14 December 2016 | Red-Barracuda
Under-par Italian desert-based war movie
The more I see of the Euro war movie, the more I notice certain common traits that keep recurring. Kill Rommel is an example that features three. For one thing its action is set in the North African desert which seemed to be a favourite location for many an Italian made World War II movie; secondly its plot-line centres on a small group of troops on a special, border-line impossible, mission; and thirdly it features the very specific idea where a lookalike of a famous figure of the war is integral to the story, others in the sub-genre which also use this are Casablanca Express (1989) where its Churchill, while in When Heroes Die (1970) its Rommel, as it also is in this film.
This one was helmed by Alfonso Brescia who would go on to be a bit of a specialist in Star Wars (1977) rip-off flicks with the cheese-fests War of the Planets (1977) and War of the Robots (1978), while he would also add a bit of sex action into the sci-fi idiocy mix with The Beast in Space (1980). So this was the first time I had seen a Brescia movie that wasn't a bit of sci-fi hokum. It has to be said that despite the difference in genre, it's essentially of the same quality level as his other movies though. As I mentioned earlier, its plot-line is one that covers a lot of familiar ground featured in other movies of its time. But at the end of the day more of the same is kind of the general idea when it comes to a lot of this genre stuff and is what makes them kind of fun in truth. This one doesn't really fail on account of its derivative nature; it's more due to the tedium it generates too much of the time. It's not the most dynamic of films and it only really does just enough and no more to get over the line. It is still obviously worth checking out if you are a World War II buff though, as it still essentially does what it says on the tin, albeit in a somewhat underwhelming manner. On a final note, there was actually one thing that did stand out in this one and that was the casting decision to use the go-to guy for cinematic Nazis, Anton Diffring, as a British officer. That was certainly something different and must've made a nice change for Diffring who in reality was about as far removed from a Nazi sympathiser as it was possible to get.