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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Inferno

December 14, 2016 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #388: Inferno

Don “The Dragon” Wilson December: Week 3

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that does not, at present, have an alias, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number three hundred and eighty-eight, Don “The Dragon” Wilson December continues with a look at the low budget action flick Inferno, which came out in 1997.



Inferno, also known as Operation Cobra for some reason, and directed by the great Fred Olen Ray under the name Ed Raymond, has Don “The Dragon” Wilson as Kyle Connors, a badass Interpol agent “on vacation” in India attempting to track down Johan Davaad (Evan Lurie), a criminal mastermind responsible for the death of Connors’ partner Trevor (Richard Hill). Trevor was killed in a museum explosion while on assignment with Connors (they were in the museum to intercept Davaad obtaining a CD or something). Connors, as you’d expect, is pissed about the whole thing and wants revenge, but Connors’ superiors want him to take a vacation and stay away from investigating Trevor’s death (he’s too close to the situation, it’s unprofessional, etc.). So Connors “goes on vacation” to India.

It doesn’t take long for Connors’ vacation to turn into a full on investigation and series of skirmishes with local criminals and bad guys. Of course, that’s sort of what Connors wanted when he decided to go to India in the first place. What Connors didn’t count on was the local police being very aware of his presence and telling him, after a street brawl instigated by a team of street hoodlums, that he has to leave the country. India has enough problems, it doesn’t need a rogue Interpol agent running wild. Connors is escorted back to his hotel by rookie inspector Ravi (Madhavan) with the intent to put Connors on the first plane out of India. But because Connors is cool and a badass and whatnot he manages to work out a deal with Ravi that will allow him to stay in the country for two more days to continue his investigation. It’s a dangerous move for Ravi, but then he, too, wants to take down bad guys, and he’s aware of Davaad and possible associates.

So Connors continues his investigation (he also spurns the advances of a wicked hot hotel clerk that lets herself into his room and waits for him in his bed. And when I say “waits for him” I mean she’s naked under the covers. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see any of that, which is a damn shame because I bet it is, was, and still is glorious). It’s at this point that Connors comes in contact with Callista Sinclair (Tane McClure), a hot blonde MI6 agent that needs Connors help in dealing with Victor Grayson (Michael Cavanaugh), an international criminal mastermind that apparently wants to move in to the United Kingdom. Sinclair wants Connors to track down Grayson and assassinate him, and in return her government will help him with Davaad. Connors dismisses the scheme outright as he’s not into government assassination and simply wants Davaad. Connors, though, does get it on with Sinclair in his hotel room, and he barely needs convincing.

So then some stuff happens, Connors runs into Davaad and fights him in the street, Connors is attacked by a cobra in his hotel room, and Connors meets Shalimar (Deepti Bhatnagar), a woman on the run because she’s in some sort of danger. Connors saw Shalimar once before, but he couldn’t get any information from her because he was bust beating the crap out of different bad guys in the street. Now he’s able to talk to her, figure things out, and bang her in a public park under a waterfall.

So then some more stuff happens. Davaad kills Ravi because Davaad is an evil, vicious piece of shit, and Connors agrees to take out Grayson in order to get at Davaad. It’s also at this point that the we find out Davaad is in cahoots with a criminal mastermind who is part of a major organization known as Hydra (not that Hydra). And this particular mastermind is meant to be a big surprise, a twist on the story, although it isn’t as big of a twist as the movie seems to think it is.

Okay, so what the heck is the deal here with Davaad and Hydra and all the rest? What the heck is going on here? Basically, Davaad is running a scheme, on behalf of Hydra, where the organization cracks the encryption on the CD that Davaad picked up/stole at the beginning of the movie. It has something to do with the names of every Interpol agent in the world or some hooey like that. I don’t know, I was sort of confused about what it is the CD is meant to do. We do see, though, that although Hydra really needs top notch experts to crack the CD’s encryption, they’re not interested in paying more to do it. Davaad kills a scientist because the scientists asks for more time and money. What the hell is wrong with these people?

As I understand it, Inferno was the first American movie produced in India (or it was one of the first). The movie does seem to use plenty of local actors who are quite good, especially Madhavan. Ii was hoping that he would last a little longer than he does as he has good buddy cop chemistry with Wilson. And Bhatnagar is a good lead actress, although I do wish she were a tad more badass than she ends up being. Her big sex scene with Wilson is bizarre because it seems very out of place. They freaking do it in a public park. Yes, it’s night and whatnot, but how often does that kind of thing happen in India, or anywhere, really?

The action scenes are decent and the movie’s fight sequences are interesting and generally satisfying. Wilson is in top form here, kicking the crap out of damn near everyone he comes across. There are no big, super memorable fight scenes, though. Connors and Davaad do fight, but it isn’t a big super fight, the kind of fight you expect to see in a story that’s all about revenge.

