|Index||7 reviews in total|
Another moment when the low rating for a film at IMDb doesn't make
A tight, taut, tough-minded little war movie, this is Corman on a low budget at his absolute best. Most of Cormans problems in his early years derived from a lack of knowing where to cut scenes and move on, and a fatal dependence on the performances of inadequate actors. The editing here is very crisp - even the use of documentary footage is handled well, although its grain admittedly never meshes with that of the film as a whole. And while the acting remains unexceptional, it never becomes excessive in an amateurish way, and it fits with the overall gritty realism of the picture.
Corman benefits here from a surprisingly strong story and script that leaves its thematic issues open to interpretation. The issues receive temporary resolution by the end the hard way - through combat, as is most often the case in a war.
I'm not saying this is a forgotten masterpiece, but it is certainly worth a view, and at 63 minutes hardly threatens to tax one's patience.
Ski Troop Attack (1960)
*** (out of 4)
Ultra low-budget Roger Corman flick about a group of Americans (on skis) stuck behind German lines. The film is certainly very silly but at the same time it remains very interesting throughout. Considering Corman only took two weeks shooting this thing it's rather amazing at how good it came out looking. There's some very nice cinematography and the locations are great. There's really nothing overly special about this film but it does contain some nice action and a rather unique story.
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
During the war in Europe a small band of allied soldiers moving through
enemy territory on skis tries to steer clear of the enemy as they try
to complete their mission of blowing up a train bridge.
By the numbers Roger Corman film notable for its winter setting. Its also is a minor legend in that the attacking German army was played by the local high school ski team. Its an entertaining little film that over comes its been there and done that feel simply because of its snow bound setting. Frankly I remember the film simple because of the snow. Worth seeing simply for that reason.
6 out of 10
A five-some of army-type ski dudes tries to thwart evil forces behind
It's 1944 and the 'good' Americans must defeat the 'bad' Germans. To accomplish this goal, our heroes slaughter scores of the enemy, steal a civilian woman's chickens, shoot her in the back, then leave her for dead. This is an Ameican film, right? Not particularly inspiring in any way, but the movie does have the novelty of being different (soldiers on skis).
Sometimes exciting war/adventure film, albeit quite short at about 65 minutes.
This is a very average war film. We follow a small group of soldiers on
For low budget, this works very well. Of course, what Corman and others call low budget is still much more than most of us will ever get our hands on.
We get the story of 5 men, but it soon becomes 4, so 4 characters are followed through. They stray just slightly off the common stereotypes, but not much. We have the leader and second in command at some odds, with a split between the other two men aligning with the two leaders.
We get the excitement of the film feud with the two other men as well, much as minor characters cajole each other in films like "Escape From Fort Bravo" and "Warpath". This one has the Norhterner-Southerner reference, and we feel either both will perish, or both will survive.
The uniforms and vehicles are different, and the scenery makes this unique in war films. Not a great film by any stretch, but not close to the worst.
Considering Roger Corman shot this in two weeks, it's an amazingly good- looking film. Quite suspenseful and action-packed with a unique setting -- the ski troops we had in the German mountains. Holds interest all the way through and never betrays a low budget. Very worthwhile.
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