Steve Carver's RIVER OF DEATH (1989, 100 min.) on CONtv for the first time.The end of the 1980's saw Cannon still doing the same shit they'd spent most of the decade doing, but on a shoestring budget: ripping off "Indiana Jones" and cashing in on the ever-popular Nazisploitation subgenre. "American Ninja" star Michael Dudikoff trades his ninja outfit for Nathan Drake-style adventurer clothes (minus fedora hat) as his John Hamilton characer tries to rescue the daugher of a scientist trying to cure the aborigene living in the Amazon Jungle's 'Rio de Morte' from a hidden Nazi enclave. Forced to leave Anna behind to save himself, Hamilton and reluctant partner Eddie (L.Q. Jones) jump at the chance to partner with a former Nazi (Donald Pleasence) who is chasing after the hidden-in-South America mad scientist (Robert Vaughn) who betrayed him during the movie's set-in-WWII opening flashback.More adventure than action (though there's plenty of the latter), "River of Death" fills the requisite quota of dumb dialogue ('Not the socks!), big explosions and shootouts to try and distract from the bottom-of-the-barrel production values. The movie is set in 1965, but everyone looks and talks like 80's folks. Vaughn and Pleasence deliver ample slices of tasty ham, but it's "The Pink Panther's" Herbet Lom who steals the movie as a corrupt police captain. Only a late 80's Cannon Group disposable flick like this could feature an Indy-type protagonist that does even less than the real Indy at the end of "Raiders" to save himself and end the quest on a huge anticlimactic showdown. Barely passable even by Junesploitation standards.
Dang, I remember thinking the blu ray cover was really badass.
Great cover, but the flick is wanting.
Lethal Weapon (1987)I'm not too old for this shit.
Keeping the seven word review train rolling
Tom Atkins' daughter really loves her cocaine.
Blue Thunder (1983)I am a little embarrassed that it took me 45 minutes to realise that Malcolm McDowell was in this.But it's Roy Scheider in a Helicopter. That premise alone sold me on it. I love how this movie has every 80s troupes, before I'm guessing the 80s troupes really became a thing, right down to using police equipment to spy on naked yoga, non American villian and a cherry of a chase through LA's reservoir. But it was those hide and seek scenes flying around LA's skyscrapers that made me adore the movie. And for me that is when this movie really came alive.
I watched this a few Junesploitations ago and felt the same way about those awesome helicopter sequences among the skyscrapers. Makes you miss the days of actual stunts, not CGI nonsense, right? The action sequences in this 35 year old movie are more heart-pounding to me than most modern action because it looks really, really dangerous.
Yes, Dangerous is the exact word! I did read that there is an idea of a remake, which would be a terrible idea for the reasons you mentioned and also it's just a product of it's time.
I watched it too and you're right on about the stunts making it special. I didn't love the movie, but the flying sequences felt legitimately dangerous.
Gymkata (1985) First time viewThe Eastern fighting style of Martial Arts meets the Western fighting style of Gymnastics. A fuck ton of chasing ensues. This movie is heaps of fun.
