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Armed Response (1986)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Thriller  |  3 October 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 424 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 8 critic

One of Tanaka's underlings has stolen a rare statuette that he had planned to use as a peace offering between the local Yakusa and Chinese Tong. He hires two private investigators to ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (from a story by), 2 more credits »
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Title: Armed Response (1986)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Burr DeBenning ...
Lt. Sanderson (as Burr De Benning)
David Goss ...
Dah-ve Chodan ...
Lauren Roth (as Dah've Seigler)
Conan Lee ...
Sam Hiona ...
Bob Hevelone ...
Nate (as Bob Hevilon)


One of Tanaka's underlings has stolen a rare statuette that he had planned to use as a peace offering between the local Yakusa and Chinese Tong. He hires two private investigators to exchange ransom money to recover the statuette, but the trade goes down bad and Clay Roth is killed. This angers Roth's brothers and father, all combat veterans, and they go after the people responsible. Written by Ed Sutton <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There's only one way to challenge the face of death... See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 October 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Vergelter  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)


$1,368,912 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The song that Lauren Roth picks to play on the Jukebox after Jace Smith's "Emily" ends is "Kicks" composed by Ricky Phillips and the beautiful Tane McClure (who was then called by Tane Cain at the time. Because she was married to Jonathan Cain, the Keyboardist & Rhythm Guitarist of Journey back then), who was known for being the lead singer of the Indie Rock band, Tryanglz. See more »


Akira Tanaka: Have you ever had your bones scraped, Mr. Roth?
Tommy Roth: Not recently.
Akira Tanaka: I hear it is not a pleasant experience. First the needle pierces the skin, leaving only the smallest of marks. The bone is scraped away by the gentle movement of the needle until it reaches the marrow.
See more »


Written by James Saad and Jeannie Cunningham
Performed by Jeannie Cunningham
Produced by James Saad
See more »

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User Reviews

This is a rare *million dollar* movie directed by the legendary Fred Olen Ray!
20 September 1999 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

There are two sides to every war. There are the chivalrous heroes and the treacherous villains. The honorable heroes include Burt Roth (the late Lee Van Cleef), and his sons, Vietnam Vets Jim (David Carradine), Tommy (Brent Huff), and Private Eye Clay Roth (David Goss). This close-knit family will either go down fighting or stand together in victory.

Now, meet the worthy adversaries. The ringleader is Akira Tanaka (Mako), the insidious mob boss who controls the Japanese Yakuza in Los Angeles. This antagonist gives new meaning to the word "evil." Then, there is F.C. (Michael Berryman, star of THE HILLS HAVE EYES), a gigantic bodyguard who is seemingly unstoppable. When this guy gives you a fortune cookie, be very afraid. Get ready to panic, for that is just a sign of heinous things to come...

The setting is the mean streets of Los Angeles's Chinatown. The object of affection is a priceless Jade statue. The Yakuza has intended to use this statue as a "gift" of reconciliation aimed towards the Chinese mob. However, after murdering one of his own perfidious men, Tanaka realizes that the statue is in the hands of someone else. Tanaka wants this Jade statue back...and he is willing to torture any soul just to obtain that prized possession...

The Roth family realizes that after one of their own kin unwittingly clutches the Jade statue in his hands, Tanaka is targeting them for termination. They have no choice. The Roth family has only one option: WAR. The forces of good and evil will clash in a fists-and-firepower battle. The Roth family is prepared...for an ARMED RESPONSE...

One of the best characteristics of ARMED RESPONSE is its all-star cast. With favorites including David Carradine, Lee Van Cleef, Mako, Michael Berryman, et. al., ARMED RESPONSE is armed with a terrific cast. The cast is glooming with talented character actors and actresses. Both David Carradine and Lee Van Cleef are capable as a father-and-son fighting duo who are bonded by courage, strength, and honor. Carradine may not portray the most poignant Vietnam Veteran, but at least his character still has intermittent flashbacks of the horrors of the Vietnam War. Mako is great as the sadistically evil bad guy who is a master of torture! He may be an intelligent nemesis, but sadism is his true forte. Ross Hagen is cool as a back-stabbing con artist who is posing as a detective. This guy is only interested in making a profit. Laurene Landon (MANIAC COP) and Dick Miller (GREMLINS) are amusing as a couple of thieves who are also weapons experts, mind you. Michael Berryman plays it straight as Tanaka's right-hand henchman. ARMED RESPONSE features some of the best exploitation veterans in this particular genre.

ARMED RESPONSE is not bad for a B-movie. For a mere budget of probably no more then a million dollars, this film features a lot of explosive car crashes and high caliber thrills. ARMED RESPONSE is reasonably fast-paced with a few expertly directed action scenes and stunts. Another redeeming factor is the film's fatuous sense of humor. In a way, ARMED RESPONSE satirizes on the action genre itself, poking fun at certain types of characters, behavioral characteristics, and character stereotypes. This film also benefits by having a few interesting one-liners...

Though ARMED RESPONSE is much better than some of the competition, it is still, nonetheless, a low budget film with its defects. Though the cast is excellent, the material and plot are very simplistic. This movie is nothing more then a simple tale of "heroes with a vengeance." There are a few twisted deviations, but those are nothing exceptional. If only the characters and story-line had more insight, then maybe this movie could have been an outstanding thriller. I also kind of resent the Asian stereotypes. Not since "Fu Manchu" has there been such a negative portrayal of Asians. "Here we go once again...the evil yellow man torturing the valiant white hero." That quote is a classic example of the villain pointing out the jingoistic attitudes of some Americans.

If you want to see an enjoyable B-movie, then look no further. Your search has ended here! This is one of Fred Olen Ray's first and foremost action films. ARMED RESPONSE is definitely worth a Saturday night rental. Granted, some people may detest this movie's blatant jingoism, but the overall permeating silliness of this movie makes you glad that it was made strictly for fun. This movie does not demand to be taken seriously at all!

Overall, the production values of ARMED RESPONSE are adequately adept, especially for a low budget film. This film is almost worth **1/2, but sadly, the film's ethic biases bring this film down a notch.

ARMED RESPONSE is an unrealized action flick that did not deserve to be ignored by critics. Though this movie may fall short of being an ambitious thriller, it works perfectly as a perfunctory, crowd-pleasing lunacy for action fans. ARMED RESPONSE may be junk food, but it is certainly delicious.

RATING: ** out of ****.

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