In their heyday MGM we a film company with clout. Owners of the James Bond Film licence with United Artists, as well as films such as the epic The Great Escape, The Pink Panther series and the Battle of Britain not to mention Sergio Leone’s 3 dollars trilogy. But then in the late 70’s and early 80’s something interesting happened, they started churning out cheesy low budget B-Grade action pictures with the film company Cannon along with producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, , the kind that would satisfy a drunken males Friday nights attention span. But thinking back these films did contain a certain charm (and dare I say it are a little underrated) but generally fell by the wayside of action films such as Rambo and Terminator because of their simplistic plots or terrible acting. I feel its my duty to get this films more attention, and make the men and women of this society we live in, revel in the first selection of some of the most enjoyable shitfests I have had the pleasure to view during many a drunken night. So sit back and read on lads and ladettes , beer and kebab in hand, ready to view some absolutely forgotten gems of bad action cinema.
I will start with an amazingly funny and cheesy action film from 1985, “Remo : Unarmed and Dangerous” (aka The Adventure Begins). This little ditty was based like Bond on a series of long running spy novels, MGM thought they had another long running series on their hands, unfortunately that was not the case as it didn’t seem to be very well received and not the franchise starter MGM were hoping for. But it does contain some impressive action sequences (what do you expect from director Guy Hamilton, the man who Bond on the map in the 60’s). It has the first (especially in my memory) bullet dodging scene 15+ years before The Matrix and Bulletproof Monk, as well as a climatic fight on the statue of liberty which although dated has to be seen to be believed (and again pre-dating X-Mens final third act by 16 years). This is one film that although has aged it does still retain its boys own adventure which is light-hearted and enjoyable, the training sequences are worth the price of the film alone.
For a Brief period in the mid-to late 80’s Michael Dudikoff released some interestingly cheesy action spectaculars. But his best film in my opinion (and copied almost identically for John Woo’s Hard Target) is “Avenging Force” a brutal but dated long forgotten action classic. There is some fantastic action sequences here, for instance the climactic fight in a rain covered forest between Dudikoff and a masked hunter which by today’s standards doesn’t seem on par with films like Blade or the multitude of films from Hong Kong action cinema, but it still contain likable elements, Dudikoff’s amazingly hammy acting (is that pig I smell) and nearly subpar martial arts skills before Jason Statham could even grunt and do a bad American accent, dated but enjoyable defiantly a drunken guy film if ever I have seen one
Invasion USA is another example of an absolute craptastic (and right wing) slice of 80’s fried gold, Chuck Norris against the Russian communists. Its overblown mindless action, chuck norris style. who needs the American armed forces when you have good ol’ chucky with a rocket launcher and wearing more denim then an 80’s pop video. I mean he blows a man up with a rocket launcher….I’ll repeat that….. .a face off not with guns , not with the power of the mind like a zen monk, and not by sparing his life but with a bloody great big a rocket launcher!! Like only Chuck Norris can… god bless the beardy nut kicker.
TO BE CONTINUED…… this blog will return in “THE REVENGE OF : WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE GOOD OL’ MGM / CANNON ACTION SPECTACULARS”