12 July 2013 | Aylmer
The Siege of Firebase POORia
As far as Italian / Filipino 'Nam movies go, you could go far worse, and even among the half-dozen spat out by frequent Antonio Margheriti collaborator Ignazio Dolce. In his brief directorial career span of about a year we saw the budgets and ambition-level decrease markedly with each picture only with the subject, casts, and setting remaining consistent throughout.
Richard Hatch (the real Apollo from the real Battlestar Galactica) and James Mitchum (the son of Robert) lead a ragtag group of misfits in guarding a firebase somewhere in Vietnam. Weaselly (and of course incompetent) Officer Antonio Marsina pops in to lead them off into the jungle to locate a French/Vietcong gun-smuggling ring, which unfortunately has much wider implications involving higher corruption. Afterward it's back to the firebase where most of our main characters are killed off in reverse-order of their amount of dialog up to that point in the film.
While the cast and plot are a lot better / smoother than Dolce's Nam debut COMMANDER, the acting, effects, and production values are certainly a step down. It's quite obvious that the same sets and locations from Brian Trenchard Smith's SIEGE OF FIREBASE GLORIA (itself a comparatively low budget war movie) were economically put to re-use. However the battle scenes just don't carry the same weight and most of the subplots lead nowhere. There's just not enough extras or pyrotechnics to sell us on the whole "war" thing, and the acting is uneven. Infamous goof-off 'actor' Robert Marius gets to lamely overact to some hackneyed dialog penned by Tito Carpi, who was prolific as can be at the expense of most of his scripts being just a combination of other, better films of their respective genres populated by clichéd cardboard characters.
At least this film has a lot of action and a finale that reaches for something bigger than what any of these Italian 'nam movies could really accomplish. This is an extremely obscure movie for some reason and I'm glad I took the time to track it down, but it just wasn't the knock-socks-off sort of action I found in WARBUS or COMMANDER.