reviewed director James Glickenhaus' 1980 vigilante flick, The Exterminator, over on the DVD Late Show website. It's not a great movie, but I enjoyed revisiting it, and I began to wonder whatever happened to Glickenhaus' follow-up film, the 1982 low-budget, action-espionage flick, The Soldier.
Again, I wouldn't really say that The Soldier is a particularly good movie - like a lot of the director's films, it has a few truly terrific action set-pieces tenuously linked together by a somewhat dodgy script. But in the early 80s, the movie was ubiquitous - you could find the VHS tape in every mom & pop video store, and it ran endlessly on HBO in late night/pre-dawn slots for several years.
Starring Ken Wahl, pre-Wiseguy, a few other tough-guy actors (most notably, the late Steve James), and Klaus Kinski as the heavy, The Soldier was a definite cult favorite - especially among teenage males and insomniacs. The director even paid tribute to it in his 1988 cops 'n robbers flick Shakedown, where he had it playing constantly at the 42nd Street grindhouse frequented by Sam Elliot's character. For some reason, though, it's never made the jump to digital disc - at least not in U.S. As far as I have been able determine, the rights might be held by MGM, so maybe there's a slim chance that they'll release it as one of their Manufacture-On-Demand "Limited Edition Collection" titles.
I'll have to keep an eye on Netflix. If The Soldier shows up on Netflix's Instant service, that will be a definite indicator that someone has finally dug it out of the vault and may be working on a MOD DVD release (that's been MGM's pattern so far).