Saturday, June 1, 2019

Junesploitation 2019 Day 1: '80s Action!

Packing heat from Texas to Malibu Beach!

94 comments:

  1. Death Wish 3

    Golan and Globus make great cartoons. Didn't even have to hire animators. This is a first time for me and my first (full screening) of the series. I imagine I'd like these stupider sequels more than the original. Fun. #Junesploitation forever!!!

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    1. Death Wish 3 is a longtime favorite and has cheered me up in some of my lowest periods. There are so many quotable lines and those last 15 minutes are wonderful. Who knew Home Alone was made five years earlier?

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  2. Thank you for another Junesploitation, Patrick. It will be an interesting 30 days of watching and reading about movies.

    RED HEAT (1988, dir. Walter Hill)

    Thirty years ago I did not miss a Schwarzenegger film. The only one I went to a theater to see was Terminator 2, but I watched all the others on cable TV or VHS. Red Heat did not leave as much of an impression on me as others did; The Running Man and Predator remain the strongest Arnold memories from my youth. What stands out with this viewing of Red Heat is the quality of the production. The cinematography and editing are excellent, and the action sequences are well executed. I especially enjoyed the bus chase. Overall, it is not a bad vehicle for Arnold that, like the Cold War, represents another time.

    Some random thoughts about Red Heat:

    The Spa Sequence: The amount of flesh- male and female- on display surprised me, yet it did not become salacious. Bravo. The burning rock scene and the snow fight are one of the few things I remembered about the film and remain memorable.

    Gina Gershon: She brought an intensity and believability to her small role that seemed a little out of place in the film, but I was impressed.

    Jim Belushi: His schtick got tiring by the middle of the film. I cannot say I have ever been a fan.

    The Use of Russian: The extended sequences in the language were not what I expected. I remember characters speaking in languages other than English in ‘80s action cinema, but those scenes generally consisted of only a few sentences.

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  3. Robo Vampire (1988) on Amazon P.

    Sometimes I'll start out the month with some clunkers that kinda slow me down, but not this year! Robo Vampire is a Robocop knockoff that plays in so many different sub-genres (apparently 2 movies cobbled together) and throws so much at the wall that it's never boring despite its many flaws. It's amazing since walking robotically is one of the main special effects. This flick gives you kung fu vampires who are also ghosts or maybe zombies, the aforementioned fake Robocop, the gorilla mask wearing Vampire Beast (end boss), wire work, awesomely over the top sound effects and so much more. Wow. Not coherent in any way, but Junesploitation gold right here.

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    1. Excellent choice, Robo Vampire is perfect Junesploitation fodder! Highly recommended for either Monsters, Sci-Fi, 80's Horror or Robots day.

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  4. Missing in Action (1984, dir. Joseph Zito)
    Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985, dir. Lance Hool)

    So Cannon made two Chuck Norris movies back-to-back, the first one about a soldier escaping a Vietnamese POW camp, and a sequel about him going back to free another camp. Then they decided the sequel was the better movie and released that as the "original" and followed it up with a "prequel" a few months later. That's such a Cannon move! (They were right btw, Zito's movie is much better and more entertaining than Hool's.)

    Decent action, wooden acting, and disappointingly little of what Norris is actually good at, martial arts. So basically they're the same as any other Norris film. M. Emmet Walsh is always a welcome sight.

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  5. No Retreat No Surrender (1986)

    Maybe not exactly the 80s action I wanted. But maybe the Junesploitation movie I needed to start with. Because sometimes you need the ghost of Bruce Lee teach you the way to kick a split kicking Van Damme on his ass. This movie, was many different movies. Teen drama, complete with a fat cake eating bully, who also constantly has burger sauce stains on his face, just you didn't get the fat bully thing. To an almost a B plot with the New York mafia trying to buy up all the Dojo's in the country. This is a random movie that is ripping off Karate Kid and Rocky and a whole bunch of other stuff. The fight choregraphy is great, and it has all the work out montages you couls possibly want. As I said the movie I maybe needed to start with to get me really in the mood for Junespoiltation,

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  6. Over the Top (1987)

    Not exactly what I expected, I was hoping for more “action” than this. Almost no fights, chases, etc. Plenty of arm wrestling, I guess that’s deemed “action.”
    A bit of a disappointment to start my month off, but I’ve been meaning to get this off my “to watch” pile for sometime now, and that makes it worth the entry.
    Looking for more ‘splosions and shoot em ups for the rest of today!

