Armed Response (1986) Review



Armed Response is a doozy of an action film. Fun, funny and packed with thrills, this 80’s gem has it all.

Plot: The Roth clan, a bunch of old school bad asses, seek vengeance when the Chinese mafia kill one of their own.

Review: The 80’s were the best for B movies. Action films reigned supreme, and most of the time, they had the polish and veneer of their bigger budgeted counterparts. Armed Response is one of those films. I saw it on VHS back in 1987 and loved it straight away.

David Carradine and Lee Van Cleef star as a father and son who unleash hell on the Chinese mafia when they kill one of their family. The set up is pretty simple, but Armed Response’s strength lies in the fact that it embraces its roots and delivers the goods on its modest terms.

At a brisk 85 minutes, there isn’t a wasted moment thanks to B movie vet Fred Olen Ray’s crisp and sharp direction. The man definitely has an eye for detail and knows how to make the most out of his limited budget.

The cast is a who’s who of genre veterans. Along with Carradine and Van Cleef, there’s the always reliable Mako and the awesome Michael Berryman, who plays one of Mako’s henchmen. Ross Hagen almost steals the movie as a scuzzy private detective with ulterior motives, and the gorgeous Lauren Landon is there to glam up proceedings as the deranged girlfriend of a mobster.

The film has heaps of action, with explosions, car chases and fist fights and the climatic shoot out in LA’s Chinatown is a hoot.

The score for this film is pure 80’s awesomeness too and the opening titles in hot orange neon, and accompanied by bombastic gunfire, perfectly suit this magnum opus.

If you have t seen Armed Response, check it out. It’s fast, fun and everything you could want from an 80’s action film.