Published on July 25th, 2007 | by Chris2
The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission (1988)
The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission is the last in a string of made-for-television sequels to the venerable 1967 classic "The Dirty Dozen." Having not seen the rest of the "films" which make up these broadcast sequels, I have to judge this by itself, and in comparison to its namesake.
And in that respect it fails miserably. Sure it was "made for TV," that much is painfully obvious, with the pre-planned commercial-break fades, and the just plain cheesy production quality. With a cast like this (Ernest Borgnine, Telly Savales, Heather Thomas, and even Erik Estrada and Ernie Hudson) you'd expect a little better treatment. And what the hell is Telly Savales even doing in these? Didn't his psycho-rapist character from the original die? Yes I know its a different character but its still kind of odd.
Then there's the addition of Heather Thomas to the cast as an Army Lieutenant. Eh? OK, so maybe she's nice to look at, sort of, but really that's about all she adds to this picture. Forget that she'd have the proverbial snowball's chance of actually getting out in the field with these guys in '43....
The story is based on what could be an interesting premise. The idea is that Hitler has developed a plan to ensure the continuation of the Reich in the event of Germany's downfall by selecting a dozen promising Nazi party members to take up the flag in Istanbul. The "Fourth Reich" as they call this is headed there via train on the route of the old "Orient Express."
OK, so put out of your mind the tactical foolishness of putting all twelve members of the future of your country in *one* rail car and sending them down the tracks, with no escape routes or anything. Just try, I dare you! Yeah, that's where this picture kind of disintegrates.
Of course you have the classic Dirty Dozen cliches of the men infighting over killing off their CO and making a run for it, versus sticking around. And then there's the subplot of "the traitor" which really doesn't go anywhere or ultimately make any sort of difference at all....
... You've got the Yugoslavian resistance movement, and the General's conflict over ordering the train to be hit by airstrikes even though it might mean the new Dirty Dozen are killed in the process.... But really this is all quite dull and boring. What with the 80's TV "A-Team" style shootouts, and pinpoint grenade tosses, I really didn't care much for this one.
Watch it when it comes around on the tube again, if you've got a spare couple of hours with nothing better to do. I suppose it'd make for a good Saturday-afternoon popcorn muncher, but that's about it.
The Dirty Dozen Double Feature (The Dirty Dozen - The Deadly Mission / The Dirty Dozen - The Fatal Mission)
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The Dirty Dozen Double Feature. THE DIRTY DOZEN - THE DEADLY MISSION: Learning of a Nazi plot to attack Washington with deadly nerve gas, Major Wright (Telly Savalas) leads twelve convicts on a suicide mission deep into occupied France to destroy the secret factory where the poison is made...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Manufacturer: MGM (Video & DVD)
Original Release Date:
- Telly Savalas
- Ernest Borgnine
- Hunt Block
- Matthew Burton
- Jeff Conaway
Summary: with the 80's TV "A-Team" style shootouts, and pinpoint grenade tosses, I really didn't care much for this one.