The Vietnam War - like you never seen it before (ever)!!!
"Brothers in War" is a stinker but definitely worth watching if you like B-Movie action. Considering that it was made in 1989 - three years AFTER "Platoon", "Full Metal Jacket" and "Hamburger Hill" - it begs the question, 'what on earth were director Camillo Teti and his production team thinking??'.
Set in the Vietnam war, the story is simple; a singer is sent to an army camp to entertain the troops, the camp is about to be besieged, so two GIs are ordered to escort her and her manager to safety behind the lines.
The singer Mary (a stunning blonde in hot-pants) is escorted by John (the young soft-hearted hunk GI) and Josy (a sleazy, rugged SGT Rock type GI) with her manager Burt in toe (an American tourist in Hawiian shirt and shorts). They take a jeep. Yes a JEEP!! And begin their journey through hostile jungle.
John carries a Tommy Gun!! Josy carries and pump-action shotgun!! No M16s or M60s in sight!!! The journey goes like this; they drive, they are lost without any sense of direction, Mary shows a lot of leg and cleavage, Josy keeps pestering her with crude propositions and asking about her sex life, John frowns and persistently tells Josy to stop bothering her, Burt keeps asking if they are there yet.
Along the way they are continually ambushed by Vietnamese soldiers. None of them get shot but the droves of Vietnamese simply fall dead to the ground in heaps the moment John and Josy pull their triggers. They never have to reload and are able to converse with each other mid-fight when the Vietnamese are off-camera.
In a strange, illogical scene, John busts the jeep trying to cross a river - so they continue their journey on foot. By this point Mary is barefoot too. Then John and Burt fall into a large hole, man-trap. Whilst they are stuck down there, Josy decides to rape Mary - she guesses what he's up to - he catches her and after a brutal struggle he rapes her on the ground. Its a long drawn out rape scene with lots of screaming and kicking legs - all the while John and Burt aware of whats going on, shouting up from the hole.
In the aftermath, Josy has vanished into the jungle to go it alone and John and Burt having climbed out of the hole find Mary cowering and sobbing. The three of them continue on - Mary now miraculously recovered from her ordeal. John however has become neurotic. Still lost, they find a boat full of dead locals. They empty the boat and take it along the river whereupon they see another boat seemingly crewed by harmless locals. Mary and Burt want to ask the boat people for food, however John warns them from doing so - and as the boat gets closer the boat people open fire. Burt is somehow killed by grenade which causes no harm to their boat or to John and Mary. John promptly massacres the boat people. Mary then tells John that Burt was not only her manager but also her ex-husband.
Back on land, John and Mary get caught in a net which falls from a tree
Vietnamese soldiers appear and capture them. Held in a cage submerged
in water on the bank of the Vietnamese camp, John cracks-up. Then John and Mary have sex - a long, passionate scene!! After sex, a bunch of soldiers approach, drag Mary out of the cage and off to their huts, while John curses them. John then watches as the soldiers gang-rape Mary all night and seemingly all of the next day, and into the next night. Soldiers pile into one hut and rape her, she is then dragged into another hut, and so on! The following night, Josy is brought into the cage. He had been captured on his own journey. John is then taken to one of the huts where he is tortured by the Vietnamese. The senior Vietnamese soldier is played by a Turkish actor with slanted-eye makeup, doing his best impression of a Mexican bandit! John then kills his tormentors, rushes into the next hut where Mary is being raped, kills the rapists, gives Mary clothes and the pair escape to the trees.
During the fire-fight, Mary now blasting from a submachine gun, John sets Josy free. When Mary sees Josy she wants to kill him, but John stops her!! They then blow up the camp using grenades which have the effect of incendiary bombs, sending the buildings sky-high, levelling the camp. Josy then does a one-man stand in order to make amends and allow John and Mary to get away. By daylight, Josy catches up with John and Mary in the jungle - he is wounded and has a farewell death scene in John's arms - all is forgiven!! John and Mary then come across a unit of Americans who begin shooting at them. If you thought the film couldn't get any stranger!!! John explains something about the Americans not being what they seem - its never properly explained (are they mercenaries?? some kind of "Apocalypse Now" cult??) then a unit of Vietnamese come along on a TRAIN of all things, there is a huge battle and somehow John and Mary get away to safety and find a platoon of 'good' Americans. The film ends with the two 'love birds' laughing and cuddling in some long grass as the American troops walk by smiling.
"Brothers in War" is the strangest war movie I have ever seen. The acting is terrible, the script shocking, the casting is off-the-wall (Mexican bandit is another level and Josy is like a greasy villain from a cheap horror), but that said its a film worth watching if nothing else but for the fact that it is so bizarre.
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