We often describe the book as an homage to “Action Exploitation” or "Grindhouse" movies. Now, if you don’t know what an “exploitation” film is, well, it’s a lot like “ART” you know it when you see it. Technically though the definition is “a film intended to attract an audience by means of its sensationalist or controversial content.” And "Grindhouse" usually refers to the theaters these types of movies were shown in. There's some debate if the term comes from the theaters just "grinding" the movies non-stop (most of the theaters ran all day and night, maybe closing for an hour to clean or mop the floors and roll the bums back out into the street) or the term could come from the theaters having once been mostly burlesque houses presenting the ol' "bump and grind." Probably both are correct.
The most well-known and referenced genre of exploitation movie is “Blaxploitation.” With some of the most famous movies in that category being “Shaft," ”Superfly” and “Dolemite.” There’s also genres like, “Hixploitation” (Southern US or ‘country’ themed) which included “Gatorbait” and “Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry,” and “Ozploitation” (Australian-made) which “Mad Max” is the most famous example of.
“Action Exploitation” puts an emphasis on action elements- fighting, chases, explosions! Specifically, “Diamond Force” plays in the world of action movies filmed in the Philippines in the 70s and 80s. From the google entry for the great documentary “Machete Maidens Unleashed” - “the Philippines was a country where low-budget exploitation-film producers were free to make nearly any kind of movie they wanted, any way they pleased. It was a country with extremely lax labor regulations and a very permissive attitude towards cultural expression. As a result, it became a hotbed for the production of cheapie movies.”
Here’s a good primer on it if you want to read more about the subject.
The cover of the comic itself is an homage to one of my favorite action exploitation posters - "After the Fall of New York."
One of the most influential events to the creation of ST:CN:DF was my discovery of a new podcast- The Grindbin.
Mike Wood and Chris Mann (later joined by Chris Hughes and Bobby Trippett) started a movie podcast dedicated to Grindhouse and Exploitation movies.
I jumped on at the “Lunchwagon” episode. The podcast rekindled an interest in these movies for me and there was one episode in particular that really inspired a lot of what Strike Team: Code Name: Diamond Force would be come. The episode for “Raw Force” (sometimes it appears under the title "Kung-Fu Cannibals").
Here’s a link to the "RAW FORCE" episode and here’s the trailer for the movie.
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