Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Final Sanction

    -Reviewed By Skunkape-
Directed by David A Prior (1990)

This review comes at a time more relevant than ever, really, I’m not just Putin you on! Russia is invading Ukraine and the United States is faced with tough decisions. We don’t want to go to war with Mother Russia so we issue sanctions that will hurt their economy and hopefully get them back under control. The Final Sanction does not deal with a sanction that will effect Russia’s economics, it's about kicking Soviet ass! The Cold war ended in 1985 but this film was released by AIP in 1990 and was directed by David A Prior. It stars his brother Ted Prior, best known for his infamous role in the film Deadly Prey as the shirtless jorts (jean shorts) wearing Danton.

Meet the Hero, Sgt. Tom Botanical Gardens

Ted Prior much like in Deadly Prey plays a soldier, who is the best of the best. His name is Sgt. Tom Botanic (just remember only his friends call him Thomas) and he’s been framed for a crime he didn’t commit. He was court marshaled and sent to prison for killing Americans within his own platoon. He gets pardoned for his crime by the president and taken out of jail for his cooperation in a top secret military operation. This is one of the most far fetched premises for a film ever, so bear with me. USA and Russia have agreed to put their best two fighters up against each other in a match to the death so they can settle their country’s differences. So who will take on Botanic? None other than Rob "The Face" Z’Dar, who you know from countless crap fests (classics) like Samurai Cop, Soultaker, and Hellhole . Z’Dar does his best Russian accent as Sgt. Sergi Schvackov, while he trains under Maj. Galashkin played by William Smith. William Smith is becoming one of my favorite character actors (he’s everywhere) especially after recently seeing him take on Fred "The Hammer" Williamson in Boss Nigger, try to kill Gary Busey in Eye of the Tiger and worship Satan in the super low budget gem GETEVEN, by John De Hart.

He destroyed my Matryoshka dolls!

 Comrade Z'Dar has to pass the most sophisticated and technological advanced training, including a machine that tries to destroy his sanity and force him to blow his brains out through a series of nightmarish illusions. He’s the only man to ever survive that device set to level 10.

"A Blockhead Orange"

If you want someone to blow their brains out, you need David Hess.

Botanic is forced to go under surgery against his will, a tracking device is inserted into his body and a chip that lets one of the officers communicate directly into his brain. He’s not too happy about this. The officer that’s assigned to communicate with him is Lt. Tavlin, ( Renée Cline) a female, at first they don’t get along very well, he calls her Dragon Lady and when he gets to nasty she has the ability to shock him, ouch! The problems keep piling up, his rival Lt. Willy Gross is in charge of briefing him on the mission and giving him tactical advice. Lt. Willy is a real dick wad! Before Botanic heads out into the field, he convinces the Lieutenant to let him pick out his own weapons of choice which includes a roll of quarters. What the hell is he going to use those for? (you’re on pins and needles now aren’t ya?) As Willy leaves, Botanic asks him "How does it feel to always come in second?" and then motions a kissing gesture at him, oh that Botanic.

"How'd they get a chip in my brain by cutting into my side?"

Big Willy (is that a young Tarantino?)

The battle begins, the two men are dispatched into a designated fighting ground. One of Sergi’s specialties is throwing little shovels and he's the first to strike cutting Botanic’s arm. Sergi somehow manages to jam radar and disappear, from a tree he corners Botanic, could this be the end? Hell no, Botanic then sets off a trip wire causing an explosive that forces Sergi to flee the scene and he lives to fight another day. Lt. Tavlin acts as his eyes and ears and once the Dragon Lady bit gets old, they begin to form a bond. So Tommy Botanic has a sensitive side after all. If someone could only let him know that Tavlin may be good from far, but far from good.

What other "skills" does this Botanic have?

If I get out of this alive, I'm going to need a bag for her head!

A nosey senator is pressing the general in charge, Gen. Royston (David Fawcett) for information about this mission but it’s so hush hush that he gets nothing. When the senator starts putting the pieces of the puzzle together (mostly with the help of his secretary), the dirty military asshole rigs a bomb to the good senator’s car, but unfortunately he sends his secretary out to run an errand and with the turn of the key she’s blown to bits.

Mind your own business senator nosey.

After more fighting, Botanic claims victory when he leads Sergi into an exploding building, This is where the quarters come into action, they were placed into the shape of a smiley face to mock Sergi right before he blows up. "Yippee ki-yay" becomes "have a nice day, motherfucker." However being the super indestructible soldier that Sergi was trained to be, he manages to miraculously escape with only one side of his face barbecued.

The quarters of death!

Like a burnt marshmallow!

When both fighters finally come face to face ( face to face with Z’Dar, talk about intimidating), they throw down their weapons in true macho fashion, so they can fight like men. David A.Prior should have directed an unauthorized sequel to "Face Off", Imagine if Z’Dar’s face was transplanted on John Travolta's head!!! It’s not likely Travolta would participate, so maybe the perfect choice for a cheapie like that would be Joe Estevez anyway!

Face/Off 2: More Facier than ever!
Botanic does his one, two, three, -punch- you’re out routine, but Sergi replies, “I don’t like baseball”. Since that didn’t work, Botanic gives him a swift kick to the balls and before Sergi passes out from the pain he delivers one last super punch to Botanic’s face. Both men drop to the floor, when they wake up, something strange occurs, they awake with a new found respect for each other. Do they fall in love and skip into the sunset? Bring peace to America and Russia? Or, do they realize they’re part of some bullshit conspiracy and team up to bring vengeance upon their senior officers' Royston and Galashkin that put them in this fucked up situation? Hmmmmm.

While your fighting, care to order some Timelife books?

The Last Sanction is guilty of stealing from many mainstream action films. There are traces of Rambo, Escape From New York, Rocky IV and Die Hard. It has stock footage and lots of Atari style graphics representing America and Russia’s latest technology. There is never a dull moment in the film, constant crappy lines of dialogue and badly shot action scenes give actionsploitaion fans something to snicker about every five minutes. Z’Dar fans will marvel at his performance as the Russia Sgt. Schvackov. To fans of the actionsploitation genre, I can’t recommend this enough.

Good Times
8/10 On the CULT-O-METER

On YOUTUBE but for how long? Watch here

Tribute Trailer 
from Trailers that Smell!

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