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Explosive Cinema [3 Discs] [DVD]

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Top Cop
The Silencer
Music video director Amy Goldstein made her feature film debut in this revenge thriller that plays like a knockoff of La Femme Nikita and Ms. 45. Lynette Walden stars as Angel, a woman from the streets dressed up in leather togs, who has been programmed to kill all men who get their kicks exploiting women. She receives her assignments through a video arcade game called "Silencer" in an upscale Los Angeles bar. After Angel receives her marching orders, she efficiently dispatches a collection of low-life pimps and batterers and spends her downtime with Tony (Paul Ganus), a man obsessed with Christian iconography. But a cog is thrown into Angel's smooth-running death machine by George (Chris Mulkey), an ex-lover who stalks her as she performs her killings. Clearly, a confrontation with George is at hand. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

The Skydivers
In this grim crime drama, the married owner of a skydiving school spurns the amorous advances of a rich and spoiled girl. Not used to rejection, she endeavors to destroy him. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Iron Angel
In this wartime drama set during the Korean conflict, a squadron must destroy a North Korean mortar that is blocking a crucial road. En route the soldiers bicker constantly. One of the soldiers suffers two breakdowns. The operation is further hindered by the arrival of a strict Army nurse and her armored ambulance. Eventually though, the soldiers succeed. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

9 Deaths of the Ninja
Meant to be a parody of the martial arts genre, this weakly plotted story centers around a kidnapping in Manila engineered by two terrorists to obtain the release of a political prisoner in the Middle East. In order to save the busload of tourists that are being held hostage, the U.S. Embassy summons three international agents: Spike Shinobi (Sho Kasugi) who, inspired by Kojak (Telly Savalas' TV detective), puts a lollipop in his mouth in-between fights, Steven Gordon (Brent Huff), and Jennifer Barnes (Emilia Lesniak). The trio are up against the deranged German Alby the Cruel (Blackie Dammett) and the sadistic lesbian Honey Hump (Regina Richardson), the terrorists holding the tourists. Wild exaggeration in-between the karate action is meant to bring humor to the proceedings. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

The remote stiff acting of the policemen and detectives in this police action film, combined with the emphasis on gore and blood, leaves a large blank space between the two extremes of boring or violent. Lt. James Long (martial arts expert Leo Fong) is on the trail of some gunrunners who have stolen weapons from the National Armory in L.A. and are selling them to the highest local bidders. The chief gun honcho (Cameron Mitchell) is a crazed killer who is obsessed with torturing and then murdering women. Just by coincidence, Lt. Long's wife was brutally raped and murdered and he is out to avenge her death at all costs. Actual policemen and members of the coroner's office portray themselves in this film, at least guaranteeing an audience of family and friends. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

The Patriot
This action film centers around the theft of a nuclear warhead from the U.S. Navy. Lt. Matt Ryder (Gregg Henry) is called out of his dishonorably discharged status and is requested to go find the missing nuke. It appears that the warhead has been stashed somewhere offshore, but it is never clear who has engineered the dastardly deed. When Ryder takes a time-out to get together with his old girlfriend Sean (Simone Griffeth), Sean's spurned and ego-maniacal boyfriend Mitchell (Jeff Conaway) comes forcefully into the picture. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

The Hostage
Six year-old Davey Cleaves (Danny Martins) is trapped in a moving van with two killers after witnessing a murder in this low-budget crime drama. Bull (Don O'Kelly) is the brains of the outfit, with the spineless Eddie (Harry Dean Stanton) as his vacillating accomplice. The boy is hiding in the van that contains his family's possessions. When the killers stop to bury the dead man, they discover the boy and try to silence the only witness to the crime. Davey runs to the safety of a nearby farmhouse, but Bull convinces the rural rubes that Davey is his runaway son. The police have been notified by Davey's panicked parents and they begin a race against time to find the wayward kid before the killers can silence him. Eddie considers turning himself over to the law just to end the ordeal. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

This martial arts film features Tonny Tulleners (a karate champion) as a U.S. government agent who goes after international terrorists in some picturesque locations: Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and Hawaii. His terrorist-fighting takes on another complexion when he is required to protect a terrorist who is going to testify against his former cohorts. Soon the glamorous locations are transformed into the interiors of bedrooms and hospital wards as the body count rises. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

Van Nuys Blvd.
A guy who lives for cars and girls find both on Los Angeles's main drag for cruising in this teen-oriented comedy from the '70s. Bobby (Bill Adler) is a kid from middle-of-nowhere California who is crazy for cars. Bobby's girlfriend Jo (Susanne Severeid) is more interested in settling down than racing, so when he hears about Van Nuys Boulevard in Los Angeles, the number-one place for hot rodders to cruise in California, he hops in his souped-up van and hits the highway. Arriving in L.A. Bobby hits Van Nuys and soon meets a handful of other gearheads, including Chooch (David Hayward), who has been king of the strip for years and lives with his car in his garage; Greg (Dennis Bowen), a nice guy chasing his dream girl; Zass (Dana Gladstone), a hard-nosed cop trying to shut down the hot-rodders; and Wanda (Tara Strohmeier), a beautiful carhop who serves up sex along with cheeseburgers. But things really take a turn for Bobby when he crosses paths with Moon (Cynthia Wood), a pretty girl who also digs cars and whose van is a match for his own. Cynthia Wood, who played Moon, was Playboy Magazine's Playmate of the Year in 1974, and later played a model for the magazine visiting troops in Vietnam in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Terror in the Jungle
In this far-fetched jungle adventure, a young boy is put on a plane for a visit to his estranged mother. When the plane crashes in the Amazon jungle, the blonde boy is considered a god by the Incan Indians. One of the high priests wishes to sacrifice the boy in a religious ritual, believing the young boy to be evil because he smiles. His father and a group of Catholic missionaries save the boy from death with the evil Indian running through the jungle to escape. The boy's stuffed toy tiger becomes real and hunts down the Incan priest in an attempt to rip the flesh from his villainous bones for scaring the boy. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

Low Blow
This is a dull, by-the-book actioner whose only merit is a good performance by actress Akosua Busia, later nominated for an Academy Award for her work in The Color Purple. When Karen, the daughter of a well-heeled businessman (Troy Donahue) has been swallowed up by a religious cult, her father hires ex-cop Joe Wong (Leo Fong) to bring her back safe and sound. Before tackling this assignment, Wong spends a lot of time in a Darwinian process of natural selection, weeding out the tough guys who will go in with him to rescue Karen. Their chief nemesis is blind cult leader Yarakunda (Cameron Mitchell) and his sharp assistant Karma (Akosua Busia). ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

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