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The Zebra Force (1976)

4.6
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Ratings: 4.6/10 from 154 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 3 critic

A group of Vietnam vets, tired of the depradations of the Mafia on their neighborhood, decide to take on the mob on their own terms--but by using a very different twist.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mike Lane ...
Carmine Longo
Richard X. Slattery
Rockne Tarkington
Glenn R. Wilder ...
(as Glenn Wilder)
...
Salvatore Moreno
Stafford Morgan ...
Sgt. Stangman
Clay Tanner ...
Lt. Claymore
Tony Cristino ...
Willie
Mario Milano ...
Peter
...
Art
Buddy Ochoa ...
Larry
Patrick Strong ...
Nick
Bernard Tierman ...
Ernie
Kenny Endoso ...
Budda
Bobby Miliano ...
Gus Moreno
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Storyline

A group of Vietnam vets, tired of the depradations of the Mafia on their neighborhood, decide to take on the mob on their own terms--but by using a very different twist.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Running with the mob can be deadly!

Genres:

Action | Crime

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

14 October 1976 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Code Name: Zebra  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
It don't matter if you're black or white
9 February 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

A group of Vietnam veterans, fiercely loyal to their lieutenant (horribly disfigured as a result of a land mine explosion) agree to perform a series of audacious hits on mob-controlled gambling operations to ostensibly rid the town of their influence and protect society's youth from the spectre of drugs. But their raids also net hundreds of thousands of dollars in tainted cash, leading Mafia Don (Caruso) to enlist the aid of his Mr Fix-it Carmine Longo (Lane) to rectify the problem.

You've probably read that the vets disguise themselves as African-Americans, and while it's certainly a novelty, the "transformations" are unintentionally comedic (watch for the interrogation scene near the end of the movie). Puerile dialogue and atrocious cinematography (or perhaps the editing) don't do any favours, but I enjoyed the characterisations, and the cast has some talent. Lanky Mike Lane from "The Harder They Fall" is imposing, Stafford Morgan as the crooked cop, and Rockne Tarkington as the tough-talking downtown pusher, all make an impression in spite of the script they deliver.

A jazzy soul soundtrack, slow-motion stunts, car chases and a twist ending keep things entertaining and overall, while it's routinely panned by the armchair critics, you could do a lot worse than this gangster flick dressed in a blaxploitation wardrobe. Often confused with its sequel "Codename Zebra" starring James Mitchum made in 1987, while the latter is more technically proficient, the sheer quirkiness and 70's infused texture of "Zebra Force" is superior in entertainment value.


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