Legion of Iron

Director: Yakov Bentsvi     
Kevin T. Walsh, Erica Nann, Regie De Morton

Legion of Iron is one of those movies that gives "direct-to-video" a bad name. It is dead from the beginning. There is nothing of merit in this movie, nothing of interest. Nothing. Except for wondering why the movie was close-captioned and this fact not being mentioned on the box.

The plot: Billy, the high-school football hero, and his sweetie are at make-out point one night, when they are abducted by two men with shotguns. The next morning they are flown by helicopter deep into a desert to a secret underground gladiator complex. Billy then witnesses a fight to the death between two prisoners, used by Diana, the mistress of the complex, to make money by organizing bets from the wealthy. After the fight, she hands Billy's girlfriend to the winner and tells him that his girlfriend's safety hangs on his choosing to train for fighting or not.

Billy reluctantly agrees, and starts training with friendly ex-football player "Lyle Waggoner" (was the screenwriter a Carol Burnett fan?), though during the meantime plans to rescue his girlfriend and escape.

That's about it. You can guess pretty much what happens in the last part of the movie. Of course, it doesn't matter what happens in the end as much as how it gets to the end and how the ending is executed. Legion of Iron makes the mistake of not only being a bad movie, but a boring movie to boot. Most bad movies at least have some energy in the center, and if people involved in these movies know that the movie is bad, they at least try to do the best they can under the circumstances. There is no sign of any kind of this effort by anyone in front of or behind the camera. The sets are few and far between, and look like drywalls slapped together. Acting is passionless, with the actors simply reading their lines out loud. Worse of all, the director doesn't seem to have an idea what constitutes as sleaze; a bad director may just simply shoot it, but at least shows it. Though director Bentsvi may be excused for not clearly showing a rape scene, he shows no interest in showing nudity or sex elsewhere in the movie (one orgy scene is done with all the participants under the bedcovers!). And the official raison d'etre of the movie - showing action - is undercut mainly by showing only two (lame) fight scenes in the first 60 minutes of the movie. The rest of the "action" is essentially people in training swinging cardboard axes at each other.

If, for some reason, you still decide to see this movie, pay attention to the scenes of Lyle training Billy. At one point, Lyle tells Billy, "The worst that can happen is death." Though you'll be going through a different kind of agony than Billy, this reminder will come in handy during your viewing. It must work, for the actors repeat this phrase several times during the course of the movie.

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See also: Survival Run, Shootfighter, Executive Target