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      Armed Response

      R 1986 1 hr. 25 min. Action List
      Reviews 33% 1,000+ Ratings Audience Score The father (Lee Van Cleef) and brother (David Carradine) of a dead private eye finish business with Asian gangsters over a stolen jade relic. Read More Read Less

      Audience Reviews

      View All (15) audience reviews
      Audience Member Very entertaining action packed B movie starring David Carradine and Lee Van Cleef. Cheesy but entertaining and worth watching for the great cast that also includes Michael Berryman and Dick Miller. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review Audience Member Much forgotten macho action malarkey from the mid-eighties, courtesy of the prolific schlock-meister (and sometime Pro Wrestler!) Fred Olen Ray. Despite the supremely-evident budget constraints, we have stars David Carradine and Lee Van Cleef ("I'm your Pappy!") as the central father/son duo - forced by Chinatown ne'er-do-wells into the titular (and none-too-reluctant) "Armed Response". The reliable Mako is the chief baddie (and one of the surge of villainous Japanese characters called 'Tanaka' of the era) and he's helped out in his evil-doing by "The Hills Have Eyes" poster boy, Michael Berryman. Yet even the maniacally bog-eyed Berryman ends up ruing the day he pushed lots of needles into Brent Huff's exposed torso: that's right, his badass bro' Dave Carradine is a Vietnam Veteran with a score to settle. And of course, him and his pisshead Pappy have guns. A lot of big guns. "Armed Response" gets to its schlocky zenith in a poorly shot 'murder' scene (that always strangely brings Russ Meyer to mind) in the desert featuring a gun-toting blonde and that great B-Movie stalwart, Dick Miller. I'd wager the movie would also form a pretty good drinking game given the amount of time spent in and references to "the bar" from the ever-immaculately mustachioed Mr. Van Cleef. For those not allergic to meat-headed macho heroics from an era of "Rambo"-esque jingoism, it is worth a blast. The over-riding "You've messed with the wrong family!" motto and undercharacterized Asian villains are unfortunately still alive and well in the recent "Red Dawn" 'reboot' fiasco. Olen Ray (under a remarkable array of pseudonyms) went on to produce, direct and star in many films with titles like "Scream Queen Hot Tub Party" and "The Teenie Weenie Bikini Squad". N.B. How many genre movies place a hell of a lot of death and carnage on the retaining or recovery of a priceless Jade Statue? Jackal Chan's Jade horse (ha!) in the bizarre "Ninja Thunderbolt" also springs to mind. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/17/23 Full Review Audience Member There are two sides to every war. There are the chivalrous heroes and the treacherous villains. The honorable heroes include Burt Roth (Lee Van Cleef), and his sons, Jim (David Carradine), a Vietnam Veteran, Tommy (Brent Huff), and Private Eye Clay Roth (David Goss). This close-knit family will either go down fighting or stand together in victory. Now, meet the bad guys. The ringleader is Akira Tanaka (Mako), the insidious mob boss who controls the Japanese Yakuza in Los Angeles. This antagonist gives new meaning to the word "evil." Then, there is F.C. (Michael Berryman), a gigantic bodyguard who is seemingly impregnable. When this guy gives you a fortune cookie, be afraid...be very afraid. Get ready to panic, for that is just a sign of heinous things to come... The setting is the mean streets of Los Angeles's Chinatown. The object of affection is a priceless Jade statue. The Yakuza has intended to use this statue as a "gift" of reconciliation for the Chinese mob. However, after murdering one of his own perfidious men, Tanaka realizes that the statue has fallen in the hands of someone else. Tanaka wants this Jade statue back...and he is willing to torture any soul just to obtain that prized possession... The Roth family realizes that after one of their own kin unwittingly clutches the Jade statue in his hands, Tanaka is targeting them for termination. They have no choice. The Roth family has only one option: WAR. The forces of good and evil will clash in a fists-and-firepower battle. The Roth family is prepared...the only proper response...is an ARMED RESPONSE... One of the best attributes of Armed Response is its all-star cast. With favorites including David Carradine, Lee Van Cleef, Mako, Michael Berryman, et. al., Armed Response is armed with a terrific cast. The cast is glowing with talented character actors and actresses. Both David Carradine and Lee Van Cleef are capable as a father-and-son fighting duo who are bonded by courage, strength, and honor. Carradine may not portray the most poignant Vietnam Veteran, but at least his character still has intermittent flashbacks of the horrors of the Vietnam War. Yeah, the Vietnam settings aren't really