    I’m so happy Junesploitation is here again!
    I Love this site, I Love this month long celebration, and I Love movies!

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  7. "Kickboxer" 1989, Dirs. Mark DiSalle & David Worth.

    I couldn't think of a better way to start my #Junesploitation than with a bout of drunk dancing, a pinch of tree kicking, a dollop of the greasiest mullet in history and a smattering of an oiled up Tong Po.

    Happy #Junesploitation everyone!

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  8. ACTION JACKSON (1988):

    Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson, Vanity, Sharon Stone, Thomas F. Wilson, Bill Duke, Robert Davi, and De'voreau White. Does it even matter how the movie is?

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    1. Love this. Also: he had a spare!

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    2. The mental image of Prince hanging out on the set of Action Jackson makes my brain overheat. Also, (mild spoiler) he straight up drives a car from the downstairs of a house to the upstairs of the same house. Right?

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    3. He most certainly does. Hot! Hotter! Hottest!

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  9. Red Scorpion (1988)

    Dolph Lundgren plays a Soviet Special Forces operative that fails in his mission to infiltrate and kill a rebel leader in Africa. When his own command sentences him to die, he manages to escape. A native helps him survive, and teaches him how to be a better person, essentially.
    Not a bad movie, but not my favorite Lundgren film. A slight recommendation for fans of Rambo 3 and Commando.

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  10. Band of the Hand (1986)

    The opening scene looked like something out of Death Wish 3: Assignment Miami Beach, so right away I was hooked. That being said, this is not exactly the 80s-street-gang-toughs-wage-war-on-drug-lords that the packaging suggests, instead it’s more of a neon-tinged Lord of the Flies for the majority of its running time.

    The aforementioned street toughs are taken from juvie and dropped (literally) in the middle of the Everglades where they’re taught to fend for themselves and live off the land by a Native American war veteran (Stephen Lang, who may be the palest person in the cast). It’s all very weird and could stand to be about 15min shorter, but there’s definitely fun to be had and it’s worth checking out for the mid-80s fashions alone. One of the main kids is introduced in a suit with shoulder pads that would make an NFL linebacker tell him to take it down a notch. Bonus points for a killer title song performed by Bob Dylan and the Heartbreakers. Happy Junesploitation, all!

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  11. Happy Junesploitation, you filthy animals.

    Red Heat (1988, dir. Walter Hill)

    I picked it just because it's an '80s Arnold movie I'd never seen, but the fact that it's Walter Hill was a cool surprise. A buddy cop flick about a Soviet Captain from Russia (Arnold) and a not-so-good Chicago cop (Jim Belushi) who struggles with being too horny. The movie is fine. It's a little low on charisma since Arnold is dialing the charm way down and Belushi does get a little annoying. I would say my favorite performances were from Gina Gershon and Peter Boyal. The action is decent.

    Excited for what's coming next!

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    1. Fine is a good description for it, Daniel. Red Heat does not stand out from other action films of the time.

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    2. Nah. When it comes to lower-tier ‘80s Arnold I’d take Raw Deal over this any day.

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    3. Raw Deal is the most obscure of Arnold's '80s films to me. I saw that as a young kid.

      If Jim Belushi was not involved, I probably would have liked Red Head better. After a while, I became more interested in the visuals to take my focus away from him. You are right about Arnold dialing down his persona. There is better stuff out there to watch.

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  12. Courier of Death (1984) Dir. Tom Shaw

    How have I not seen this gem?! Absolutely inept, endlessly quotable revenge action flick about a "Courier" who's wife is murdered and he goes after the fuckers. Non-stop violence, terrible acting and batshit illogic, this is exactly the kind of 80's action flick that I love. One of my new favorites and highly recommended!

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    1. That was Karl Malone's nickname before someone finally told him chill out.

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    2. I watched it on VHS but it is on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EAkBs7IfmY Don't let the runtime fool you, it's only 90 minutes.

