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Attack Force Z (1981)

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A group of Australian commandos launch a secret mission against Japanese forces in World War II.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Captain P.G. (Paul) Kelly
...
Sergeant D.J. (Danny) Costello
...
...
Chun Ku ...
Rice farmer
Sylvia Chang ...
Chien Hua
O Ti ...
Shaw Hu
Chun Hsiung Ko ...
Lin Chan-Lang (as Koo Chuan-Hsiung)
Lung Shuan ...
Watanabe
Yuan Yi ...
Imanaka (as Yi Yuan)
Wei Su ...
Wong Chong
Hsa Li-Wen ...
Lee Chang
Val Champion ...
Ed Ayres
Yu Wang ...
Oshiko Imoguchi
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Storyline

A group of Australian commandos launch a secret mission against Japanese forces in World War II.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mel Gibson blasting his way to hell and back

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

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Release Date:

June 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die grünen Teufel vom Mekong  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie found more popularity upon video cassette release in Australia than when released theatrically. The movie's eventual success is attributed to its casting of four prominent Australian actors, Chris Haywood, John Waters and two actors who were rising stars at the time, Sam Neill and Mel Gibson. Sam Neill had appeared as the lead in the American film, The Final Conflict (1981) whilst Mel Gibson was fast becoming a big Hollywood star. Ironically, the casting of John Phillip Law, an American actor, is not believed to have contributed much to the movie's success on video in Australia. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, Captain Kelly (Mel Gibson) picks up a heavy machine gun that the Japanese have been using and grips the barrel with his left hand while firing at the enemy. Realistically the barrel would have been much too hot to hold. The machine gun also appears to be of American manufacture, not Japanese. See more »

Crazy Credits

The fishing boat heads out to sea while the end credits roll. See more »

Connections

Featured in Ozploitation Trailer Explosion (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Low budget "commandos" flick
10 February 2003 | by (St. Davids, Pennsylvania, USA) – See all my reviews

ATTACK FORCE Z is the only Aussie war movie I've seen yet besides RETURN FROM THE RIVER KWAI. It's fast-paced, fun, cheesy and plenty entertaining.

Jon Phillip Law (DEATH RIDES A HORSE) stars as an Allied commando who leads 4 international commandos to rescue a Japanese defector from a Japanese-infested island in the Pacific.

The movie features a lot of familiar plot elements, and strongly resembles the earlier American features AMBUSH BAY and BEACHHEAD. Only here, the movie is based on fact; a similar mission involving the "Z" Special Forces team was actually undertaken in the Pacific. The cast features a lot of young actors who were unknown at the time, including Mel Gibson (WE WERE SOLDIERS) as the team leader and Sam Neill as the radio operator.

The movie is obviously pretty low budget, as the action scenes involve few extras and are mostly skirmishes between the 5 commandos and Japanese patrols. There's some great martial arts action as a Chinese commando judo-chops dozens of Japanese soldiers to their deaths. The final battle scene, in which a handful of Chinese resistance fighters hold off at least a few dozen Japanese soldiers with shotguns is corny, as the Japanese always charge right into oncoming fire and never attempt a flanking movement. One resistance fighter stands in the alley blasting away with a shotgun, only dying once he's taken 6+ direct hits and grenade fragments. The Japanese soldiers look and act like idiots and use American machineguns, and the Aussies have M3 machine-pistols with silencers that never run out of ammo and never miss -- but what the heck, it's pretty entertaining and logic-free entertainment.

The musical score is great patriotic stuff by Eric Jupp, and the cinematography is pretty stunning. The Taiwanese crew does a great job with the little budget they had.

The version shown on TNT and TBS once in a very great while is of good quality. Unfortunately, there were some scenes in Japanese and others in Chinese which lacked subtitles. The closed captions weren't much help either as they read, "Speaking in Oriental Language". I haven't seen the NTSC video yet because it's far too expensive for my taste.

All in all, this really isn't the best war film out there. The action scenes bring the worst excesses to WINDTALKERS to mind as they're excellently photographed by defy all logic known to man. Still, the pace is fast, the characters good and the scenery is stunning. I give this a 6/10.


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