From the director of "Enter the Dragon" no less. Talk about a fall from grace, going from Bruce Lee to Kurt fracking Thomas. :'(
Dead End City (1988, dir. Peter Yuval)Like all normal Americans, if you asked me yesterday who Greg Cummins was, my reply would've been "Who the fuck is Greg Cummins???" I guess the answer is that he's an apparent regular on Amazon's Bosch, but before that, he was probably best known for being one of the henchmen from Cliffhanger. But before that, he had a brief string of attempts at action movie leading man status, including this vaguely sci-fi-ish DTV entry from Action International Pictures. Ah, AIP never disappoints... the very first thing that happens in this movie is, a hooker walks up to a group of bikers, asks "Gotta light?", and gets shotgunned in the chest, a la Kim Richards trying to get some ice cream. The rest of the movie is similarly Carpenter-esque, a low-key mix of Assault on Precinct 13 and Escape from L.A. (which did not exist yet, I know.) Robert Z'Dar leads an army of gang members on a siege against a government-seized factory Cummins won't vacate. Lots and lots of gunfire follows.Action U.S.A. (1989, dir. John Stewart)After making it my entire lifetime without ever having heard of Greg Cummins, I picked another of his starring vehicles to watch, purely by chance!! This was a Lethal Weapon wannabe set in Texas, with a little Midnight Run mixed in, and boy, bad comedy can fatally overshadow the best stunt work, as Action U.S.A. proves. It's also a character actor smorgasbord, however, with Cameron Mitchell, Hoke Howell, Ross Hagen, and William Smith, all in villainous roles. Pretty lame, but worth a watch, for me, anyway.The Blonde Fury (1989, dir. Hoi Man)City Cops (1989, dir. Kar-Wing Lau)I'd really been feeling like watching some Cynthia Rothrock recently, and this was exactly the excuse I needed. Nothing is sexier than HK-era Cynthia hopping around in khakis or mom jeans, throat-kicking dozens of henchmen. The first movie had tons of great fight scenes and stunts for Cynthia, and moved at a nice clip. The second movie third-billed her, putting its focus on a gruelingly unfunny buddy cop duo. Cynthia does gun down about twenty guys and then face off with Michiko Nishiwaki during the climax, so it wasn't a complete waste of time. (Michiko keeps her shirt on, though! WTF?!)
Cynthia Rothrock, the wonder woman of late 80's/early 90's DTV martial arts action flicks. :-)
Only four today?
I did also just get out of Wonder Woman about an hour ago, and I'm planning on watching Tommy with my girlfriend in about 3 hours, but I'll probably have time for at least one more '80s flick before the day is out. And yes, I realize you were being sarcastic. :)
Yes, Madam a.k.a. Police Assassins, In the Line of Duty part 2, and Huang jia shi jie, (1985)I started my second day of ass kicking women with Michelle Yeoh's first starring role and Cynthia Rothrock's first role as well. There's also some bumbling criminals who come into the possession of a piece of microfilm that contains crucial evidence against a crime lord which builds up to an ending that feels predictable at first before taking a bit of an unexpected turn in the last minute.I'll admit movie isn't exactly a hidden classic. I was a tad surprised at how much screen time is taken up by the bumbling criminals (who are still fun to watch) despite Yeoh and Rothrock ostensibly being the stars. The duo get a few decent fight scenes although a lot of the action gets sped up. With Yeoh obviously you can see some of the talent she'd show in later movies. I can't say I've seen a lot of Rothrock's movies despite how often I saw commercials for them when they were playing on various UHF channels when I was a kid. It's undeniable though just reading about her that she's a well-respected martial artist and a bit of a pioneer for female action stars. Maybe she isn't the greatest actress and hasn't gotten a lot of particularly good roles but I feel like I should watch some more of her stuff at some point.It's a reasonably fun movie but mostly a curiosity for people who want to see some of Yeoh's early work.
Masters of the Universe (1987)When I was a child I loved He-man and owned all the action figures. When I discovered there existed a full length featured film my 7 year old self was ecstatic! I was only able to catch it on broadcast television but it was amazing.Now revisiting as an adult what can I say? It certainly feels 80's. and Dolph Lundgren looks incredible. He IS HE-MAN to a Tee. but ultimately a child's movie that works best for children and doesn't translate well for any other demographic.
Black Rain (1989)I stole this idea of Chayse. Thanks Chayse! I looooooved this movie. From the opening scene of Michael Douglas on a motorbike I could not stop smiling. I realise this movie is no Blade Runner, but I loved how Scott brought back the B.R aesthetic. I do agree with Roger Ebert's orginal review about the plot machanics and the Kate Capshaw character (even if I think she is soild in the role that is given to her), I could easily just live in this style of hard boiled neon movie. Osaka was the perfect setting, and the way Scott turned it into a Neon industrial prison, complete with motorbike gangs wielding samuri swords. I had better stop, or I am just going to keep on gushing, don't get me started on Ken Takarura's performance!!!!!
