1989 Flora Film
Directed by Bruno Mattei as "Vincent Dawn"
With Brent Huff, Mary Stavin, Werner Pochath
Review by Paul Cooke
Hot on the heels of, ‘Strike Commando 2’, and on set literally stepping distance from the same star trailers, Brent Huff and Mary Stavin get to rub sparks off each other once again in Director Bruno Mattei’s highly entertaining escapist all Action outing, ‘ Mayhem ’. With Stavin posing as reporter Marilaine Kain for the U.S.I News channel she travels to a province on the border of Vietnam, looking to seek out jaded Vietnam War survivor and decorated hero Sam Wood, as played by Brent Huff. Her apparent brief is to offer him $50,000 for his story relating to his escape from the infamously reviled Lutam Prison. The truth lies behind her seeking out his services to aid her in rescuing her own father from the still illegally active incarceration hell camp, and the connection that links Sam to the feisty woman’s parent.
Sat in a shanty bar by the side of a river, feet up on a grimy table, sits Sam Wood in a style that is instantly attributable to the inimitable stature of mister cool and casual himself, Brent Huff. With the stubble face chiseled look of the Sergio Leone influenced Clint Eastwood Man With No Name character etched upon his face, and a look in his eye that stares down a cobra placed in front of him by a local, Sam looks up from beneath his tilted fedora to squeeze the intrusive snake dry of venom. Vietnam’s answer to Crocodile Dundee then drinks the venom shot from a beer glass to complete his morning wake up ritual, knocked back with a couple of hard puffs on his cigar stub and a few cuss words beneath his breath. Brent Huff entrances don’t come much better than this one and it sets the tone for him to go into autopilot for the tongue in cheek Action thrill ride that follows.
Huff’s sharp dialogue and effortless wit cuttingly rubs off of Stavin’s bossy characterization of a spoilt daddy’s girl and the two manage to get along in the pursuit of riches and rescue. The back up plan involves Romano Puppo as Alex Ross, a government representative who is negotiating for the release of General Webber with Lutam ‘Camp’ leader Werner Pochath. A couple of plot twists later with character revelations revealing more than just a planned rescue mission, and Sam Wood clearly sees the trees but in so doing ends up inside the place he once escaped from, guest of Werner Pochath and up to his ears in trouble. The Action from here on in comes thick, fast, furious and fun with Brent Huff reveling in a freehanded role that suits him down to the ground. Running around clearly having a literal blast, grinning all the while whilst delivering corny dialogue and quoting his stock phrase ‘It can be done’ at every wonderful opportunity. The Action packed last third of the movie has Huff kitted up like Schwarzenegger in, ‘Commando’, heavy artillery draped over him like a designer full metal jacket. With determined abandonment the pumped up Huff unloads round after round into the opposition, pausing for breath just long enough to lock and load the rocket launcher in order to blow up every available hut that the set dressing unit could cobble together. All played out to the funky tunes of musical composer Al Festa this explosive extravaganza is perhaps most recognizable under it’s international release title of ‘Born To Fight’. Whatever it plays as the movie is without question a Mattei masterwork of mindlessly magnificent, mass ‘Mayhem’.
4.5 Exploding Huts
Japanese VHS Cover
UK Video Cover
Greek VHS Cover