By Christopher Curry | August 11, 2005

“The G.I. Executioner” (a.k.a “Wild Dragon Lady”and “Wits End”) recounts a week or so in the life of Dave Dearborn. Dave is a ‘Nam Vet-cum-investigative reporter-cum-wealthy philanderer who operates a flea ridden discotheque that floats in the Singapore harbor. Consequently, the attainment of attractive females for fun and games is not a problem for Dave, nor is finding his butt, and his friends’ butts, in a world of trouble.

Dave is offered the gig to find and bring down a defecting Chinese scientist who is somewhat in cahoots with the unscrupulous and very rich Mr. Lim. Lim is also the lover of a cutie-pie named Mai Lee. Mai Lee and Dave were once entangled in a heated romance that abruptly ended much to Dave’s dismay and despair. Big surprise. Anyhow the chase is underway and dead bodies begin racking up just as quickly as illogicalities in the storyline.

The film continues to run its erratic course as we learn that Dave is a former drug addict, mercenary and undercover “nancy.” The latter was a role that he took on in order to help do away with a famed and powerful homosexual. Mai Lee eventually murders her lover Mr. Lim at the scene of a shootout that resulted in several other killings. Then Ms. Lee succumbs to Dave’s clumsy sexual advances and fucks him (off screen) amongst the bloodied corpses. Lovely.

Bleary-eyed in the wanton afterglow of his most recent skin on skin acquisition, Dave barely gives resistance to the bald-headed oaf who jabs a drug-filled needle directly into his throat. Awaking, presumably many hours later, Dave finds himself, and Mai Lee, bound and shackled from the ceiling of his former gay lover’s fancy abode. Supposedly he had killed his old partner, but clearly “mercenary Dave” has shitty aim and missed his quarry altogether. The scorned man lived on to orchestrate a ridiculous and highly unlikely series of events, in order, to win his old beau back. It didn’t work and more victims pile up to the film’s cluttered and confusing conclusion.

“The G.I. Executioner” is a spy, espionage, murder and mystery thriller that really isn’t that thrilling at all. The picture was directed in 1975 (some accounts claim 1971) by Joel M. Reed, the man behind the very bizarre, though fairly incompetently made fan favorite “Blood Sucking Freaks.” Admirers of the aforesaid will probably find very little use for Reed’s 1975 outing, except maybe to satisfy their curiosity as to whether or not Reed could actually direct a quasi-professional motion picture. Honestly, I doubt they’ll care.

Just the same, Reed does deliver capably, under an obvious monetary stranglehold that firmly plops his film in its cheap and trashy exploitation seat. “Executioner” is worth at least a one-time viewing, as it is entertaining and its gonzo narrative is oddly charming. What’s more is that the production values are heads above the technical ham-handedness of Reed’s more popular “Blood Sucking Freaks.” In the end “Executioner” is not likely to garner a cult following nor any kind of adoring “Midnight Madness” treatment, either. “The G.I. Executioner” is simply not slick enough for mainstream audiences nor is it sick enough for the blood and guts crowd.

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