The Odd Angry Shot (1979) – By Duane L. Martin

The Odd Angry Shot is a 1979 film about a group of Australians who are sent to Vietnam to fight in the war. And…that’s about it.

Well now, that was simple, wasn’t it? Why was it so simple? Because that’s really all the movie is specifically about. There is no central plot really. Mostly it’s just about a group of men who become friends and try to make it through the war alive while frequently drinking beer, having a laugh or getting in the occasional friendly drunken brawl. Along the way, they loose friends in firefights with the enemy here and there, and have to deal with the thought that all of their efforts really aren’t going to amount to much of anything when all is said and done.

In a way, this film is much like M*A*S*H*, only it’s about a fighting unit rather than a medical unit. There are certain characters that could be classified as main characters, while many others sort of blend in with each other and become somewhat generic. Regardless of whether the character is generic or more of a focus character however, they’re all likeable guys.

The film itself sort of cruises along at a decent pace, going from one section to the next. Some parts of the film are exactly that. They’re sections. Like, one scene they’ll be in camp drinking beer together, and the next they’re out on patrol getting in a firefight. The firefights typically don’t last very long and often seem to be more of an interruption to the scenes of them hanging out in camp and having a laugh, and mostly exist to show that not only are they actually in a dangerous position in the middle of a war, but also that people die, no matter how likeable they are.

This new release from Synapse Films was produced with a new high definition transfer from original vault materials and also includes audio commentary with Producer/Director Tom Jeffrey, Producer Sue Milliken and Actor Graeme Blundell, a featurette called "Stunts Down Under", the original theatrical trailer and a reversable cover.

While it does have some flow problems, and does feel like it’s lacking in any sort of a focused narrative when it comes to the story, the likeability of the characters, and the chemistry they share is undeniable. It’s that chemistry that makes the film work on the level that it does. Without that, the film wouldn’t be anything I could recommend, but as it stands, I can recommend it, albeit mildly. It’s not some amazing, must-see film, but it’s not bad, and Synapse, in typical Synapse fashion, has done an excellent job with the release.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out it’s page on the Synapse Films website here, and if you’d like to pick up a copy for yourself, you can get the blu-ray or DVD from Amazon, or from any of the other usual outlets.