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    3. Patrick - just checked also, the YouTube is a rip of the Lightening Video VHS so all good. I know you don't really like YouTube but from what I know this film was never released on another format other than tape. I should send you a VCR, I have 5 of them haha (not kidding)

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  13. The Raiders of Atlantis (I predatori di Atlantide) (1983, dir. Ruggero Deodato)

    So there's a submarine that somehow causes an earthquake which raises the lost continent (or small island) of Atlantis to the surface. I think. Then the majority of the runtime is innocent people attacked by a Mad Max-inspired motorcycle gang that presumably came from Atlantis. Or not. And when our heroes finally get to Atlantis... something happens.

    I don't know what's going on here. It's weird, it's Italian, it's prime Junesploitation!

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    1. Plan to rewatch this again since I fell asleep during part of this last June. Still loved it though!

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    2. As long as you take Raiders for what it is, you will be entertained. I still cannot figure out how a motorcycle gang existed thousands of years ago. I remember there being a gang member with a fish bowl on his his head.

      The Oliver Onions theme song is very catchy.

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    3. Oh this movie is definetly going on the list.

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  14. Endgame: Bronx lotta finale (1983)

    It's 80's action, it's Italian, and it's post-apocalyptic. This non-Avengers, non-Highlander Endgame checks off a lot of Junesploitation boxes. The lead's acting ranges from terse and stoic, to stoic and terse. There's mutants with psychic powers. There's a show that's like a low-budget Running Man that you think will be the focus of the movie, but wraps up half an hour in. There's an endless horde of cloaked assassins, a motorcycle gang, and the movie ends on a freeze-frame. Despite not being a good movie by any metric with which most people judge quality, it was a good start to Junesploitation.

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  15. Not Another Mistake (1989, dir. Anthony Maharaj)
    Pretty bland Rambo rip off with not enough explosions. But once you see that Troma logo pop up, you know what you’re in for.

    Cobra Mission (1986, dir. Fabrizio De Angelis)
    Yet another ‘Namxploitation flick although this one was way better, plus featured a Donald Pleasence appearance and had a bit more fun to it with plenty more explosions to annoy your roommates.

    Invasion U.S.A. (1985, dir. Joseph Zito) Now we are putting on the ‘big boy’ pants so to speak. The opening shot of Chuck Norris riding an air boat sold me instantly. It’s like Death Wish 3 comes to Miami.

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  16. Commando (1985, dir. Mark L. Lester, on DVD)

    Pretty sure most F-heads have seen this. I saw it a bunch of times growing up but hadn't seen it in at least 10 years. It definitely holds up. Supremely entertaining, Arnold is great, Vernon Wells gives a truly bizarre performance, the action is over the top. What stood out to me the most this time was Rae Dawn Chong. Her character doesn't have much to do but she brings a lot to it, and has a ton of charisma. Junesploitation is off to a great start!

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    1. This always bugged me about Commando, RDC is like 20 feet away when Arnold gets busted stocking up, and she gets to keep everything?!??

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  17. Class of 1984 (1982)

    I fell in love with Class of 1999 last year and I've been waiting for the perfect time to watch this. I was not disappointed. 1982 was a hell of a year. The older I get, the more I enjoy asshole kids get their comeuppance. If you get a chance, check out both 84 and 99. The former takes the teacher's perspective and the latter takes the student's. Can't wait to check out Class of 1999 II: The Substitute...why not call it Class of 2014? I'm sure there's a reason.

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    1. Thanks for the reminder I need to watch this!. Thus has been sitting in my stack for months!

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  18. Road House (1989)

    First time viewing!! I digitally recorded this a few months ago in the hopes that I would finally get around to watching it someday. When I saw Patrick's #Junesploitation post, I realized I could use it for Day One! The movie's fairly ridiculous (is this why MacGruber has the running joke about a "throat rip"?), but I was overcome by the sense of how cool it used to be that they made movies with a batshit crazy premise like this. A bouncer gets recruited for a bar in another state because he's "the best"...? There is NO WAY this gets made today.

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    1. Dalton’s not a bouncer, he’s a cooler. He also says that “no one ever wins in a fight”, then proceeds to go 78-0 by pretty much beating up a whole town.

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    2. I think it could possible be made today and it would star Gerard Butler.

      I watched this for the first time for day one too. Finally get to mark that off the list.

