This movie has had three different iconic symbols associated with its title. On the film print itself, a large sword (suggesting perhaps a Japanese sword) is seen protruding through the title's wording. On Australian video-cassette release, the film's title on the video sleeve jacket and in advertising publicity had the Z formed within a circle of a gun-sight whilst on Australian DVD release in the 2000s, an image of an Australian animal, the kangaroo, can be seen located above the Z of the title on the DVD jacket sleeve and in advertising publicity. See more »
The fishing boat heads out to sea while the end credits roll. See more »
War films formed the basis of many a childhood, mine included, and this film is a firm favourite of mine, my brother and my cousin.
Made by the Australian film industry it is one of two films about the Australian Special Task Force Z during the Second World War. It shows that the war in the Pacific was not won solely by the Americans and that the Japanese occupation of China was brutal to anyone who would oppose them. Having seen photos of what the Japanese did to Chinese relatives of mine and to the population of China in general this film goes someway to highlight a rather forgotten piece of history.
Having said that, taking the film as an action/ war drama it is well paced and fairly realistic with but one feat of fantasy. As cinematic trivia it is noteworthy for the performances of Mel Gibson, Sam Neill and singer/actress Sylvia Chang pre-stardom. The star that never was, John Phillip Law takes centre stage for the most part but is beaten for intensity by Gibson as the young officer. The effects are a bit ropey, the blood has the red paint quality of war films of the late 60's - early 70's, but this adds to the charm.
If you like "men on a mission" films you should enjoy this.
NB- For more films on the Z Special Forces see "Heroes" 1 and 2 (made for tv). "Heroes 2" follows the same failed real-life mission as the second of the two Australian films whose title escapes me.
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