A Movie A Day #331: The Soldier (1982, directed by James Glickenhaus)


The Soldier is really only remembered for one scene.  The Soldier (Ken Wahl) is being chased, on skis, across the Austrian Alps by two KGB agents, who are also on skis.  The Soldier is in Austria to track down a KGB agent named Dracha (Klaus Kinski, who only has a few minutes of screen time and who is rumored to have turned down a role in Raiders of the Lost Ark so he could appear in this movie).  The Russians want the Soldier dead because they’re evil commies.  While being chased, the Soldier goes over a ski slope and, while in the air, executes a perfect 360° turn while firing a machine gun at the men behind him.  It’s pretty fucking cool.

The Soldier, who name is never revealed, works for the CIA.  He leads a team of special agents.  None of them get a name either, though one of them is played by the great Steve James.  When a shipment of Plutonium is hijacked so that it can be used it to contaminate half of the world’s supply of oil, The Soldier is assigned to figure out who is behind it.  Because terrorists are demanding that Israel withdraw from the West Bank, Mossad assigns an agent (Alberta Watson) to help out The Soldier.  She gets a name, Susan Goodman.  She sleeps with The Soldier because, she puts it, the world is about to end anyway.

The Soldier was obviously meant to be an American James Bond but Ken Wahl did not really have the screen charisma necessary to launch a franchise.  He is convincing in the action scenes but when he has to deliver his lines, he is as stiff as a board.  Fortunately, the majority of the movie is made up of action scenes.  From the minute this briskly paced movie starts, people are either getting shot or blown up.  Imagine a James Bond film where, instead of tricking the bad guys into explaining their plan, Bond just shot anyone who looked at him funny.  That’s The Soldier, a film that is mindless but entertaining.

Ken Wahl may have been stiff and Klaus Kinski may have been wasted but there are still some interesting faces in the cast.  Keep an eye out for William Prince as the President, Ron Harper as the director of the CIA, Zeljko Ivanek as a bombmaker, Jeffrey Jones as the assistant U.S. Secretary of Defense, and George Straight performing in a redneck bar.  Best of all, one of the Soldier’s men is played by Steve James, who will be recognized by any Cannon Films aficionado.

Surprisingly, The Solider is not a Cannon film.  It certainly feels like one.

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6 Action-Filled Trailers From The Trailer Kitties


It’s been nearly a year since I last did an edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers!  With October and our annual Halloween blogathon approaching, now seems like the perfect time to restart the trailer tradition!

So, I sent the trailer kitties out and I told them to find me 6 good grindhouse previews.  They came back with these 6 action-filled trailers!  Let’s see how they did.

1) The Bullet Machine (1970)

2) Telefon (1977)

3) The Last Hunter (1980)

4) The Soldier (1982)

5) Warriors of the Wasteland (1983)

6) Wheels of Fire (1985)

What do you think, Trailer Kitty?

Awwww! This Trailer Kitty loves action!

Awwww! This Trailer Kitty loves action!

 

6 Trailers That Are Partying…Partying…Partying…Yeah!


As Rebecca Black recently reminded us all, Saturday comes after Friday.  However, she neglected to say anything about the fact that Saturday also means another edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation trailers.

Stuck-up bitch.

Anyway, it is indeed Saturday and here’s this weekend’s humble offerings…

1) Sweet Jesus Preacherman (1973)

To me, this first offering actually feels more like a parody trailer (like Machete or Hobo With A Shotgun) than an actual trailer.  But no, Sweet Jesus Preacherman appears to be an actual film. 

2) The Soldier (1982)

This was directed by James Glickenhaus, who directed The Exterminator.  According to the commentary track on one of the 42nd Street Forever DVDs, Glickenhaus felt that The Soldier would help him break into mainstream films and, though I’m not a huge fan of action movies, the trailer does look fairly exciting.  Plus, if you watch the whole without blinking, you might catch a split-second appearance from Klaus Kinski.  Supposedly, Kinski was offered a role in both this film and Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Kinski chose to appear in The Soldier.

3) The Great Silence (1968)

Speaking of Klaus Kinski, he’s also featured in our next trailer, The Great Silence.  Directed by Sergio Corbucci, The Great Silence has been acclaimed as one of the greatest spaghetti westerns of all time.  This film’s title refers to the fact that the nominal hero (played by Jean-Louis Trintignant) is a mute.  The trailer also features Ennio Morricone’s excellent score.

4) Flesh Gordon (1974)

There were actually two versions of this film — an explicit one and a slightly less explicit one.  I’m guessing this trailer was used to advertise the slightly less explicit version.

5) The Devil’s Rain (1975)

In this film, William Shatner, Eddie Albert, Tom Skerritt, and Ida Lupino battle Satanists (and Ernest Borgnine) in New Mexico.  Though he’s not mentioned in the trailer, John Travolta made his film debut here.  He plays a member of Borgnine’s cult.  This trailer — with its promise of the greatest ending of all time — is a drive-in classic.

6) Dolemite (1975)

Let’s end how we began, with a blaxploitation trailer.  I do have to say that, as a character, Dolemite looks a bit more interesting that Sweet Jesus Preacherman.  Plus, the Dolemite trailer rhymes.

Remember that Monday is Memorial Day so, if nothing else, take a few minutes to remember the men and women who have fought to allow us to live in a country where we can watch movies like Dolemite, Flesh Gordon, and Sweet Jesus Preacherman.