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 What cult movies have you been watching lately?
Mark Tinta
Posted: Mar 21 2012, 08:49 PM


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ASSASSINATION (1987) - Watchable but mostly forgettable Charles Bronson outing was a PG-13 change-of-pace for the actor and gave him a chance to work with wife Jill Ireland one last time. Ireland was offscreen since 1982's DEATH WISH II and had been battling breast cancer since 1984. She was in good health again by the time of ASSASSINATION, and only appeared in one more film (a small role in the barely-released, Billy Graham-financed 1987 religious drama CAUGHT), before her cancer returned and she died in 1990.

Bronson is veteran Secret Service agent Jay Killian, assigned to protect incoming First Lady Lara Craig (Ireland), codenamed "One Mama." One Mama proves to be a bit of a feisty bitch, and doesn't feel like listening to Killian even when it becomes clear that someone is trying to kill her. But why? Killian and One Mama end up spending the second half of the film on the run cross-country, stopping to buy motorcycles in Kokomo, IN, an area that's curiously filled with palm trees and mountains on the horizon (there's also some visible palm trees in a few DC shots), from a team of assassins working for someone who ranks high in the government.

ASSASSINATION is very plodding, slowly-paced film that feels much longer than its brief 88 minutes. My dad and I saw this when it opened in January 1987 and I recall both of us being disappointed. I haven't seen it since then, and remembered almost nothing about it other than the terrible rug worn by Michael Ansara, playing a senator. I revisited MESSENGER OF DEATH last week, and the PG-13-rated ASSASSINATION feels even more like a bland TV-movie. Bronson gives it some life in his scenes with Ireland. No one ever accused Ireland of being a great actress, but Bronson loved her more than anything and he was clearly in good spirits being able to work with her. And Ireland has one legitimately hilarious bit where she's trying to dodge Bronson and disguises herself in a black wig and dances down the street. I think you can actually see her trying not to laugh. There's more (intentional) humor than usual here, especially with Bronson being aggressively pursued by his much younger partner Jan Gan Boyd, but sadly, it just never gets rolling despite a capable action director in ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE's Peter Hunt, who previously directed Bronson in 1981's DEATH HUNT. Also with Stephen Elliott as Bronson's boss (who gets a "No way that would fly today" throwaway line where he refers to the Asian-American Boyd as "Charlie Chan"), William Prince, Erik Stern, Peter Lupus, Frank Zagarino, and, in the film's oddest casting, Billy Hayes as one of the hired killers. Yeah...the subject of MIDNIGHT EXPRESS. THAT Billy Hayes. Harmless and not awful, but probably the weakest film from the Golan-Globus era of Bronson's career, despite some promising elements that just never quite come together.


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Marty McKee
Posted: Mar 21 2012, 09:16 PM


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ASSASSINATION was the first major release of 1987 and certainly the lamest of Bronson's Cannon films. I also saw this theatrically (and years later bought the DVD) and expected more from 007 director Peter Hunt. It was Hunt's last feature.


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Marty McKee
Posted: Mar 22 2012, 04:45 PM


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THE DELTA FORCE (1986)—Directed by Menahem Golan. Stars Lee Marvin, Chuck Norris, Robert Forster, Steve James, William Wallace. One of Cannon’s biggest hits teamed the studio’s biggest star—Chuck Norris—at the height of his big-screen popularity with Oscar-winning action icon Lee Marvin (THE DIRTY DOZEN) in the last film of his career. Producer Yoram Globus and producer/director Menahem Golan cast this right-wing comic book like an Irwin Allen disaster movie with an all-star roster of fading movies stars in supporting roles. As Sandra Bernhard once asked David Letterman, “Where else can you see Hanna Schygulla co-starring with Chuck Norris?”

Filmed in Golan’s home country of Israel, his and James Bruner’s screenplay bears similarities to the hijack of TWA Flight 847 a year earlier and the raid at Entebbe Airport in 1976. Lebanese terrorists led by Abdul (Robert Forster, JACKIE BROWN) take over an Athens-to-Rome passenger jet and order the pilot (PART II WALKING TALL’s Bo Svenson) to fly it to Beirut. Colonel Nick Alexander (Marvin, looking like a Ramona Fradon drawing), leader of the U.S. Army’s great fighting force, recruits disgruntled retired Major Scott McCoy (Norris) to assist in the Delta Force’s rescue operation. The terrorists are well organized and have spread out the hostages in three different locations, including a dungeon in downtown Beirut.

