There’ve been a lot of films made about soldiers, but there haven’t been that many made BY soldiers. And there’s certainly never been one like “Range 15.” It is an absolutely bizarro zombie apocalypse comedy, with a cast made up almost entirely of distinguished military personnel, but featuring cameos by celebrities ranging from William Shatner to Ron Jeremy, by way of Randy Couture.
Range 15 was crowdfunded by an Indiegogo campaign, so the creators were beholden to absolutely nobody but their fans. While the film’s promotional slogan is, “Made BY Veterans, FOR Veterans,” there’s no reason that red-blooded, freedom-loving civilians can’t enjoy its highly entertaining mix of toilet humor, comic-book violence, and jingoistic self-parody. In fact, in this behind-the-scenes video, the filmmakers express their hope that the film will not only be enjoyed by a wide audience, but even help to “bridge the civilian-veteran divide.”
While most of the humor in the film can easily be understood by anyone over the age of eleven, it’s even funnier once you have an idea of who some of the people in the film are, and what they’re known for.
So, before you head to Amazon.com to stream “Range 15,” familiarize yourself with this cheat sheet. Early in the film, the stars make a clear statement about their distaste for stolen valor, so don’t use this guide to pretend you know these guys personally, but feel free to use it to impress your friends with your encyclopedic knowledge of living bad-asses.
Note: This is NOT an exhaustive list; these are just the most prominently featured folks. If I’ve made any errors here, or left out something important, please leave a comment, and I’ll be glad to amend it!
|Name: Mat Best
What You Need To Know: Five OIF/OEF combat tours with the 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment. YouTube star. President of Article 15 Clothing.
|Name: Nick Palmisciano
What You Need To Know: West Point grad, Army Infantry Captain, Ranger-qualified Ranger School Operations Officer, YouTube star, Founder of Ranger Up Apparel
|Name: Jack Mandaville
What You Need To Know: USMC Infantry, team member at Ranger Up.
|Name: Jarred Taylor
What You Need To Know: Air Force SSgt, served in elite TACP (Tactical Air Control Party)
|Name: Vincent Vargas
What You Need To Know: Four years with the 75th Ranger Regiment, then worked as an Army Drill Sgt. After retiring, worked as a corrections officer, and border patrol operative.
|Name: Tim Kennedy
What You Need To Know: Green Beret, Ranger, Special Forces sniper, Army Combatives tournament champion (3x), MMA fighter
|Name: Marcus Luttrell
What You Need To Know: Navy SEAL, subject of the book & movie, “Lone Survivor.”
|Name: Leroy Petry
What You Need To Know: Ranger, Medal of Honor recipient, hand blown off while throwing back grenade.
|Name: Clinton Romesha
What You Need To Know: Army Cavalry SSgt, Medal of Honor recipient
|Name: Evan Hafer
What You Need To Know: Special Forces and CIA operator. Founder of Black Rifle Coffee.
|Name: Tom Amenta
What You Need To Know: Ranger, digital marketing guru, former COO of Ranger UP
|Name: Mary “Wondernubs” Dague
What You Need To Know: Army EOD (bomb tech), lost both arms in Iraq war, breast cancer survivor, uses humor to help others cope with trauma
|Name: Dale Dye
What You Need To Know: Retired USMC officer & Vietnam vet, Hollywood military technical advisor
|Name: Ross Patterson
What You Need To Know: Filmmaker, comedian (no actual military experience)
|Name: Alek Skarlatos
What You Need To Know: The Oregon National Guardsman who helped stop a gunman on a train to Paris.