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  19. Operation: Take No Prisoners (1987) Dir. Tom Shaw

    Shaw's only other film is nowhere near as fun as "Courier of Death". Some military guy kidnaps this family because he needs to get some invention. It's a road movie for the most part with shootouts that are uninspired and repetitive every 10 minutes. The main tough guy wears a Gilligan hat the entire movie and "Take No Prisoners" is an awful name for an Operation.

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  20. Missing in Action (1984)

    Chuck Norris movies are so freaking boring. Watching this was like taking a fistful of sleeping pills and trying to stay awake.

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    1. Chuck Norris knew about this exact post ten years ago. He wrote a rebuttal so perfectly, it can't be seen with human eyes. You can only feel it's presence.

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  21. Avenging Force (1986)

    Bringer of the bat-shit, Sam Firstenberg’s fifth consecutive home run as part of the Canon family. The first four being: “Revenge Of The Ninja”, “Ninja III: The Domination”, “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo” and “American Ninja”. Firstenberg seriously deserves more respect for crafting some of the most watchable, crazy-ass movies of the 80’s. “American Ninja” alumni Michael Dudikoff and Steve James are reunited another go-round. This may have one of the nuttiest bad guy crews that I have ever seen a movie. They even get the “getting ready for action” montage normally reserved for the hero. “Avenging Force” opens like a slasher pic, if there were 4 Jason’s. If this movie came out today, the evil organization “Pentagle” (great name) would probably be accused of being a thinly veiled dig at Trump & MAGA but this was 1986, Trump wasn’t even hosting Wrestlemanias yet. Pentangle’s got a problem with Steve James, who is running for the senate. Who would be dumb enough to threaten Kung-fu Joe? Pentangle, that’s who. James also has the most gratuitous non-Riverdale shirt removal that you may ever see. And then you have Dudikoff who is a cowboy that tucks his jeans into his combat boots. This dynamic duo has an amazing combat short-hand with hand signals and the like but can’t manage to say the word “improvise” in unison. It gets a little dark and mean-spirited about two thirds through, but a pretty decent finale redeems it. Least believable part: one of the villains is a heisman trophy winner from Harvard. Recommended for all fans of heavy action and heavy acting.

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    1. Firstenberg was a guest at the Night Visions film festival in Helsinki last year where they showed Avenging Force, and in several interviews he talked about how the movie's more relevant now than it was when it was made.

      Found the Q&A he made after the screening on YouTube, he talks a little about it there. If anyone's interested, here's the link. Just skip to about 5:30 if you don't want to hear a guy talk about the movie in Finnish.

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    2. I just watched it. Thanks for setting that up. I’m surprised that the guy that directed Electric Boogaloo is so grounded in reality. My Kino Blu-ray has a commentary with Firstenberg and Dudikoff, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

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  22. Roadhouse (1989)

    Patrick Swayze's Pleated Pants star in this telling of a story that's as old as time - a bouncer moves to a different state to "clean up" a bar (aptly named the Double Duece since all the patrons there don't give two shits!) and proceeds to piss off the local wealthy dude who controls the town and also fucks that one lady from Curley Sue. Also, there's a bad guy who drives a monster truck around AS HIS EVERYDAY VEHICLE. The gas mileage must be terrible.

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    1. I wonder how much a gallon of gas cost in '89? To run to the store in your monster truck to pick up some milk or commit as many acts of arson you want without having to budget?? Can you just imagine?

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  24. For Your Height Only (1980)

    Starting my south Asian double-feature, this Bond spoof stars international man of dimunity, Agent Double-0, played adeptly by Indonesian Superstar, Weng Weng. Everything from the quips to the score steal directly from Bond, with some hilarious colloquialisms dubbed in. Honestly pretty repetitive, with some impressive stunts by the actor himself (imagine trying to find a stuntman for Weng Weng). But as Matt Gourley would say, "Bond at it's worst is better than most movies at their best".

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  25. Blue Thunder (1983)

    Roy Scheider and Daniel Stern, who looks like an infant, are coppers in choppers(sorry). Warren Oates as captain Jack Braddock. Malcolm McDowell as Col. Cochrane. A lady doing yoga on a roof. Scheider versus McDowell in a helicopter fight. '83 was a rough year but this wasn't bad. Scheider makes everything a little better.

