TIGER JOE (1982)
Directed by: Antonio Margheriti
Written by: Tito Carpi, Gianfranco Couyoumdjian (story)
Starring: David Warbeck, Annie Belle, Tony King, Luciano Pigozzi
While not quite reaching the giddy heights of Margheriti and Warbeck’s previous jungle action film, The Last Hunter, Tiger Joe is nevertheless a fun and action soaked jungle caper. Warbeck is at his charismatic best playing a pilot holed up in Southeast Asia running guns for groups of rebels. On his latest gun run, Warbeck is shot down over enemy territory and seemingly left for dead. However, handy with an M16 and happening upon and joining forces with a foxy female freedom fighter, Belle, he begins his mission back to safety mowing down as many evil jungle soldiers as possible. Meanwhile, his buddies back at the airfield mount their own rescue mission, bugger it up royally and join Warbeck and Belle for an all out guns blazing dash to safety.
Nicely shot in Philippine locations, Tiger Joe is some cool jungle action based fun featuring many scenes of machine gun blistering action, a few explosions, some nifty jungle traps and even an exploding train at one point! Fast and furious in the action department, Tiger Joe rarely slows down, features some witty banter between Warbeck and his buddies (not to mention a fair bit of un-PC banter: the poor larger man of the group being reminded how fat he is during every conversation he has with someone!) and has a tough as nails female character who holds her own in the M16 bullet spraying department. Belle is a refreshing character in the jungle warfare genre, getting to kick ass as much as the guys and shares good chemistry with Warbeck, the duo proving to be a ferocious fighting force.
While it’s not as crazy awesome as The Last Hunter and the likes of Margheriti’s other jungle based action films featuring Lewis Collins, Commando Leopard and Codename: Wildgeese, Tiger Joe is still an entertaining entry in the 80s Italian jungle action stakes and is buoyed by the gun-toting, wisecracking and always watchable David Warbeck.
Also, check out the review over at Comeuppance Reviews