Rarely has a film been both so terrible and so good in its individual parts. Golan’s revisionist fantasy is hilariously shameless in its jingoism. Americans are awesome, and everybody else sucks. A Russian passenger rambles to priest George Kennedy (you can’t rip off AIRPORT without hiring George Kennedy) for two minutes about how much he loves living in the United States. The anti-Arab prejudice is appalling, and its anti-Washington sentiments echo those of Cannon’s Vietnam wish-fulfillment action films like MISSING IN ACTION and P.O.W. THE ESCAPE.

Yet THE DELTA FORCE is undeniably well-made. Golan gives the action an aura of scope and international intrigue. After setting up the conflicts and characters in the first hour, the director goes nuts in the second with a series of crisply photographed and edited action sequences specially designed to fit into Norris’ wheelhouse, complete with scripted quips. The explosions are big, and the stunts are exciting. Who better than Marvin to bark orders and take out an important bad guy with a well-aimed head shot? There’s no denying THE DELTA FORCE’s status as a crackerjack action vehicle.

The swarthy terrorists are portrayed as one-dimensional monsters, yet Forster brings an intensity to his role as the dedicated mastermind that forces you to take his cartoon villain seriously. Although the casting seems ripe for HOLLYWOOD SQUARES jokes, none of the veterans is sleepwalking. Martin Balsam (DEATH WISH 3), Shelley Winters (THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE), Joey Bishop (OCEAN’S 11), Lainie Kazan (MY FAVORITE YEAR), Susan Strasberg (PSYCH-OUT), a young Kim Delaney (NYPD BLUE), and Schygulla (THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BRAUN) join Kennedy and Svenson as on-board hostages and turn in effective work. Robert Vaughn (THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN) does yeoman duty as a general sending the Delta Force into action. Alan Silvestri (BACK TO THE FUTURE) composed the cheesy synthesized score, which admittedly includes a catchy theme. Norris returned as McCoy in 1990 with DELTA FORCE 2: OPERATION STRANGLEHOLD.


DELTA FORCE 2: THE COLOMBIAN CONNECTION (1990)—Directed by Aaron Norris. Stars Chuck Norris, Billy Drago, John P. Ryan, Richard Jaeckel. Cannon was on its last legs when it produced this desperate sequel to one of its biggest hits. It was titled DELTA FORCE 2: OPERATION STRANGLEHOLD in its brief theatrical run in 1990, but has since been retitled DELTA FORCE 2: THE COLOMBIAN CONNECTION on television and home video.

It brings back Chuck Norris as Colonel Scott McCoy, who helps DEA agent Page (Richard Jaeckel) bring down a ruthless South American druglord named Ramon Cota (Billy Drago), who has a gas chamber in his house. As with Cannon, Norris was also no longer much of a big-screen presence by this time, though he soon became more popular than ever as the star of his own prime-time cop show, WALKER, TEXAS RANGER.

DELTA FORCE 2 is notable for a fatal helicopter accident that occurred while shooting on location in the Philippines. Five crew members, including the pilot and a stuntman died, leading to a PREMIERE Magazine expose. Obviously, DELTA FORCE 2 isn’t worth five lives, but it’s an eminently watchable action picture armed with fights, big explosions, and hilariously disparate acting styles. It’s also shockingly meanspirited—Cota kills a baby (off-camera) so he can smuggle cocaine inside its corpse.

Aaron Norris, directing his third Cannon picture (his second, PLATOON LEADER, is easily his best), and second-unit director Dean Ferrandini assemble some exciting action sequences, including a helicopter/limousine chase, a skydiving freefall, and a climactic assault upon Cota’s mountain fortress, which is guarded by dozens of goons wielding machine guns and a few missile-launching choppers. What scenery Drago doesn’t chew is eagerly pounced upon by John P. Ryan, who is hilarious as McCoy’s superior officer. Chuck says even fewer words than usual, but his feet and fists do plenty of talking. Score by Frederic Talgorn (ROBOT JOX). Also with Mark Margolis, Begonia Plaza, Mateo Gomez, Michael Heit, Dick Warlock, Paul Perri, and Filipino extras unsuccessfully passing for Latino.