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    1. This is actually one of my favorite 80s action flicks; the Scheider and company being a big reason why. But the helicopter action is top notch (and some insane use of miniatures and remote control helicopters)

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  26. Missing in Action (1984)

    Chuck Norris is on the case to clear his name and rescue soldiers secretly held by Vietnam. (I'm not sure why the soldiers are being held or what the Vietnamese government is getting out of this.) The real war crimes are how little James Hong we get and whatever happened to Lenore Kasdorf's hair. Zing.

    This was a recent blind buy for me from Hamilton Books. It's hard to pass up a cheap Shout! Factory BD.

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  27. Commando (1985)

    As much of Arnold fan as I am, I’ve never actually watched this whole movie, and now I’m just mad at myself. This was just an awesome ‘80s action movie. Entertaining throughout, over the top violence, and cheesy one liners. So great. Also, I think Patrick has made this point this before, but I’m really starting to realize how underrated a director Mark L. Lester is.

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    1. Commando for me has always felt like the ultimate 80s action movie. It has everything you could possibly want and expect. The international standard of 80s action.

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    2. Lindsay, that’s exactly what I was thinking as I was watching it! Like if you designed the ultimate 80s action movie, Commando is what you would come up with and it’s awesome haha.

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  28. Lone Wolf McQuade (Steve Carver, 1983)

    I kicked off Junesploitation with an old favorite to set the tone. Lone Wolf McQuade plays almost like an American Spaghetti Western. It's got a Francesco De Masi score and Peckinpah stock players R.G. Armstrong and L.Q. Jones. I think it would have fit in perfectly, wedged in between a couple oat operas, but I've been itching to rewatch this for almost a week, and I couldn't wait another three days. The '80s were the cutoff point for Prime Chuck, and Lone Wolf McQuade is an example of him at his best. It's been said Lone Wolf McQuade paved the way for Walker, Texas Ranger, but there's really no comparison. I say stick with McQuade. He gets to square off against David Carradine, and who wouldn't like to see Chuck Norris square off against David Carradine? What should also be of particular interest for Eighties genre fans (and I'm probably preaching to the choir but I'm going to say it anyway) is the inclusion of Friday the 13th Part 3's Dana Kimmell as Chuck's daughter, and Night of the Comet's Robert Beltran as Chuck's eager partner and unappreciated
    sidekick.

    An interesting observation I've made revisiting this and watching a handful of Eighties movies in the past few months is how much the culture has returned to Eighties era politics, in movies and in real life. The hot button topics of the Eighties are hot button topics today. If the movies are a reflection of what is most prevalent in the zeitgeist at the time they were made, not a lot seems to have changed in the last thirty years, which I find disheartening. Three steps forward, two steps back.

    Extreme Prejudice (Walter Hill, 1987)

    I've had this movie in my collection for years and I'm just getting around to seeing it now. Which is embarrassing, because this movie rocks, and it's been sitting around in a Sterilite container, unwatched, for way too long.

    Since this was a first time watch for me, pairing it with Lone Wolf McQuade wasn't something I planned, and yet it works so very well. This is Walter Hill riffing on Peckinpah. In fact, the ending goes full-on Wild Bunch!

    I mean, this friggin' cast: Nick Nolte. Powers Boothe. Michael Ironside playing typical smarmy, Eighties Michael Ironside. Maria Conchita Alonso. Rip Torn. Clancy Brown. William Forsythe. Larry B. Scott (Lamar from Revenge of the Nerds). Tiny Lister. Marco Rodriguez (Cobra, The Crow, Nightcrawler, a first season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Arsenal of Freedom," and apparently a role in Tarantino's forthcoming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). Mickey Jones (who might've been connected to Michael Ironside at the hip for most of the Eighties). Lin Shaye. This cast is just full of recognizable faces from beginning to end.

    I don't want to give too much away for anyone who hasn't seen this, but Powers Boothe is a money launderer dealing in guns and drugs out of Mexico, and Nick Nolte is the Texas Ranger and childhood friend of Boothe who is tasked with bringing him in dead or alive; and Ironside leads a gang of off the grid mercs who want to do the same. John Milius has a co-story credit, and I found out he also contributed an uncredited rewrite on Lone Wolf McQuade! And my pairing couldn't have been more random!

