Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Siege of Firebase Gloria (1989)

"Anyone know who these belong to? This is Corporal Miller. He's dead. Hell, the whole gun crew's dead. And to add insult to injury, Charlie took the fifty-fucking caliber machine gun with him. I don't have any respect for Corporal Miller anymore, because he allowed his troops to relax. They let their guard down for five fucking minutes, and Charlie took advantage of it. Look at 'em, Goddammit! Pay attention. Stay alert! Stay alive! It's as simple as that!"

Spoken by R. Lee Ermey as Sgt. Maj. Bill Hafner when he's walking around with two decapited heads, belonging to two of his former soliders. This more or less says everything about The Siege of Firebase Gloria. It's a hard-hitting, black, very violent and critical view at the Vietnam-vet, mostly from the US view, but here and there we see scenes from behind the enemies line showing that's the same discussions, relationships and violence going on there.

We bascially follow two ass-kicking (at least what we think from the beginning) officers in the US army, Cpl. Joseph L. 'Nard' DiNardo (Wings Hauser, wonderful as usual and very intensive) and Sgt. Maj. Bill Hafner. After finding one of their friendly villages butchered they continue, with one surviving child, to firebase Gloria - that's run by a man that they quickly get rid of - not by killing him, but faking a Viet Cong-attack so he get's hurt, and taking charge themselves. 

But charlies is everywhere and they have orders to bring down firebase Gloria to any cost!

This is a very impressive action-drama. Brian Trenchard-Smith is a brilliant director and in this case he's bringing us both good drama and characters and marvelous action as well. It's action most of the time and it has a huge bodycount. But it's never "funny" in the way as Final Mission or Strike Command, this is more related to The Iron Cross or The Big Red One. It's also nice to see a Vietnam-movie where the vietnamese is more than cannon-fodder. 

According to the end credits Eddie Nicart was the stunt choreographer, but even more fun is that we have our good friend and fellow blogger Nick Nicholson in there with to credits - in small acting part as a combat photographer and as casting director. His acting part is great, and gives us some comic relief. He's like Dennis Hopper in Apocalypse Now, but much friendlier and way funnier. Great job, Nick!

I'm sure that Nick can explain to us what Cambodian Red is by the way? :)

This is a smaller masterpiece and it's strange that such a good movie isn't out on dvd yet. It should be, because it's a shame that people are missing it because of lack of distribution. 


Nick Nicholson said...

Wow! Thanks Freddie!

Cambodian Red is marijuana, that has reddish flowers. It used to be a very kick ass weed!It was seedless and a little sticky due to the high amounts of resin.

Jack J said...

Good stuff, Fred. I assume you watched this on VHS then. Which release?

Ninja Dixon said...

Thanks Jack!
No, this is really a downloaded version. Good quality and seems to be uncut. But it needs a remaster, a widescreen-release.

Phantom of Pulp said...

I love this movie. Thanks for your great post. Nick N. is so good in this.

Ninja Dixon said...

My pleasure Phantom! Nick is awsome here :)

And Nick, thanks for the information! I knew you got get me the answer.

Anonymous said...

just watched this on instant streaming through netflix. disturbing, but good.