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Private Wars (1993)

R  |  Video  |   |  Action  |  September 1993 (Germany)
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A wealthy businessman is trying to "convince" the inhabitants of an old neighborhood to abandon their homes in order to build a huge business center there. To achieve his goals, he bribes ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Manning
Chief Carpenter
Dan Tullis Jr. ...
Mo Williams
Holly Floria ...
Ronnie Gilmore
Alexander Winters
Mr. Mendoza
Ben Gilmore
Albert Garcia ...
Cynthia Frost ...
Mrs. Dominick
Tim Colceri ...
Sergeant Fuller
John Hobson ...
Eddie (as Vincent Murdocco)
John Salvitti ...
Anthony R. Lovett ...
Wolcott (as Andy Lovett)


A wealthy businessman is trying to "convince" the inhabitants of an old neighborhood to abandon their homes in order to build a huge business center there. To achieve his goals, he bribes the police and uses organized bands to intimidate the neighbors. But perhaps this alcoholic ex-cop, Manning, could help them, but how? Written by Luis Carvacho <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The battle lines are drawn between good and evil!




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Release Date:

September 1993 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Defender  »

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User Reviews

"I have never seen a mangier bunch of wackos and fruitcakes"
9 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Some time in the early 90s, action producers extraordinaire Joseph Merhi and Richard Pepin must have sat down and asked themselves "Just how corny of a movie can we actually make?" Now, PM Entertainment released no shortage of cornballs, but I declare that PRIVATE WARS here might be the corniest of all. This urban adventure flick relies more on plot and characters than the studio's usual action outings, and the result is an entertaining but inherently flawed little production.

The story: As a greedy millionaire (Stuart Whitman) attempts to force people out of their urban neighborhood through terror and violence, the inhabitants turn to a disgraced ex-cop (Steve Railsback) to help them fight back.

In no way do I buy Steve Railsback as the action hero this feature tries to turn him into. In the film, he's a skinny guy with a bad haircut who at best looks like Lance Henriksen's destitute younger brother, but the story has him doing martial arts and beating up the likes of Vince Murdocco and John Salvitti with an efficiency that makes PM's usual lead stars look like amateur. Much like its leading man, the film's sentiment is questionable: the take-up-arms, defend-your-neighborhood philosophy is romantic enough, but it's pretty uncomfortable to hear Holly Floria call other characters cowards for wanting to get their families out of harm's way. The people populating this film are brave, but they're also very dumb.

Nevertheless, the level of hokeyness this ushers in is memorable. There is so much B-movie goodness here to love, from the ultra-nasty thugs (who break little kids' toys and push old ladies) to masturbatory expositions about Railsback's character and one of the most out-of-nowhere romances you could ever hope to see. The corniness is so permeating that even an Oscar nominee like Stuart Whitman ends up going thoroughly overboard in his performance, leaving it to good old Dan Tullis to be the best actor of the film, as witnessed in such scenes as when he makes a thug eat a chili pepper as punishment for assault and battery.

The action content ends up being decent. A pretty good car chase with a spectacular crash starts off the film, and the remaining adrenaline scenes are a mixture of shootouts and fights. Amazingly, there are more brawls in this one than there are in many movies starring martial artists, although none of these fights are particularly spectacular (despite the presence of PM regulars James Lew, Butch Togisala, and Art Camacho).

The movie inhabits a violent, crazy universe that I am glad I don't live in, but it's the excesses that ultimately make this film worth a watch. With its dramatic heavy-handedness and gung-ho attitude, this movie has PM's signature all over it but still manages to take an extra clumsy step to distinguish itself. General action fans and B-movie lovers ought to check it out, but everyone else better steer clear.

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