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Death Force (1978)

An American Vietnam soldier on his way home is left for dead and is saved by a pair of Japanese stragglers from WWII, who train him in the way of the samurai.


Cirio H. Santiago


Howard R. Cohen (screenplay), Cirio H. Santiago (story) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
James Iglehart ... Doug Russell
Carmen Argenziano ... Morelli
Leon Isaac Kennedy ... McGee (as Leon Isaac)
Jayne Kennedy ... Maria Russell
Joe Mari Avellana ... (as Jose Mari Avellana)
Joonee Gamboa ... (as Joonie Gamboa)
Leo Martinez
Armando Federico Armando Federico ... Rico
Cathy Sabino Cathy Sabino
James Monroe Iglehart ... Jimmy Russell
Allen Arkus Allen Arkus
Tony Carreon Tony Carreon ... (as Tony Carrion)
Ernie Carvajal Ernie Carvajal
Vic Diaz ... Chinaman
Ramon D'Salva Ramon D'Salva


After being left for dead, the man is rescued by two Japanese soldiers, living on a remote island, who teach him the ways of the samurai. Upon returning to the USA, he quickly exacts a bloody revenge on his tormentors and reunite with his wife and son.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Beaten, Betrayed and Bustin' Loose! See more »


Action | Crime | Drama | War


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


McGee: You like lasagna, you got lasagna.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The new DVD release by Vinegar Syndrome is the complete 110-minute director's cut, as opposed to the regular 96 minute version on various public domain releases. See more »


Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) See more »

User Reviews

'swarthy, machismo-soaked, leather-clad heroics from Santiago!
23 January 2014 | by Weirdling_WolfSee all my reviews

With the belated rise in popularity of Asian exploitation; towering Grindhouse icon, Cirio H. Santiago, has become somewhat of a bona fide underground cinematic hero; this is due in no small part to his series of low-budget, high-octane, Post-Apocalyptic actioners, and ribald entertainments that were so exceptionally popular during home video boom of the 80's. The doyen of Post- Holocaust automotive Armageddon, Santiago perfected the machismo-soaked iconography of swarthy, leather-clad heroics, where dusty, embattled muscle cars, festooned with gaudy Motley Crue accoutrements blazed a furious trail of calamitous carnage across a noxious, corrupted landscape, where brutality and automotive prowess were the only viable remaining currency. Santiago directed these dystopian vistas with their crimson-hued skyline, mottled by the choking dust of deathly radioactivity with great gusto; so it came as no great surprise to discover that his earlier title, and wildly entertaining revenger, 'Fighting Mad' (aka) 'Death Force' was by no means an impoverished backwoods cousin to his better known PA extravaganzas. Brawny, James Inglehart, is part of a roguish trio of opportunistic thugs, and after a particularly frantic blag upon a yacht, things go rapidly south, he is left to rot in the midst of the briny sea. Being a purebred Grindhouse classic, the film's unerring goal is unrelenting, blood-thirsty revenge; and after washing up on a deserted island he is trained by two Japanese soldiers stranded there since the end of WW2; naturally we have to endure a little ham-fisted cross cultural observations, pre-chop sock, but swiftly, Santiago constructs some amusing training vignettes, while certainly not on par with '36 Chambers of Shaolin' they prove to be an excellent aperitif before our vengeful black samurai (fortunately not the far less dynamic, Al Adamson interpretation) replete with diamond-edged Katana blade proceeds to exact a most furious and dreadful revenge. Ostensibly 'Fighting Mad' is the timeless fable of a muscular, super-irked black man decapitating dumbbell Mafiosi with a diamond edged katana blade. So what's not to like?

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Philippines | USA



Release Date:

15 November 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Force See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cosa Nueva Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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