Raw Force (1982) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Directed By: Edward Murphy
Starring: Vic Diaz, Cameron Mitchell, Hope Holliday
Rated: UR/Region A,B/1:78/1080p/Number of Discs 2
Where to get it: Vinegar Syndrome
Welcome to Warrior’s Island, burial ground of disgraced martial arts masters! When the Burbank Kung Fu Club travels to this mysterious island, they quickly find themselves facing the bloodthirsty vengeance of flesh ripping kung fu fighting zombies, gun-toting white slave traders and a band of strange monks, who may be the only key to explaining the madness. Edward Murphy’s RAW FORCE is a virtual smorgasbord of over the top sleaze — mixing zombies, cannibals, outrageous action, gore, nudity and starring exploitation greats, Cameron Mitchell and Vic Diaz. Vinegar Syndrome presents this quintessential piece of early 80’s trash newly restored from the original camera negative and on blu-ray for the first time!
Also known by some as Kung Fu Cannibals! This is a film that would clearly be placed in the same area as The Miami Connection, but I don’t think we ever reach THAT epic level. We aren’t close behind, however, as this movie tosses a whole heck of a lot at the wall and thankfully just about everything sticks. We got cannibals, zombies, karate, and naked women! I don’t know about you, but that is right down by alley! The movie might jump more than one shark along the way, but it never at any point feels dull and unwatchable. The film has a clear sense of humor and it always helps when you find the jokes funny. This might not be a five-star classic by any sense of the meaning, but I can see it as a film that will bring the fun to a party and one that also becomes more fun as it is re-watched. I dug it the first time and I could see myself loving it upon seeing it again. I will say this, however, the second half of the movie is by far better than the first if you are more into the horror action side of things.
Until I saw this film here I can’t recall ever seeing karate zombies. These zombies are dressed for battle, some as ninjas. It is such a cool visual that I don’t even care that they are clearly moving too fast for my personal taste of zombies. The movie packs a lot of action, but the climax of the movie is just classic with all the battling and heads being lopped off. If you ever wanted to see a movie that would have been perfect for an old theater with a sticky floor and some guy with his hand in his pants in the corner, this movie is it. Maybe some stuff you see here won’t make a lick of sense, but I don’t see anyone who can have fun with movies caring about that at all. The transfer is really solid, especially considering the source and how other releases have apparently looked. If you enjoyed stuff like The Miami Connection, then you should have no issue with this.
– New 2K Restoration From The 35mm Negative
– Video Featurette: DESTINATION: WARRIORS ISLAND (The Making Of Raw Force)
– Audio Interview With Finishing Editor Jim Wynorski
– Original Theatrical Trailer
Quality of Transfer: 96%