Sunday, June 16, 2024

Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except, Vietnam Vets vs. Evil Cult

Sam Raimi as the Charles Manson type cult leader, with his brother Ted as one of his followers! This cult is evil, too.  They would have given Manson and his clan a run for the money. What they do in this film is difficult to watch...rape...dismember...torture...humiliate...and even babies will not escape their wrath. Cults and psycho Vietnam vets were Hollywood's two biggest plot devices in the 70s and 80s. They were used to inflict carnage, rape, and yell a lot. Vietnam vets didn't molest children on Epstein Island, like Big Hollywood aside I had to throw in. In our film today, the four returning marines (returning from 'Nam) are heroes.  Great to see. Today we look at 1985's "Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except," directed by Josh Becker.

Jack (Brian Schultz) is shot twice in the leg trying to take Lamb Chop Hill.  But for the heroics of his buddy Walker (Robert Rickman), he would have been dismembered by the enemy. Now, with a cane, Jack moves into an abandoned cabin in the woods and rekindles his romance with babe Sally (Cheryl Guttridge). So sweet. As they frolic, a cult led by Sam Raimi (he thinks he's the Messiah), does home invasions, rapes, kills babies, tortures and guts any campers they meet, and seems to take over the woods. Now Jack hosts Walker and two more war buddies, Tim (Tim Quill) and Dave (John Manfredi) at his cabin. Uh oh!  The cult invades Sally's home, tortures and murders her grandfather (Perry Mallette) and abscond with her. Seems Sally will be their blood sacrifice.

Now the four marines assemble a bunch of weapons and go in search of the cult. There will be a lot of fighting, gore, and the USMC will go through the Manson wannabes like crap through a goose. The gore in each kill, and there will be so many of them, will be extreme. Sheers to the eyes, impalements, and other bloody ways to die. Sam Raimi ties Sally spread eagle between two trees and...well, you'll see...but it is quite naughty. Jack and his buddies are unrelenting.  These four don't believe in asking questions...they just go in shooting. Maybe General Milley or Lloyd Austin could take a lesson from Jack and company instead of losing any war they come within  ten thousand miles of? That's it for now, see the movie to find out the ending.

Will Jack be able to rescue Sally un-soiled?  With a heavy redemption theme as Jack and his buddies come back to the U.S. and set out to save civilization and become this film an inspiration for "Godzilla Minus One"? Gory and sordid...some of the viciousness will be quite taboo. Not an easy film to watch but so very satisfying!  See "Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except" today.  

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