Yeah! I'm glad you enjoyed it! This has been on my list for a while and I finally had the chance to check it out. You pretty much sum up my feelings perfectly. A lot of the plot was goofy but the style alone was enough to make me enjoy myself. I love the cyberpunk-sequel vibe that Scott brings to the movie. Osaka is one of my favourite cities and is super gorgeous in its own right but Scott definitely brings a outsiders perspective to it and puts the city on display in larger than life way that you don't find in Japanese movies. Takurara was awesome but I felt the movie definitely played into the Japanese stereotype mold a little bit too much. I also agree with Ebert, however I think I had a lot more fun with this one than him. At the end of the day if you give me a hard boiled noir story, set in Japan with Andy Garcia tracking down Yakuza and singing Ray Charles karaoke... I'll be a happy camper. (P.S I miss the Ridley Scott that did stuff like Black Rain, come back to us.)
Steele Justice (1987) (First Time Viewing):I have always thought Martin Kove was so good in the Karate Kid series, it’s puzzled me why he wasn’t bigger. I may have got my answer. He’s awesome at being menacing, but maybe not so much at being a charismatic lead. Regardless, he’s fine in this incredibly entertaining movie. The opening shot shows John Steele, shirtless, machinegun-brandishing, and riding a hovercraft into battle. This is my kind of movie. His cliché ill-fated partner gets machine gunned in the back TWICE in the first 30 MINUTES. Actual quote from the movie: “You don’t recruit John Steele, you release him.” Oh, and there is a full length 80’s pop music video in the middle of this movie for no reason (except it’s awesome). Highly Recommended.
Martin Kove is glorious as Nero the Hero in Death Race 2000.
Cobra (1986):Crime is a disease. Meet the cure.Where the law ends, he begins.Where pizza needs cutting, he'll do it with scissors.
The pizza scissors alway vexed me.
He doesn't deal with psychos, he puts 'em away.
When he runs out of plastic forks, he goes out to dinner.
Marion Cobretti. I can't believe he hooked up with Drago's wife - and that Sloppy Poppy from Seinfeld is his sidekick. Gotta love the Stallone Cinematic Universe.
Robocop(1987) The only movie I missed at F This Movie Fest. You can make a case that it's the greatest action movie ever
The Punisher (1989)I've said it before, and I'll say it again, this very first take on a cinematic Punisher doesn't get the love it deserves. It has fun, gritty action, a sly sense of humor, and villains that could only exist in the '80s.Bonus points for a great scene at the end between Frank and the son of his nemesis.
Ninja Vengence (1989) & Commando (1985)I hadn't planned on doing a double feature today but after watching Ninja Vengence I needed a do over and what better way than 80's Arnie. Ninja Vengence is so bad and not in a it's so bad it's good category but so bad it's terrible. The premise is a Ninja takes on the KKK, which should be perfect for Junesploitation. However, what we get is a ninja movie with pretty much no martial arts. The plot starts out like an episode of The A-Team or Incredible Hulk, where a stranger comes to a small town run by corrupt, racist cops and he has to sort things out for the better, except at every turn he gets his ass kicked and most people he fights get inadvertently shot. There's nothing redeeming here at all. So what better way to recover than Arnie at his best. He looks amazing, the onliners are fantastic and the supporting cast are awesome. I loved this as a kid and still love it today.
The one thing that always got me about Commando, is that when Arnie gets busted on his weapons looting spree, why does Rae Dawn Chong get to keep all of the gear?
