June 15th, 2011: Fantasy Mission Force

Cast and Crew: Brigitte Lin

What It’s About: During the Second World War, the Japanese military kidnaps four Allied generals.  The Allies send an irregular unit gathered and led by Don Wen (Yu Wang) to free them.

Why Watch it Today?: Although the plot synopsis might sound like a typical “irregular force sent on a secret commando mission” rip-off of The Dirty Dozen, released today in 1967, Fantasy Mission Force is one of the most bizarre films to use this basic set-up.

What the synopsis above leaves out is that this is a Hong Kong action comedy, which means that the film is quite bizarre by Western standards.  The Axis powers apparently were a mix of “Japanese” (i.e. Chinese actors in Samurai era Japanese costumes using swords, muskets and bows), “Nazis” (i.e. Chinese actors in Nazi costumes) and the forces of Lord Humongous (i.e. guys in fetish gear driving/standing on top of salvaged cars) and the generals kidnapped include “Abraham Lincoln”.  The film rips off everything from 1980s sword and sandal movies, to old Dark House films, to The Raiders of the Lost Ark, while providing some amusing if not particularly inventive action scenes at a regular clip, and a cameo appearance from Jackie Chan as a wandering performer who gets drawn into the madness.

Where to Get It: Amazon (second-hand)

The entire film is also available on YouTube: 

The original trailer:

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