Already plagued by civil unrest and natural disaster, Los Angeles is under siege by rival drug lords in this formulaic genre entry.
Raul Guzman (Rodrigo Obregon), a South American drug kingpin, is moving in on the territory of mafia boss Carlo Giovani (A.J. Stephans). The two wage a bloody battle for control of Los Angeles, and as the body count escalates, police officials scratch their heads over what to do. Enter Jake
Quinn (Vince Murdocco), a former LAPD officer who was thrown off the force for killing the rapist of a 12-year-old girl. Quinn's disregard for procedure has put him at odds with police captain Roark (David Jean Thomas). Yet when Roark decides he must find someone to infiltrate the Giovani crime
family, he seeks out Quinn. Quinn initially refuses the assignment but then strikes a deal with Roark--if he comes out alive, he will be reinstated on the police force, with three years' back pay.
Quinn foils an attempt by Guzman's men to kidnap Giovani's daughter Carla (Mary Zilba) and is subsequently hired as her bodyguard. Quinn's presence rankles Giovani's second-in-command, Vinnie Scoletti (Johnny Venokur). Vinnie covets Carla, but she falls in love with Quinn. After Vinnie tries to
rape Carla, Giovani sends him packing. Vengeful Vinnie allies himself with Guzman. While Quinn is conferring with police on the inevitability of a confrontation between the two factions, Vinnie leads a raid on Giovani's house. After hanging Giovani, Vinnie turns on Guzman, killing him also.
Declaring himself the new king of LA, Vinnie abducts Carla, claiming her as his queen. Quinn tracks Vinnie to a downtown warehouse and, in a final showdown, kills Vinnie and rescues Carla. Vinnie is offered his badge back, but he turns it down, preferring his position as Carla's bodyguard.
Filmed in and around Hollywood in 1993, L.A. WARS made its way to video stores without fanfare in 1994. The action sequences, which obscure the thin plot, are abundant but not spectacular. Vince Murdocco is effective as a Steven Seagal/Jean-Claude Van Damme aspirant, though his knack for
repeatedly escaping unscathed when outnumbered by machine-gun-wielding bad guys stretches plausibility to the breaking point. Mary Zilba is acceptable as the damsel in distress, who is somehow oblivious to her father's occupation. The remaining cast members are strictly stereotypes. Production
values are passable. (Graphic violence, extensive nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, extreme profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1994
- Rating: R
- Review: Already plagued by civil unrest and natural disaster, Los Angeles is under siege by rival drug lords in this formulaic genre entry. Raul Guzman (Rodrigo Obregon), a South American drug kingpin, is moving in on the territory of mafia boss Carlo Giovani (… (more)