Film Review: Hired to Kill (1990)

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So there’s this indie game on PS4 called Broforce. It’s kinda sexist, racially insensitive, and full of explosions. It was meant to capitalize on everything great about action films from the eighties and nineties. It has cartoon “Bro” versions of all of your favorite actions stars from Brommando to Indiana Brones to Rambro. Brian Thompson is an action star that was left out of this large cast of video games characters. The game creators, and you, may not know him by name; but, you would surely recognize him. He has played in tons of actions films, but many times as the villain. He has a hulking and menacing look that probably made him easily typecast into these types of roles. He was the guy the guy who lost his clothes to Arnold in The Terminator, he was tracked down by Stallone in Cobra, he was Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, and his main horror role was an appearance in Fright Night 2 as Bozworth.

The creator of this film, Hired to Kill, was Nico Mastorakis. He has been credited with around twenty films, all of which dealt with the awesomeness of the low-budget eightites/nineties action. More recently reviewed on this site was his hilarious and memorable, The Zero Boys. He is quite a memorable name in this cult genre. In regard to modern day action/horror/comedies, many of Mastorakis’s films will be re-watched  by this guy way before something like Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre. It is crazy to think that we can look back at eighties films and call them awesomely bad, yet films with much higher budgets today are just bad. The shark craze, with awful looking CGI (CGI is not all bad by the way), and unrealistic effects, just shows us how the old school can be more effective in some areas. Bad acting is something I can deal with. Continuity errors are hilarious. I cannot take the laziness that computers have created though. Even the guns in this film look more realistic than the plastic squirt guns used in the supposedly $600,000 Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre.

Enough with that damn shark movie. I need to get it out of my head. Hired to Kill is a great example of action film-making from an era that has practically been lost. For one, the acting is not nearly as bad as you would expect. It has a cast that goes way back in film history, and actually delivers in terms of performance. It also has a great undercover story-line with plot twists, cover-ups, and conspiracy theories abound. I am not bullshitting you when I say I actually liked this film. The transfer and sound came out pretty well, better than The Stuff, and the release will be pretty affordable for the collector. It will, of course, be for a more specific genre collector than the fan of everything horror like myself. It focuses on the people that love action movies and throwback films. There isn’t gore, it’s barely a horror film, but it is a good movie.

It is about a mercenary that needs to go undercover as a fashion icon to assassinate a political threat. He must also get help from a team of models, who are also undercover recruits from the local prison. He must then train them and take them into a remote location where they put on the facade of a fashion team. This, of course, creates numerous scenes of politically incorrect conversations regarding homosexuality that the PC police of our current generation would probably edit to death. By the time the film is over, you will have had enough sex, violence, explosions, and hanging from helicopters to satisfy your need for nostalgia. If you are younger and/or new to the genre, it is a great place to start a new genre study in film history.

Author: Steven Paul

Born and raised in Michigan, slowly dying in Florida. I'm here to keep you informed about everything in the world of indie horror. I also specialize in all genres of exploitation, cult, and extreme cinema. As part owner and Editor of Film and Television for Beneath the Underground, it is my responsibility to provide vast amounts of information for the horror fan and an outlet for the filmmaker.

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