"We're still at war, Plissken. We need him alive."

"I don't give a fuck about your war... or your president."

Posts Tagged ‘Joseph Zito’

THE LAST SUMMER OF ’80s ACTION – Prologue / RED SCORPION

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

This year my summer review series will be a little different. I knew I had to write about the 30th anniversary of a certain culturally phenomenal event movie that gave the town of Hollywood an enema, taught us to keep bustin and set us on a path to pretty much our entire current era of entertainment. And when I looked at the other movies that came out that year it reminded me how different summer movies used to be, for better or worse. In those days they were less genre, less special effects, more straight ahead action. And it seems to me the summer of ’89 was a transitional period bridging the prevailing action movements of its decade to those of the next. So I’m going to be taking a look at 1989: The Last Summer of ’80s Action. (title pending)

Note: To help remind you and myself what it was like back then I’ll often be mentioning Billboard‘s #1 single for a particular week. For example, when RED SCORPION came out it was “She Drives Me Crazy” by Fine Young Cannibals.  But the truth is that’s not what I was listening to at the time. To re-create my summer of ’89 audio experience I’d have to get a portable radio with auto-reverse tape deck and listen to a dub of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back over and over all day every day.

PROLOGUE

The 1980s. A time of sweaty chests and bandoliers. Half a decade after the smash success of JAWS, summer was cemented as the go-to season for mainstream crowd-pleasing movies. For the purposes of this study I’ve chosen to define summer movies as anything released from the beginning of April to the end of August – the months when kids are out of school, with some leeway at the front for Spring releases intended to play well into the summer. (read the rest of this shit…)

Missing in Action

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

tn_miaI don’t know about you guys, but I’m still not a member of the Chuck Norris Fan Club. (Unless somebody got me a membership as a prank, but as far as I know that’s not true.) But I decided to watch his first movie with Cannon (a relationship that also produced a prequel, a sequel, a DELTA FORCE, a second DELTA FORCE, a job for his son on a third DELTA FORCE, and by far his most entertaining starring vehicle I’ve seen, INVASION U.S.A.). This one also has a political message based on a right wing pet cause, but it can’t quite match the outlandish cartoonishness of INVASION, and it’s much more emotionally manipulative. But I kinda enjoyed it.

The great music by Jay Chattaway (MANIAC, Star Trek: The Next Generation) gets your American flag erect during the Vietnam War opening where Braddock and his men patriotically terrorize some guerrillas until he decides to dive onto an enemy (and the camera) holding two grenades, only to wake up from a dream in the present. (read the rest of this shit…)

Invasion U.S.A.

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

tn_invasionusaIn honor of the historic first ever ACTIONFEST going on right now in Asheville, North Carolina, I thought I should watch a Chuck Norris picture. Mr. Norris is the recipient of the Actionfest Lifetime Achievement Award (and coincidentally brother of Actionfest co-founder Aaron Norris). For their retrospective they’re showing CODE OF SILENCE (Seagalogy p. 13-14) and BRADDOCK: MISSING IN ACTION III. Since I’d already seen CODE and didn’t have time to catch up with MIA 1-2 yet I followed your recommendations and went with INVASION U.S.A. I think the deciding factor was that Drew Barnhardt told me it was “Norris’s DEATH WISH III.” And Drew loves DEATH WISH III, I don’t think he’d throw that comparison out there lightly. He would be completely aware of all its consequences and implications. (read the rest of this shit…)

Red Scorpion

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

The other day I was reading an article about Jack Abramoff, the notorious Republican lobbyist at the middle of a bribery scandal that’s dragging down Tom Delay and supposedly ties in to at least 30 other DC ho’s. The whole thing is real complicated and the charge right now is for wire fraud but the investigation has brought to light all kinds of payoffs, exploitation of Native Americans, embarrassing racist emails and a supposedly coincidental death that anybody with at least one eye will notice appears to be a mafia style hit. We’re talking more corruption than even Senator Billy Jack probaly knew about.

Anyway, the particular article I read referred to Abramoff as a “former b-movie producer.” Holy shit! I thought. I guess I hadn’t been following this closely enough because I hadn’t heard that before. The trusty ol’ internet movie database explained that Abramoff had produced and wrote the story for the Dolph Lundgren picture RED SCORPION, not to be confused with RED SONJA, RED DAWN, RED SUN, RED EYE, THE RED VIOLIN, THE RED BALLOON, or Krysztof Kieslowski’s THREE COLORS: RED. He’s also credited as executive producer on RED SCORPION 2. That’s it although his brother Robert went on to produce a bunch of other movies I never heard of. (read the rest of this shit…)