The Night of the Askari (1976)

R   |    |  Action, Adventure, Drama


The Night of the Askari (1976) Poster

A colonial police officer in Rhodesia hunts down the albino terrorist who raped and murdered his fiancée.


5.5/10
201

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  • James Faulkner and Horst Frank in The Night of the Askari (1976)
  • Sybil Danning and James Faulkner in The Night of the Askari (1976)
  • Sybil Danning in The Night of the Askari (1976)
  • Christopher Lee and Erik Schumann in The Night of the Askari (1976)
  • Christopher Lee and Trevor Howard in The Night of the Askari (1976)
  • James Faulkner and Sam Williams in The Night of the Askari (1976)

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18 March 2002 | rundbauchdodo
5
| Peculiar mix of revenge thriller and social drama
This rather obscure film from German director Jürgen Goslar (who also directed several episodes of the hugely popular German Krimi series "Derrick") is notable mostly for its cast. Horror icon Christopher Lee is top billed as the British police chief in the African province. His mission is to accomplish peace between the natives and the white people. The late great Horst Frank plays an Albino native who leads a gang of terrorists that try to destroy the efforts to bring the natives and the whites together. And young Sascha Hehn - at the time the film was made nearly unknown, but later cast in some German soft core films and later a TV-star as a heart throbbing doctor or Prince Charming in the schmaltzy series "Das Traumschiff", a sort of German "Love Boat" - is a young officer and the best mate of the ex-policeman on the rampage whose wife has been raped and killed by Horst Frank's evil Albino.

The film itself suffers from its only real problem: Goslar directed the movie as a mix of revenge thriller in the tradition of the John Boorman classic "Deliverance" and a tedious social drama that can not succeed in leaving clichés about African natives out of the story. So the film itself becomes a mishmash of entertaining exploitation film and laughably banal social comment. Whenever Goslar goes for the exploitation, he succeeds; we witness a savage (if not that explicit) rape and murder, some really painful torture and a graphic head shot in "Dawn of the Dead" tradition, only that this film was made two years earlier. Whenever Goslar goes for social comment, the movie becomes bothersome, because it's not really convincing. The climax, on the other hand, is a worst case scenario that partially manages to bring the two aspects of the story together.

All in all, this film is quite interesting for fans of obscure films of the Seventies (be it for the actors alone), but it's also a good example for a movie that doesn't live up to its potentials.

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