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Attack Force Z (1981)

Not Rated | | Action, Drama, History | June 1982 (USA)
1:12 | Trailer
A group of Australian commandos launch a secret mission against Japanese forces in World War II.


Tim Burstall


Roger Marshall



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Complete credited cast:
John Phillip Law ... Lieutenant J.A. (Jan) Veitch
Mel Gibson ... Captain P.G. (Paul) Kelly
Sam Neill ... Sergeant D.J. (Danny) Costello
Chris Haywood ... Able Seaman A.D. 'Sparrer' Bird
John Waters ... Sub Lt. Ted 'Kingo' King
Chun Ku Chun Ku ... Rice farmer
Sylvia Chang ... Chien Hua
O Ti O Ti ... Shaw Hu
Chun-Hsiung Ko ... Lin Chan-Lang (as Koo Chuan-Hsiung)
Lung Shuan Lung Shuan ... Watanabe
Yuan Yi ... Imanaka (as Yi Yuan)
Wei Su Wei Su ... Wong Chong
Hsa Li-Wen Hsa Li-Wen ... Lee Chang
Val Champion Val Champion ... Ed Ayres
Yu Wang Yu Wang ... Oshiko Imoguchi


A group of Australian commandos launch a secret mission against Japanese forces in World War II.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mel Gibson blasting his way to hell and back


Action | Drama | History | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »



Australia | Taiwan


English | Japanese | Mandarin

Release Date:

June 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die grünen Teufel vom Mekong See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This movie has had three different iconic symbols associated with its title. On the film print itself, a large sword (suggesting perhaps a Japanese sword) is seen protruding through the title's wording. On Australian videocassette release, the film's title on the video sleeve jacket, and in advertising publicity, had the Z formed within a circle of a gun-sight, while on Australian DVD release in the 2000s, an image of a kangaroo can be seen located above the Z of the title on the DVD jacket sleeve, and in advertising publicity. See more »


When the dead Japanese soldiers are trucked back to their base, despite only being seen from the rear, the truck used is clearly a modern (to when the movie was made) truck as opposed to a World War Two era truck. See more »

Crazy Credits

The fishing boat heads out to sea while the end credits roll. See more »


Featured in Ozploitation Trailer Explosion (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Low budget "commandos" flick
10 February 2003 | by SgtSlaughterSee all my reviews

ATTACK FORCE Z is the only Aussie war movie I've seen yet besides RETURN FROM THE RIVER KWAI. It's fast-paced, fun, cheesy and plenty entertaining.

Jon Phillip Law (DEATH RIDES A HORSE) stars as an Allied commando who leads 4 international commandos to rescue a Japanese defector from a Japanese-infested island in the Pacific.

The movie features a lot of familiar plot elements, and strongly resembles the earlier American features AMBUSH BAY and BEACHHEAD. Only here, the movie is based on fact; a similar mission involving the "Z" Special Forces team was actually undertaken in the Pacific. The cast features a lot of young actors who were unknown at the time, including Mel Gibson (WE WERE SOLDIERS) as the team leader and Sam Neill as the radio operator.

The movie is obviously pretty low budget, as the action scenes involve few extras and are mostly skirmishes between the 5 commandos and Japanese patrols. There's some great martial arts action as a Chinese commando judo-chops dozens of Japanese soldiers to their deaths. The final battle scene, in which a handful of Chinese resistance fighters hold off at least a few dozen Japanese soldiers with shotguns is corny, as the Japanese always charge right into oncoming fire and never attempt a flanking movement. One resistance fighter stands in the alley blasting away with a shotgun, only dying once he's taken 6+ direct hits and grenade fragments. The Japanese soldiers look and act like idiots and use American machineguns, and the Aussies have M3 machine-pistols with silencers that never run out of ammo and never miss -- but what the heck, it's pretty entertaining and logic-free entertainment.

The musical score is great patriotic stuff by Eric Jupp, and the cinematography is pretty stunning. The Taiwanese crew does a great job with the little budget they had.

The version shown on TNT and TBS once in a very great while is of good quality. Unfortunately, there were some scenes in Japanese and others in Chinese which lacked subtitles. The closed captions weren't much help either as they read, "Speaking in Oriental Language". I haven't seen the NTSC video yet because it's far too expensive for my taste.

All in all, this really isn't the best war film out there. The action scenes bring the worst excesses to WINDTALKERS to mind as they're excellently photographed by defy all logic known to man. Still, the pace is fast, the characters good and the scenery is stunning. I give this a 6/10.

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