An American patrol has to cross behind enemy lines by skis in order to blow up an important railroad bridge. The task is made harder by conflicts between the platoon's veteran sergeant and ...
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An American patrol has to cross behind enemy lines by skis in order to blow up an important railroad bridge. The task is made harder by conflicts between the platoon's veteran sergeant and its inexperienced lieutenant and by constant attacks by pursuing German troops. Written by
Great scenery and decent premise undone by cheapness
In a snowy German forest, stranded GI's observe stock WWII footage and evade the enemy. Aside from some testy exchanges with a frosty fraulein, the stick-figure characters bark war-comic banalities (though the script's feverish dialogue and structure might have made a swell comic!). The troop's captain is constantly baited by his smug, war-happy sargeant. One assumes a showdown will ensue, but the budget must not have allowed for even modestly choreographed fistcuffs. The equally anticlimactic finale has the soldiers destroying a bridge that's "an impossible target from the air." (??!) Bereft of stuntwork or even a passable master shot, the lucky viewer is left with a jumble of grimacing-face close-ups and mismatched model train footage that even Al Adamson would disown. Roger Corman always blames this dog's shortcomings on production snafus...yet a rookie director employed most of the same cast,crew, and locations for BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE (shot back-to-back with SKI TROOP), and that schlocker turned out OK. Corman's apparent strategy was to grab as much footage in as little time possible and hope to cobble together something watchable in post. As a result, many scenes look interchangeable, and there's little dramatic flow. You can make a good cheap war flick with a tiny cast (BATTLE OF BLOOD ISLAND, '60) and scant action (UNDER FIRE, '57), but this sucker should be avoided like a cloud of mustard gas.
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