Movie Review-Thou Shalt Not Kill…Except

Coming to Blu Ray April 10th

Plot-This film is like a stew that consists of Charles Manson, Rambo on the backdrop of Chuck Norris’s Missing in Action. The film starts off in Vietnam. The year is 1969. Marine Sergeant Jack Stryker is trapped outside a Viet Cong village. Stryker takes two bullets to the leg. Sent home from the war, he discovers his ex-girlfriend that he is trying to get back with, has been kidnapped by a religious biker cult. Stryker teams up with 3 of his military friends to go get her back. Released originally in 1985. With Sam Raimi playing the Manson-like cult leader. I wonder if this film would take any credit for Waco and Koresh?

Review-Before I review this film, I want to say Synapse Films are the kings to me on the blu ray transfers. You can tell that behind the scenes of this company, are a bunch of film lovers that give the fans the most for their dollars. That being said, that speech may have been better suited for a better film. This film was hit and miss to me. The special effects were bad. The war scenes in the beginning were just so boring and offered nothing in terms of wanting to keep your attention. It was just badly shot and worst acted. At around the 12 minute mark, we get to spend the next 40 plus minutes with the 4 soldiers who are now home. From Jack trying to reconnect with his ex girlfriend, to him coping with walking with a cane. Jack comes across as being as fun as going to a funeral for a loved one. He has zero personality and you just cannot get into his character. Then, we get the other 3 soldiers, who at least had personality and tried to have fun with the material. They go from hooking up with underage girls they buy booze for, to getting involved with a fight with the gang. The scene where the 3 of them are hooking up with the underage girls, has a funny pay off scene. All the fight scenes in this film looked so badly done, and the sound effects were so cheesy, that they were sort of fun. One scene where a guy gets kicked in the head, you can tell pretty easily, that the foot missed him by a few inches. Around the hour mark is when we get the final battle scene, when Jack goes to rescue his woman and the 2 sides go to war. The kills were bad, that you can almost forgive them just because they were super cheese. My fault with this film is easy, the pacing was so uneven. How can this film be considered a cult classic is beyond me. That some of the things in this film, that were meant to be interesting or funny, just failed. And some of the scenes that was supposed to be serious, came across as funny. I know this film came out when the Rambo rage was out, and every studio had to have that war survivalist film. Sam Raimi as the cult leader was genius. I would never have known, if it was not for the credits. I thought that the acting in this film was awful, even for low budget indie standards. The script was just not there and it showed. When you have to force dialogue, you know there will be issues.

Special Features-
•All-New High-Definition 2K Digital Restoration from the Original Negative
•The Original Super 8mm STRYKER S WAR Short Film, starring Bruce Campbell!
•Made in Michigan: The Making of THOU SHALT NOT KILL… EXCEPT
•Two Audio Commentaries Featuring Director Josh Becker, Bruce Campbell and Star Brian Schulz
•All-New Video Interview with Bruce Campbell
•Deleted Scene with Optional Director’s Commentary
•Alternate Title Sequence
•Original Theatrical Trailer

As a whole, for the special features alone..I would say this is a buyer. But, for the film, I would say, maybe a rental. If you are with the guys or girls, and wanting to drink and have a easy and cheese film to do a MST3K style showing with, you may have fun with this.

5.5 out of 10