The Thing’s solo series in the early 80’s remains one of my favorites. It was a HUGE deal for me as a kid, seeing one of my favorite characters ever in his very own monthly series. Written by John Byrne and illustrated by Ron Wilson we got Ben Grimm finally in some pretty thrilling solo adventures. Originally even as a kid, I was a big fan of John Byrne’s artwork and I remember seeing that he wasn’t doing the art work, I was at first worried, but soon it was clear Wilson was one of the best at portraying The Thing. That’s something that’s even more apparent today with simplistic style, he add just the right amount of charm to Ben. This cover from 1983 from his 8th issue also features Joe Sinnot putting the finishes on Wilson’s work- it’s a real gem and really represents everything I miss about comic books today…..
Have you been waiting for the Beverly Hill’s Cop franchise to finally put out that fourth installment? Well, the wait is (sorta) over if you’ve never seen 1988’s ‘Hawkeye’ aka ‘Karate Cops’! Well I just checked this wildly ridiculous buddy cop flick on VHS and if you’ve ever been looking for more adventures with Eddie Murphy’s ‘Axel Foley’ then the wait is OVER! This movie has got the most convincing Eddie Murphy impersonator I’ve ever seen-he even looks just like him. Yeah Chuck Jeffreys will make you think you’re watching “Axel F” on a forgotten 80’s adventure. Though the movie’s budget is probably one tenth of the popular ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ franchise it actually delivers equal amounts of the real goods, in fact it’s probably better than any of the franchises REAL sequels!
We’ve got pretty much the ultimate buddy cop/martial arts team up here on display-which just wouldn’t be as ridiculously charming without the addition of co-lead George Chung who stars as Hawkeye. Talk about an interesting character, Hawkeye is no typical 80’s Asian stereotype, in fact it’s beaten into the audience’s head that he’s from Texas more than a dozen times. He’s got a hot head, cocky attitude and a huge chip on his shoulder along with his western fashion IE snazzy cowboy boots and giant western belt buckles. He’s quite the hotshot and it’s a boat load of fun to watch him in ass-kickin’ action as he’s ready to take a bite outta crime at the drop of a cowboy hat.
Things wouldn’t be nearly as fun though if Hawkeye didn’t partner up with Chuck Jeffrey’s Eddie Murphy clone Charles Wilson (I started just calling him Axel Farley) to kick all sorts of criminal scumbag butt. Yeah Jeffrey’s has got his Eddie Murphy look, mannerisms and joke’s down, so much so subconsciously I actually began to believe he was indeed Eddie. Well he was apparently so obsessed with impersonating Murphy he did it in 1987’s ‘Paper Dragons’ aka ‘Fight to Win’ check out this VHS cover- I’ve got to see this one! I’m pretty sure he might “do the Murphy” in most of the movies he starred in….
These two make a pretty stupid but entertaining pair too, it’s never a dull moment seeing their witty banter and it’s clear BOTH of them are wildly talented at karate. It’s really jam packed with over the top action sequences and dumb shootouts on the streets & hotels of 1980s Vegas. Basically its a revenge story, when Haweye’s partner is killed in a drug investigation, he’s out for bloody revenge, at first he and Charles (Axel Farley) are like oil and water but after assaulting each other a few minutes after getting paired up they’re suddenly getting along like two peas in a damn pod! These two numbnuts are a wild duo and it seems like George Chung who co-wrote, directed and starred in this got a kick out of having his character Hawkeye get racist stereotypes and insults hurled at him throughout, an interesting angle when you know he was behind a lot of the humor.
Somehow it all works- the cocky asian texan cowboy and the Eddie Murphy rip-off have WAY too much fun together on screen and the villains are also just as ridiculous as the heroes in the best ways possible. My only qualm was that I was hoping for a better karate fueled showdown, when the credits rolled I was a bit surprised it’d ended when it did. It felt to me like a chunk of the finale went missing- but all in all though the movie as whole still was pretty satisfying. I highly recommend this fun but idiotic buddy cop flick-especially if you’re a big Eddie Murphy fanatic! It’s got to be seen to be believed! Here’s the full movie right here:
‘G.I. Joe Action Stars’ cereal was quite a way to start your day off in 1985! Yes, if you ever dreamed of being like Duke, Sgt. Slaughter or heck even Rambo all you apparently had to do back then was grab a box of this likely highly unhealthy but flashy sugary meal to pump you UP from your local grocery store. I mean c’mon look at this damn box-it’s the food of true action heroes……obviously!
