"Where 12 hot and hardened criminals train for a few weeks in the wilderness to take down a sex and drug trafficking rogue CIA agent dressed like they're heading to a Playboy photoshoot"
1987 was undoubtedly David A. Prior's most successful year in his decades long career. Prior, a low-budget B-Movie king, wrote and directed some of the most legendary Bad Movie Night classics ever made, and though he would continue to make films for a total of 32 years, he actually never got any better at it. But I'm glad he didn't, because that's also one of his films most endearing qualities, and partly why they're so great in the first place. They're bad, but in a very enjoyable way, with a handful being some of the most unintentionally hilarious movies ever made.
When a rogue CIA agent (a hilarious William Zipp) has turned into a sex and drug trafficker, undercover agent Rachael McKenna (Lynda Aldon) is brought in to infiltrate his camp in the wilderness. To do so, she needs a squad of mercenaries. Her solution? Train a dozen of the hardest female criminals currently incarcerated to do the job, thus guaranteeing their freedom if they complete their mission.
The whole premise of this film is absurd, but it's in it's dead-serious approach that sells it, even though it's funny as hell by accident. Prior has never been one to write believable dialogue, or even characters for that matter, but that's not what you go into these movies for in the first place, because if you are, you're looking in the wrong places. Prior has maintained a sort of cult status credibility for 3 decades writing, directing and producing low-budget trash, usually with his brother Ted Prior starring, that dig into every genre. The quality of these films vary greatly, and to be honest, most of them are terrible, but early in his career he was knocking classics out left and right. Mankillers deserves equal celebration alongside Deadly Prey and Killer Workout, because it's just as good and just as entertaining. Here's to hoping that Mankillers gets the credit it deserves as a Bad Movie Night masterpiece. If you haven't seen it yet, then you need to fix that pronto. Lucky for you, it's a whole lot easier now.
The Olive/Slasher Films DVD and Blu-Ray Release:
Sadly, there are no special features included other than the trailer (which is hilarious because they give you virtually the entire film in that trailer, spoiling any of the surprises that are to come if you actually watched the film), and a photo still gallery. Still, the DVD, or Blu-Ray (if you go with that), is cheap and it's a must-have for your Bad Movie Night collection. No question.
Mankillers is available on a number of online retailers, where the DVD and Blu-Ray goes for roughly around $15, which is really a great price. The DVD will usually run a bit cheaper than the Blu, and truthfully, it's not the kind of film that begs to be seen in Blu, given the source material isn't all that great to begin with. So the DVD will suffice if you're looking to save a few bucks. Whichever way you do choose to go, just grab it, invite a few buddy's over and enjoy the absurdity. It's glorious.