-bound booklet with essays & interviews by Troy Howarth, Eugenio Ercolani and John Martin
- 6 collectors’ art cards
- Webstore exclusive A3 reversible fold-out poster! (first 1,000 units only)
- New 2K scan and restoration from the original camera negative.
- Disc mastered by Fidelity in Motion
- The Outsider: Il Cinema Di Antonio Margheriti: The feature length documentary by Edoardo Margheriti as tribute to his father’s career. Released for the first time on blu-ray with English subtitles.
- New audio commentary with Nathaniel Thompson, Troy Howarth & Eugenio Ercolani
- Apocalypse Hunter: a new video essay by Eugenio Ercolani
- From Dawson To Dawson: a new interview with Edoardo Margheriti
- Margie In The Jungle: a new interview with Margie Newton
- Jungle Boogie: a new interview with Franco Micalizzi
- Mud And Blood: a new interview with Massimo Vanni
- Trailer (2K scanned and restored from the Original Camera Negative)
- Image Gallery
- Reversible cover artwork with original Italian title and artwork
- English SDH Subtitles
Review by Dave from a disc kindly supplied by Treasured Films.