I’m not gonna lie, I want to order that G.I. Joe tee from the back of the damn box! And even better, it appears once you’re done stuffing your face with the yummy action star shaped “Cheerios” you can actually transform the cereal box into some sort of Cobra radio relay station?!! Break out the action figures ASAP!
Talk about getting your money’s worth! Also the commercial for this wicked cereal is the ultimate selling point, putting any kid who eats it on rip roarin’ adventure with the Joe’s!! Sign me up!
Interesting fun factoid, the character featured here named “Starbuster” only appeared in cartoon form in this one and only epic commercial!
You just gotta love a solid road trip flick and one of the best ones around is easily RACE WITH THE DEVIL. The 1975 horror action thriller hybrid that pits an RV against a wicked satanic cult! I’d say as far as 70s action horror films go this one is a huge home run, with a excellent cast of characters played by Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Loretta Swit (Hot Lips from M.A.S.H.) and Lara Parker. Road trip flicks just simply don’t get any better than this!
One thing I’ve always been a big fan of is a damn good road trip film and one with a giant ass RV is even better. Now add in an evil Satanic cult for the icing on the cake as well as some grade A car chases and we’ve got a bonafide cult (no pun intended) classic. Roger (Peter Fonda), along with his good buddy Frank (Warren Oates) are two hot shot motocross dudes who’re pumped to head out onto the open road with their wives Lara Parker (Alice) & Loretta Swit (Kelly) in their huge RV for some relaxation, drinkin’ and of course some motorbikin’!
Headed from San Antonio to the boonies of Texas, they stop off for the evening at a remote campsite. All seems fine when Roger & Frank decide to get wasted and hang outside under the moonlight to shoot the shit. All is not quiet though. They spot a Satanic cult across the river and witness a murderous ritual. They’re caught watching the Satanists devious ritual triggering a vicious game of cat and mouse on the highways and small towns of Texas. Roger, Frank, Alice and Kelly are on the run from a wicked cult who’s membership extends farther than they could ever imagine.
‘Race with the Devil’, directed by Jack Starrett, mostly know as a TV director, really hits all the right beats here. A sweet cast of likable characters are the perfect crew to root for making this easily one of the best road trip horror thrillers out there. Obviously the RV makes for the perfect cozy setting for a rad road adventure, and this thing is seriously decked out.
There’s so much to enjoy here as well for horror fans, the cult is creepy and relentless in a time where people couldn’t just pull out their phones for GPS or call the cops at any moment. In the 70s you had to have your wits and genuine ingenuity to escape an evil cult in hot pursuit. There’s not a dull moment here either, ‘Race with the Devil’ moves at a brisk pace and keeps you on the very edge of your seat until it’s final moments. It features cool locales, campsites, dive bars, trailer parks all host the intrigue, dread and even a few laughs along the way.
As soon as you settle back down to safety, something rears it’s head to remind you nothing can be trusted on the backwoods roads and our gang is in it for the long haul. It’s low on blood & gore but bursting with thrills, chills and some fucking great action sequences, proving you don’t always need a high body count to deliver a well crafted horror film. The 1970s were an awesome era for film, the fashion and the gritty realism make a movie like ‘Race with the Devil’ even more potent now in a sea of cheap looking modern bloated CG conveyer belt film making. It doesn’t get much better than THIS. There’s also a cool double feature blu ray from Shout Factory of it.
A largely forgotten independent horror anthology comic TALES OF TERROR was ingrained into my memory of my teenage self. Especially in the way it brings back that old nostalgia from the 1980s when I would go into the dingy comic book shops with my older brother, before comic book stuff was all the rage, I’d buy all of the Marvel stuff and he’d by lots of the weird Indy stuff! Titles like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (when they were weird and gritty), Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters, The Elementals, Deadworld and Tales of Terror from Eclipse Comics always stuck in my mind. Such beautifully creepy covers- This issue first issue from 1986 always stuck out in my mind, artist Eric Vincent of course killed it here! Dang I miss those days of being a nerd when it felt like you were uncovering hidden gems from a secret comic book diamond mine and comics felt edgy, underground, unique and somehow punk….
Some movies are just sooooo strange it’s hard to even describe the plot without sounding like you’re losing your mind! That would be most definitely be 1984’s FURIOUS! A movie I’m not sure was supposed to be as weird as it turned out to be? Fear not though I went back on the MOVIE MELT podcast and jumped deep into the void! It’s a strange So-Cal Martial arts adventure that feels like it takes place in an alternate reality, where everything is just slightly off with bizarre things going down on screen for no apparent reason and plot that seems to incorporate transforming people into chickens! Yeah, there’s a lot of chickens in FURIOUS as well as some, lets say “questionable” but entertaining martial arts battles to tantalize your mind!
