When it comes to casting your B or C movie, it always helps to have a “name” you can use to get the thing funded. Here’s a hot hack for that process. Give Mickey Rourke an eyepatch and a check and he’s there.
In “Warhunt,” Rourke plays an American Army major who sends his crack squad into the Black Forest in Germany to retrieve lost film footage.
We all know that Rourke looks like no WWII officer we’ve ever seen — black leather jacket off the rack, long hair with the face of a lifetime of hard living and the third best plastic surgeons money can buy. But as his soldiers, including Jackson Rathbone as his personal representative in the field and Robert Knepper as the Sgt. who leads the veteran troop, are about to tangle with witches, Rourke probably shrugged that off, as did the production team.
That’s about as attentive to detail as this Latvian production was going to get. Check out the oversized wristwatch Rourke wears, the tape recorder officials back at HQ listen to, etc. Anachronisms weren’t anybody’s pressing concern.
The troops, led by Sgt. Bower (Knepper). are to parachute into the Black Forest to “rescue” a previous airlifted squad brought down there. But a murder of crows — or something like that — brings down their plane as well. They find German soldiers hung upside down, here and there, see stick figures and hear the sirens’ song of assorted weird sisters (Lou Hassen and Anna Paliga among them).
And they can’t navigate their way through all this or get to the survivors of the other squad because something is making them hike in circles. That’s why the major sent the surveyor Walsh (Rathbone) with them. He’s handy not just with a compass, but with a solar compass.
What can go wrong?
The dialogue is peppered with “This ain’t no opera” and “What’sa matter, Walsh? Forget to get shot?”
Inexplicably, Rourke’s Major decides he’s going to “get my boots a little dirty,” and doesn’t need an airlift to join the fray.
There have been Nazi zombie movies and the like for decades now. “Warhunt” seems to have been dreamed up as a no-budget variation on an “Overlord” theme.
The action beats are mostly mundane, there are captures and escapes and the payoff isn’t worth anything we’ve sat through leading up to it. “Warhunt” is never wholly incompetent, never “so bad it’s good” or anything of the sort. Even by the lowered standards of “a C-movie starring Mickey Rourke,” it’s never more than a waste of 90 minutes.
Rating: R for violent content, language and some sexual references
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Jackson Rathbone, Robert Knepper, Lou Hassen and Anna Paliga
Credits: Directed by Mauro Borrelli, scripted by Mauro Borrelli, Reggie Keyohara III and Scott Svatos. A Saban Films release.
Running time: 1:36