By Bobby Travis, VisionONE News
A special U.S combat unit trained in underground warfare is sent on a mission to hunt and kill Viet Cong resistance forces in the endless networks of tunnels in the jungles of Cu Chi.Tunnel Rats, also known as 1968 Tunnel Rats, is a 2008 war film directed byUwe Boll. The film is based on the factual duties of tunnel rats during theVietnam War. In a documentary for the film, Boll revealed the film did not have a script, instead the actors are improvising their lines.
Although a box office failure, Tunnel Rats was met with positive reviews.
A group of US Army soldiers, trained in underground warfare, arrive at base camp in the jungle of Vietnam. The soldiers spend the first day and night getting to know each other. The next morning they begin to explore the Viet Cong‘s underground tunnel network at Củ Chi. Led by Lieutenant Vic Hollowborn (Michael Pare) along with Platoon Sergeant Mike Heaney (Brad Schmidt) Corporal Dan Green (Wilson Bethel) and Privates Peter Harris (Mitch Eakins), Carl Johnson (Erik Eidem), Terence Verano (Rocky Marquette), Jonathon Porterson (Garikayi Mutambirwa), Dean Garraty (Adrian Collins), Samuel Graybridge (Brandon Fobbs), Jim Lidford (Nate Parker) and Bob Miller (Jeffery Christopher Todd).
Armed with nothing more than bayonets, pistols, grenadesand flashlights, the US soldiers take to the tunnels, where they begin to encounter dangers including primitive but lethal boobytraps, such as punji sticks, grenades rigged with tripwire, as well as roving Viet Cong. Meanwhile Garraty and Johnson are killed first, and later Sergeant Heaney and Verano are both killed as Green escapes, and up on the surface Harris and Lidford escape to the bottom of the tunnel, and Lidford is killed later on,
Porterson successfully escapes through the tunnels and Meanwhile on the surface the Viet Cong also attack the US base. As things escalate above and below the ground, soldiers for both sides are pushed to the limits of their humanity. Miller and Graybridge escape but Graybridge is killed and Miller escapes, In the end, the implication is that all (or almost all) the protagonists in the film are killed by each other, by booby-traps, or by the air-strike ordered by the wounded US commanding officer Hollowborn, when it seemed all had been lost.
Harris dies in the tunnels, but Green convinces Vo Mai ([Jane Le]]) that he isn’t a threat to her or her family, Porterson retreats to the surface and later meets Miller at the camp where many soldiers have been slaughtered by the NVA, Porterson and Miller witness the bombings and it is unknown if they survived or not, meanwhile Green and Mai try to dig their way out realizing they both are trapped with no where to go they remain to die to the end of their days.
- Michael Paré as Lieutenant Vic Hollowborn
- Nate Parker as Private Jim Lidford
- Jane Le as Vo Mai
- Erik Eidem as Private Carl Johnson
- Rocky Marquette as Private Terence Verano
- Jeffrey Christopher Todd as Private Bob Miller
- Brandon Fobbs as Private Samuel Graybridge
- John Wynn as Chien Nguyen
- Wilson Bethel as Corporal Dan Green
- Scott Cooper as Private Joseph Walderson
- Brad Schmidt as Sergeant Mike Heaney
- Scott Ly as Hy Tran
- John Wynn as Nguyen Van Chien
- Adrian Collins as Private Dean Garraty
- Garikayi Mutambirwa as Private Jonathon Porterson
- Erik Eidem as Private Carl Johnson
- Mitch Eakins as Private Peter Harris
1968 Tunnel Rats was a box-office failure, earning less than $36,000 in ticket sales. The film’s budget was $8 million.
Despite this, 1968 Tunnel Rats received generally positive reviews from critics, making it one of Uwe Boll’s most critically successful films to date. Jeffrey M. Anderson of Combustible Celluloid gave the film 3/4 stars and wrote “If Boll had made this film in 1986, he might have won an Oscar and become the next Oliver Stone!” Bill Gibron of Filmcritic.com gave the film 3.5/5 stars, calling it “very good — and that’s amazing, considering who’s receiving said accolade.”