Afganistan - The last war bus (L'ultimo bus di guerra) (1989) Poster

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2/10
Johnny Hondo, one man army
currax24 October 2001
Bad. Avoid. Oh, I suppose I should be more specific. This isn't really a direct sequel to War Bus. The first one took place in Vietnam, this one takes place in Afghanistan. And if you've seen the first one, you know that this can't really be the same bus anyway. The two films share none of the same characters. First, I should explain that I love bad, silly, cheesy movies that make me laugh. That is why I sought this out. C'mon, it's got Mark Gregory! Thunder from Thunder Warrior I-III! Trash from 1990:Bronx Warriors & Escape from the Bronx! My hopes were set high, and I was completely disappointed. The first War Bus was a solid, albiet unrealistic, war flick. This one is boring. There's not a whole lot to laugh at and there are but a few fleeting glimpses of competence. So if you're looking for a good war film, rent the first War Bus instead. If you're looking for a good Mark Gregory film, THIS IS NOT IT. But hey, if you're reading this, you'll probably ignore me and just watch it anyway. I understand, I'd do the same thing.
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1/10
Not even good for a bad movie
Hammygoodness21 January 2005
I watch a lot of bad movies to make fun of them. Blame Mystery Science Theater 3000, and its biggest fan, my friend Ethan. Though this had still been a pastime of mine before I ever met Ethan.

So yeah, I've seen my share of bad movies. They can be a lot of fun to watch. A lot of bad movies are so bad (I'd never call them "so bad they're good"), they're enjoyable, especially with the right crowd. War Bus Commando, however, is not one of them.

This movie was bad. And it was slow. They need to use a rundown old bus, modified to make it a "WAR BUS!", to escape hostile territory. Fixing a bus will never be exciting film. It was just agony to sit through this horrid movie. It wasn't even funny in its badness. It was just wrong. The funniest part of all of this was to learn that this was actually War Bus 2. Someone had made a movie about a War Bus before and thought it a worthy concept for a sequel. Thank God an alternate title was Afghanistan- The LAST War Bus.
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3/10
See the first film instead
dbborroughs19 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Lesser "sequel" to a good little Viet Nam war film. Here it's Afghanistan (the film bears the on screen title Afghanistan : The Last Warbus). The plot has a Green Beret going into to Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation on a request by his dying father, a general, to retrieve some papers that he had hidden in a bus sometime before. Along the way he rescues some American POWs and finds that things are not as he thought. Low budget, often low rent film that's not high on the realism level (an armored Soviet helicopter is easily brought down by a couple of shots of a sawed off shotgun.) nor is it really internal consistent (the wrecked bus with the papers that is later fixed up and used for escape changes from the sequences where its found in the rubble and when its used as a means of escape). It's film that is at best okay in a time wasting sort of way. The problem is that there is too much talk and not enough of the action is truly engaging. You never really forget that this is a low rent movie. You just don't care. It's the sort of thing that just briefly passes before your eyes and then its done and you move onto the next thing with out ever looking back. You'd be better off looking for something more meaningful, say watching the original WarBus another time.
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4/10
Who brings a bus to a gun fight?
BandSAboutMovies15 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
When I was a very young child, my grandfather would come home from working night shift at the J&L Steel Mill and sit in front of the TV drinking Pabst and watching war movies. The entire house would be bathed in blue light and the sounds of machine gun fire. Forty some years later and here I am, doing the same thing. I'm not slaving away in the furnace, but I am writing a project for my real job while watching war movies. I'd like to think the films my grandpa watched were better than the junk I end up watching.

Yes, this is a movie where John Vernon and Mark Gregory somehow end up in the same frame. This blew my mind and made me wonder if I was on my death bed and my brain was attempting to calm me as my soul transitions to the next plane with the kind of Jacob's Ladder scenario that I have heard so much about.

This time, Mark is playing Johnny Hondo, a special forces commando who never dresses in any form of camouflage whatsoever. I mean, the dude dresses all in black for daytime missions and all in white for night missions. He kills lots of people all over the world when he isn't chillaxing on his Montana ranch. That's where General Ross (Vernon) finds him and arranges for Johnny to meet his estranged and dying father.

It turns out that Johnny's dad once drove a school bus filled with the Shah of Iran's gold from that country to Afghanistan. With my poor US school system education, I never realized that that's only a distance of around 800 miles. To get his father's honor back, he has to complete the mission. And if you've seen any 1980's post-Rambo films, you know that the system is corrupt and against our hero Johnny Hondo.

