‘He wanted their money… They wanted his flesh!!’
Cannibal Mercenary – aka The Mercenary – is a 1983 Thai action war horror film directed by Chao Meekunsoot from a screenplay by George Lam. It stars Chatchai Plengpanich [as Alan English] and various Thai actors with anglicized names.
A Thai veteran of the Vietnam War and all around master of combat leads a group of men on a mission into the jungles of Vietnam to topple a dangerous drug lord and his cannibal army…
” …there’s so much shooting, punching, kicking and hacking, and it’s all so consistently loud, that it becomes a numbing viewing experience in no short time. Still, there’s certainly enough going on here to make this highly appealing to action, horror, exploitation and war movie fans.” Justin McKinney, The Bloody Pit of Horror
“It’s so filled with action it never becomes boring, and boy, is it bloody! Yeah, this deserves to be called jungle splatter with it’s fine sortiment of decapitations, stabbings, limb-choppings, squibs, explosions, fights and no less than two scenes involving people pissing on each other!” Fred Anderson, Schmollywood Babylon
“It’s as if the director decided that any down time would be viewed as failure, so he made it bloody as hell. There are decapitations, death by skull crushed with rock, grenades in shirts, and a very strange snake wrestling scene that doesn’t seem necessary but, hey, why not?” Sean Leonard, HorrorNews.net
“Most of the movie is non-stop violent and brutal shooting or fightings, some torture, and some short nasty scenes of head impaling, eye-gouging, chest impalement, worm and brain eating, and urinating. Violently entertaining and pretty well done for the most part as far as Asian B-movies go.” The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre
“Idiosyncratically edited, Mercenary has scenes of high-stress, noisy, tension-ratcheting quick cuts that appear to be designed to strain the viewer’s nerves to the breaking point, such as when a henchman threatens to waste a whining kid and initiates a death countdown. Standout imagery includes a beheading, eye-gouging, maggot-eating, face-urinating, a skull being split open by a spike, and subsequent hungry brain-gobbling.” Ideological Content Analysis Reviews
“Incredibly violent. Extremely graphic. And the final half hour packs a wallop.” Thomas Weisser, Asian Cult Cinema, Boulevard Books, 1997
The Bloody Pit of Horror states that Filmark International acquired the rights, “cut out most of the gore, added brand new (and completely irrelevant) scenes featuring three Caucasian actors searching for a valuable statue and released it under several different titles” such as The Jaguar Project and Jungle Killers.
Some of the score was lifted from Dawn of the Dead (1978).