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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 »

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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
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 »



Philippines | USA



Release Date:

September 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Force See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cosa Nueva See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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 The Big Box: To the Devil a Daughter (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Cirio H. Santiago strikes again with another mixture of madness
21 June 2017 | by Red-BarracudaSee all my reviews

Cirio H. Santiago seems to have been a bit of a legendary Filipino director from the period when many cheap and cheerful genre flicks were being knocked out in the Philippines. From the little that I have seen, his output seems to be a guarantee of a good time on at least some level. One thing I have noticed is that he is fond of throwing everything at the screen no matter how disparate, with Future Hunters (1986) for instance he combined a post-apocalypse, time-travel, religious artefacts, Shaolin monks, neo-Nazis, dwarfs and Amazonian women. With the earlier TNT Jackson (1974) he simply combined martial arts with Blaxploitation, which was a tactic he returned to with Fighting Mad, with the added bonus of a vigilante revenge story and Hell in the Pacific thrown into the mix as well. The story itself has a lot going on in it. Three Vietnam veterans steal a cache of gold and then two of them double-cross the third by killing him and throwing him in the sea. Trouble is he doesn't die and winds up on a tropical island inhabited by two Japanese soldiers who are still fighting World War II in the late 70's. They nurse him back to health and train him to be a martial arts expert and samurai sword master. He eventually ends up back home in L.A. and seeks out his ex-buddies - who are now crime lords - for a slice of violent revenge.

It would be churlish to complain too much against a movie which has a synopsis like the above. In true Santiago style its attempt to mash genres up does result in something a little bit different for sure. It's full to the brim with fighting, training montages, heads and ears being lopped off, soul singing, 70's hats and Afros. So while it's not always entirely engaging stuff it tries its best to deliver a bit of stupid fun and you really can't argue with that too much.

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