    It's become public knowledge that 45 minutes were deleted, deleting an entire subplot featuring Andrew Robinson. While I can't see putting all that back in being a good idea (I don't even know how it would work, the film works perfectly at its current length), I'm still curious to see it.

    Extreme Prejudice would also make a great double feature with Oliver Stone's U-Turn, if not solely for Nick Nolte's and Powers Boothe's roles in both films, but the real life confrontation between Maria Conchita Alonso and Sean Penn.

    I almost feel like popping in U-Turn now.

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    1. Thanks for picking up the Vargas slack, Giammarino! Haha

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    2. I was afraid of that... but I couldn't help it.

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    3. haha! Just messing, man!

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  29. Cherry 2000 (1987)

    What would you do if you came home and your wife short circuited? You hire Melanie Griffith to take you through the desert to find the original wife. Some of that might be incorrect. Oh and Melanie Griffith looks like a fraggle. I want to say his name was Gobo.

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  30. The Punisher (1989)
    I couldn't think of a better way to start the month. I love the 1989 Punisher.
    It has everything I want in '80s action:
    Almost silent brooding hero, check.
    Frustrated Detective, Check.
    Ninjas, check.
    And, Unpopular opinion inbound, of the Punisher Films, this sits squarely at number two for me. Bested only By Warzone, and with the Thomas Jane version a distant third for me.



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    1. Thomas Jane played a great Frank Castle, but the movie/actors surrounding him made for a weak "Punisher" movie. Still haven't seen "Warzone," but that will be remedied this month. :-P So Dolph's "Punisher" wins, but it's not by default. I fell in love with this one from the moment the director wanted to sell me that Frank Castle sits buck naked in swirl-colored sewer tunnels meditating about his dead family. So what if Dolph never wears the freaking skull t-shirt? Any movie in which national treasure Louis Gossett Jr. punches a thug's lights out to steal his pizza is aces in my Junesploitation! book. ;-)

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  31. Invasion USA (1984)

    Chuck Norris' exile in the swamp is ruined by terrorists that try to take over America. There are explosions galore and its fun for every second.

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  32. Pray for Death (1985)
    Despite being a die-hard Sho Kosugi lover I had never watched this one since I knew it had been cut to shreds to get an R rating. Luckily Arrow put out the unrated version on a beautiful blu-ray so I finally got to see it. And man, it did not disappoint. This may be the ultimate Kosugi movie. It's essentially the same movie as Revenge of the Ninja but with a much nastier villain and a much cooler ninja ensemble for Sho. If you have any love for 80's ninja flicks this one is a must.

    City Ninja (1985)
    Man, I don't even know what to do with this one. A Korean/HK joint venture this thing is a crazy mess. I don't even know how to explain the plot since it's basically two separate movies until the final 20 minutes. That being said, the fighting is actually incredibly well done and worth a watch. Plus there's copious sex if that's your thing, including sex on a rowing machine (sure that's not covered under the warranty). The Mill Creek DVD I watched looked like a 17th gen VHS dub, but that kind of added to the crazy. Don't think I liked it but it's definitely Junesploitation worthy

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  33. 1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS (1982)
    Take Escape From New York, combine it with The Warriors, then dip it in ‘80s music video style. The characters have names like “Ogre,” “Trash,” and “Hotdog,” because that’s the type of movie this is. Lots of action and fights and skull-motorcycles. You might be thinking the futuristic 1990 date is silly, but I suspect that this might be the same crime-ridden NYC of the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But seriously, a terrific start to this year’s #Junesploitation!

    Bonus #Godzillasploitation: GOJIRA (1954)
    The original pre-Raymond Burr classic. While the giant monster action is of course the highlight, I really liked the human characters’ struggling with their moral quandary. When faced with a destructive force, is it right or wrong to use a destructive force of your own? And then, because I’m me, I also watched the Americanized version. Mostly the same movie, really, but you’ve got to hand it to Raymond Burr to tackling this material with such earnestness instead of (almost literally) phoning it in.

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  34. The Patriot (1986) Dir. Frank Harris
    ummmmmm it's a movie.
    It doesn't quite fall into the "it's so bad it's good" category.

    Lifted from wiki:
    Starring: Gregg Henry, Simone Griffeth, Michael J. Pollard, Jeff Conaway, Stack Pierce, Leslie Nielsen.