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Mark Tinta
Posted: Mar 22 2012, 05:04 PM


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Did DELTA FORCE 2 actually come out as a Cannon release? I recall it being distributed by MGM.


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Marty McKee
Posted: Mar 22 2012, 06:42 PM


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QUOTE (Mark Tinta @ Mar 22 2012, 05:04 PM)
Did DELTA FORCE 2 actually come out as a Cannon release?  I recall it being distributed by MGM.

The hi-def print that aired on Sony Movie Channel HD opened and closed with the Paramount logo. The MGM R1 DVD opens with the 1990 MGM lion. DELTA FORCE 2 is a Cannon production, however. Cannon's name is all over it, and Yoram Globus and Christopher Pearce were the producers.

Ads, reviews, and my memory tag its original subtitle as OPERATION STRANGLEHOLD (and the word "stranglehold" is uttered many times in the film). The trailer just says DELTA FORCE 2. Pre-production ads in Variety had other titles and subtitles. I wonder if it ever played theatrically as THE COLOMBIAN CONNECTION. I guess I'd really like to know why the title was changed, especially because new credits had to be created for the film print.

This post has been edited by Marty McKee on Mar 23 2012, 12:49 PM


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Mark Tinta
Posted: Mar 22 2012, 07:52 PM


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Yeah, I knew it was a Cannon production, but I figured by that point they were in such trouble that MGM had to release it for them.


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John Charles
Posted: Mar 22 2012, 08:15 PM


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This Wikipedia page spells out what was going on with MGM and Cannon in the late '80s. That is why MGM got the rights to DELTA FORCE 2 and DEATH WARRANT (video rights to the former had already been pre-sold by Cannon to Media Home Entertainment).

The opening credits of the MGM prints said DELTA FORCE 2: OPERATION STRANGLEHOLD at the start and DELTA FORCE 2: THE COLOMBIAN CONNECTION at the very end of the movie. Can't remember what the title(s) is on the MGM DVD version.

This post has been edited by John Charles on Mar 22 2012, 08:21 PM
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Marty McKee
Posted: Mar 22 2012, 10:11 PM


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QUOTE (John Charles @ Mar 22 2012, 08:15 PM)
The opening credits of the MGM prints said DELTA FORCE 2: OPERATION STRANGLEHOLD at the start and DELTA FORCE 2: THE COLOMBIAN CONNECTION at the very end of the movie. Can't remember what the title(s) is on the MGM DVD version.

THE COLOMBIAN CONNECTION.


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William S. Wilson
Posted: Mar 24 2012, 06:34 PM


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QUOTE (Bob Cashill @ Nov 2 2005, 09:05 AM)
DEMON SEED (1977). Another one from the WB vaults, which I remember seeing on NBC's Saturday Night at the Movies, no doubt heavily edited. The restored Panavision framing is a revelation even if the film itself bites off more than it can chew in 94 minutes. Another outstanding score, too (Jerry Fielding) and not as distateful as I feared given that it's another addition to the canon of rape-happy 70s movies, with a 2001 gloss and Julie Christie really giving her all in what had to be an uncomfortable part. Donald Cammell is another unpredictable talent missed.

Watched this one today for the first time and really enjoyed it. The film is far superior to its shocking plot reputation ("computer rapes woman") with Cammell getting almost existential on the audience. It is the type of film that I'm shocked that Hollywood hasn't remade yet as the scenario could work even better today. And a remake might be able to patch a few of this versions plot holes (like husband Fritz Weaver not checking up on his wife for 30 days or his missing assistant). Reading up on the Dean Koontz source novel, he apparently re-released the book 24 years later with the same plot, but completely rewritten. Interesting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_Seed_(novel)


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Mark Tinta
Posted: Mar 24 2012, 06:44 PM


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QUOTE (William S. Wilson @ Mar 25 2012, 12:34 AM)
And a remake might be able to patch a few of this versions plot holes (like husband Fritz Weaver not checking up on his wife for 30 days or his missing assistant).