Luckily, Johnny has backup. There's a plucky young Dondi-like child and his sister. The moment we meet her, we know that she has only been placed in this movie to die. And then there's the mechanic who gets the war bus moving again. He's played by Bobby Rhodes from Demons and Endgame, so he instantly becomes my favorite person in this movie. Literally, every line of his dialogue is profanity, much like talking to me in person.

This movie also has some of the most chipper 1980's synth on its soundtrack, to the point that you forget that we've basically been waging war in Afghanistan since this one was made back in 1989.

This one's directed by Pierluigi Ciriaci, who brought us pretty much all of the Mark Gregory war movies that we've covered this week. And much like every Italian movie made in the 1980's, it was written by Dardano Sacchetti.

Much like the films that entertained my grandfather, this is filled with explosions, gunfire and plenty of people being riddled with bullets. Unlike the movies that he enjoyed, it also has a hero that has decided to wear a white turtleneck with a beige coat and drive a schoolbus into a warzone.
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4/10
This would rank towards the mediocre middle.
tarbosh220006 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Johnny Hondo (Gregory), despite what you might already think, is not a cowboy. He is a former Green Beret badass warrior who goes to Afghanistan during the conflict there with the Russians. It's his father's dying wish for Johnny to find secret documents left behind in the old, abandoned Warbus. So, off he goes, and he shoots and/or blows up a lot of buildings and/or people during the course of his mission. He links up with a small team of like-minded good guys, led by Ken Ross (Vernon), which also includes Linda Cain (Gersak), a guy named Billy whose main talent is he can eat an unlimited amount of food, and a guy named Norton. Johnny Hondo also has to rescue a POW named Captain Bowie, and he enlists the help of a local boy to show him around. But will the WARBUS make its scheduled stops, and will the baddies be paying the toll? Mark Gregory – both Trash and Thunder, as Italian exploitation fans already know – wears a cool leather coat and proceeds to decimate the population of Afghanistan, as well as the commies, in this A-Team-esque sequel to the original Warbus (1986). He shoots a lot of people, blows up multiple helicopters with ease, and few buildings are left standing. Despite all this, and the presence of John Vernon (who is, unfortunately, dubbed here), this is no Rambo III (1988). It's actually rather forgettable. Not bad, mind you, but it's kind of, "another day, another blow-up". There isn't much in the way of character development or emotion, but maybe that's unfair of us to ask for that. It does have nice camera-work, as well as a catchy, military-style score by Elio Polizzi.

Speaking of Polizzi, he seems to exclusively score these Mercs-type movies, including Just A Damned Soldier (1988), directed by Ferdinando Baldi, director of the original Warbus. If Baldi – who also directed Ten Zan: Ultimate Mission in 1988, bails, that's probably not a great sign. But as Ten Zan was his last movie, perhaps he wanted to go out on a Frank Zagarino-in-North-Korea high. So, in the event, we were left in the capable hands of Mr. Ciriaci. We've now seen and reviewed all four of his directorial outings: Delta Force Commando (1988), Soldier of Fortune (1990), and who could forget the convolutedly-titled classic Delta Force Commando II: Priority Red One (1990)? It's probably fair to describe him as a workmanlike director, and he goes through the appropriate motions, neither offending with badness nor delighting with awesomeness. This particular Warbus just kind of rolls along until after about 90 minutes or so when it runs out of gas.

It's funny the way they really make you wait for the Warbus until the final third of the movie – almost like they were under the mistaken impression that the audience really gives a flying flip. It's not exactly like they're unveiling something mysterious or legendary – it's a school bus. The anticipation level you'll feel as an audience member is roughly similar to what you may feel like while waiting for the actual bus. It's not really too much of a revelation. The whole "fixing up the bus" scene may remind you of American Commandos (1985) or perhaps The Gauntlet (1977), but…so what? Also Johnny Hondo gets the Prerequisite Torture treatment and there are relevant references to Iranians and Pakistanis.

There are a lot worse things in the world to watch than Warbus 2 – we'd prefer this to almost any currently-produced Hollywood product. But, on the other hand, even in the world of Italian-made blow-em-ups, this would rank towards the mediocre middle. Only you can decide what your level of fandom and interest is – and along the way John Vernon, Mark Gregory, and plenty of blow-ups accompany your journey.
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