    A gang lead by a man called Atkins steal nuclear weapons from a storage facility in the desert. A burnt out former Navy SEAL and Vietnam vet who was previously dishonorably discharged is contacted by his former commanding officer to help retrieve the weapons.

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  35. The Running Man (1987)

    Believe it or not, I had never seen this movie before. In general, my ‘80s action knowledge is weak—I wasn’t alive and nobody really introduced me to them. Anyway, there is a lot to love here. Based on a Stephen King novel, it’s set in 2017 and feels like it could have come out then, too. It’s set in a post-truth world, and the media is complicit in it. Not the best one-liners I’ve ever heard, but I’ll take ‘em. Also, “Cadre Cola?” Great name.

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    1. There is nothing wrong with that, Michael. You are getting introduced to the films now.

      The Running Man is a film I grew up with, and I read the novel, as well. Beyond the game show plot, there are few similarities with the book. (The ending of the novel echoes the 9/11 attacks, actually.) That reality TV angle definitely speaks more about the modern media than the media of the 1980s.

      The bad one-liners are part of the fun.

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  36. Next of Kin (John Irvin, 1989)

    If I had known Next of Kin was a hicksploitation movie with Liam Neeson taking revenge on the mafia family who killed his hickerbilly brother Bill Paxton, I would've sought this movie out sooner. Oh yeah, Patrick Swayze's in it too.

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    1. With full blooded Italian mobster Ben Stiller!

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    2. I know, right? How odd was that? And he learned the hard way Adam Baldwin is no bodyguard.

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  37. The Executioner Part II (1984)

    I have no words.

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  38. Mystics in Bali (1981)

    Movie 2 of my south Asian double-feature. So, maybe it's not so much an eighties action movie as it is a poorly paced supernatural horror flick. Doesn't matter, still great, has a fireball fight in it, and it ends with a magic beam battle. Fun trashy movie, just eat before you get there.

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  39. Rambo: First Blood (1982)

    First-time watch for me and I loved it! It actually had a lot more complexity than I expected, but was still jam-packed with all the best 80s Action tropes and a bunch of the best genre faces. Stallone is at the top of his game. Highly recommended to the four other people in the world who haven't seen it!

    Great start to the month!

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    1. It’s weird that a movie can launch one of the biggest franchises of all time yet still feel underrated, but that’s how I feel about First Blood. It gets so overshadowed by the cartoonishness of the sequels that people seem to forget how solid and surprisingly thoughtful a movie it is (and how low a body count it has, I think only one person dies if I remember correctly). Great movie.

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  40. Battletruck (aka Warlords of the 21st Century) (Harley Cokeliss, 1982)

    Too much bad talking and story, but when it's just roaming the New Zealand landscape with a big truck driving thru structures, or horses pulling a VW bus, or cool guys on motorcycles, it's kinda fun! Worthwhile finale.

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  41. Miami Connection (1987)

    Should've saved this one for music video day, in hindsight.

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  42. Cyborg (1989)

    I have no idea what the movie was about, but boy did those fight scenes kick all the ass. But seriously, what was the story?

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    1. I rewatched it awhile back and was shocked that i remembered it as being coherent. It still rules though.

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  43. Jake Speed (1986)

    Poorly named, so-called comedy adventure has the most languid pace of any action film that I have ever seen. This also might be the only film in history where the main villain is also the comic relief?

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    1. Comedy relief and the main villain? Mr Freeze in Batman & Robin.

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  44. Wheels on Meals (1984)
    How am I surprised about how great Jackie Chan is every time I see another Jackie Chan movie? Plus, Sammo Hung. This was a lot of fun. Chan jump kicked a guy off of a dirtbike.

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    1. If I knew this was on Prime, it would have been my choice for day 1. I feel like a failure right now. Glad you liked it and I'll have to check it out soon.

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  45. Southern Comfort (1981)

    With the wave of 80s fetishization that's gone on the last few years, I'm surprised Walter Hill hasn't gotten his due appreciation (outside of F This Movie). One of the greats, and a great only-kinda-sorta action movie to boot.

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  46. Invasion USA (1985, dir. Joseph Zito) Chuck Norris will always be the worst. God bless Joseph Zito and Richard Lynch for elevating this to Cannon canon.

