HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gangsta
3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt
Magic Serpent, The
That's Not Me
There Goes the Bride
Billy the Kid versus Dracula
Liquid Sword
I, Tonya
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Bad Match
Güeros
Anchor and Hope
One, The
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Lucky
Still of the Night
Home Sweet Homicide
Mannaja - A Man Called Blade
Spitfire
Killers from Space
Castle of the Creeping Flesh
Ghost Stories
Wild Boys, The
Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai, The
Four Rode Out
Lethal Weapon 3
Kit Curran Radio Show, The
D.O.A.
End, The
Tully
   
 
Newest Articles
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
   
 
  Amsterdam Kill, The No time for tulipsBuy this film here.
Year: 1977
Director: Robert Clouse
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Richard Egan, Leslie Nielsen, Bradford Dillman, Keye Luke, George Cheung, Sing Chen, Stephen Leung, Mars, Lam Ching Ying, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Hong Kong drug traffickers are found dead at random sites around Amsterdam, leading aging heroin baron Chung Wei (Keye Luke) to contact ex-DEA agent Quinlan (Robert Mitchum) with an offer to inform on the international cartel in exchange for amnesty. Quinlan was removed from his job for stealing drug money, so is looking to redeem himself in the eyes of his colleagues Odums (Bradford Dillman) and Ridgeway (Richard Egan) and show-up pompous DEA chief Riley Knight (Leslie Nielsen). Using Chung’s information, Quinlan tips DEA agents to drug busts, but when the first two of these go awry resulting in dead officers, the cops question whether he should be trusted.

The Amsterdam Kill was among Golden Harvest’s sporadic attempts to crack the American market. It is supposedly a remake of Jumping Ash (1976) which is considered the first film of the Hong Kong New Wave and was a breakthrough for director Ronny Yu. In spite of an A-list leading man, this has the grainy visuals and choppy editing of a kung fu quickie (editor Allan Holtzman later directed cheapo Alien rip-off Forbidden World (1982)) but is murky, lethargic and at times borderline incoherent. Robert Clouse may have made Enter the Dragon (1973) but was never really the action maestro his reputation suggested. Bruce Lee and Sammo Hung were long rumoured to have been the real force behind that film’s classic fight scenes and in fact Hung choreographed the action here, although it is far from impressive, largely scenes with Mitchum piled under hordes of screaming Chinese stuntmen.

Sold with the tagline: “the meanest Mitchum movie yet”, fans hoping to see the iconic star bust triad skulls the way he battled Japanese gangsters in The Yakuza (1975) may be disappointed. The aging actor was none too keen about throwing himself into exhausting action sequences and chose to leave them to other actors like George Cheung, a prolific film and television actor active to this day, as Chinese agent Jimmy Wong who safeguards the annoyingly quixotic Chung Wei. At least Mitchum goes wild with a bulldozer during the lively climax, but the film throws repetive scenes where he keeps being captured, bound and gagged then inexplicably released. He allegedly hated making the movie - and the Hong Kong crew weren’t crazy about him either - but delivers his usual professional, laconically charismatic performance. Of the supporting players, Bradford Dillman recycles his irate police chief act from the Dirty Harry sequels whilst viewers more familiar with Leslie Nielsen’s spoof roles will struggle to take him seriously.

Although the film takes a more sober view of the drugs trade than Golden Harvest’s outrageous Stoner (1974), Clouse blunders through the globetrotting action without clarifying the increasingly nebulous plot. We never learn whether Quinlan really did steal that drug money nor why Chung Wei keeps escaping from Jimmy when he is supposed to be his bodyguard. By far the most interesting aspect for Hong Kong film fans is spotting several soon-to-be-big stars among the supporting cast. Mr. Vampire himself, Lam Ching Ying appears as a Hong Kong cop unimpressed with Quinlan’s maverick ways and look out for a young Yuen Wah and Yuen Biao killed by stampeding horses in slow-motion.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2674 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Robert Clouse  (1928 - 1997)

American director who, after directing Darker Than Amber, settled into a string of martial arts thrillers starting with the Bruce Lee favourite Enter the Dragon. His other films include Golden Needles, Black Belt Jones, The Ultimate Warrior, Game of Death, The London Connection, The Big Brawl, camp classic Gymkata, China O'Brien and its first sequel.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
Andrew Pragasam
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
  Dan Malone
   

 

Last Updated: