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Fabrizio De Angelis
A fairly fun and pretty gory 80s jungle flick from Thailand
A tough ex-soldier, together with his small band of vicious mercenaries, embarks on a dangerous jungle mission and comes face to face with a nasty drug runner and his cannibalistic cohorts.
If you dig the whole jungle horror/cannibal genre, then Jungle Killers (AKA Cannibal Mercenary AKA Mercenary) should prove entertaining enough to be worth a go. Seemingly inspired by the Italian cannibal flicks of the 70s and early 80s, this little seen and fairly gruesome Thai exploitationer is full of gross-out gore and silly action scenes that need to be seen to be believed.
The first hour of the film is rather uneventful, with only the occasional booby trap and poorly executed battle scene to liven things up; however, the latter half, in which our plucky heroes are captured by the bad guy and submitted to all manner of horrific torture (including a juicy 'chisel/mallet/skull' moment), helps to compensate somewhat. With graphic eye-gouging, limb-chopping and wound-spurting, gore-hounds get what they want in the end.
That is providing that they have the uncut version of the film.
The first copy of this rarity that I laid my hands on, entitled The Jaguar Project, was shorn of not only the gorier moments, but also quite a bit of plot (which explained why the main character accepted the mission in the first place). There was also some inexplicable hokum about three Western guys searching for a valuable Buddha statue; these additional scenes were incredibly poor and totally out of place with the rest of the movie.
Realising that this cut was obviously missing the 'good' bits I had read about, I tracked down a longer version which, whilst not exactly brilliant, at least provided me with the sleaze I had been expecting (and also cut out the dreadful Buddha subplot).
If you like your entertainment a little more on the obscure and bizarre side, then track down Jungle Killers for a bit of a laugh. And don't forget to look out for my favourite moment, when a particularly freaky looking guy gets his kicks from urinating on a captured bloke's face!
6.5/10, generously rounded up to 7 for IMDb.
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