HELL RAIDERS(TV) (director: Larry Buchanan; screenwriter: Lou Rusoff; cinematographer: Robert C. Jessup; editor: James Ferguson; cast: John Agar (Maj. Ronald Paxton), Richard Webb (Capt. Brad Stevens), Joan Huntington (Laura Grant ), Billy Thurman (Tex), Gary McClain (The Colonel), Tom Paxton (Capt. John Burton), Ron Scott (Pvt. Buddy Campisi ), Jeff Alexander (German Captain); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Larry Buchanan; Azalea Pictures (AIP); 1968)
“John Agar and Richard Webb are too long in the tooth to be playing action hero American Army officers.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
After making documentaries for evangelist Oral Roberts in the early 1950s, Larry Buchanan(“The Naked Witch”/”Mars Needs Women “/”It’s Alive”) got started in Hollywood by learning from George Cukor (I don’t think he learned much, if you use this film as a guide). This dreadful war drama was made by AIP and released as a TV movie.
During World War II, an American headquarters in Italy (Texas subs for Italy) is evacuated when the Germans are about to break through the front lines. A desperate American demolition squad (just like in last year’s The Dirty Dozen) must destroy Allied records they stupidly left behind before the German’s strike.
John Agar and Richard Webb are too long in the tooth to be playing action hero American Army officers. The script by Lou Rusoff seems like a war casualty. It’s a classical bad movie worth seeing for the right viewer when it shows on late-night cable (the only place to see it), as it’s so bad it must be seen to be believed and the unintentional laughs keep coming throughout even if you’re not stoned.
Joan Huntington fits in with the other bad performances. She plays a middle-aged journalist on a war zone assignment, who has a ridiculous over-the-top affair with Agar. As I said, you gotta see it to believe it.
REVIEWED ON 2/28/2015 GRADE: C-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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