Or Julie Christie being married to Fritz Weaver


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William S. Wilson
Posted: Mar 24 2012, 07:15 PM


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QUOTE (Mark Tinta @ Mar 24 2012, 06:44 PM)
QUOTE (William S. Wilson @ Mar 25 2012, 12:34 AM)
And a remake might be able to patch a few of this versions plot holes (like husband Fritz Weaver not checking up on his wife for 30 days or his missing assistant).


Or Julie Christie being married to Fritz Weaver

Hey, sophisticated ladies dig binary code.


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Mark Tinta
Posted: Mar 28 2012, 08:55 PM


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MAN ON FIRE (1987) - I saw it was airing on HBO a few nights ago and felt a curious urge to take another look at the Scott Glenn version. Yep...still not good.


MAN ON FIRE (1987)


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Marty McKee
Posted: Mar 28 2012, 09:44 PM


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QUOTE (Mark Tinta @ Mar 28 2012, 08:55 PM)
MAN ON FIRE (1987) - I saw it was airing on HBO a few nights ago and felt a curious urge to take another look at the Scott Glenn version. Yep...still not good.


MAN ON FIRE (1987)

Yeah, not that good. Too talky and arty. I think Glenn is pretty good in it though. It's always good to see Brooke Adams.


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William S. Wilson
Posted: Mar 30 2012, 12:00 PM


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THE PHOENIX TEAM (1980) - This opens with a Government official being killed during a pheasant hunt in Essex, England, with the assassin mentioning something to his victim about Section D. Cut to Ontario, Canada and David Brook (Don Francks), former Canadian Intelligence field operative turned desk jockey, is on his way to work when he sees his boss Mr. Mason kidnapped off the street by his own people. Wait a sec, Canada has a counterintelligence division? Anyway, curious Brook inquires with his mysterious superior The General (Mavor Moore), who converses only via video screen, and is told Mason was a double agent for the Soviets. For some reason this doesn’t sit right with Brook and he begins to investigate. Aiding him in his quest is old flame Valerie Koester (Elizabeth Shepherd), a MI6 agent who has flown over from London on her own to investigate Section D. She also drops a bomb on Brook by saying, “Mason killed my father.” Duhn-duhn-duhhhhhhhhnnnnnn! So our not-too-super spooks decide the best course of action is to kidnap Mason back (he is being held in a public hospital!) and figure out what in the hell Section D really is.

If that synopsis sounds rather episodic, it makes sense as the Trans World Entertainment VHS release of THE PHOENIX TEAM is actually just a two-part episode from what was a Canadian TV series (the opening credits even read “Old Time’s Sake Part One”) for the CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation). Entering with hopes of finding the Canadian THE AVENGERS or MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, I instead got a show that was as slow as Canadian maple syrup. I think I figured out what the “D” in Section D stands for – dull! Seriously, nothing exciting happens during this telefilm’s 90 minute running time. The opening shotgun blast is the only gunfire in the film and a chase a few minutes later encompasses the action content. It is a shame as the scenario is ripe for some nerve wringing. For example, the idea of posing as doctors to sneak a patient past security and out of the hospital is a time honored suspense creator. Instead writer/creator John C.W. Saxton – who wrote ILSA, SHE WOLF OF THE SS (1975) before this and would later write CLASS OF 1984 (1982) and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (1982) – has the thrilling idea of Brook and Koester hiding in a room with their patient and talking. Hell, Koester even takes a nap. How does a guy with those exploitation credits fail to exploit the spy genre properly? To add insult to injury, the script also has so much bureaucratic babble (“I want to file an M-15 request” or “I have access to a gray card”) that it almost sounds like a spoof at times. I did get a chuckle out of a line when the true nature of Section D is revealed (SPOILER: it is a hit team) and the villain says, “Who would suspect it out of Canada?”