The lack of gunplay is bizarre, but, as the internets tells me, the production had to use plastic and wood gun replicas because of India’s gun control laws. Wilson has to use a wimpy .38 revolver through most of the movie, which is just unacceptable in low budget 1990’s action movie terms. And a machine gun used towards the end of the movie is out of place. It almost seems like that particular machine gun was used because it was somehow grandfathered into the country’s gun control laws and it was the only gun that the movie could legally use. But a Don “The Dragon” Wilson movie doesn’t need to have lots of gunplay in it as “The Dragon” is a human weapon and is more dangerous than any firearm. I mean, right?

The cast is generally excellent. Wilson, again, is in top form here as Connors. He’s a badass, he kicks the crap out of everyone in his path, and he’s willing to bang women at the drop of a hat, except that hotel clerk. Why didn’t he taker her up on her offer? He could have told Ravi to take a hike or give him an hour or whatever. I mean, she was right there, in bed, ready to go. But then, he is Don “The Dragon” Wilson. That kind of thing probably happens to him all of the time.

Evan Lurie just oozes sleaze as Davaad. Lurie knows how to make Davaad a complete piece of shit, which is exactly what you need for this kind of movie. You don’t like him at all and you can’t wait until Wilson’s Connor kills the bastard. Great stuff.

Michael Cavanaugh plays Grayson as a bit of an eccentric, which is okay, although I was expecting him to turn himself into the Riddler at some point (Cavanaugh has a passing resemblance to Frank Gorshin). And Tane McClure is interesting as Sinclair. She isn’t quite what she appears to be, which is sort of surprising considering she’s very believable as an MI6 agent looking to take out Grayson. McClure also has no problem getting naked, which is great for a movie like this and probably unprofessional in real life. But, you know, it’s the kind of unprofessional conduct that you could live with. I could live with it.

Inferno, aka Operation Cobra, is a pretty good low budget action flick. It works more than it doesn’t work, and as a Don “The Dragon” Wilson vehicle it works quite well. So track down and check out Inferno. It’s worth it.

See Inferno. See it, see it, see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: Several.

Explosions: Many.

Nudity?: Yes, and the stuff we do get is pretty decent. Although I do wish there was more. That hotel clerk. Good God!

Doobage: A playful sneak attack, an envelope full of fake money, chop to the throat, a briefcase bomb, snakes, attempted bomb disarming, a flak jacket, some really poor shooting, a fight in the rain, exploding museum, a pretty swank hotel in India, a “do not disturb” sign, cigarette lighting, a tremendous street brawl, slow motion sequence of a guy falling through a table, testicle kicking, police car stealing, throat slashing in shadow, a hot babe under the covers, dinner in a swanky restaurant, tits, a map of India, a snake sneak attack, pillow used as a gun silencer, a brutal interrogation, neck breaking, attempted hanging, more street fighting, target practice, a shower call, even more street fighting, more table breaking, head butting, more neck breaking, guy thrown through a glass door, a romantic walk in a public park, public sex under a goddamn waterfall, a big society party, machine gun hooey, tranq dart shooting, massacring scientists for no reason, bomb code breaking, a weird sex scene, multiple beatdowns, more terrible shooting, a sword fight, a hilarious attempt at a jump kick that results in the kicker falling off a balcony, even more neck breaking, a beach full of dead ships, chain throwing, a shooting standoff, and an extended Indian vacation.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Don “The Dragon” Wilson infiltrating a museum, a CD, an elephant skeleton, a slow motion jump from the roof of a museum, Don “The Dragon” Wilson in India, Don “The Dragon” Wilson in a small taxi in India, a hot Indian chick that really wants to bang Don “The Dragon” Wilson, a Coca-Cola truck, shoe removal, monkeys, local music, a weird relationship between criminals, Don “The Dragon” Wilson covering his erection with a pillow, Don “The Dragon” Wilson being attacked by a cobra in his sleep, a local police file, chicken, old Chinese proverbs, a woman named Jasmine, a lucky necklace, romantic hand holding, dancing women, a sword fight, and an extended Indian vacation.

Best lines: “Drop the gun! Sneaky bastard,” “Nice place. Yes, it is,” “I hope you like the view. It’s very nice,” “Mr. Connors, what are you doing in India?,” “I got some bad news! Duck!,” “Are you okay? Sure. My left testicle feels like Jello,” “Now, who is next in the chain of command?,” “What was that all about? Room service,” “Mr. Connors, what makes you think you’re so special?,” “What happened? You look terrible,” “Good to see you again, Likewise,” “What the devil is going on here?,” “Hey! That’s the girl that stole my car!,” “Hey! Who were those guys?,” “So you kidnapped your own daughter?,” “No guns! No guns!,” “What’s going on here, Trevor? Starting your own computer dating service?,” “You’re late. That’s the story of my life,” “You just never learn, do you, Kyle?,” and “You know, I’m starting to feel better already.”

Rating: 7.5/10.0




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Things to Watch Out For This Week


Killer Rack: Finally, Killer Rack, the best movie of 2015, is available for all to see. And everyone in the world should see this movie, especially those people interested in low budget horror comedy movies. Killer Rackis an absolute classic. The acting, direction, the script, the songs, everything is top notch and amazing. You need to see this movie. You do. Check out my review of the movie here, and then go buy Killer Rack!


