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Friday, July 17, 2009

The Roundtable: Week 11 - Your Contributions

"Since I've been watching loads of 80's action movies recently, simply tell me a few of your favourites when Sly, Ahhnold and many others ruled the cinema?"

Matt McAllister (Total Sci-Fi Online)

I’m going to weigh in with Lone Wolf McQuade, possibly Chuck Norris’s finest hour. Norris never quite had Arnie or Sly’s presence or way with one-liners, but he had a ridiculous, grizzly charm all of his own.

My second choice is China O’Brien, starring the imitable Cynthia Rothrock as the karate-kicking ex-cop out to avenge her father’s death. Somebody needs to make China O’Brien III, and they need to make it now!

James Kloda (Rusty Shrapnel)

Muscles rippling like freshly-netted tadpoles and greased like deep-fried haggis, the '80s action-movie star stands as a square-jawed monument to masculinity, machismo and the mullet. Bad hairstyles rule these pictures far more than body oil and bicep brawn. Sly Stallone's saliva-wetted curls in Cobra; Arnie's limp hippy locks in Red Sonja; Brigitte Nielsen in anything. But the crowned prince in all of these ventures is Troma's War. It's like a convention for Tygers Of Pan Tang enthusiasts. In the jungle. Short on the top and long at the back, the men look like the type of vacant beefcakes who could only ever kick sand in their own faces. The women are either scantily-clad hotties or cellulite-dripping, butt-kicking Milfs like an army of combat-Chers. With shoulder-length perms. The action is as suitably badass as the coiffures, Kaufman and co. needing only a hint of hormones to blow something up. The tagline asserts that Troma's War "makes Rambo III look like Lassie Come Home". Maybe. But at least collies have decent hair.

Douglas Waltz (Divine Exploitation)

Well you have already posted the pic of Stone Cold with The Boz. Does it get any better than that? Bikers, The Boz, Lance Henriksen, William Forsythe. This movie is epic!

Others might be;
Commando, I can't not watch this if it comes on television.
Escape From Ne York was so cool that I have the movie, the novel, the soundtrack (on vinyl) and the damned boardgame.
And with that Big Trouble IN Little China is magnificent.

But none of these compare to the magnificent epic-ness that is...
EYE OF THE TIGER starring the maniacal Gary Busey and the scene chewing of William Smith. This movie has it all. Guy coming home from priosn for a crime he didn't commit. Roving gangs of bikers who do what they want when they want and have the local law in their pocket. Yaphet Kotto tearing up the screen. The bikers dragging the coffin of Busey's wife back to his house and leaving it there. That's it! I gotta go watch this again right now. And the best character name ever. Buck Matthews! Yeah this flick rocks.

Kingmob (Dear Bastards)

This is a rather timely question, as I've also been re-watching a few action flicks myself recently, leaving the subject fresh on my mind. Going chronologically, the first big action flick I can recall seeing would be Rambo: First Blood Rat II, which I was able to con my mother into allowing me to see theatrically even though I was about 11, so it has a certain amount of nostalgia to me, though I think everything else on my list was most likely seen on home video.

The home viewing would include stuff like Aliens, Robocop, Predator and the first Die Hard film. I also have very specific memories of watching Lethal Weapon 2 over at a buddy's house while skipping school one afternoon, it might've been my first exposure to Riggs and Murtaugh, as I don't recall seeing the first film until much later, for whatever reason.

Definitely a heyday for fun, over the top action, with the CGI nonsense we have today, I don't think films like these will ever be made again.

Ian Price

Can't remember the years but I did enjoy Nighthawks, Blade Runner, North Sea Hijack, Ladyhawke, Midnight Run, Death Hunt, Runaway Train and Violent Cop. Highlander is in there somewhere as well as Southern Comfort.

Holger Haase (Hammer and Beyond)

Ooooh, too many to mention.

Off the top of my head (and I know I'll forget a good bunch) some of my absolute favourite movies of all time are TERMINATOR, ROBOCOP and DIE HARD. Other action faves by actors:

Chuck Norris: The Octagon, Missing in Action Sylvester Stallone: Rambo II Arnold Schwarzenegger: Red Heat Jean Claude Van Damme: Hmmm, I think he really only came into the scene in the 90s apart from Kickboxer and Bloodsport which I haven't seen. (Shame on me.) From his smaller parts of the 80s I'd go for Black Eagle

Let's not forget Michael Dudikoff in American Ninja. And also Red Dawn. And Enter the Ninja with Franco Nero.

You seem to focus primarily on the US Action flicks, but there were of course also lots of HK and Euro flicks of its ilk. To name but a few:
the Bronx Warriors and Thunder movies as well as all the John Woo stuff (my fave for the time: The Killer) or Ringo Lam's City on Fire.

I already know I'll be kicking myself for forgetting dozens of other worthwhile flicks once I read the other entries, but it sure was a fab decade for action films.

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