accurate, but give director Fred Olen Rey credit for trying. Mako is great as the sadistically evil bad guy who is a master of torture! He may be an intelligent nemesis, but sadism is his true forte. Ross Hagen is cool as a backstabbing con artist who is posing as a detective. This guy is only interested in making a profit. Laurene Landon and Dick Miller are amusing as a couple of thieves who are also weapons experts, mind you. Michael Berryman, best known for playing Pluto in the cult classic The Hills Have Eyes, plays it straight as Tanaka's right-hand henchman. Armed Response features some of the best exploitation veterans in this particular genre. Armed Response is not bad for a B-movie. For a mere budget of probably not more then a couple million dollars, this film features a lot of explosive car crashes and high caliber thrills. Armed Response is reasonably fast-paced with a few expertly directed action scenes and stunts. Cars flip over and explode with regularity. Bad guys leap when they are killed in action. Another redeeming factor is the film's mordant sense of humor. In a way, Armed Response satirizes on the action genre itself, poking fun at certain types of characters, behavioral mannerisms, and character stereotypes. This film also benefits by having a few genuinely funny moments, though some of the humor is of the grade school variety (e.g., Hagen's character quips that he shot a woman's tits off after shooting her in the chest during a shootout). Though Armed Response is much better than some of its B-movie competition, it is still, nonetheless, a low budget film with its defects. Though the cast is excellent, the material and plot are very simplistic. This movie is nothing more than a simple tale of heroes with a vengeance. There are a few attempts to deviate from the plot, but those are nothing exceptional. If only the characters and storyline had more insight, then maybe this movie could have been a more riveting thriller. The Asian villains are also straight out of a Fu Manchu picture, and this movie doesn't exactly have the most glowing portrayal of Asians. Though Tanaka has one of the best one-liners. While interrogating one of the Roth brothers using ancient Oriental torture tactics, Tanaka remarks: "Here we go once again...the evil yellow man torturing the valiant white hero." I got a good laugh out of that line. I like how this movie makes fun of stereotyping Asian villains and that American jingoism can go overboard. If you want to see an enjoyable B-movie, then look no further. Your search has ended here. This is one of Fred Olen Ray's finest and foremost action films. Armed Response is definitely worth a Saturday night rental. Granted, some people may detest this movie's blatant jingoism, but the overall permeating silliness of this movie makes you glad that it was made strictly for fun. This movie does not demand to be taken seriously at all. Armed Response is an unrealized action flick that did not deserve to be ignored by critics. Though this movie may fall short of being an ambitious thriller, it works perfectly as perfunctory, crowd-pleasing lunacy for action fans. Armed Response may be high calorie junk food, but there's nothing wrong with indulging yourself once in a while. I'll see you at the bar. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review Audience Member Average action film still represents one of Fred Olen Ray's better efforts. A Chinatown businessman's quest to get a valuable statue back leads to a double cross and two deaths in a family. Van Cleef and Carradine bring a level of credibilty not normally seen in a Ray film even if Carradine appears to be at least 20 years older than his brothers in this film. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/13/23 Full Review Audience Member Average action film still represents one of Fred Olen Ray's better efforts. A Chinatown businessman's quest to get a valuable statue back leads to a double cross and two deaths in a family. Van Cleef and Carradine bring a level of credibilty not normally seen in a Ray film even if Carradine appears to be at least 20 years older than his brothers in this film. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Audience Member Director Fred Olen Ray arms himself with respected vets Van Cleef and Carradine (as father and son!) to battle a Chinatown mobster over a jade statue. Ray even brings in Bobbi Bresee but only fits her into one scene--a shame. Should deliver a positive response from any action movie fan. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis The father (Lee Van Cleef) and brother (David Carradine) of a dead private eye finish business with Asian gangsters over a stolen jade relic.
      Director
      Fred Olen Ray
      Executive Producer
      Lisa M. Hansen
      Screenwriter
      T.L. Lankford
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Action
      Original Language
      English