Thursday, June 7, 2012

Operation Paratrooper (1988)


Here we have a forgotten Swedish oddity, or more exactly a co-production between Sweden, Yugoslavia and the US: Operation Paratrooper, now released by Studio S in Sweden under the title Fallskärmsjägaren. Starring none other than Andy Warhols old darling Joe Dallesandro! It's based on a story by extremely boring Swedish author Jan Guillou, but feels more like a mix of an Italian war movie mixed with an American slasher, with a dash of Swedish TV-production. This is the first time I've seen this movie in good quality, this is the best it looked in many years - but is it any good?

Joe Dallesandro is Sergeant Rayker, a tough motherfucker and an vietnam war veteran. He's deeply disturbed and treats his soldiers like animals, risking their lives with real ammunition and hand grenades. One day he goes to far and is fired and prosecuted for his stupidity. At the same time a general and his buddies are going up to a cabin to drink beer, do some illegal weapon affairs and just being macho - but Rayker is out for revenge and uses all his knowledge to kill them one by one, and the only man who can stop him is his own soldier who wants his own revenge...

How to explain Operation Paratrooper? For me it's one of those European genre movies that decided to me more serious and less trashy to be able to compete with the American movies of the same kind. This can of course be both good and bad. The Yugoslavian location automatically gives the movie a grey and quite boring look, closer to what we call social-realism (which is of course a lot more than locations, but I think you get my point). What takes out from the seriousness of the movie is the stupid dialogue and the over-acting from some of the talents involved. The best one is Joe Dallesandro, who here makes one of his most even and interesting performances I've seen, and its extra fun seeing him playing such a stuck-up, angry military when I've only seem him in more radikal and sexually liberal parts. Martin Hewitt, who plays Cooper, Rayker's old "student" also makes the best out of a badly written character.

Thank heavens Operation Paratrooper stick to it's exploitative roots and gives us an odd mix of First Blood, a random slasher and any war movie made during the eighties. It's is gory, but most of it is kept off screen and not show until the bloody aftermath, but director Frank De Palma keeps up the action with explosions and stunts and some nicely framed shots during the bulk of the movie. The ending feels a bit rushed and is hardly original, but works because the movie belongs to a certain degree of silliness.

Yugoslavian producer Djordje Zecevic (often credited under the name George Zecevic) also produced Mats Helge's ultra-cheesy rock-slasher Blood Tracks and I guess this means that Studio S was one of the last he made business with, because they're also releasing his Montenegro, a drama/comedy from 1981 starring Erland Josephson. I know it took for ever to close this deal, so I guess it was just a case of good luck that Mr Zecevic died in January 2012, after the deal was done after several years of communications through fax!

Operation Paratrooper/Fallskärmsjägaren is an entertaining and violent action-driven slasher-esque war thriller. And if that won't sell you this movie you probably should go back watching Arn: The Knight Templar or any other mediocre Jan Guillou adaptation!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

"based on a story by extremely boring Swedish author Jan Guillou"

Yeah you can say that again....my biggest fear is that some US based producer hears about his popularity and starts adapting his books.

"so I guess it was just a case of good luck that Mr Zecevic died in January 2012, after the deal was done after several years of communications through fax!"

hahahah...another oddball producer huh..?

I always wanted to see this one...thanks for the review Ninja.

Thomas T. Simmons said...

Awesome, thanks for the heads up on this one. It got released in the US under the title PRIVATE WAR. Sounds amazing.

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Anonymous said: "my biggest fear is that some US based producer hears about his popularity and starts adapting his books."

Not to worry! US producers have no idea what "books" are. They simply wait until the adaptation has been made in Europe and then buy the remake rights for a US version.

Anonymous said...

Thomas T Simmons:"Not to worry! US producers have no idea what "books" are."

Well....I disagree some US producers know how to read....look at Drive (2011)& Green Zone (2010) etc.

"They simply wait until the adaptation has been made in Europe and then buy the remake rights for a US version."

Yeah I suppose you have never heard of the Hamilton franchise...?

I can forsee a future where these films will be remade in the USA.....

Ninja Dixon said...

Oh no! Hamilton in English... well, actually, it could be better! Because the Swedish films are mediocre! I mean, when you hire Mark Hamill as the bad guy you know they don't have much money to spend!

Anonymous said...

Ninja: hahahahhah...so true!

But watch the latest with Persbrandt.....very funny.

Jason Flemyng is the bad guy.....

Anonymous said...

Well....I disagree some US producers know how to read....look at Drive (2011)& Green Zone (2010) etc

To be fair, its not that common in the US though.

Anonymous said...

Ninja: I did not post that last thing....seems like your other stalker is back...ahhahahhahah

Anon:

Adapting books/stageplays etc has alwys been common in USA.

Ninja Dixon said...

Start using a name of some kind! :D

Anonymous said...

Ninja: Oh man.....need to think about that.....listen, do you have email somewhere..?

Maybe I should introduce myself.....hahahhahahhahh

Ninja Dixon said...

I don't want to spread my personal email here (for spammers, those bastards!), but go to my company's site www.oddbooksförlag.se and email me there :)

Anonymous said...

Ninja: Will do.....