Combat Zone aka How Sleep the Brave A squad of young fresh American soldiers are sent to Vietnam. Immediately upon their arrival, they are sent on a very hazardous mission into the jungle losing a couple of them on the way. As soon as they return to camp they have no time to rest and are sent out again on a long jaunt to destroy a V.C. village. After destroying the village they embark on the journey back to camp.
Low budget but pure quality.
Combat Zone aka How Sleep the Brave I saw How Sleep The Brave on video in about 1982. It had already gained a reputation between my group of video watching school friends as being pretty nasty so it had to be seen. After watching it I was pretty shocked mainly by the excessive use of foul language (as a kid you love swearing but this film set new limits) and the realistic combat footage. I have the original UK VHS release and watched it a few years back and do you know what……..I still didn’t notice that it wasn’t shot in Vietnam! It was only after reading the previous reviews on here that I realised it was shot in Berkshire. (Maybe I watch too many low budget films and am now immune to such subtleties as Berkshire trying to portray Vietnbam). So, with a new interest, I dug out the tape and watched it again last night and yes, some shots (i.e. the base camp) are blatantly non tropical but, as much of the action is shot in close up, you don’t notice this as you’re more interested in whether the point man is about go ‘deep 6’ and not the foliage they’re walking through. This was a VERY low budget film and if you ignore the forest backgrounds the action is still pretty intense. Also, the sun was out which never happens in th e UK hence I was so easily confused 🙂 As already mentioned the acting is atrocious but I’m sure not every GI was Tom Hanks Acting Academy Trained. As with all low budget / no budget films you often need to look past the technical inadequacies to enjoy the movie. I would compare this film to Last House on the Left, which is now rightly commended as being a classic. However, to the casual viewer all they would see is an old, no budget movie with poor acting and general scenes of ultra distastefulness. To anyone now not in their mid thirties you must remember that this film was released on video at a time when simply watching the next video in the Video Library (remember them??) was a special treat. There were literally thousands of low budget films available and HSTB does not warrant being slated as one of the worst (Trust me – I’v seen loads worse). A commendable attempt, using low budget trickery, to relay the closeness and ultimate waste of the Vietnam War. In this day and age maybe someone should go to Weymouth Beach and remake HSTB on Digital Video but updated for the current Gulf crisis? I’m sure in 20 years time some wise ass would say ‘this film is terrible because the sand wasn’t the correct colour’ – MISSING THE POINT!
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