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The ZONE - genre nonfiction
Soundchecks - music reviews
Rotary Action - helicopter movies
cast: Brian Thompson, Oliver Reed, George Kennedy, José Ferrer, and Michelle Moffett
directors: Nico Mastorakis and Peter Rader
91 minutes (18) 1990
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Arrow blu-ray region B
review by Ian Shutter
Hired To Kill
Long before Christopher Ray's Mercenaries (2014) - an imitative movie that almost revived the careers of Brigitte Nielsen and Cynthia Rothrock, and tried hard to beat Sylvester Stallone's vanity
ensemble franchise The Expendables at their own game - Hired To Kill was also a formidable mash-up of British movie Wild
Geese (1978), and German exploitation flick Jungle Warriors (1984).
Frank (Brian Thompson, perhaps best known for playing an alien bounty hunter on The X-Files) assembles a team of women for a Mediterranean
'mission: impossible', where they are glamorous enough pose as fashion models before going full tactical on location. Their task is a jail-break, intended to free a revolutionary leader named the Brother
(Jose Ferrer, the Emperor in Dune), but does the local rebellion really need a martyr?
George Kennedy is the big boss of this enterprise, smartly suited, and gentlemanly, if only in the manner of a corporate Bond villain. Oliver Reed is the chief villain Bartos, toasting "the new magnificent
seven," molesting his motherless trophy-daughter and, in one notorious scene, snogging the hero. It's just the kind of cheesy action movie so effectively parodied by Andy Sidaris, and it's pretty good
Beautifully restored for its blu-ray debut, the hi-def picture and sound quality on this disc are quite superb. In the extras, the director gives us the full story of how a tragic helicopter crash - that
occurred during filming on location in Corfu - almost killed his latest production. There's also a new interview (17 minutes) with star Thompson.