It is a shame the proceedings are so boring as THE PHOENIX TEAM has a lot going for it. Director John Trent gets the most out of some wintery locations in Ontario and he has a capable cast. Most notable is Francks in the lead. With his Peter Graves sound-a-like voice, Francks was immediately recognizable to me, but I couldn’t figure out from where. Then it hit me – he was the sheriff in the superior Canadian slasher MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1981). He is very good in the lead and actually won an ACTRA (Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists) award for his work on this show. The series was short-lived, lasting only 9 episodes, with the majority of them airing in the fall of 1980 before it disappeared into the foggy memories of our friends up north. My link below has a few press clippings about the show (courtesy of proud Canadian, John Charles).

http://originalvidjunkie.blogspot.com/2012...-team-1980.html


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Marty McKee
Posted: Mar 30 2012, 01:26 PM


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Don Francks has appeared in a ton of American and Canadian television shows and movies. He must have moved to Hollywood for awhile in the 1960s. He starred in the CBS adventure series JERICHO and guest-starred in two MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE episodes.


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Robert Richardson
Posted: Mar 31 2012, 04:34 PM


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QUOTE (Marty McKee @ Mar 30 2012, 01:26 PM)
Don Francks has appeared in a ton of American and Canadian television shows and movies. He must have moved to Hollywood for awhile in the 1960s. He starred in the CBS adventure series JERICHO and guest-starred in two MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE episodes.

Don is an accomplished musician and singer as well, and co-starred opposite Fred Astaire and Petula Clark in FINIAN'S RAINBOW (1968). I suppose quite a few people would recognize him from the original NIKITA series, but as Marty points out he did quite a few television appearances during the 1960s. One of his very best performances was in Robin Spry's DRYING UP THE STREETS, playing a drug addict searching for his missing daughter. He was the villain in IVY LEAGUE KILLERS (1959), one of the heroic leads of the late 1950s series R.C.M.P., a co-star in David Cronenbeg's FAST COMPANY (1979), provided the voice of Mok in ROCK & RULE (1983), and was also the original voice of Boba Fett in the notorious STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL. A bit more recently he appeared in I'M NOT THERE.

His daughter Cree Summer and son Rainbow are both busy actors themselves.

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Marty McKee
Posted: Mar 31 2012, 09:26 PM


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QUOTE (Shawn Garrett @ Jul 24 2009, 07:08 PM)
DEATH CAR ON THE FREEWAY (1979)

Directed by Hal Needham and featuring guest cameos from Frank Gorshin, Peter Graves, Dinah Shore, Abe Vigoda (and Sid Haig as a greasy hot rodder), this stars the unfortunately named Shelley Hack as Janette Clausen, a TV news reporter who puts the pieces together and realizes a crazy maniac is stalking the L.A. Freeway in a souped-up van ("Death Van On The Freeway" doesn't have the same ring), running lone women drivers off the road. At first, it's just terrorizing and mayhem, but the Freeway Fiddler (because he plays "weird", reverb-laden fiddle music from his 8-track which, in a way never explained, his early victims are able to hear over all the screeching brakes, roaring engines and crunching metal!) soon escalates to wholesale vehicular murder, killing a bunch of women in fiery crashes. All this is intermingled with a "women power" subplot as Janette is emotionally bullied and cajoled by Ray, the husband she recently separated from (George Hamilton, all the charisma of a mannequin) who intersperses trying to woo her back with classy moves like stealing her Fiddler story and making like a big, protective man.

Again, not to oversell a 70's TV movie but this was actually pretty good, if too long (91 minutes sans commercials), the length due to too much of the ex-hubby subplot. Janette has an impassioned TV speech linking The Fiddler and aggressive driving in general with old machismo under threat from the new woman, which probably seemed relevant in 1979. The film is an interesting glimpse of "road rage" before the term was coined, and they get extra points for (just like DUEL, an influence, no doubt), never showing the Fiddler's face, just him putting on black, psycho-killer gloves as he guns the motor and goes for it! I'm not a "stunts" guy but there are some here that were pretty amazing (the finale is both impressive from a stunt point of view and silly from a storytelling point of view, but where else could they go). Also, lots of aerial shots of late 70's LA Freeway, for those what cares bout such things....

Worth hunting down!

