Saturday, June 4, 2011

Order No. 027 (1986)

It’s not everyday you see a North Korean action movie. Well, it’s not everyday you see a North Korean movie! The obviously have a big film production in NK, but very few of these flicks finds their way out from the country and therefore it’s hard to get a clear look at the NK film history, from a point of view that’s not pure propaganda. I’m sure we all understand that every country has it’s propaganda, but it’s rare to see movies were the heroes are the “commies”! Order No. 027 is one of those movies were everything seem upside down, but still is very close to our own western action movies (and Hong Kong and Japanese cinema). At a first glance Order No. 027 is a typical men-on-a-mission movie, just like Where Eagles Dare, Inglorious Bastards, Kelly’s Heroes and so on…

The heroes in this movie are a gang of North Korean super-soldiers, experts in martial arts and using guns and knives. They are on a mission into South Korea to get some secret plans… or something, but it’s important and will protect their fatherland from the hairy, dirty South Korean bastards! But the baddies are getting closer and soon our heroes have to protect themselves with fists, kicks and everything else around them – including a fork!

This is of course mixed with a heavy dose of propaganda, but not much more than what we’ve seen in US movies from the same time and earlier. But what’s more important, Order No. 027 has a big amount of violent and spectacular action scenes. Here the filmmakers don’t shy away from showing of some amazing stunts, explosions, full-contact fighting which seem to be a mix of Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Sonny Chiba and even some of Panna Rittikrai’s early action-movies. We’re not talking realism here, but the fights are still brutal and hits hard against all body parts. I think we have three or four major action set-pieces. All of them are very well-made, but my favourite must be the jazz-club brawl which is like a less-rehearsed Jackie Chan-movie with people crashing down from the second floor through tables, some advanced fork-throwing and a couple of seconds of John Woo-esque shoot-outs.

In one scene a soldier almost gets super-powers when he fights faster and faster (with speeding up the movie) and here and there the fighting goes into game-territory when they loop the same hit over and over again. Awesome is the word. Quite impressive is also the long, one-take fights which occurs from time to time. Not much fast-editing at all, but like in the Thai cinema you will see everything in its violent glory.

Order No. 027 is a violent, endlessly entertaining action movie which should be a blast for anyone interesting in Asian jungle action, martial arts and war-movies. Switch the North Korean symbols to any other country and there’s not much difference in propaganda and still a helluva lot more entertaining than everything Chuck Norris ever done.


vaultkeeper said...

Great movie! It would be so fucking awesome if we get to see more North Korean action flicks, cause they have a huge movie industry in North Korea, but as you said, its only a very few ones that reaches outside North Koreas borders, the only other Korean speaking country in the world is South Korea and i'm pretty sure that all North Korean movies are banned in South Korea. I have chatted a couple of times with the guy who uploads some of the North Korean movies on cinemageddon, i asked him where he get all these movies, he actually get them from North Korea, he have friends who live there who send copies to him, many times with English subs, this guy is Swedish by the way, his username is "weejay".
Who knows, maybe there even is North Korean horror movies?!

the North Korean movies uploaded by "Typeczech" are ripped from dvdr's uploaded by "weejay" on another site called

CiNEZiLLA said...

fuck yeah.
sounds rad!

keep em commin'

all these movies I'll never see, but learn all about from you.

Jay Shatzer said...

I'm going to have to search this one out, cause it sounds just great. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.