Desert Thunder Release Date: 3 July 2000 (Germany) Genre: Action | Drama Director(s): Jim Wynorski (Curse of the Komodo, Cheerleader Massacre) Writer(s): Lenny Juliano (Stealth Fighter) Starring: Tim Abell, Daniel Baldwin, Ari Barak And we finish off Your Video Store Shelf’s first Video Relapse not with a bang, but rather with the resounding sounds of […]

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Desert Thunder
Release Date: 3 July 2000 (Germany)
Genre: Action | Drama
Director(s): Jim Wynorski (Curse of the Komodo, Cheerleader Massacre)
Writer(s): Lenny Juliano (Stealth Fighter)
Starring: Tim Abell, Daniel Baldwin, Ari Barak

And we finish off Your Video Store Shelf’s first Video Relapse not with a bang, but rather with the resounding sounds of laughter coming from anyone who realized Desert Thunder would be a frikkin’ joke from the start.

While certain hardware action flicks were seemingly written around only a few scenes of stock footage, such as Active Stealth, a movie like Desert Thunder has stock footage everywhere. And when a director has to revolve their film around a lot of it, it’s very likely that they’ll dip their hand all the way to the bottom of the cookie jar.

That’s the case with Desert Thunder. Generic as generic can be is the plot, which has a fighter pilot (Baldwin), who retired after one of his men died after collided with a wall of stock footage, leading a group of ragtag military types into air battle against the Iraqis to prevent an anthrax virus from being released in a missile. When the actors aren’t lying back since the old film libraries are keeping them grounded, they are cracking jokes, getting into bar fights, and forming relationships. And yeah, there’s a foreign guy who serves as our valiant hero as well.

To say it again, the stock footage in use is just absolutely ridiculous. And while guys like Jim and Fred are very good at matching set pieces to the best of their budget when compared to others, it’s a tad bit more difficult to duplicate film quality. In Desert Thunder, the usual suspects Top Gun and Iron Eagle get used, but it’s when they resort to Capricorn One footage that you either chuckle or cry.

Not that anyone involved with the film actually thought they were making art, but I digress.

Pretty much a modern day remake of The Dirty Dozen, and a bad one at that.

DVD: The lack of Wynorski commentary track makes this even more bottom of the barrel.

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