The Last Hunter

1980 [ITALIAN]

Action / Drama / Thriller

IMDb Rating 6 10 873

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
September 05, 2021 at 05:53 AM


885.71 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 36 min
P/S 62 / 91

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SgtSlaughter 10 / 10

Great Italian Vietnam Action Movie

Director Antonio Margheriti's Vietnam piece is bound to be loved by some audiences and hated by others. This is simply not a film for all tastes. On the surface, it looks like cruel exploitation of a controversial war; exploiting Vietnam was certainly a risky move in 1980. Dig a little deeper, though, and "The Last Hunter" becomes a brutal allegory on the futility of warfare.

Margheriti tells a straightforward tale: Captain Morris (David Warbeck) heads into Cambodia with a small band of soldiers on a mission to find and destroy an enemy radio station which is broadcasting disgusting anti-American propaganda. Along the way, he encounters many people and situations which point to the ultimate insanity of warfare.

Margheriti begins his tale with one of the best opening sequences ever put to film. Morris tries to relax in a Saigon bar, making conversation with another GI whom he's never met. Soft music plays in the background, providing a perfect tempo for the dialog. It's not long, however, before Morris realizes that he escape the realities of the war outside. The music stops abruptly as the tone changes from quiet to tense: Steve has been aggravated by the aforementioned GI. He shoots him in the head, and then turns the gun on himself. As if on key, enemy sappers attack the city, and the bar is destroyed; only Morris escapes. A first-time viewer may see this scene as unnecessary, but the characters and themes will become crucial to the plot as Morris moves closer and closer to his objective.

With the mood established and the audience glued to the screen, Margheriti shifts his focus to the Cambodian jungle. Morris is escorted to the drop-off point by helicopter in yet another excellently shot sequence: Franco Micalazzi's score comes out full force for just a few moments as the action builds, and then dies. Margheriti lets some great hand-held camera action and excellent, fast-paced editing do the work. This scene will be followed by a number of quick, brutal action sequences: the discovery a rotting corpse, an ambush by a band of Viet Cong in a burned-out village; and a great sequence in which Massimo Vanni's character is forced to run into the jungle under enemy fire to retrieve cocoanuts for the unhinged Major Cash (John Steiner). The high point of the action is definitely a Viet Cong raid on an underground American bunker complex, in which hordes of black-pajama-clad guerrillas emerge and a firefight ensues. For the most part, the American characters are drunk or stoned and don't seem to know what's going on. This long sequence is shot in the dark with hand-held cameras, features lots of cutting from action to reaction – all while a radio plays happy tunes in the background.

All of this builds to a pulsating surprise ending. Morris does find his radio station – the audience knows he will from the start; it's no surprise in a film like this – but the voice of propaganda will come as a shock as all of the pieces laid out in the opening scenes and flashbacks come together. We've had some subtle hints and little suggestions as to who Morris is going to encounter, but nobody will come to the conclusion until the character steps into frame. The result is a jaw-dropping scene with an outcome that goes completely against the norm. The final shot of the piece is one of confusion, awe and surprise – we never do get to find out what happens to an essential character. If the violence and pure insanity of most of the movie don't shock you, the last two few minutes surely will.

Admittedly, "The Last Hunter" is not a perfect film: basic plot aspects are lifted directly from "Apocalypse Now" – Morris' character is a take on Martin Sheen, while Major Cash and his bunch seem to be loosely based on Marlon Brando's guerrilla force. Instead of a trek upriver in a small boat, we follow a mixed group of soldiers through the sweltering jungles. (Only here, they're too busy dodging booby traps to discuss heavy issues of morality). More blatantly, a sequence depicting Morris' imprisonment in an underwater bamboo cage reeks of "The Deer Hunter". Some of the special effects scenes come up a bit below par for a 1980s film: watch for a dummy which gets flamed during the village skirmish; superimposed rocket bursts around a helicopter; and there are a few cheesy miniatures.

These are only minor flaws. "The Last Hunter" is an anti-war gem which can be enjoyed by fans of Italian exploitation (Margheriti said that he wanted to shoot the film seriously; the producers forced him to throw in exploitative content to draw in fans of his successful horror works). Any serious war film fans that can make it through the opening without dismissing this as graphic trash will not be disappointed. It's not often that a director can make a great action picture that's still considered an anti-war piece.

Reviewed by Bogey Man 6 / 10

Violent and exploitative war actioner

Antonio Margheriti's L'Ultimo cacciatore aka The Last Hunter (1980) stars the late, great David Warbeck and Tisa "Zombie Flesh Eaters" Farrow as a group of soldiers who have a mission during Vietnam war to go and destroy some radio station of the enemy. Farrow is a photographer and Warbeck is a military captain and once they get on the way, they soon find themselves in the middle of fire power, deadly traps and killing as there are blood thirsty enemies everywhere. In other words, a typical violent exploitationer from the golden days of Spaghetti gore.

