Raw Force (1981)

Rating: **
Alternate Title: Kung Fu Cannibals
Review Date: 11/8/14
Cast: Cameron Mitchell, Hope Holiday, Geoffrey Binney, John Dresden, Vic Diaz, Rey King (Rey Malonzo), cameos by Chanda Romero, Jewel Shepard

"This must be where they bury all those god damn kung fu fighters."

Embarrassingly awful. Three guys from an American karate club head to the South China Sea to visit Warrior's Island. According to legend, that's where disgraced martial artists go to die, and the local monks (led by Vic Diaz) can resurrect them in order to regain their honor. The monks also have a taste for attractive young women. Literally. Will our heroes be able to defeat an army of undead warriors and escape the cursed island?

The film has absolutely nothing to offer, apart from a handful of pretty girls and a gleefully maniacal performance by Vic Diaz. Asian martial artist Rey Malonzo is the only guy in the film who can fight, which just makes all of the other actors look bad. There's a surprising amount of nudity in the film, and everyone manages to somehow hook up at the end. The scenes on the cruise ship are excruciatingly painful to watch, and the dialog is atrocious. Thankfully, things become more serious when our band of heroes finally reaches Warrior Island, but the action scenes are still pretty pitiful. While it's definitely a low budget film, the film quality itself isn't too bad. However, the visual effects are terrible and the fight choreography is on par with what Hollywood had to offer at the time, which isn't much. And if cannibalistic monks and samurai zombies aren't silly enough for you, the waters surrounding the island are teeming with Asian piranhas. The music score is actually pretty good, and is probably the most professional aspect of the entire production.

The DVD includes an interesting interview with the director, who is both proud of and embarrassed by his first film. He states that the target audience is seventeen year old boys, which is about right. So if you're in the mood for a 1980's era T&A action adventure with an adolescent mentality, "Raw Force" might just make your evening.