Have you ever noticed what a hell of year 1987 was for action movies? Not only did it give us several stone cold unimpeachable classics, but most of them have a distinct, super-charged, roided out, larger-than-life 1987ness to them that could only really happen at that moment on the verge of ’80s excess sugar crash, between everybody wanting to be RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II and everybody wanting to be DIE HARD. We had PREDATOR, ROBOCOP, LETHAL WEAPON and EASTERN CONDORS. And also we had THE RUNNING MAN, STEEL DAWN, WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE, AMERICAN NINJA 2, STEELE JUSTICE and MIAMI CONNECTION. Some day, after finishing some other passion projects, I’d love to write a book just reviewing all the action movies of 1987. Get the Pulitzer ready.
So whenever I come across something that seems like maybe I should see it and then I realize it was released in 1987, that moves it up the list. And I found this one that, while I’m not sure it’s on par with most of the movies on that list, it wouldn’t be too out of place either. It’s a special movie because it’s the only action vehicle for a unique talent named Tiana Alexandra, who was reportedly the first female student of Bruce Lee as well as the first Vietnamese-American to join SAG. She was in THE KILLER ELITE and then the mini-series PEARL and a couple other movies, but this is a full-on showcase for her talents written by her husband Stirling Silliphant, Academy Award winning writer of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, as well as student and friend of Bruce Lee who wrote him into the show Longstreet and the movie MARLOWE and concocted what became CIRCLE OF IRON with him. (He’s also the writer of VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED, SHAFT IN AFRICA, THE ENFORCER, and yes, 1987’s OVER THE TOP). (read the rest of this shit…)
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.