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Letterboxd - Your life in film

1982 Directed by Elliott Hong

Synopsis

Carefree electrician Tom Cathral is recruited by The Company, and is quickly offered a full-time promotion to join the Retrievers, an elite squad of crooked secret operatives. His refusal to kill botches his first mission, making Tom The Company's new target.

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Alternative titles

The Retrievers - Trained to Kill, Hot and Deadly

90 mins More details at IMDbTMDbReport this film

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  • "Trained to kill" hits a similar notch as the much better known "Kill Squad AKA Mercenary Command" and is action-oriented grindhouse cinema "to the Fullest" through and through. You can literally feel how the "Grindhouse" that surrounds the film every minute, spreads into every crack. Staged in 1982 with a sure hand by Elliott Hong, "Trained To Kill" takes absolutely no prisoners. There is a lot of permanent action here, shoot-outs, physical confrontations and a few car stunts make the film-savvy audience sit up and take notice, but never really get them excited. The final finishing touches are still missing (actually idiotic to speak of it in a GRINDHOUSE-like film), and you have to admit, the film has a certain tendency towards monotony. It is true that something happens constantly on one level ...

  • Actionploitation from the backyards of Los Angeles, so bloody, you'd think this was supposed to be a slasher. I was happy to see Max Thayer in a leading role. And the theme song is sung by Katey "Peggy Bundy" Sagal.
    More about this: thehomeofhorn.wordpress.com/2021/03/20/obscure-shit-no-50-the-retrievers-1982/

  • If you like your action movies cheap, gory, and inept, then do I have one for you. When a member of "the company" decides to break away and publish a tell-all book that names names, he is targeted for elimination. New company member Max Thayer (PHANTOM SOLDIERS) realizes that being a "retriever" actually means killing people and turns against his recruiter. The only way to save himself, the defector, and the man's sister is to see that the book gets published post haste.

    Now you don't see that premise everyday, but you've already seen everything else in THE RETRIEVERS and probably done more effectively in every single case. There are periodic chuckles and MARRIED WITH CHILDREN fans might enjoy hearing…

  • The rare action movie built around a desperate plot to get a book published, THE RETRIEVERS stars Max Thayer, a husky Everyman type who popped up occasionally in television guest shots, sleazy movies (ILSA, HAREM KEEPER OF THE OIL SHEIKS), and as the co-lead in the very good NO RETREAT NO SURRENDER II. Here, he plays Tom, a wiretapper who is recruited as a CIA "retriever." His assignment is Danny (Lenard Miller), who quit the agency after a mission in which his colleague gunned down several innocent women and children during a family birthday party. Danny has written a tell-all book about the CIA, which the agency doesn't want published. When Tom and Danny’s sister Janice (Shawn Hoskins) get the ...

Recent reviews

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  • Actionploitation from the backyards of Los Angeles, so bloody you might think this was supposed to be a slasher. I was happy to see Max Thayer in a leading role. And the title track is sung by Katey "Peggy Bundy" Sagal.
    More about this: thehomeofhorn.wordpress.com/2021/03/20/obscure-shit-no-50-the-retrievers-1982/

  • If you like your action movies cheap, gory, and inept, then do I have one for you. When a member of "the company" decides to break away and publish a tell-all book that names names, he is targeted for elimination. New company member Max Thayer (PHANTOM SOLDIERS) realizes that being a "retriever" actually means killing people and turns against his recruiter. The only way to save himself, the defector, and the man's sister is to see that the book gets published post haste.

    Now you don't see that premise everyday, but you've already seen everything else in THE RETRIEVERS and probably done more effectively in every single case. There are periodic chuckles and MARRIED WITH CHILDREN fans might enjoy hearing…

  • "Trained to kill" hits a similar notch as the much better known "Kill Squad AKA Mercenary Command" and is action-oriented grindhouse cinema "to the Fullest" through and through. You can literally feel how the "Grindhouse" that surrounds the film every minute, spreads into every crack. Staged in 1982 with a sure hand by Elliott Hong, "Trained To Kill" takes absolutely no prisoners. There is a lot of permanent action here, shoot-outs, physical confrontations and a few car stunts make the film-savvy audience sit up and take notice, but never really get them excited. The final finishing touches are still missing (actually idiotic to speak of it in a GRINDHOUSE-like film), and you have to admit, the film has a certain tendency towards monotony. It is true that something happens constantly on one level ...

  • Low-budget, scrappy action flick that gets by on sheer enthusiasm - these guys want to * entertain *.

  • I liked this movie's attitude. I like movies where the little guy is rebelling against the system. Fight the power. I like movies that aren't totally stupid, where characters do rational and believable things to solve their problems. It is kinda low budget, there are few explosions or car chases but there is plenty of hand to hand violence with a fair amount of blood. Virtually everyone is martial artsing, so that's nice.
    I would recommend this low budget 80's action movie that has a heart and soul. Good job movie.

  • The rare action movie built around a desperate plot to get a book published, THE RETRIEVERS stars Max Thayer, a husky Everyman type who popped up occasionally in television guest shots, sleazy movies (ILSA, HAREM KEEPER OF THE OIL SHEIKS), and as the co-lead in the very good NO RETREAT NO SURRENDER II. Here, he plays Tom, a wiretapper who is recruited as a CIA "retriever." His assignment is Danny (Lenard Miller), who quit the agency after a mission in which his colleague gunned down several innocent women and children during a family birthday party. Danny has written a tell-all book about the CIA, which the agency doesn't want published. When Tom and Danny’s sister Janice (Shawn Hoskins) get the ...

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