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Killzone (1985)

R  |  Video  |   |  Action, Drama  |  May 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 3.9/10 from 60 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

A troubled Vietnam vet snaps during a training exercise at a survivalist-type military camp and thinks he's back in Vietnam. He kills several of the staff members who he thinks are Vietcong... See full summary »


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Title: Killzone (Video 1985)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fritz Matthews ...
Jason McKenna
David Campbell ...
Colonel Crawford (as David James Campbell)
Daniel Kong ...
Major Ling
Rick Massery ...
Steven Lucas (as Richard Massery)
William Zipp ...
Manley (as William Joseph Zipp)
Larry Udy ...
Charles Matthews (as Lawrence Udy)
Richard Brailford ...
Ron Pace ...
Tom Baldwin ...
Hillbilly's Son
Jack Marino ...
Harry / American Soldier
Sharon Young ...
Harry's Wife
Richard Bravo ...
James Edward Everette ...
Terry St. Claire ...
McKenna's Wife


A troubled Vietnam vet snaps during a training exercise at a survivalist-type military camp and thinks he's back in Vietnam. He kills several of the staff members who he thinks are Vietcong. The other participants set out to track him down and capture him before he hurts or kills anyone else. However, the camp's owner, who knows he'll be in trouble if word of this incident gets out, has no intention of capturing the man; he plans on killing him. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

vietnam | colonel | maniac | death | army | See All (15) »


They are the perfect killing machine!


Action | Drama


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

May 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Comandos de Elite  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Chris Tashima, who has a bit part in this film, went on to win an Oscar for his short Visas and Virtue (1997). See more »


McKenna: [responding to enemy interrogation] McKenna, Jason R., Second Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps, 55882504.
See more »

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User Reviews

Epitaph for My Journey
31 July 2004 | by (Illinois, USA) – See all my reviews

About ten years ago I saw my first two David A. Prior films. They were `Mankillers' and `The Lost Platoon,' and I didn't like them at all. Seven years later I would find myself on a strange quest: to see all of the films of this writer/director. With the viewing of `Killzone,' that quest is now complete. I have seen every movie David Prior has made except one. At the time of this writing, his last film, `Hostile Environment,' is only available in Germany. It's been six years since that movie was made, and I have to assume that it will not be released in the United States and that Prior will not make any more films. It's been a rocky road, but I have made it. I survived the bad times and cherished the good. Now that it is done, I don't know what else to do but write just one more comment.

The reason I was able to see the majority of Prior's films is because a local station always aired AIP movies, and most of Prior's movies were shown. The first one, aside from the aforementioned films a few years before, that I would see would be `The Final Sanction.' It was a terrible excursion. Then came `Hell on the Battleground,' and `Killer Workout,' which I also hated. Thinking I had found some nugget to vent my frustrations on, I kept watching. But most of the bad stuff had passed and I saw things that I really liked. They were always small in budget, but many times very entertaining and fun. I watched all that aired, including `That's Action,' a poor montage of AIP films hosted by actor Robert Culp, who obviously hadn't bothered to actually watch any of the films he was talking about. I tracked down non-AIP films, like `The P.A.C.K.' and even his first film, the shot-on-video horror movie `Sledgehammer' (quite a strange experience). Finally came `Killzone.' After watching it, it seems appropriate that this was the last one. The reason for that is because it foreshadows his future projects and was a source of inspiration for him.

The story of `Killzone' starts out at a Vietnam P.O.W. camp, where the Vietcong are brutally keeping American soldiers at bay. Two of them are McKenna (Fritz Matthews) and Mitchell (Ted Prior, David's brother and frequent star). McKenna's abuse has sent him over the edge, making him a loose cannon that even makes the other American soldiers nervous, except for faithful Mitchell. The brutality continues for twenty minutes until McKenna escapes custody. That's when the big plot twist is revealed. I hesitate spoiling this for anyone, so don't read on if you plan on seeing this. Okay, it is revealed that this is not Vietnam. The war has been over for years. Actually, this is some sort of military training camp or war games for vets, run by the overly brutal Colonel Crawford (David Campbell). When McKenna escapes, he thinks he is back in Vietnam and kills some of the men portraying the Vietcong and is thus a major danger to anyone he crosses. Crawford and all his men need to hunt down McKenna before he hurts someone else. But Crawford also doesn't want to get in trouble, so he intends to kill McKenna and cover up the misdeeds. So begins the chase as a wigged-out McKenna fights for his life against his own brothers-in-arms, with only sympathetic Mitchell on his side.

When Prior started working for AIP, he used this story and some techniques as a backdrop for other projects. I suspect it probably impressed the AIP heads, too, and they wanted more like it. Unfortunately, the films that would be resulting from it would be `Hell on the Battleground,' Deadly Prey,' and `Operation Warzone .' Particularly, `Deadly Prey' would almost mimic it, having a vet (Ted Prior) being hunted by a survivalist camp led by Colonel Hogan (David Campbell) and only one man (Fritz Matthews) on his side. None of Prior's other war movies would come close in action or style to `Killzone.' Part of this was AIP's limited budget, but another part is that `Killzone' feels like more people cared. The action work is great and the camerawork superb (see the truck and helicopter scenes). The acting is better by the same people that would be in the same future pictures. Best of all, I cared about what was going on. I wanted to know what would happen next. That is what filmmaking is all about. Though flawed (the first twenty minutes are boring) the film is satisfying. Zantara's score: 7 out of 10.

For the record, here are what I think of all Prior's films, sans his last one:

PRIOR FILMS TO CHECK OUT: Night Wars, White Fury, Lock ‘n' Load, Killzone, Double Threat, Invasion Force, Born Killer, Future Zone, Raw Nerve, Mutant Species, Center of the Web.

TWEENERS: Rapid Fire, Jungle Assault, Felony, Raw Justice, Mardi Gras for the Devil, Death Chase, Body Count, Sledgehammer, The P.A.C.K.

PRIOR FILMS TO AVOID: Future Force, That's Action, The Lost Platoon, Mankillers, Deadly Prey, Killer Workout, The Final Sanction, Hell on the Battleground, Operation Warzone.

I sometimes wonder what David Prior would think if he stumbled upon my various reviews (but if I was e-mailed by someone claiming to be him, I wouldn't believe it to be real). While I scorned some of his movies, I also praised what I thought was great. Would he be upset that I insulted something as bad as `The Final Sanction' and `Operation Warzone?' Would he be happy that I had good things to say about `Lock n Load,' White Fury,' and `Night Wars?' I'm not really sure, but I like to believe that he would just be happy that someone tried to watch every film he ever made.

So long, David A. Prior! Thanks for all the good times and bad!

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