The Intruder (1986)

The Intruder  (1986)- * * *1\2

AKA Rambu

Directed by: Jopi Burnama

Starring: Peter O'Brian, Craig Gavin and Lia Warokka 

When criminals and baddies of every kind stalk the streets of Indonesia, only one man can stop them in their tracks: Rambu (O’Brian), of course. The man his enemies call Rambu is actually an unemployed dude with a wicked fashion sense named Alex Terambuan. But to criminal mastermind John White (Gavin, who is credited as “John Smith” in the end credits) and his hordes of goons, he is an “Intruder” into their evil business. So they kidnap, rape and murder his wife Ella (Warokka, credited as “Angela” in the end credits). At one point he even gets Rambushed by the bad guys (hence the Prerequisite Torture Sequence). Luckily Ella gave him a red scarf to remember her by before she was abducted. After he wraps it tightly around his forehead, Rambu goes out for revenge. Can anything stop a Rambu on the rampage? Find out today!

The great and mighty Peter O’Brian returns in his second film after the awesome The Stabilizer (1986) - and The Intruder has the same kind of utterly winning, infectious, nutty charm. The entertainment value of this movie is off the chart, as it delivers the goods and then some starting with the great opening scene and not really ever letting up. The whole outing has energy (sped-up fights will do that), exotic flavor, and general insanity that viewers just have to love. Why he has a cricket ball (?) that returns to him like a boomerang is just one of the many brain-teasing questions this movie will confront you with.

As we will learn from Rambu, only suckers don’t undo the first 4 to 5 buttons on a shirt. Actor Craig Gavin has only ever appeared in two movies in his career - and both of them were playing villains to Peter O’Brian’s heroes. Who could forget him as Greg Rainmaker in The Stabilizer? Seeing as how both movies were made in 1986, we suspect he uses the same white suit here as he did there. It’s a shame he wasn’t in more movies, he could have had a career. But as for The Intruder in general, even the dubbing is enjoyable on its own. You could watch this movie with your eyes closed and still have a great time. But if you did that, you’d miss all the great hair, clothes, high-quality explosions, and references to a certain Stallone movie that shall remain...well, not nameless, but let’s just say one vowel different.

It’s always great when filmmakers are so proud of a name they came up with, they say it excessively throughout the movie. A classic example is Best of the Best 2 (1993), where the name “Brakus” is said countless times. Here, it’s the same thing, the name “Rambu” is uttered endlessly throughout the movie by just about every character. And the more they say it, the funnier it gets. While American audiences may only know director Jopi Burnama because Troma took one of his movies and re-dubbed it into the unfunny Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters (1982), that’s a shame, because he may just have an Arizal-level of talent but no DVD distributors want to take a chance on his output. Where’s Mondo Macabro on this?

Rambu remains a sparkling gem in the rare 80’s international action canon. Don’t be afraid to draw ‘second blood’ and seek it out soon.

Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty


Deadly Target (1994)

Deadly Target (1994)- * * *

Directed by: Charla Driver

Starring: Gary Daniels, Aki Aleong, Ken McLeod, Byron Mann, Al Leong, Ron Yuan, and Susan Byun

Charles “Charlie” Prince (Daniels) is a Hong Kong cop who travels to L.A. in order to bring arch-criminal Chang (Mann) back to his home country to face justice. The tenacious Prince will stop at nothing to achieve his goal, because the arrest of Chang is personal to him. His “cowboy” attitude initially rubs his temporary partner Jenson (McLeod) the wrong way, but of course they learn to work together. Naturally both men are Martial Arts masters, which surely is a coincidence. Somehow Prince finds time for romance with Diana Tang (Byun), but Chang and his army of goons are going to prove difficult to stop: their criminal network is vast and their firepower is huge. Will Prince and Jenson finally achieve their goal?

While Deadly Target has all the hallmarks of mid-90’s PM that we’ve come to know and love, such as constant Martial Arts fights, mindless shooting, car chases/cars flipping and blowing up in the middle of the street, exploding helicopters, and more mindless shooting, an element seems to be missing here. It’s not in the top tier, with movies such as Rage, Last Man Standing, Recoil and The Sweeper, and it doesn’t have the nutty/wacky factor of Wilding or Night Of The Kickfighters, but it’s a serviceable outing nonetheless, most likely, once again, because of the charm of Gary Daniels. While we’ve seen almost all of Ken McLeod’s filmography, somehow Daniels always steals the show. The presence of Susan Byun as the love interest was basically pointless, but if not for her, there would be almost no women in the whole production. Max Gail as Captain Peters was the classic WYC (White Yelling Chief) - too bad they couldn’t get his lookalike Peter Boyle to do the role. Ron Yuan, Aki Aleong, and Al Leong fill out the cast of familiar faces and names (well, if you watch a lot of 90’s DTV action product).

While that comfortable feeling of “dumbness” is achieved very quickly, what with Daniels beating up many people while wearing a leather jacket in an extended fight scene early in the film, during that same sequence, not only is there mindless shooting, but it looks like GENERIC shooting! It's just footage of a guy shooting a machine gun that could have been taken from any source was spliced in to fire mis-matchedly at Gary Daniels. We’re not saying that’s the case, but director Driver should have taken more care to make sure it didn’t look that way. But on the other hand, it’s really funny and we laughed, so all’s well that ends well. Interestingly, while Charla Driver has served in just about every capacity a person can while working on a film during her years with PM, this is the only movie she directed. Maybe that’s why the vibe is a little different, while all the main elements of PM are present and accounted for.

At least during the fight scenes, there appears to be some sort of baby powder on people’s heads, so when they get kicked or punched, the light picks up the flying particles. Also, while many movies have the time-honored sax on the soundtrack, Deadly Target bests them all by having a live sax player. Not only did he provide the smooth jams, but we can actually see what he looks like. Additionally, Gary Daniels proves once and for all that you’ve achieved true awesomeness as a human being if you can wear a vest with no shirt underneath as casual, everyday wear. Your body, your muscles and your confidence level must be so unimaginably high, you can pull it off. See also: Lorenzo Lamas. Finally, there’s an old Chinese gangster in the film named Mr. Zao. Presumably his first name is Po Po and he was named after the classic Kevin Federline song of the same name. Yes, the old man was named after the song. Not ridiculous at all. Think about it.

In the end, Deadly Target does provide all the kicking, punching, shooting, Gary Daniels, and blow-ups that fans want, but lacks that little bit of extra something to tie it all together. It’s still worth seeing though.

Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett

Also check out a write-up from our buddy, DTVC!