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shit you should read: Mark L. Lester analysis

tn_commandoJohn Cribbs over at thepinksmoke.com did a new interview with b-movie great Mark L. Lester. Lester doesn’t seem to get alot of credit or attention, but I figure if one guy directed COMMANDO, CLASS OF 1984, CLASS OF 1999 and SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO then it can’t be a fluke. John uses the occasion to go through most of the Lesterography. He offers some interesting analysis of reoccurring themes and has me interested in checking out alot of the ones I haven’t seen, even some recent DTV suspense thrillers.

I love this kind of shit. Check it out when you have a few minutes. Here’s the link: MARK L. LESTER: THE MOVIES

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13 Responses to “shit you should read: Mark L. Lester analysis”

  1. Rudolf Klein-Rogge

    December 8th, 2011 at 2:26 am

    Thanks for the link! Looks like an excellent read.

  2. Didn’t realize the guy is so prolific. I now have STUNTS en route.

    I like how Cribbs incredulously praises a lens flare and then compares a shot in FIRESTARTER to a great Jean Vigo scene. That’s my kind of observationalism.

  3. Larry Cohen & Mark Lester “both have that same sensibility of exploitation.” That’s what we need these days in Badass Cinema. I like the Robert Rodriguez efforts, the exploitation homages, but the ironicalness of his work can be grating when there’s no pure exploitation stuff out to keep it real.

    Also the concept of a COMMANDO remakequelboot angers me and makes me want to headbutt someone. Preferably Marcus Nispel.

  4. sorry, I love Commando as much as the next guy, but before we heap too much praise on this guy remember he also directed this http://www.everythingisterrible.com/2011/09/class-of-1984-commandopterodactyl.html

  5. Rudolf Klein-Rogge

    December 8th, 2011 at 5:08 am

    Vern: As you mention both Class of 84 and 99, I hereby recommend CLASS OF 1999 II: THE SUBSTITUTE. It’s your ordinary “teacher has to fight/kill non-obedient murderous students” movie, only this time the teacher is not human. Shasha Mitchell, of STEP BY STEP and KICBOXER 2-4 fame, stars as the cyborg substitute teacher doing all kinds of superhuman stuff. The big twist, if I recall correctly, is (SPOILER, obviously) that it turns out he’s not a cyborg after all, just an ordinary human being led to believe he’s a cyborg. Pretty awesone, IMO.

    Speaking of Lester AND Larry Cohen: Has anyone here seen MISBEGOTTEN? I remember watching parts of it on TV in my early teens, while vacationing with my family in Barbados. All I remember is the nudity. Did not know he directed NIGHT OF THE RUNNING MAN. Had that on VHS, and remember it fondly.

  6. This was a great read. It could have used a little more of Lester himself, who comes off in interviews as extremely sweet-natured for someone who’s been in the film business for 40 years, but it’s nice to see someone really putting the elbow grease into exploring an underlooked but undeniably impressive body of work. I’ll always check out Lester’s movies, no matter how shitty they look, because I know he’ll find what works about this concept and squeeze every drop of entertainment out of it that he can.

  7. Excellent read, agree with Majestyk though, I was expecting more of atypical Q&A interview, but it was great to get an over view of the man’s career. Commando is a perfect exploitation action film, and has to be considered the prototypical vehicle for Arnie’s subsequent guns & puns career. I’ve a soft spot for ‘Armed and Dangerous’, hadn’t a notion it was a Lester film until I read that article. Meg Ryan’s best film…

  8. I freaking love Armed and Dangerous. I used to watch it during the summers because I was out of school and it was always on cable. I can’t believe i’ve never seen the “Class of” movies. I need to get on that. Misbegotten sounds interesting.

  9. I didn’t realise he also directed ‘Night Of The Running Man’, that is a great movie, the ‘hobbling’ scene is horrific and is the first time I ever saw somebody pass out through pain on film. Scott Glen is a great badass character actor. ‘Stunts’ and the ‘Class Of’ movies are now on my radar.

  10. I’ve never heard of NIGHT OF THE RUNNING MAN before. I dunno if I want to look it up, because it’s probably not going to live up to my mental image of Arnold Schwarzenegger fighting zombies in a televised game show, possibly aided by Jesse Ventura who’s only doing it because it’s “Code of the Gladiators!”.

  11. The recent “I Want My MTV” book covers Fincher and Bay with their own chapters. Fincher grew next to George Lucas, so thats how he got his start doing effects before directing. Too bad Lucas didn’t let him do what he wanted with the prequels.

  12. Yeah props on that link cause this is pretty interesting shit.

  13. As big of a Mark Lester fan as I am, I still have to laugh at his comment about how the effects in PTERODACTYLS are as good as JURASSIC PARK’s.

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