DVD Review

“The Losers”

By Dan Century

The LosersRed China supported North Vietnam with arms and logistical support during the Vietnam War, but the Chinese and American armies never met on the battle field – if they did it would have led to World War III, or at least China lobbing a few nukes into Los Angeles. Instead of sending troops, America would send spies, soldiers of fortune and other paramilitary types to infiltrate the Chinese camps and foil their sneaky bastard plans. In The Losers, an American biker gang – the Devils Advocates – is hired by the military to invade a Chinese camp in Cambodia, rescue a captured American agent, and send a mess of Chinese and Vietcong to hell in the process. Like the DVD box says: “the army handed them guns and a license to kill!”

Of the Devils Advocates, Link, Dirty Denny, and Duke had previously served in Vietnam as soldiers. Link is the alpha male of the gang – clearly in control and fearless. Dirty Denny is the sleaziest biker of all – he ran a brothel in Cambodia before being sent back to the states. Duke fell in love with a Cambodian girl during his tour of duty, and he uses this mission to reunite with her. Along for the ride are Speed and Limpy. Speed wears a ZZ Top style beard and a green head rag with a Swastika on it, and Limpy is sort of a hippy biker who walks with a limp and quickly falls in love with a Cambodian prostitute (and who could blame him – she’s a lovely prostitute).

The bikers are given Yamahas – “broad bikes” – because you can’t drive a heavy chopper through the Cambodia mud; as well as plenty of machines guns, explosives and even a Gatling Gun style grenade launcher. A black army Captain – Capt. Jackson – is assigned to baby-sit the biker gang, and to complicate matters, the Captain previously fathered a child with Limpy’s prostitute girlfriend.

There are many memorable scenes in the losers. During a fight scene Captain Jackson pulls a banana tree out of the ground and beats several men unconscious with it. There are many titillating scenes featuring well-tanned, Asian female nudity, including a four-way love session with Dirty Denny. I’m surprised the DVD packaging doesn’t hint at some of the film’s soft-core moments. Who doesn’t love well-tanned, Asian female nudity? Soft cinnamon skin… so tender… so supple…

Another great scene is a when the bikers, along with a chubby local mechanic, team up to weld armor and machine guns to their bikes as well as build a massive grenade launching “trike” out of car and bike parts. This scene prefigures TV shows like Monster Garage, Biker Build-Off as well as MacGuyver and the A-Team – in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if The Losers wasn’t an inspiration for the A-Team. The bikers vs. Chinese army battle and finale are great scenes as well (I don’t want to spoil the ending).

The Losers is remarkable because it was released in 1970, 3 years before the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam – now that’s what I call exploitation (“strike while the iron is hot”)! The Losers effectively exploits bikers, sex and war to deliver one heck of an action movie, and although the film is clearly marketed as such, it has enough character development, plot twists, solid acting and beautiful cinematography to transcend the exploitation genre. The audio commentary provided by William “Link” Smith and Paul “Limpy” Koslo is a definite bonus – they offer a wealth of insight into the filming of the movie as well as plenty of humor – sort of like listening to your uncles sitting in a bar telling war stories. The Losers is rough around the edges, crude, rude and dirty – everything that you would expect from a low budget biker/war exploitation flick. If you’re into biker films or Nam films The Losers is worth your time. Bonus for film geeks: The Losers were featured in Pulp Fiction, and its original title was Nam’s Angels.

Contact Information:
Dark Sky Films
Post: MPI Media Group, 16101 S 108th Ave., Orland Park, IL, 60467, USA

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