The Losers (1970)


(director: Jack Starrett; screenwriter: Alan Caillou; cinematographer: Nonong Rasca; editor: Richard Brockway; music: Stu Phillips; cast: William Smith, (Link Thomas), Bernie Hamilton (Capt. Jackson), Adam Roarke (Duke), Houston Savage (Dirty Denny), Dan Kemo (Maj. Thomas), Gene Cornelius (Speed), Paul Koslo (Limpy), Ana Corita (Kim Sue), John Garwood (Sgt. Winston), Vic Diaz (Diem-Nuc), Paul Nuckles (Kowalski), Lillian Margarejo (Suriya), Jack Starrett (Chet Davis), Paraluman (Mama-San); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Joe Soloman; Fanfare Films; 1970)

A fascinating watch of one of only a few films about the Viet Nam War shot while the war was in full-motion.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Jack Starrett(“Cry Blood, Apache”/”Run, Angel, Run”/”Kiss My Grits”) directs this troubling outlaw biker action/adventure film, that surprisingly takes us to the Vietnam War action in Cambodia. It’s written with bloody hands and a mood of disenchantment by British character actor Alan Caillou.

The violent war drama was filmed in the middle of the Viet Nam War and offers little hope of an American victory, showing how chaotic and bleak things were for the Americans fighting in the jungle. The film was shot entirely in the Philippines. All the Asian roles are played by Filipinos. The film opens with a My Lai-like bloodbath and remains bloody throughout, with corpses strewn over the fields, children as guerrilla fighters and American soldiers pictured as butchers of the innocent villagers.

Due to dire circumstances, Major Thomas (Dan Kemp) persuades biker brother Link (William Smith) and his American outlaw gang, made up mostly of unruly discharged Vietnam vets, to be in Vietnam for a dangerous rescue mission into Cambodia. Big Link leads his Yamaha riding gang (the motorcycles are rigged with machine guns, grenades and armor plating), that includes Limpy (Paul Koslo), Duke (Adam Roarke), Dirty Denny (Houston Savage), and Speed (Eugene Cornelius) into Dang huk, which is behind enemy lines. Their mission is to rescue captured CIA operative Chet Davis (Jack Starrett) in the heavily armed enemy camp.

A fascinating watch of one of only a few films about the Viet Nam War shot while the war was in full-motion.