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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Exploitation > War > Vietnam > The Last Hunter (1980)

The Last Hunter (1980)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Film: C



The Vietnam fiasco of the 1960s and 1970s spawned two cycles of films.  The first was the “back home” cycle that did not discuss the war explicitly, but dealt with the debate at home and where society stood at best.  Michael Cimino’s masterwork The Deer Hunter (1978, reviewed elsewhere on this site) opened up the debate to the war itself and remains one of the most important films about the war, the U.S. and what truth is.  Francis Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979, also reviewed on the site) and a whole cycle of Vietnam War genre works arrived and even that featured films battling each other.


The best films were the boldest and looked at war as true hell and Vietnam as the sham it was.  The worst featured revisionist history that made all Vietnamese enemies and portrayed the Vietnam conflict as a just war (though no war was ever declared) and Antonio Margheriti’s The Last Hunter (1980) is one of the early, exploitive examples of the reactionary kind of film that added insult to the genocide and catastrophe of historic events.


Of course, this film was on the heels of sexploitation, Blaxploitation, the first slasher films and cheapie imports out to make a quick buck among the other grindhouse fare.  Unfortunately, this is pretty sloppy and embarrassing, showing how far off cinema and people in general were within beginning to grasp what had really happened in Vietnam.  Of course, this is beyond politically incorrect and is one reason some might enjoy it, but this is a silly work outside of that and just never adds up on even its own terms.  David Warbeck and Tisa Farrow star.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image shows its age, but has some good color and some nice location shots.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono also shows its age and is good for what it is, but nothing beyond competent.  Extras include stills, the original theatrical trailer and a making of featurette.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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