Vietnam, 1970, and one platoon were trapped behind enemy lines with only a solitary helicopter to save them as they were picked off one by one by snipers. Two soldiers caught up in this were Roger O'Malley (Christopher Mitchum) and his best friend Mike (Antoine John Mottet), and they managed to save one another's lives while in that perilous situation, yet now, in present day Los Angeles, things have changed. Roger got a job with the police and is now a Lieutenant, while Mike became a mechanic, but there is still a connection between them that sees them continue to socialise; however, there is a new case the cop is involved with that has more to do with Mike than he ever realised. A man they call The Executioner is on the rampage!
Shut up, crime! No, wrong movie, in fact if you ever found yourself watching this you could be assured you were watching the wrong movie no matter if you had intended to watch it. There was no Executioner Part I, not from these guys at any rate, it was simply named that to be reminiscent of other action movies so it could ride on their coattails, and there must have been more than one video store patron who considered asking for their money back after renting this no budget turkey from James Bryan, the director who brought the world the not much better Don't Go Into the Woods a short time previously. Nevertheless, it has found an audience of gluttons for punishment who trawl the scraps looking for gems.
Quite what attracted them to this other than a handful of scattered laughs, all of them unintentional, would be a mystery to the mainstream moviegoer, and even the hardiest of trash fans has had their patience tested mightily by the shenanigans that went down here. Obviously Bryan was working with one camera and dubbed all the sound in post-production, so it would seem most of the money went on renting the helicopter (which isn't even an Army helicopter) that we see at the beginning and in the regulation flashbacks the titular Executioner suffers as he behaves like a cut rate Travis Bickle and gets up to such antics as sticking a live grenade down some punk's trouser leg, which explodes in a cutaway shot as if this were a Wile E. Coyote cartoon.
There was a bit of blood, but nowhere near as much as you would expect, though what was on offer was Mike, who was the vigilante in question, beating up the hoods in extended scenes of low rent mayhem, except he seemed to end up beating up the same blond guy for most of them, presumably because Bryan could not afford to pay many other performers. The gang members ranged from the kind of petty crooks you would see in many an eighties street crime effort, though this lot whooped like thirties-era Daffy Duck, to the sinister Mr Big and his henchman who are seeking to take young girls off to be prostitutes, and that included Roger's teenage daughter who he is unware is a heroin addict, not that we see much evidence of this. The right hand man is the recruiter, and displayed a curious fetish.
Actually it appeared to be the director's particular fetish, that of ripping women's clothes, as the villains have a habit of grabbing handfuls of garment and tearing it up, though not to the point there was anything but the briefest flash of nudity. So if that was your sexual interest too, then maybe, just maybe you would have a reason to check this out, otherwise it was strictly the sort of material you would resort to if you had seen absolutely everything in your collection and you had to settle for the dregs. Also of interest was the special guest star, extreme closeups of Aldo Ray who patently was filmed separately and edited into the plot, and to hide this the cameraman had been instructed to give nothing of the background away so it would match, hence the lens practically smooshed up against Mr Ray's nose all the time he was on screen. It was sad that Mitchum was reduced to this, but everyone else... you could see why they never graduated to anything more professional. Now we need some joker to make The Executioner Part III.