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The Beast of War (1988)
A War movie classic
The movie charts the struggle between a Russian tank commander, whose crew manages to get lost in the desert during the soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the Afghan fighters against him who want to blow up the tank. Both sites take desperate measures including sneak night time attacks, & poisining water supplies.
The portrayal of the tank is stunning, with its machine guns, flame thrower, anti-personel radar etc. In one night scene, a heard of deer are mistaken for solders, and the tanks flame thrower is used to shoot flame in a 360 degree circle during a counter attack. Stunning.
The opening scene is stunning & I will never forget it, showing a group of Russian tanks destroying an Afghan village with shells, before clearing building with flame throwers.
Afghan fighters react, putting molotov cocktails down one tanks hatch, killing the whole crew. Afghan women cover one of the tanks to block its use, the crew react by putting chlorine gas underneath the tank, one afghan women is unable to escape and chokes to death. Stunning stuff.
The tank commander displays his brutality many times during the film, firstly by running over a captured enemy soldier with tank treads. Later, he murders a Muslim grew member with a machine gun, because he does not trust him. Another of his crew mutinies, and is left tied to rocks with a hand grenade under his head. Stunning stuff. Later in the movie we find out the tank commander grew up during the German invasion of Russia, and as a boy would throw molotov cocktails down the hatches of approaching tanks, earning him the nickname "tank boy". A good bit of character building.
The bleak landscape of afghanistan is well filmed, often with packs of wild dogs running across the screen, which looks great.
Split Second (1992)
awful, straight to video b-movie
I like Rutger Haueer, and bought this movie on video from a Charity shop.
Rutger has some amusing lines in the movie, but the rest of the character is very annoying and doesn't make sense: He works for the Metropolitan police, but he is an American. He dresses like the terminator, while everyone else dresses like they are from Scotland yard. The most annoying aspect of his character is that he wears these stupid round sunglasses all the time, even at night, and that he stops to light a cigar seemingly every 2 minutes. He also carrys a stupidly large gun, which looks like something out of robocop. His character is daft and annoying.
The rest of the films production values are awful. There is some kind of monster stalking people. Every time you see a shot of the monster, the film switches to a monster eye view, complete with heavy breathing(it seems to be an asthmatic monster). The film is set entirely at night(London is permanently dark, due to environmental problems. The streets are mostly flooded due to continuous rain, and people move around in boats or land rovers. I found the films sets depressing.
After watching the depressing sets, poor support actors, heavy breathing moster, and rutgers annoying character, I had had enough and switched the film of after 45 minutes. One to avoid.