RETURN TO THE 36TH CHAMBER (1980) Cutting it close but it’s 1980, so it counts and I don’t wanna hear any lip about it. Junesploitation was just the excuse I needed to jump into the odd parody of my favorite martial arts film ever. IN RETURN TO THE 36TH CHAMBER, Gordon Liu does NOT play the role of San Te as he did in the first film. Instead, he’s this hapless scam artist who gets in over his head when he acts like he’s a monk of the Shaolin Temple. Some Manchu baddies call his bluff and beat his ass. He decides to help the villagers and heads to the temple to learn kung-fu. Everything after that is his goofy attempts to talk his way into the temple and complete his training. Liu has wonderful comedic timing and combative grace (is that even a term?), a combo that makes the training sequences a delight to watch. If you haven’t seen this one yet but you enjoy THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN then I highly recommend you check this out on Netflix.
Blue Thunder (1983)You got Roy Scheider as the hero, Malcolm McDowell as the villain, Daniel Stern as the plucky sidekick, Warren Fucking Oates as the police captain, and tricked-out helicopter Blue Thunder as herself...whaddaya need, a road map? The 80's had a weird thing for heavy-duty action vehicles, particularly helicopters (see this movie, the short-lived Blue Thunder tv series that followed with Dana Carvey in the Daniel Stern part, 80 goddamn episodes of Airwolf, etc.) and the copter is cool. The movie, unfortunately, is less so. Scheider, as always, is great, and there are some very fun mid-air chases and stunts that make it worth checking out, but it drags a bit in the middle and most of the story beats feel pretty rote. Not a bad movie, but not quite the somewhat-forgotten gem I was hoping for either.
Of course there was a show! Even though I liked it a little more than you, it did take a long time to get where it's going. Plus they kept refering to Scheider as a rebel or crazy. Which Roy Mr dependable and gets the job done Scheider is not.
A Dolph Lundgren double feature!Red Scorpion (1988, dir. Joseph Zito)A Soviet soldier is sent to assassinate a rebel leader in a ficticious African country, but finds a new home with the native people and becomes a freedom fighter against the combined Soviet and Cuban armies. Several pretty good action scenes, but the movie takes itself a little too seriously to be a Junesploitation classic. M. Emmet Walsh is great as the American reporter/comedic sidekick.The Punisher (1989, dir. Mark Goldblatt)A better Punisher movie than I remember the Thomas Jane version being, though that's not saying much. An unmemorable plot and some okay action, not much to write home about. It also has very little in common with the comics books (as did the Jane version). Maybe they could've used some supporting characters from the comics, instead of giving the Punisher a drunkard washed-up actor sidekick who speaks in rhyme. Such a weird decision. As is not including the one iconic thing about the character, the skull shirt. They did give him a ridiculous-looking fake stubble that made his face look kinda like the shape of a skull though.
Blue Thunder (1983)(This seems to be a popular choice this year.)I got to see this in the theater when I was a kid because my mother had gone on a business trip to Los Angeles and came back talking about the "helicopter movie" that was filming in the sky outside her hotel window while she was there. I loved the movie because I was too young to normally be allowed to see something like this, although (SPOILER ALERT!) I remember thinking the facial expression on the guy when he runs over Daniel Stern with his car was scary and disturbing.I met Roy Scheider in 2005 at an event during the Hamptons Film Festival. I told him I was a big fan of his work, and he was gracious and shook my hand. He was in his seventies at the time, had been battling cancer, and was in poor health. Even then, I could tell by his handshake that, had he wanted to, he could have crushed me like a bug. Roy Scheider was a BAD ASS.
That's awesome - when I first found out about the whole Make-a-Wish thing at about Age 7, mine was to meet Roy Scheider!
LASER MISSION (1989) Brandon Lee plays Michael Gold, a mercenary hired to get a defecting KGB scientist out of Cuba. It begins promisingly, with some sweet low-budget fighting and gunplay. But once Lee and the requisite love entrance are in the desert (does Cuba have a desert?) it gets dull and never recovers. GOLDEN TEMPLE AMAZONS (1986)Famed hack Jess Franco crafted this sexy Tarzan riff, in which a sexy jungle girl and her sexy friends take on a lost tribe of sexy Amazons. There’s some small attempt to make this a treasure hunt adventure, but with all the bare skin on display, the whole movie’s just one big excuse to have naked ladies running around. MILLENNIUM (1989) An agent investigating a plane crash gets caught up in a twisty-turny time travel plot. This movie becomes a different genre every 30 minutes. First it's a detective story, then sci-fi weirdness, then romantic comedy, and finally a disaster flick. The futuristic stuff is the most fun, with outrageous sets, costumes, and hair. Also there's a wisecracking robot in a movie that doesn’t necessarily need a wisecracking robot.
