HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Beast, The Tanks Very Much
Year: 1988
Director: Kevin Reynolds
Stars: George Dzundza, Jason Patric, Steven Bauer, Stephen Baldwin, Don Harvey, Kabir Bedi, Erick Avari
Genre: WarBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: It is 1981 and the Soviet Union and Afghanistan are at war after the Russians have invaded. The Afghan Mujahadeen guerillas refuse to be beaten, and in one remote village, there is a surprise attack by Soviet tanks, blowing up homes and massacring the villagers. One tank crew, commanded by the brutal Daskal (George Dzundza), capture a member of the rebels, and Daskal orders him placed under one of the tracks to be questioned, but the rebel is defiant to the last, until the tank crushes him. The tank battalion leaves, with religious anger in its wake, but Daskal's vehicle goes the wrong way, into a desert valley, and to its doom...

This unforgiving war movie was scripted by William Mastrosimone from his stage play, and develops into a game of cat and mouse between the "Beast" and the rebels, who not only want to kill the crew of the tank in revenge, but are joined by more opportunist Afghans who want the vehicle as a prize. It takes a little while to adjust to the filmmakers' approach, as the Afghans speak in their native tongue, but subtitled, yet the Soviets speak American English - if it hadn't been for the date you could have been forgiven for thinking the events depicted were more recent than 1981, what with the American involvement in the following century.

The crew may be led under the iron fist of Daskal, but they don't respect him. He is a proud, hate-filled and bigoted man, and Dzundza plays him with a formidable determination that borders on psychosis. His chief adversary in the tank is Koverchenko (Jason Patric), and we know he's the sensitive, thoughtful one because he wears glasses and writes in the log book; he is the voice of reason after Daskal cold bloodedly kills the only Afghan member of the crew. The other two either drink brake fluid or meekly follow orders, and when Koverchenko and Daskal have a real clash of personalities, the two seal their fate by not backing up the less dangerous of the antagonists.

Daskal is determined to hang onto his tank no matter what, and the chase is conducted under the baking heat (the Israeli locations are a convincing setting for the drama) which is all the more gruelling for the gradual collapse of the war machine's functions. In a balanced script, just as much attention is paid to the Afghans, led by Taj (Steven Bauer), whose brother was killed in the raid. They are trailed by the stone-throwing women of the devastated village, and have salvaged a rocket launcher which they hope to disable the tank with. For them, Allah is on their side, and judging by the way the hapless Soviets carry on, they could be right.

Eventually, the lines between the two sides are blurred when Daskal orders his remaining men to tie Koverchenko to a rock and leave him there to die, either of starvation or at the jaws of the scavenging wild dogs. As luck would have it, the rebels find him, and are preparing to kill him when Taj decides he could come in useful. Sure enough, he fixes the rocket launcher and joins them in their mission to bring down the "Beast" - one rebel makes connections with David and Goliath. The moral is that you can't be a good soldier in a rotten war, and this conflict looks as messy as it can be, judging by the tiny section of it we see. But that's the main problem: with this snapshot attempting to speak for all "rotten" wars, it ends up saying very little that hasn't been said already, and leaves you none the wiser about the Afghanistan war of the eighties, or indeed any war, diverting as the film is. Music by Mark Isham.

Aka: The Beast of War
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 8359 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
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
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: