What can I say about Nico Mastorakis? Well, in my little world of film appreciation, I know him mostly as the director of notorious “video nasty” Island Of Death, and this neat little slice of action from 1990…Hired To Kill
The cast is certainly interesting. Leader of the pack is Brian Thompson, who I always thought was particularly good as The Night Slasher in Stallone’s Cobra, as well as playing other thoroughly unsavoury characters in Van Damme’s AWOL, andRage And Honour alongside Cynthia Rothrock and Richard Norton.
In Hired To Kill, we instantly know he’s not a fella to be messed around with. He plays mercenary Frank Ryan who, mere seconds after the opening titles, causes a ringing telephone to explode with a single shot from his gun, rather than be bothered to take the call. He’s that kind of no-nonsense guy. Next we see him getting his orders for a rescue mission from Mr Thomas (George Kennedy, who looks as if he’s reading his lines from an off-screen cue card about 90% of the time) which involves him training a group of women in the ways of combat so they can pose as fashion models whilst he pretends to be a top fashion designer, and the whole lot of them can be dropped into the fictional country of “Cypra” (a place where “taking a dump is political”, apparently) where they must gain the confidence of evil bad guy Michael Bartos (Oliver Reed, in a splendid performance complete with over-size moustache and constant beetroot red complexion) while simultaneously planning to rendezvous with some rebels in order to snatch back Rallis, a revolutionary played by Jose Ferrer (who shows up about 15 minutes before the end of the film and looks to be confused as to exactly what the hell he’s doing there) from a heavily guarded fortress.