Watched Laser Mission up until our heroes reached the desert before retiring last night. Sounds like I'm not missing much for the remaining 40 minutes.
Raw Force (1982)Violence! Blood! Nudity! Cannibal monks! Zombie ninjas! Junesploitation was made for movies such as this. Ok, get ready for this plot. A karate club finds themselves on an island where a tribe of Monks are buying woman in the sex trade to eat them because female flesh gives them the power to raise the dead for a zombie army. Yes, you read that right.Only thing is, it takes a really long time to get to the island. However, it's filled with enough random fight scenes, and weird, crazy dialogue and acting to never get boring! There is one fight scene of a man about to rape a woman and a man trying to stop him that is more than worth watching the movie for. It's insanely violent, really intense, and maybe the only scene in the movies that feels like it has real, serious stakes. Did I mention it ends with someone getting drowned in a toilet? It's a crazy badass scene!Raw Force is a good ol' fashioned exploitation flick that's available now on Shudder!
A perfect choice! I was lucky enough to see Raw Force in a theater last year with a crowd that was really into it. One of the best moviegoing experiences I've ever had.
Damn! That sounds amazing. It has a lot of laughs (it is at least 50% sex comedy), so that does sound great.
"What if we exploit EVERY genre?..." 4 months later Raw Force comes out.
It's so true though.
Wow, this sounds amazing! Thanks for the suggestion, I'm excited to check this out!
Yeah this sounds amazingly nutty!!!
Blastfighter (1984, dir. Lamberto Bava)A movie where everyone talks and acts like no human ever has. Add to that a ridiculous amount of violence, a great synth score and a theme song written by the Bee Gees, and this is what Junesploitation is all about! I don't remember the last time I laughed this much watching a movie.
R.O.T.O.R. (1987)If The Terminator and RoboCop had a baby with MST3K it would make this film. Not a whole ton of action in it as one might expect, but like most '80s low budget flicks, the bad acting/dubbing totally make up for it. Also, you can't go wrong with breakdancing robots, a woman bodybuilder playing the part of a scientist named Dr. Steele (of course!), and the R.O.T.O.R. (which stands for Robotic Officer Tactical Operation Research) cop with a serious mustache. I was definitely entertained the whole way through. Favorite quote: "Let me tell you something, mister. You fire me and I'll make more noise than two skeletons making love in a tin coffin, brother."
Blue Thunder (1983)Looks like I went Dan O'bannon, Don Jakoby 2 days straight (Lifeforce). The cast is just too good. The flying scenes are even better. Other than that just a solid, if sometimes a little confusing, action flick. Warren Oates downplaying instead of unleashing during the "gun and badge on my desk" scene was special. Anyone know who the John Saxon doppelgänger in this flick is? It is fucking with me.
I'm not positive, but maybe Joe Santos is who you mean? http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0764134/
I think you're right.
Tango & Cash (1989, dir. Andrei Konchalovsky, Albert Magnoli)Really fun first half, then runs out of steam after the prison break. Now, about that working theory that this takes place in the same universe as Action Jackson (1988)...
The Delta Force (1986)This is a curious one. The first half of the film is devoted to a mostly straightforward, faithful recreation of the hijacking of TWA Flight 847. Many details were taken directly from official accounts. About midway, however, the movie turns into the kind of over-the-top action cheesefest you’d expect from a Cannon film starring Chuck Norris. Ironically, that first half – while very well done – ends up being the film’s biggest liability. It just doesn’t fit with the rest of the film’s tone, and ends up bloating the running time (a whopping 129 minutes). Norris is fine, but Robert Forster turns in the movie’s best performance as the chief terrorist. Some of Delta Force’s equipment seems to be on loan from MegaForce. You can have some extra fun speculating which scenes Lee Marvin was sober for – hell, after the prelude his first scene is him drinking in a bar. Oh, Cannon! My heart embraces your movies, even as my brain is vigorously rejecting them.
