Sunday, 27 June 2010

Jungle Rodents Rage War

Battle Rats
(1989/Hong Kong)

‘‘These bastards are ingenious’’

A pernicious Vietcong commander hits at the heart of the American army, using all manner of employs to kill their soldiers on duty in Vietnam. Captain Rosenblatt’s division has one of the worst death rates in ‘Nam. He wants to bring an end to the terror reign, and flush the commander out of his subterranean network of tunnels. Under the commanders leadership the Vietcong have a lethal advantage as they strike and then vanish back beneath the ground. Those that follow in after them soon become just another statistic for the army to write home to their loved ones about !.

An elite force of tunnel rats is headed up by Captain Rosenblatt and they are immediately put through their suitability paces at Battle Rat boot camp. Jack Gilbert stands out as Sergeant Burns, and is soon alongside Captain Rosenblatt and fellow tunnel rats foraging for tunnel activity for real. An insidious entry point is beneath the village of innocent Vietnamese families, and they are as callously taken advantage of by the malicious Vietcong. It’s dark, dank and dangerous beneath the surface with intruder triggers lining the way, as the American soldiers discover to their detriment. Venomous snakes are coiled and poised to strike. Hairline wires are triggered to set off explosive grenades in close proximity. Underfoot traps pressure set to give way unveil a spiked demise, and lurking in the dark are the Vietcong readied to attack with their knives.
Those that fall are either killed or taken to the Vietcong commander, strung up before him and tortured. One particularly nasty scene sees the commander forcefully poke his two fingers into the eye sockets of a squealing soldier, and in a close up shot the eyes pop out with eyebrow raising disbelief. Not even spinach saves this ‘Popeye’ !.

Captain Rosenblatt continues to push his team back into action. Each time his soldiers strike fast and successfully on land where they are the dominant fighting unit, but each course of aggression is met doubly so when the Vietcong vanish back to their jungle holes. Despite the very heavy loses the American soldiers do learn of the commanders outside assistance, as operations aiding his brutal campaign point to fellow communist states Russia and China. These sympathisers and war mongers have a transportation trail that feeds through the intricate tunnel system. Having attained plans, and acquired information during their ill fated tours of duty into the labyrinths, Captain Rosenblatt leads his men on a do or die assault mission. Their objective is to flush out the commander and once inside, under his order, no one leaves until they blow the tunnel systems sky high !.

Captain Rosenblatt goes off on a one man mission to kill whilst Sergeant Burns locks and unloads with bloody abandon in order to just stay alive. It’s another explosive outcome delivering a barnstormer of a bullet ridden, blood and guts conclusion. With the commander and his multitude of loyal Vietcong subordinates well and truly flushed from their lair by the organised assault, the bowel of iniquity gets well and truly rear ended by an offensive enema directed to wipe them all out !. Time then for a rebel rousing Vietcong shish kebab, with spare ribs and plenty of red sauce to satisfy even the most ardent of Action fans.

Movie Rating: 7/10
Review Paul Cooke / Source Japanese NTSC VHS
Battle Rats (1989)
Director Briggs Benjamin, SR.
With Jack Gilbert, Corwyn Paul Sperry,
Mylene Nocum, Paul John,Louie Katana,
Tony Lao, David Geberson & Albert Dominguez


  1. Holy Hutula! I've never seen this one, but I must change that soon. The first screen grab has me sold :)

  2. Hello, my name is Jesus Manuel from Golden Ninja Warrior Chronicles blog.
    Battle Rats is 100% filipino production, nothing to do with Hong Kong but his main actor BRENT GILBERT ( here credited as Jack Gilbert) who worked for IFD along Mike Abbott in War City saga & other titles during 1987 /1988.
    Gilbert also worked for Tomas tang's Filmark credited under Brent Rivers or other fake names in titles like Terminal Angels or mad moves.


  3. Hey DZ, this is a definite pick up. Make sure you grab the Japanese VHS or perhaps an American tape as the UK RCA VHS is CUT & those popping eyes don't even get a look in !.
    Hi Jesus, great to have you stop by & thanks for your informative input on the movie.

  4. Hi David and Jesus,

    There is actually a Hong Kong connection - executive producer David "Hunt"/Hung, former cameraman on Cleopatra Wong and Joseph Lai cohort at IFD. His company Davian International, a half HK, half Filipino concern (with his mistress Vivian Hermosa, hence the "Dav" and "ian" in the name) was the international distributor for this and several other Filipino action films from Cine Suerte, owned by Battle Rats director Ben Yalung (here using his “Briggs Benjamin Sr” tag.

    Hope this makes sense!

  5. 河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。......................................................................

  6. Hi Andrew, the Review section with year & country that I apply is for the Distributors which is why this states Hong Kong. I never questioned Jesus as I know he was referring to the movie being in the Phillipines. It's all good Jungle Warfare entertainment & that's the most important criteria :) . Paul

  7. Thanks for your info, Andrew. I didn't know about this, but as you say, of course it makes sense. Gilbert was a main star at IFD for a couples of years...later, more or less at the same time like Godfrey Ho or Philip Ko he tried his luck in the Philippines.

    would you know what kind of work David hunt (hung)did at IFD???? Producer??? cameraman??? I am too curious about it!!!

    In some Spanish tapes, many filipino productions (i.e Rom Kristoff ninja movies like Double Edge or the other ones) were listed as HK productions...even in the title credits appears that the sound department or the laboratory for the film was done in Hong Kong...I really have my doubts for these.

  8. 向著星球長驅直進的人,反比踟躕在峽路上的人,更容易達到目的。............................................................

  9. 人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。............................................................

  10. 當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................