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Last hunter (vo)

Last hunter (vo)

Antonio Margheriti
98 minutes
A Partir De 12 Ans


The essence of Italian exploitation was to cash in on successful Hollywood formulae. THE LAST HUNTER sets its sights on THE DEER HUNTER (title, opening brothel sequence and rat infested Vietcong water trap) by way of APOCALYPSE NOW (the journey down the river toward a hidden base to liquidate an American traitor spouting anti war propaganda). The difference is in the details, like Margit Evelyn Newton (HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD) taking on the Kurtz role as a Saigon Rose who broadcasts appeals to American GIs to throw down their arms and go home.

The late David Warbeck is terrific as Captain Harry Morris, the operative who is dropped into the jungle to execute the mission. As with his roles in Fulci’s THE BEYOND and THE BLACK CAT, he has just the right amount of toughness mixed in with a genuine likeability. We want him to survive, and that’s what makes the film so absorbing and the ending so powerful.

The film is wall to wall action, expertly staged by the director and his crew in the steaming jungles of the Philippine locations. It begins with a bang as a friend commits suicide before Morris’ eyes as explosions rock the encampment. He barely makes it to shore when he has to fight off a very aggressive poisonous snake, losing his supplies in the river. Joining up with Tony King’s GI bro George Washington (King was Bukowski’s cannibal buddy in Margheriti’s Vietnam allegory, CANNIBAL APOCALYPSE), they fight their way through many Vietcong ambushes. The film goes out of its way to show how women and children are employed by the Cong to get the soldiers off guard. The action is fast, furious, bloody; bodies are blown apart, dismembered and flayed as waves of blood engulf the viewer. Tisa Farrow, a veteran of Fulci’s ZOMBIE, is on hand as a photojournalist who provides some romantic-sexual interest for Morris, while Newton is the « dark woman » from his past who turns out be his worst nightmare in the present. The ending is surprisingly downbeat, and very appropriate for the era as well as the film. Solid support is lent by Margheriti regulars King, John Steiner as the martinet Major Cash and the director’s mascot, Alan Collins (Luciano Pigozzi) as a bartender in the surreal underground city which Warbeck visits.

Cinematographer Riccardo Pallottini died in a plane crash during location filming in the Philippines.
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