by Patrick Bromley
Don't forget about the Scary Movie Challenge III!
Sudden Death), End of Days is pretty lame -- Schwarzenegger is the wrong fit for the material (though "Jericho Kane" is one of the all-time great action hero names, up there with Johnny Utah and Ray Tango), Gabriel Byrne is a boring devil and neither the comedy nor the horror works. The movie's best contribution is that it gives Schwarzenegger the chance to play depressed and alcoholic -- so, basically he got around to playing Martin Riggs a year after the fourth and final Lethal Weapon movie was released. At any rate, he's pretty good at being sad about losing his wife. The practice would pay off later in life.
The Expendables, but no one knew that would happen when the movie came out in 2002 because time travel hasn't yet been invented but in 30 years it will be). The straight-to-video Eye See You (also known as D-Tox), which features Stallone as an alcoholic FBI agent who checks into rehab and finds himself in the middle of a slasher movie, owes more to the "crime thriller" boom of the '90s (Se7en, Copycat, etc.) than to straight horror. But like a lot of action stars who turn to horror late in their careers, Sly was clearly trying something different in the hopes of reinventing himself -- or, at the very least, capturing a new audience. It didn't really work.
Blade Runner), it was actually jarring when he showed up in an action movie as the hero. Just one year prior to headlining his own action movie (1987's big screen adaptation of Wanted Dead or Alive), Hauer played one of his most iconic villains in the Robert Harmon-directed horror thriller The Hitcher. He's a psychotic hitchhiker who is stalking and tormenting C. Thomas Howell, no doubt because he's a big fan of Soul Man. The movie has a cult following, but I could never really get into it because of the way it treats Jennifer Jason Leigh. Some shit cannot be overlooked.
Grindhouse, because it probably gets knocked out in the span of a single afternoon. Willis isn't asked to do much in his role of a military lieutenant trying to keep his soldiers from turning into zombies, but he lends just the right amount of star power (in 1983, the role would have been played by John Saxon) and gets one good speech about killing Bin Laden. Sometimes in exploitation horror movies, characters have to be established in quick, broad strokes. Bruce Willis is a guy who can do that by virtue of being Bruce Willis.
The Ward. This explains why he plays a third or fourth-tier supporting role while the action hero duties are left to Natasha Henstridge (of Maximum Risk, filling in at the last possible second for Courtney Love) and Ice Cube, who plays Desolation Williams, a name only slightly worse than Jericho Kane. The movie, a sci-fi/horror relic from America's brief love affair with Mars in the early 2000s, is deadly dull, with Statham showing pretty much the only sparks of life on screen. It's no surprise he went on to be a great big action star. Or that Carpenter didn't make another movie for a decade.