    Jake Speed (1986, dir. Andrew Lane) Took a chance on this because I wanted something the kids could watch. It didn’t pay off. There’s a good premise and some decent bits, but as JB already said, it drags too much to work as it should.

    Ninja Busters (1984, dir. Paul Kyriazi) Only the first day of Junesploitation, but this is the bar to clear. Reminds me of Miami Connection in its “we know karate, let’s put on a show” vibe. I miss Kathy.

    Avenging Force (1986, dir. Sam Firstenberg) I remain an unabashed fan of Sam Firstenberg and Steve James, but I’m not all the way in on Dudikoff. The stuff that’s great in this movie is so great.

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  48. Long time lurker and fan of the podcast.

    For day one I went with Running Man(1987 dir Starsky) MarĂ­a Conchita Alonso is a composer for the hottest networkin the country. Alonso meets Arnold Schwarzenegger when he mistakes her apartment for his brothers apartment. Zany hijinks ensue when Arnold and Maria become contestants on the networks number one show. Its a wild and wacky ride through a run down neighborhood featuring some larger than life co-stars you'll never forget!

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  49. Ninja Busters - When it comes to exploitation movies, it pays to blindly trust Patrick. This movie is really fun and just what I needed yesterday.

    Avenging Force - Started just okay but really picked up steam by the end where there's some great action sequences. Kudos to the lead villain on his death gasp.

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  50. Red Dawn (1984)-
    I had originally planned on watching Death Wish 3 for the first day of Junesploitation, but I had to watch whatever I was going to pick on a train, so I figured the PG-13 rated Red Dawn was a better choice (I still plan on throwing on Death Wish 3 for a Free Space double feature at some point). As for Red Dawn, it starts off like gangbusters, but man does it waste so much of that cast. Sheen really isn't given much to do, and Jennifer Grey and Lea Thompson are similarly wasted. I really liked Swayze though, and Ben Johnson, Powers Boothe and Harry Dean Stanton show up to steal every scene they're in. It's worth a watch, but I didn't end up super impressed with anything here.

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  51. Conan the Barbarian (1982)

    "I used to be an adventurer like you until I took a snake to the knee."

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  52. Better late than never I suppose.

    SAVAGE DAWN (1985, 102 min.) on Con TV for the first time.

    The ineptitude of low-budget director Simon Nuchtern ("Silent Madness") constantly shackles "Savage Dawn's" repeated attempts to emerge as the great low-budget action flick it could have been if a genre filmmaker with a vision (a Raimi type) had been in charge. Owing a lot to Italian post-apocalyptic "Mad Max" rip-offs (not to mention 70's exploitation classics like 1976's "Vigilante Force"), "Savage Dawn" wastes no time setting the small Texas town of Agua Dulce as a shithole ripe for picking by a gang of ruthless bikers. Only retired weapons expert Tick Rand (a top-billed George Kennedy), his grown kids and visiting best pal ex-soldier Stryker (Lance Henriksen showing off a blonde dye job) can stop them. But that can only happen if Tick's cute grown-up daughter Katie (Claudia Udy) stops making too-obvious "let's f***!" come-ons to Stryker, which our reluctant hero doesn't follow through (thank God!) but is clearly intrigued and turned on by (EEEEEWWWW-SPLOITATION! :-O).

    A lot of screen time is devoted to the Savage bikers and the townie-waitress-turned-batshit-crazy-turncoat Rachel (Karen Black) stealing a tank from the Army and wrecking havoc on Agua Dulce. Fine by me because that's more time spent with William Forsythe test-running the a-hole villain role he'd go on to perfect six-years later in the Junesploitation! 1991 one-two punch of "Out for Justice" and "Stone Cold." I love Lance Henriksen, but Stryker's reluctance to heed the hero's call to action pisses me off because it results in the needless death of a character. As an 80's action revenge thriller "Savage Dawn" is a mediocre-but-fun film. Good-enough for Junesploitation! I suppose, but I'd so want for Millennium Films and Lionsgate to remake this as part of their annual 'Violent Cartoon Porn for Grown-Ups' theatrical release pattern ("The Hitman's Bodyguard," "Hunter Killer," "____ Has Fallen," etc.). Worth seeing.

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