This was definitely worth watching and getting the newly released UK release which is gorgeous widescreen and uncut, unlike many previous releases. The film concentrates on strong violence as there are horrible traps, bloody shootings, stabbings, limb snappings and over all gory mayhem, which is also pretty brutal and nihilistic, most notably the "boat scene" near the end in which the terror gets even more forms. This was the style of those days since producers wanted to make gory and violent films in all genres in order to cash in by the success of such box office classics as Romero's Dawn of the Dead and more importantly for the Italian themselves, Fulci's Zombie 2 aka Zombie Flesh Eaters. Director Margheriti has said that he wanted to do these two war related films of his (the other being Apocalypse Domani aka Cannibal Apocalypse, a horrific cannibal terror film set in a big city) more anti war themed and pacifistic, but the producers wanted to add large doses of violence and gore so that's why most of the time's films are so brutally violent.

The Last Hunter was written by Dardano Sachetti, who worked with Fulci a lot. Director Margheriti is known for his imaginative camera style and often weird camera angles, which are perhaps too plenty in The Last Hunter as they become little irritating and underlining and don't mean anything when used this often. The first 30 minutes of the film is incredibly intense and the viewer definitely won't watch the clock during that, since the film is so exciting and fast moving at the beginning. The film slows down a little towards the end, but for most of the time it is pure action. The effects are very great, most notably the huge explosions which are plenty and fierce is this film, so the budget was definitely at least moderate. The gore effects have always been The thing for these Italian exploitation makers, and The Last Hunter isn't an exception. The gore effects are convincing and full of the usual "eye gouging close up" details which are also very usual in Fulci's zombie films like The Beyond and Zombie Flesh Eaters.

The Last Hunter is totally pointless in any other level than delivering mayhem and violence so this is pretty classic exploitation film which still has great amount of cinematic skill and that's a great thing. I think I appreciate Apocalyse Domani little higher, but The Last Hunter is definitely noteworthy film for lovers of ultra violent and prolific Italian cinema of the 70's and 80's. 6/10

Reviewed by Coventry 7 / 10

Vietnam at its most Violent & Exploitative!

Mr. Antonio Margheriti, the uncrowned KING of Italian rip-offs, and his dynamic duo of charismatic actors David Steiner and John Steiner (though the latter only in a small role this time) strike again with this raw and excessively violent war-exploitation flick. Clearly inspired by the success of "The Deer Hunter" and a variety of other Hollywood films about the Vietnam War, but "The Last Hunter" goes straight for shocks, fast-paced and explosive action sequences and macho behavior instead of focusing on story-building, character drawings or – God forbid - underlying messages about the insanity of warfare. This film just loves the war in 'Nam and all dialogs like "Damn this country" or "I hate this awful war" are obviously insincere. Margheriti also couldn't resist providing his film with genuine horror aspect! The make-up effects are extremely gore (gorier than the ones in my horror movies for sure), with images of a soldier missing an eyeball, disembowelment after bombings and the severely decomposing bodies from dead parachutists falling from treetops. The battle sequences are long and exhilarating whilst the actual plot is thin and clichéd. In other words, just the way we like our Italian exploitation dish served! Captain Henry Morris (Warbeck) is assigned with the important mission of blowing up a Vietcong radio transmitter, located far behind enemy lines, which broadcasts demoralizing reports and encourages the American soldiers to throw away their guns and go back home. Morris' squad, which also includes a female report, gets killed and he's taken to a prisoner's camp for some inhumanly cruel torture. And yet, even whilst enduring the most excruciating pains, Morris intends to complete his mission, if it were only as a last tribute to all the friends and loyal soldiers he lost. Admittedly the script features every single Vietnam feature in the book, but hey, at least "The Last Hunter" is never boring and actually one of the most thrilling war movies ever made. You don't look for deep dialogs or complex characterizations here, just a lot of blood and delightful stereotypes. The "twist" at the end is extremely implausible and suddenly gives a somewhat stupid feeling to the whole movie. Truly ironic how the only remotely original twist in the entire script is also the most ludicrous one. Personally, I still like Margheriti's Indiana Jones rip offs better ("Hunters of the Golden Cobra", "Ark of the Sun God") and his ultimate masterpiece remains "Cannibal Apocalypse", but "The Last Hunter" is undoubtedly great low-brain entertainment and comes highly recommended!

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