Movie review: Order of the Black Eagle

As many of you know I am a connoisseur of bad movies.  Usually I stick with horror/monster movies and if the monster is a dude in a rubber suit, and the whole thing was filmed over one weekend by a bunch of college students, so much the better. Sometimes these movies are actually good, and sometimes they are so bad that they go full circle and become good.

And then there is Order of the Black Eagle, which is perhaps the greatest story ever told, if you prefer stories with farting baboons.  This bad movie didn’t just go full circle back to good, it went full circle through a wormhole through space and time to the Dimension of Awesome.

I’d never even heard of this one. My encyclopedic knowledge of bad movies is limited to monster flicks. This one is technically a James Bond clone, so not my area of expertise. It was on cable the other night and I missed the first half, and even then the 2nd half was so terribly awesome (or awesomely terrible) that it was still great.

The plot? Well, as far as I can tell, Nazis have cryogenically frozen Hitler, and being led by a one-eyed man (that looks suspiciously like Paul Giamatti in a fat suit) plan on using a laser super weapon hidden inside a Mayan temple to take over the world.  Standing in their way is Duncan Jax, who is a balding British secret agent,  a couple of love interests that I’m willing to wager have spent some time hanging from a stripper pole, a band of wacky mercenaries (yes, my nickname corresponds with my special power, GI Joe style), and a baboon sidekick that drives a tank. No really. I’m not making this up.

It is unknown by Monster Hunter Nation what transpired during the first half, but I’m sure the Nazis did evil stuff, and Jax was able to defeat them with rockets. (he seems to have a lot of rockets) I joined the showing when my kids came and got me and said “Dad, you’ve got to see this it! It is soooooo bad!” (apparently the oldest was flipping channels and saw the description about a secret agent with a rude baboon and knew that I had to watch it).

The acting is atrocious. The only convincing bit from Jax was when he was pretending to be an effeminate homosexual… I don’t know why, but that was far more convincing than when he kissed the leading stripper. (excuse me, actress).

Nazis are dispatched with a variety of secret agent devices. Rocket powered bombs. Rocket powered head severing wire traps.  Etc.  And just when you think it can’t get any better, he has a hovercraft (painted bright red, with shark teeth) and it is armed with… wait for it… ROCKETS!

I’m pretty sure that the prop people had exactly two Uzis. Because everyone has an Uzi, and there are never more than two on screen at a time.  The actor with the Uzi during the hovercraft chase was apparently shooting a super magnum Uzi, because every couple of seconds he would raise the muzzle dramatically from all of that brutal 8-pound 9mm recoil.  Jax of course is armed with a Desert Eagle, because nothing says Manly Man like a Deagle. (Thinking of the customers asking to see a “Deagle” almost makes me miss being in the gun business)

But wait… There’s more!  Just when you thought that this movie couldn’t become any greater, there is the final fight scene where the mercenaries fight the Nazis. Luckily the unarmed mercenaries just happen to run into all the unarmed Nazis so that they can body slam and stab each other, while the armed mercenaries happen to run into the armed Nazis so they can shoot each other. (convenient, that)

And if action movies have taught me one thing, there is no greater weapon of war than a crossbow with dynamite on it. Luckily all of the Nazi camp’s tents were filled with propane and there is lots of cheesy exploding goodness. Including stuntmen flying through the air A-Team style, and the best shot is a stuntman flying through the air to land on some barrels. In fact, it was such a good shot that they used it again ten minutes later!  

And what is it with knee-high boots? Holy crap… I think that is the most knee-high boots I’ve ever seen in a movie not involving lesbian vampires. (like I said, I’ve watched A LOT of bad movies)

Just when you think it can’t get any better, the baboon shows up, actually driving a tank.  No, really. He has a special little baboon tank with jaws painted on the front of it, and he kicks lots of Nazi ass. When the baboon tank showed up, every member of my family looked at me, as if to say “SEE! SEE! We told you this was gonna be good!”

I will admit, if I had this on DVD there is one part of the fight I would have played back to watch again. A Nazi is body slammed and then the guy who body slammed him drives a 3 wheeler over his head. That alone was worth the price of admission. That combined with Baboon Tank? Best movie ever.

So Fat Paul Giamatti is stabbed with a Mayan throwing spear. Jax rescues love interest #2. (good thing her big ‘80s hair wasn’t damaged in prison!)  Cryogenic Hitler melts like something from the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.  The super weapon explodes. (twice, I think, but the editing was a little hard to follow).  Everyone lives happily ever after and Jax flies away in a colorful hot air balloon with one of the strippers.  Yay!

Best of all, when I looked this up on IMDB, it turns out that it was a sequel. There was another Duncan Jax adventure called Unmasking the Idol!  I’m giddy with excitement.

Autographed copies and patches update
Autographed copies...

17 thoughts on “Movie review: Order of the Black Eagle”

  1. “Celebrity Home Entertainment filed for bankruptcy protection in 1991, and closed down completely in 1997. [1] As of 2009, all of their releases are now out of print (although some can still be bought new).”

  2. So…it had the same ending as The Wizard of Oz? With the addition of a stripper, I mean?

    Screw the epic ending we had planned, Larry. I think we just found our end for DEAD SIX.

  3. OMG, laughing so hard here at ‘work’ while I read this review that I am crying!!! Cubemates already think I am weird anyways……

  4. Agreed! I can’t stop watching this horrid bag of win since running across it on demand. I have no idea how I missed it back in the 80s, but I’m glad somebody dug it up.

    I never knew Americans could capture the same sort of inventive insanity Hong Kong did so well back then.
    I’m slowly growing convinced that it’s the best movie ever made.

    Of course my friends all think I’m crazy because I keep recommending it to them, but they want to watch “good” movies. To heck with them!

  5. We caught this on netflix the other night on the instant que at a friends house, the beginning is almost as awesome as the second half.

  6. I just watched this film and was looking for reviews because I understood this film was intended to be a “parody” but it did not seem funny in the true sense of a parody. So I thought maybe this film is actually a new kind of dramatic parody that isn’t suppose to be understood as “funny” in the traditional sense of a parody.

  7. believe it or not…I was an extra in this movie..
    filmed in Shelby, NC in 1985
    opening scene….where the scientist is kidnapped by the ninja/nazis..
    I was in the ” League of Nations” audience..I was dressed as an ARAB sheik..
    I can be seen screaming..and going to the floor as the nazis spray us with bullets..I still have my nametag from that scene…

  8. Being a connoisseur of badly dubbed martial art flicks (Master of the Flying Guillotine being my favorite…you know…the one that switches to Chinese then back to English half way through for no reason at all?) I’d never experienced a movie so bad/good that I had to go the net to see what other people thought. This movie actually was so bad/good I actually felt a little guilty for laughing so hard. It deserves some kind of award…..with a baboon on it hopefully.

  9. “The Order of the Black Eagle” (1987)is a sequel to “Unmasking the Idol” (1986)by the same director (Keeter), story-writer (Eaton), and screenplay writer (Behrens).

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