I’m a big fan of dream-like movies and this one definitely feels pulled straight from the REM sleep arena for all to enjoy and try to make a lick of sense of! Could FURIOUS be the most dream-like film off all time? Should Christopher Nolan have taken notes from this one before directing ‘INCEPTION’? I personally think so! I mean people transform into pigs for no reason, take that ‘Inception’!!
If you’re a fan weird forgotten action cinema this episode will not disappoint! We get DEEP into the meanings all the onscreen nonsense, talk about cool movies you need to check out and even have a “chicken themed” battle of the bands competition!! Plus soooo much more cinematic trash to load your brain with than you ever imagined possible! Check out the EPISODE RIGHT HERE!!! Oh and if you want to experience the strange world of Furious, the whole damn thing is right here on Youtube!
So we all just saw how ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ cleaned up at the Oscars last night and all were basically brought to tears with Huy Ke Quan’s acceptance speech for BEST supporting actor. I predicted this all after walking out of the theater, it’s one of the most unique movies I’ve seen in a long time and it’s so nice something that awesome and original actually win. Well to all you new Ke Huy Quan fans you’re probably wondering where to go next?! Well most people only know him from this latest endeavor and of course The Goonies and Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom. Well get ready to go deep down the Ke Quan rabbit hole, there’s another awesome movie of his that’s almost entirely forgotten, way back from 1991: BREATHING FIRE!!!
As you all saw in “Everything Everywhere” Huy is quite the martial artist and if you really wanna see just how long he’s been kicking ass ‘Breathing Fire’ will give you a serious dose of his wild physical talent. Take note though, it’s not an Oscar worthy flick-but it’s so much damn fun to watch unfold. It’s got a pretty wild plot too: Mike, A Vietnam vet martial arts master with two teenage sons, one being Ke Quan, decides to take part in bank heist with a ruff n’ tumble gang of criminals and the bank manager himself. To make sure no one double crosses, Mike makes a special very special set of keys, ensuring that the secret safe for the riches can only be opened if every member of the gang are all there in person.
Unfortunately the bank manager, suddenly has second thoughts and tries to back out of the deal. Mike along with his gnarly gang decides to put a hit out on him. Hisdaughter who’s on to his criminal behavior, luckily, gets hold of the key, runs for help to one of her father’s old friends, Vietnam vet and a former war pal of Mike. That’s not enough though to take on this crew of wicked gangsters lead by none other than Bolo Yeung! They also need to employ the martial arts skills of the Ke Huy Quan and his step brother, both who happen to be teenage kickboxing masters!!
Breathing Fire is such a damn good time, it’s a cult classic in waiting, especially now since Ke Huy Quan is on top of the world. I expect this one to likely get a shiny new blu ray release some time in the near future-it certainly deserves one. It’s hits all the right beats of the late 80’s/early90s coming of age action comedy. It’s plot is unique enough too, with the villain actually being the kids father, which serves up a nice dramatic twist.
Also seeing the mighty Bolo Yeung as one of the main villains is the icing on the cake as well as seeing Quan going one on one with him is really history in the making now. It’s jam packed with charming but equally ridiculous dialogue, over the top gun play and some reallyimpressive choreography equivalent to stuff that Hong Kong studios were putting out at the time.
It’s a step above, despite being a lower budget endeavor, a lot of the American action films of the time, at least with the onscreen battles that unfold. There’s some truly bizarre plot twists as well as some surprising characters that enter the fold will likely leave you with a grin. With a lean run time of 85 minutes too this one wastes no time getting to the fun. Quan also shines again with his usual charisma and it’s really cool to see him at this age showcasing his chops-both physically and acting wise. I highly recommend getting onboard with Breathing Fire and spreading the word, I’m really surprised how under the radar this movie has remained. However, I’ve got a feeling it’s going to get cult classic status soon, with Ke Huy Quan back on top!!
Hey I’m back again with some cool damn covers of yesteryear & some of the best of the 80s hands down go to The Punisher Magazine! I’m definitely going to give props to The Punisher Limited series covers from Mike Zeck as some of the best of that decade but The Punisher’s Magazine continued that tradition flawlessly and some even rival Zeck’s masterpieces. Issue number 10 features Frank at his most pissed off! Check this one out from icon Joe Jusko:
Next we get what I think is the “Clint Eastwood” Punisher again from Joe Jusko:
And lastly the first issue of the mag is like the PERFECT continuation of the Zeck limited series from the man himself! Oh how I miss me some classic Punisher!!
