Budda-budda-budda, it’s Burl here, with more action cinema for you! Ha ha, today’s movie is called The Annihilators, and it’s a little action goof-up from the producer of The Boogens! This one wasn’t shot in Utah, though – I think it was made in Atlanta, Georgia! That’s where it’s set, anyway!
It’s a little bit like The A-Team and many other such entertainments! A squad of Vietnam veterans pull together in the modern world to help out (or in this case, avenge) a buddy! It seems that the squad’s life was saved by Joe, who was then shot and put into a wheelchair for life! And then later, in Atlanta, Joe has become a shopkeeper in a downtrodden neighbourhood, where he becomes a victim of the vicious Roy Boy and his gang! Ha ha, Roy Boy!
Squad Leader Christopher Stone, well-known for his roles in The Howling and Cujo, assembles his old team: crazy man Gerrit Graham, of Phantom of the Paradise and Class Reunion; Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Boom-Boom Washington himself; and another fellow, whom they find living in a junkyard, and who likes to take a drink! Together they take up residence in the besieged neighborhood and ally themselves with the local merchants who’ve been squirming under Roy Boy’s pitiless thumb!
It’s a bit like a horizontal version of Enemy Territory in a lot of ways! The bad guys are pretty hissable, though Roy Boy himself is kind of silly! First of all his name is Roy Boy; secondly actor Paul Koslo, who was an effective bad guy in Mr. Majestyk, you’ll recall, plays him like someone doing an impersonation of Martin Short doing an impersonation of a crazy 80s bad guy! Ha ha! It’s pretty entertaining, I will certainly admit!
And you do feel for these poor neighborhood people, and it’s nice to see them standing up for themselves, pouring hot oil on bad guys, bopping them with planks and so forth! Ha ha, a scene in which Boom-Boom saves a crabby neighbor from a big bald bad guy by flipping a throwing star into the back of his head is oddly sweet and tender!
And it’s a pretty violent picture, as I suppose it should be! Lots of people get clobbered, poked, riddled with bullets or exploded! The characters themselves aren’t very compelling – the only real arc is given to the dipsomaniac, who finds true love and throws away the bottle! Gerrit Graham is the most interesting character, and gets the best lines, and it’s pretty disappointing when circumstances lead to his sudden, swift exit from the picture!
For a low-budget action picture made by Utahans, it’s not too bad! It’s like a paint-by-numbers picture half-decently executed by a child you’d have expected to just smear the paint all over it! I give The Annihilators two trips down Hogan’s Alley, whatever that is!