I agree Robert Forster steals the show. Just another demonstration of how great an actor he is. He is legitimately terrifying in that movie.
Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)I've seen all the Mad Max films multiple times, but somehow this one had escaped me. I was surprised by the shift away from the normal template of the other films (wander around the wasteland, car chase, capture, escape, repeat). However, the fight scene with Master Blaster in the Thunderdome near the beginning was pretty fucking rad and I was immediately on board. Full disclosure: I still need to finish the last 40 minutes, which I'll do tonight. When I left off he was in some sort of village filled with fur-clad children, like Neverland on acid, and I seriously have no where the story is headed. Hopefully back to the bad ass set-piece that is the Thunderdome.
Kickboxer (1989, dir. Mark DiSalle, David Worth) on Amazon Video/StarzGotta have my JCVD fix.
The Running Man (1987)Swap out Arnie with JCVD and baby you got a Cannon movie.
Lady Terminator (1989) first time watch, on YoutubeThis is a strange movie. You've got a mystic sea witch with a snake living in her vagina that bites off guys dicks (with blood splaying all over her breasts, of course), that reincarnates as a leather clad lady. You've also got the leather clad lady walking around violently blasting people Terminator style. And the movie wildly oscillates between these 2 themes. Not a great movie, but I had a blast.
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megaforce (1982)An elite all-world defence force, in which all the countries of the world supply with weaponry, technology and apparently polyester. Keeping the world safe in matching skin-tight jumpers. The buggies have missiles, the motorbikes have missiles, the friggin missiles have missiles. The Megaforce team kinda plays out like a combination of G.I. Joe and Team America, but Megaforce is a complete sausage party. Henry Silva has an accent that changes from line to line and chews every piece of scenery that isn't nailed down. Michael Beck's character enthusiastically flies a confederate flag on everything he touches. There is a bike scene that must be seen to be believed. Speaking of sausage party, one scene has Barry Bostwick in silhouette accidentally/on-purpose suggesting a penis with the position of his finger in this PG movie. This movie is 10% gadget porn, 40% explosions, 10% lasers, 39% ridiculous plot exposition and 1% shadow cock. Recommended.Oh and "The good guys always win...even in the 80's"
The Running Man (1987)Not one of my favorite Arnold movies but thank G-D he's in this. It made me really appreciate how much he can (to borrow a sentiment from Patrick Bromley) "drag a movie across the finish line." There are some really fun moments in The Running Man and that's what my lasting impression of it with be, enough to make me forget it has a lot of dull patches. For a concept this crazy too I sort of wish the action sequences were crazier but that's a minor complaint. Glad I finally saw it because as Twitter has proven tonight it's rare (or maybe not rare?) for someone in 2017 to have not yet seen The Running Man. Now on to the back half of my late 80s Tri Star action double bill - Lock Up. Will report back later :-)
Don't fret, buddy. It's not actually that good a movie. You just made the mistake of opening up and being vulnerable.
The Executioner, Part II (1984)This is a movie that you should look up the poster for, but never watch. The poster makes this movie look badass, and the synopsis makes it seem badass, but alas, it is not badass. The movie is kinda about a masked man who kills criminals for the police (not batman). I say kinda because it's also about a detective who is trying to unmask this guy (still not batman) but, we end up spending most of our time with the detective's daughter who is considering prostitution to pay for her drug habit. I really don't know what to say, but it disappointed me. It actually disappointed me right asleep at one point. The plot is beyond exploitation stupid, the Executioner is hardly in it, and it's dubbed to the point that the dialogue is confusing. There is one amazing fight scene around 15 minutes in that is 100% overdubbed with men grunting, and that was hilarious, but it really has no clue what it wants to do. There may be several Vietnam flashbacks in this movie, but i will not be flashing back to it myself (lame review ending, sorry).
