- Joe 2018
Paul Hertzberg, Lisa M. Hansen (executive) for Cinetel Films
directed by Fred Olen Ray
starring David Carradine, Lee Van Cleef, Mako, Lois Hamilton, Ross Hagen, Brent Huff, Laurene Landon, Dick Miller, Burr DeBenning, Michael Berryman, David Goss, Dah've Seigler, Conan Lee, Sam Hiona, Bob Hevelone, Patrick Culliton, Richard Lee-Sung, Susan Stokey, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Kai Baker, David O'Hara, Dawn Wildsmith, Bobbie Bresee, Brad Arrington, Jerry Fox, Jimmy Williams, Fred Olen Ray, Mihcelle Bauer, Lisa Hayward, Lauren Hertzberg, Jordan Hertzberg, Hisako Mura, Maryann Zvoloff
story by Paul Hertzberg, Fred Olen Ray, Terrill Lee Lankford, screenplay by Terrill Lee Lankford, music by Thomas Chase, Steve Rucker
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A couple of crooks (Dick Miller, Laurene Landon) have stolen a very
valuable statue from Yakuza boss Tanaka (Mako), and now he has hired shady
private eyes Cory (Ross Hagen) and Clay (David Goss) to exchange the
statue for a million Dollars in cash - but the whole thing ends in a
shoot-out since Cory has set his eyes on keeping both the statue and the
money for himself, but somehow Clay, whom Cory shoots personally, gets his
hands on the statue and gets it back to his family before Cory can do
anything about it - but clay figures now he can take off with the money
scot-free and make Clay his scapegoat.
Clay can just make it back to his brothers Jim (David Carradine) and
Robert (Brent Huff) and his father Burt (Lee Van Cleef) before he breaks
down and dies, but his relatives consider themselves particularly tough
(the brothers were both in 'Nam, the dad was a cop), so they don't hand
the case (or the statue) over to the cops and instead try to right the
wrongs that have been done themselves ... and as a result, Robert is soon
enough captured by Tanaka's men and tortured and killed because he doesn't
want o give them the wehreabouts of the statue.
Then Tanaka abducts Jim's wife and daughter (Lois Hamilton, Dah've
Seigler), whom he now keeps in exchange for the statue and the money
(which he doesn't know that our heroes don't have), and only by playing
tough can Jim get him to change the deal, but Tanaka still tries to set up
a trap for him and Jim walks into the trap intentionally ... and of course
it all ends in a big shoot-out, during which Tanaka is blown away by an
explosive hidden in the statue, and his second in command (Michael
Berryman) wrecks Jim's bar by driving his car right into it but is
ultimately shot by Jim's wife.
And Cory and the money you might ask ... in an ironic twist of events,
they have made it to the bottom of the lake after the female crook of the
money handover at the beginning of the film (Laurene Landon) had tracked
Cory down and had his revenge on him.
Michelle Bauer has a cameo appearance as a stripper in this one, but
she doesn't do much more than showing her tits ... well, actually she
doesn't do any more than this.
Cheap action flick, there is actually little more to say about it. The
whole thing is full of clichés (like Japanese cutting off their fingers,
an Asian handing out fortune cookies, a tough-as-nails ex-cop dad, a
Vietnam veteran with flashbacks, ...) and features a very thin storyline
as a hanger for its action scenes. The action itself is competently enough
staged (for its budget at least) but lacks conviction or imagination. But,
to end this film on a positive note, Dick Miller and Laurene Landon make a
great couple as small-fry crooks trying to hit it big time.