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Dick Anthony Williams
I too stumbled on High Velocity years ago, at a drive-in triple bill or on late night TV, I don't remember which. What I do remember was thinking, "What the heck!!!?"
Lately I hunted down a VHS copy of this movie on e-bay and viewed it again. Perhaps my politics, or the times we live in, have changed sufficiently, because the plot doesn't seem quite so outrageous now as it did when I first saw this movie. Or maybe I've seen more films from Hong Kong, China & Japan ; I notice now that High Velocity was produced by Takashi Ohashi. In any case, the cast is excellent, with Ben Gazzara playing a likable and sincere ex- soldier, Paul Winfield as his crazy partner, Keenan Wynn, the big rich sweaty slob with a high voice, Alejandro Rey, a greasy bureaucrat, and Britt Ekland is, of course, the babe. I've read elsewhere that the original music was remarkable. This film itself is a bit dark and grainy, as if it was shot under exposed on 16mm stock and blown up to 35mm, but perhaps that just adds to the cheap look and trashy feeling of the whole sleazy enterprise, which is more appropriate for such tales than the usual gorgeous jungles of the popular war pictures .
As a Viet Nam veteran, I found High Velocity, which is set in the Philippines in the early 1970s, to be a better, truer picture about Americans fighting in SE Asia than Camino's "The Deer Hunter", Cappola's "Apocalypse Now" or Spottiswoode's "Air America" (gag!). If you like mercenaries/war movies about spooks killing and carrying on, check this one out.
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