Slime City/Slime City Massacre: This is a double feature Blu-ray, meaning both movies are part of the same package. I’ve seen Slime City (I reviewed it here) but I haven’t seen Massacre (the DVD of that movie has been hard to find, at least it’s been hard for me to find). Much like Killer Rack, this set is an absolute must have if you’re into low budget horror flicks. Slime City is a gore classic, and Massacre has the Debbie Rochon in it. That’s cool, right? You goddamn know it is. Anyone out there see Slime City Massacre? Anyone at all?


End of a Gun: Another week, another low budget Steven Seagal action flick. Who the hell does Seagal think he is, Scott Adkins, with all of these releases? I’m guessing that the people behind this movie were going for more of an action comedy vibe, or if that’s just how the trailer worked itself out. Seagal’s low budget efforts are always a must see, just to see how invested he’s in it. Will his actual voice appear throughout the movie? How much hand-to-hand fighting do we get to see where it appears to be Seagal in the shot?


Morgan: I missed this sci-fi horror flick when it ran in theatres, which I’m sort of annoyed by because I thought it looked pretty good. It has a top notch cast (Toby Jones, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michelle Yeoh, Paul “Pig Vomit” Giamatti, and Brian Cox) and a creepy vibe, which is good enough for, at least, a rental. The movie didn’t get great reviews, but then the professional critics rarely, if ever, like movies like this. I still want to see it. Anyone out there check this out when it was in theatres? Anyone?


Suicide Squad: I missed this, too, when it was in theatres, although I’m not as bummed about that. I sort of wanted to see this, but I didn’t make a great effort to do so. I just wasn’t as excited about it as I should have been. Still, with the amount of money it made and the fan base the DC Comics Movie Universe is developing, I should make an effort to see it. But then I still have to see Dr. Strange, and I’m a total Marvel movie nerd. What the hell is wrong with me?


B-Movie News


Rue Morgue putting out “authorized” Phantasm book in February!: If you’ve ever read one of those Rue Morgue Library books you know just how awesome they are, and a book devoted to the Phantasm franchise is a great idea. I’m going to assume, though, that by the book being “authorized” that it’s going to have some direct participation from franchise creator Don Coscarelli. Maybe an extensive interview of some such? There will also likely be some analysis/behind-the-scenes hooey on Phantasm: Ravager. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to buy this in a book store or if you’ll have to order it directly from Rue Morgue, but no matter what I’m sure it will be worth it. And, if you already own the also very awesome Phantasm Exhumed by Dustin McNeill, this Rue Morgue book will probably be a nice companion piece to that. Check out info on the book here and then pray that the Tall Man doesn’t get you before February 1st. Because, you know, that could happen, right? This is the Tall Man we’re talking about here.


Shout! Factory releasing Robocop, Slumber Party Massacre and Poltergeist sequels on Blu-ray in 2017!: The fine folks at Shout! Factory and its Scream Factory subsidiary always deliver when it comes to special editions, and I’d imagine that when it comes to these releases we’re going to get something cool. Shout! Factory hasn’t announced special features for any of the releases, but, as I said, I’m sure they’ll kick ass. Will Frank Miller participate in the Robocop special features? Who will they get for the Slumber Party Massacre releases? And will the Poltergeist mention the whole “Poltergeist curse” thing? We’ll know soon enough. I’m personally excited about the Robocop releases. I’ve always enjoyed part 2, and even though part 3 is more cartoony and PG-13, I still like it (the ninja cyborgs are cool).


Ash vs. Evil Dead season 2 is over! Check out my reviews of the season below!


Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

Episode 8

Episode 9

Episode 10


Who is this week’s Douchebag of the Week? Go here and find out!


Next Issue: Don “The Dragon” Wilson December continues with Cyber Tracker!


Check out my review of david j. moore’s The Good, the Tough, and the Deadly here!

Check out my interview with the man hisself david j. moore here!

Check out the interview I did with the great Jino Kang here!

Check out my interview with character actor Vladimir Kulich here!

Check out my interview with martial artist and actor Paul Mormando here!

Check out my interview with director Michael Matteo Rossi here!

Check out my interview with actor Tyrone Magnus here!

Check out my interview with Hector Barron here!

Check out my interview with Jeffrey Orgill here!


Follow me on Twitter!


Well, I think that’ll be about it for now. Don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

B-movies rule. Always remember that.


Don “The Dragon” Wilson– Kyle Connors
Evan Lurie– Johan Davaad
Deepti Bhatnagar– Shalimar
Richard Hill– Trevor
Tane McClure– Callista Sinclair
Michael Cavanaugh– Victor Grayson
Madhavan– Inspector Ravi

Directed by Fred Olen Ray as Ed Raymond
Screenplay by Sean O’Bannon

Distributed by Ascot Video and New Horizons

Rated R for violence, language, and nudity
Runtime– 82 minutes

Buy it here