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Film / Nam Angels

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Nam Angels is a 1989 American action war movie.

While fighting off a Viet Cong unit, Lieutenant Vance Calhoun is saved by an indigenous tribe. Or so he thought. You see, the tribe actually killed the VC unit because their boss, a former Nazi official, wanted to capture the unit for his own nefarious ends. Calhoun manages to escape, but loses the rest of his men. Desperate to not attract attention, the lieutenant contracts five soldiers to attack the base on motorcycles and break his buddies out.

Not to be confused with The Losers, an unrelated film with a similar plot (though it should be noted that said film has also been released as Nam's Angels, note the apostrophe).

This film contains examples of:

  • A God Am I: Chard has convinced the tribe that nursed him back to health that he is a god, and uses their worship for his own ends.
  • All Bikers are Hells Angels: Unlike a lot of biker movies, with use a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of the Angels, this film has actual Hells Angels as main characters.
  • Bad Boss: Chard's response to a village loyal to him giving aid to Calhoun and his forces is to have the place utterly massacred without mercy.
  • Bar Brawl: The Hells Angels are introduced getting in a brawl with some MP's who confiscated their bikes.
  • Big Bad: Chard, the former Nazi who captured Calhoun's unit.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: There's this unnamed VC captain whose men give our heroes a hard time throughout the first half of the film, but he's simply an obstacle to their true, non-Vietnam affiliated adversary, and is killed about an hour in.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Bonelli can mentally calculate numbers in the millions within seconds, but chooses to run drugs for a biker gang instead of putting his mathematical genius to use.
  • Dirty Communists: The Viet Cong serve as the secondary antagonists of the film, mostly serving to attack our heroes while they're looking for the tribe that kidnapped Calhoun's unit. Downplayed in that their communist ideologies aren't really focused on, and they're basically generic enemy soldiers as far as the film is concerned, especially since the real Big Bad believes in Nazism, a far right ideology.
  • Former Regime Personnel: Chard went through this twice, initially serving in Nazi Germany's Waffen-SS during World War II before ending up in the French Foreign Legion and being sent to their Vietnam colony. After the civil war happened, he broke off on his own and became a warlord.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Colonel Chin, a Viet Cong commander who has dealings with Chard. While his men show up several times in the film, Chin himself does not.
  • Legion of Lost Souls: Chard ended up in Vietnam as a member of the French Foreign Legion.
  • Mighty Whitey: Calhoun and the bikers take some time out of their mission to rescue some Vietnamese villagers who are being slaughtered by the Viet Cong.
  • National Geographic Nudity: The women of the tribe Chard controls are all topless.
  • Nominal Hero: The Hells Angels are drug runners only taking the mission for the gold, but they're still rescuing POW's from an ex-Nazi warlord. They do soften up a bit as the film progresses and decide to help Calhoun as the film progresses, placing them closer to Unscrupulous Hero.
  • Only in It for the Money: The bikers are convinced to fight when they're told about some gold the baddies have.
  • Playing Both Sides: Chard's smack dab in the middle of the Vietnamese War but he holds allegiance to none of them, selling out his prisoners to both sides while having his tribe massacre soldiers from both the VC and the NVA.
  • Race Against the Clock: Calhoun has two weeks to rescue his unit before the area is bombed.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: An Army lieutenant hires a group of Hells Angels to rescue his unit and shoot anybody who stands in their way.
  • Team Title: The titular "Nam Angels," which are literally (and inexplicably) a group of Hells Angels on a rescue mission in Vietnam, led by the film's hero Vince Calhoun.