The Lost Platoon (1989) poster

The Lost Platoon (1989)


USA. 1989.


Director – David A. Prior, Screenplay – David A. Prior & Ted Prior, Concept – Ted Prior, Producer – Kimberley Casey, Photography – James Neil Rosenthal, Music – Tim James, Mark Marcina & Steve McClintock, Special Effects – Ken Mitchell, Art Direction – Fred Kennamer. Production Company – Action International.


David Parry (Jonathan Hancock), William Knight (David Hollander), Stephen Quadros (Walker), Lew Pipes (Colonel Jack Crawford), Roger Bayless (Vladimir), Sean Heyman (Keeler), Michael Wayne (Hayden), Michiko (Tara)


War correspondent David Hollander arrives in Nicaragua to cover a civil war. There the soldiers of the dictator Vladimir are indiscriminately slaughtering peasants. Four mysterious mercenaries who move with lightning speed and prove invulnerable to damage arrive and stop the soldiers. Hollander realises that Jonathan Hancock, the leader of the group, was a man who saved his life during World War II and has not aged a day since. As they become embroiled in the fight to bring down Vladimir, Hancock offers Hollander the opportunity to become one of his group of immortals and join their battle against evil.

This low-budget effort is a minor nevertheless imaginative effort. The idea behind the film is an unusual and intriguing one and the script plays it out in a way that is consistently interesting and with worthwhile attention paid to characterisation. Unfortunately, the idea and script exceed what the production values have to offer. Indeed, it is often the intriguing nature of the idea alone that carries the film. One would like to see The Lost Platoon redone as a big action film – it sort of was by the far less interesting The Old Guard (2020). As it is, director David A. Prior makes an enthusiastic effort to marshal large-scale war scenes on his limited budget.

There are also some reasonable performances. The human hero William Knight is stolid and dull but David Parry brings a commanding and humane presence as the vampire leader. Stephen Quadros also has clear fun in a performance that is clearly modelled on Bill Paxton in Near Dark (1987).

There are the odd moments one would have liked to have seen clarified better – it is never made clear when Jonathan calls Vladimir his brother whether Vladimir is Jonathan’s brother literally or figuratively and it is also unclear what the Tara character is, it being stated that she is not an immortal, but then she also demonstrating superhuman capacities.

Director David A. Prior has made an lot of action films, some thirty-five at current count, usually of a paramilitary bent. His other genre films are Killer Workout (1986), Deadly Prey (1987), Future Force (1989), Future Zone (1990), Mardi Gras for the Devil (1993), Mutant Species (1995), Hostile Environment (2000), Lost at War (2007), Zombie Wars (2007) and Night Claws (2013). All have been released directly to video.

Trailer here

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