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  Commando Leopard Going Commando
Year: 1985
Director: Antonio Margheriti
Stars: Lewis Collins, Klaus Kinski, Cristina Donadio, Manfred Lehmann, John Steiner, Hans Leutenegger, Thomas Danneberg, Francis Derosa, Alan C. Walker, Michael James, Rene Abadeza, Subas Herrero
Genre: ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Freedom fighter Carrasco (Lewis Collins) is leading his team on an assault on one of this Latin American country's dams, all with a view to taking another step for releasing the land from the grip of the evil dictator Homoza (Subas Herrero). His loyal troops assemble themselves around the structure, knowing they have a sympathetic worker inside who will allow them to make their move, and suddenly they are shooting down the guards and throwing grenades, getting into position to set the dynamite on one of the girders, just as Carrasco orders...

Lewis Collins made his name in the British action series The Professionals, but after that happened he was offered the biggest chance of his career - to play the one and only James Bond! Which he, er, turned down, marking out a career in thickear guns 'n' ammo exploitation movies instead. Who Dares Wins was probably his highest profile effort after leaving television, but as this had made him very popular on the Continent he carved out a niche in films such as Codename: Wild Geese and this, Commando Leopard, two very similar works of action.

Or at least, it seemed as if he was going to continue in this vein, but for some reason his roles after this were spotty, leaving his fans to cast about for any odd appearance on the big or small screen in the hope that some of the old magic would still be apparent. Both Codename: Wild Geese and this similar item were directed by Antonio Margheriti, and were very much in the vein of those mercenaries on a mission, semi-war films that emerged in the late seventies with, well, The Wild Geese.

They were all macho to a fault these movies, and so Collins suited them to a tee, so could have done worse than make more of them, yet only small handful of them did he star in. To add cult value, here Klaus Kinski shared the billing as the main baddie, which may have you salivating at the meeting of these two actors in perhaps a head to head face off or whatever, therefore it makes it all the more odd that Roy Nelson's script barely has them appearing in the same scene together, never mind exchanging pleasantries - or anything else, for that matter.

The good guys do blow up that dam, thus offering the special effects department to show off their extensive use of miniatures - rumour had it half the budget was spent on creating little models and blowing them up. Later ones include a jet airliner which is shot down by the villians to blame on the heroes (the ruddy dastards!) and a train pulling some explosive tankers which Carrasco and his new friend, the priest Father Julio (Manfred Lehmann), have to escape from. Such setpieces as these are fair enough, but there's very little inspired or even, which many might be hoping for, outright outrageous in all this, so the film tends to plod along from one sequence of shootibangs to the next, with a lot of setting of the jaw and gritting of the teeth in between. Music by Goran Kuzminac and Ennio Morricone.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Antonio Margheriti  (1930 - 2002)

Italian writer and director who worked in a variety of genres throughout his career, although largely horror, science fiction and western. Some of his films include Castle of Blood, The Wild, Wild Planet, The Long Hair of Death, Take a Hard Ride, Killer Fish, Cannibal Apocalypse and Yor, Hunter from the Future.

 
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