Jennifer Lawrence for some reason appears to think she’s the world’s first female action star but there’s a treasure trove of lady badasses in cinema throughout the years to behold. Specifically Maria Ford in 1994’s highly underrated & essentially forgotten ass kicker ‘Angel of Destruction’. Ford goes full Jean Claude Van Damme here and it’s a riot as she beats the holy hell out of a plethora of low IQ (no offense if you have a low IQ, I certainly have one) meatheads (If you’re a meathead though too bad) hellbent on either killing her, mansplaining her or trying to pathetically get in her drawers.
Last time I saw Maria Ford was in ‘The Unnamable 2’ a sweet “better than the original” horror sequel from 1992, where she spends most of her time completely nude. Well she continues the tradition here, as she’s in her birthday suit quite a bit and even manages to beat down a gang of home invaders while donning only her g-string. Angel of Destruction is a fast paced, fairly idiotic actioner that’s a great schlocky time from ‘New Horizons Home Video’. Maria stars as a “tuff as nails cop” who’s sister is murdered by a deranged military vet-turned serial killer, obsessed with killing mob bosses, rockstars & random women, whom he role plays with as his “brides on a wedding night” and then murders them for his twisted kicks. When Maria’s sister becomes his next victim she jumps on the killer’s trail in a whirlwind of rage and teams up with her hunky detective boyfriend to kick and blast their way to ultimate justice.
The weirdo serial killer next targets an “on the rise” female pop singer, who’s hoping her latest music video (in which she performs entirely topless?!) will make her the next Samantha Fox and put her on MTV map to super-stardom. Guess that’s an interesting strategy?
Ford takes the job as the singers personal bodyguard to protect her and her voluptuous lady lover from the skeezy serial killer AND her disgusting Harvey Weinstien-esque manager. There’s some wildly entertaining fight sequences filled with broken tables, broken bottles, busted up chairs, roundhouse kicks, bar room brawls with big dumb bone-heads to get fully immersed in.
I really dig Maria’s performance here too, she’s easily the brightest bulb in a cast made up almost entirely of morons. The plot’s a lot of legit dumb fun and of course Ford is hott as hell and fully able to be quite convincing when giving a mad beatdown to dudes three times her bodyweight. There’s a cool showdown too and Maria gets to go the distance against the big baddie for the most part all by her lonesome.
I’m very curious if she delved into anymore cool sexy full on action flicks?! If so I’m game for more sweet 90s cheez! Someone wise up and give ‘Angel of Destruction’ a fancy blu ray already-Maria is a cult ballbuster here just waiting for a bigger audience
It’s just come to my attention that the highly underrated B-movie legend Steve Barkett (born in 1950) has passed away, the news via Jim Wynorski. I think it’s a sad day for anyone who knew of some his wildly entertaining movies and raw charisma as an actor. I only recently discovered his movies about 5 years ago but when I did it was a game changer. If you’re gonna start out anywhere with Steve I highly recommend Empire of the Dark his 1990 horror/action hybrid. He not only directed this movie but also starred in the leading role AND wrote the script. It’s a highly ambitious mix of horror fantasy, tuff guy action film and romantic comedy. It would make the perfect double feature with Evil Dead 2.
Yeah it’s THAT awesome and I know it’s saying a lot but I think Steve here oozes just as much charisma as Bruce Campbell in the leading role. He shines as the unlikely action hero who can somehow go “one on one” with the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dolph Lundgren.
Also for his budget he makes more than the most of just about everything in this movie from wild demonic set pieces in hell to crazy action battles. This is the one movie of his that I will watch over and over for the rest of my life.
He was a highly ambitious and incredibly inventive filmmaker, it’s a bit of a shame that his directorial output only manifested two movies, but both are awesome.
But don’t get me wrong he did so much more he starred in some other sweet B-movies in smaller roles like 1994’s Dinosaur Island, 1995’s Bikini Drive-In, 1993’s Dark Universe his other sole directorial post apocalyptic masterpiece The Aftermath (1982).
I’d always hope that he’d get behind the camera and in front of the camera in larger rolls a bit more in his later years, but hes left behind a some major league gems that anyone who’s a fan of low budget genre perfection must watch!
Steve will be remembered for all of the laughs and smiles he gave to all of us fans of these crazy movies- If you’re reading this post and you’ve never heard of him do yourself a favor and check out Empire of the Dark and The Aftermath ASAP! RIP Steve….