The Ice Pirates (1984)Why wasn't Robert Urich a bigger star? Who knew Anjelica Huston could kick ass? Why is Bruce Vilanch in this? What do you think Robert is doing right now? Mary Crosby is almost too pretty. This movie is adorable. Do you think Bob would like me? The end of this movie is perfect. 9 out of 10.
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981)To keep it short and sweet, I would kill for Kurt Russell. This movie never loses me even for a second
Tango & Cash (1989)I'm not sure how beloved this is among genre fans but I kinda loved it. It feels like surprisingly B-grade 80s Action considering it's A-list cast and I imagine at the time it felt like just another example of the genre becoming a caricature of itself, but for the occasion I thought it was pretty much perfect.
Lock Up (1989)More of a prison drama than an action movie but that's ok. As a Stallone apologist I had fun with it especially in the first hour with Sonny Landham football games in the mud, a car restoration montage set to the song "Vehicle" and a very spirited Tom Sizemore performance. The second hour really implodes though.
Wish I could see this now for the first time. Its a childhood favourite so I'll never be able to be objective with it. Was always surprisingly moved by the whole car sequence, and especially after the mud soaked football game. Leonie 510.
Rage of Honor (1987)A Sho Kosugi ninja movie that is really lacking the wildness of other Sho Kosugi ninja movies. It's kind of ok. It's almost totally bloodless, which I honestly think is a problem. I mean, people are hitting each other with swords and there's no blood? Dammit, give me the gratuitous blood I so richly deserve!Still, the end fight scene is pretty badass. Watching Sho Kosugi fight is never not a privilege.
Steele Justice (1987, dir. Robert Boris)I will echo everything my man Matt Sollenberger said about this movie above. It's my favorite kind of '80s action movie -- one that so nakedly embraces every single cliche that you would swear it was a parody of an action movie if you didn't know it's being played completely straight. The cast is overqualified except for Kove, whose bee-stung face and pink sweater-clad shoulders is never convincing as an action hero. And holy shit that music video scene. This movie is so fun.Hands of Steel (1986, dir. Sergio Martino)I love the Italians. They're never predictable. In the future of 1997, the world has gone to shit, the environment is dangerous and people are developing terminal illnesses by the hundreds every day. A cyborg assassin named Paco (Daniel Greene, a beast) is programmed by John Saxon to kill the guy who's going to fix everything but fails to finish the job, then spends the rest of the movie being hunted by gunmen. He becomes a handyman for a remote bar and there's even a whole section in the middle about arm wrestling. George Eastman shows up as a bad guy named Raoul. Claudio Simonetti contributes an amazing score. The movie is endlessly entertaining. Perfect for the month.Mankillers (1987, dir. David A. Prior)I wrote about this back when it came out on Blu-ray, but it seemed like today was the right day to revisit it. Nobody makes action schlock quite like David A. Prior, who wants to make huge movies but lacks the resources and some of the talent. The results are something that resemble a backyard production.
I can't believe neither of us mentioned Three Steps! Probably the best snake sidekick in film history #ThreeSteps4Prez
The Exterminator (1980)I think if I survived a war, I'd be a little cranky. Especially, if when I got back, my best friend was beaten nearly dead. I would have fun with a flamethrower or I'd put a guy in a meat grinder. Sometimes, killing is the only option. We've all been there. 7 out of 10
Legacy of Rage (1986) gets so unbelievably crazy at the end it's hilarious and awesome.
Conan the Destroyer (1984) There's a reason this was one of the only 80s Arnie movies I hadn't yet seen.
Fire & Ice (1983)I was looking for something new and this was first thing I came across that fit the fill. A Frazetta drawing come to life is much less interesting in practice than in theory. Between this and Cool World, I think I'm out on Bakshi.