DEATH CAR ON THE FREEWAY (1979)—Directed by Hal Needham. Stars Peter Graves, George Hamilton, Shelley Hack, Morgan Brittany, Tara Buckman. Stan Shpetner (SEE THE MAN RUN) produced this exploitative TV-movie about a psycho in a van who targets young women on L.A.’s 405 freeway. Who better to direct this asphalt-colored slasher flick than stuntman-turned-director Needham (HOOPER)? Hack debuted as Tiffany Welles, the newest Charlie’s Angel, about two weeks before DEATH CAR premiered on CBS. She plays TV reporter Jan Claussen, who dubs the killer “the Freeway Fiddler” because of the country & western 8-track tape he cranks during his attacks. His first victim (Brittany) is an actress on her way to a BARNABY JONES shoot (!) when the van runs her off the highway. His second (played by Needham’s then-girlfriend Buckman) is a nurse who flirts with elderly patient Vigoda (BARNEY MILLER). Jan’s estranged husband (Hamilton) thinks she’s wasting her time on the Fiddler case, and cop Graves (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE) blames poor women drivers. Jan takes a defensive driving course taught by Needham so she can outdrive the maniac at the end. The exciting highway mayhem features amazing stuntwork, and you can even see Buckman in the car while others pile up behind her. Craig R. Baxley, who later graduated to directing stunt-filled features (I COME IN PEACE, for instance), was Needham’s stunt coordinator and second unit director. Watch DEATH CAR on a double bill with SMASH-UP ON INTERSTATE 5 (Harriet Nelson is in both). Also with Frank Gorshin, Dinah Shore, Barbara Rush, Sid Haig, Robert F. Lyons, Nancy Stephens, Hank Brandt, and Needham buddy Alfie Wise.


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Marty McKee
Posted: Apr 1 2012, 08:59 PM


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STEEL SHARKS (1997)—Directed by Rodney McDonald. Stars Gary Busey, Billy Dee Williams, Billy Warlock, Barry Livingston. Producer Andrew Stevens dug through the stock footage files to give his boring military action movie scope. The mechanical men disguised as top-billed stars Williams (BRIAN’S SONG) and Busey (THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY) are shockingly wooden and probably shot their scenes in a day apiece. They sit on the sidelines, while a handful of interchangeably bland actors play shoot-em-up. A special Navy unit called the Steel Sharks is called in to rescue an American scientist (Livingston, the youngest MY THREE SON) from Iranian terrorists. The operation fails, and the Steel Sharks are captured. Will they eventually escape? Some of them, certainly. Will you care? Not really. Will that damn coin Shark newcomer Bob Rogers (Warlock) keeps flipping be a plot point? I’ll never tell. And you’ll never know, because only a hardcore Busey fan would subject herself to STEEL SHARKS. Gary’s robotic line deliveries and Williams’ medicated performance makes me wonder whether McDonald (SURFACE TO AIR) kidnapped his stars to the set. Also with Tim Abell, Shaun Toub, David Roberson, Robert Miranda, Miranda Wolfe, and Larry Poindexter.


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William S. Wilson
Posted: Apr 12 2012, 07:35 AM


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TERMINAL FORCE (1989) - Renegade cop Nick Tyree (Richard Harrison) gets suspended after blowing away a liquor store robber who interrupts his alcohol purchase. Naturally, his hot headed chief wants him back when the young daughter of key witness against mob boss Johnny Ventura (Jay Richardson) is kidnapped because Tyree's law pushing ways are the only solution. Poor Richard Harrison never got a fair shake in the US. After traveling the globe from the 1960-1980s, he ended back up in America and got stuck in this Fred Olen Ray disaster. Not much really happens in this flick and Ray proves that sometimes he is only a step above Nick Millard when it comes to shoddy action. If the film is worth seeing for any reason, it is to watch the completely terrible performance by FX man Cleve Hall, currently on SyFy in his own reality series, as demented stooge Leonard. Sporting a GODZILLA t-shirt and teased hair, it is truly one of the worst performances I've ever seen. Troy Donahue shows up for two scenes as bar owner Slim. FOR's wife Dawn Wildsmith is the female lead and Angela Porcell, who provides the film's only nudity, is the kidnapped girl. And poor Joseph Pilato (DAY OF THE DEAD) gets one scene as a detective being tortured and has his name butchered in the credits (as Josef Piato).


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Marty McKee
Posted: Apr 12 2012, 01:28 PM


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QUOTE (William S. Wilson @ Apr 12 2012, 07:35 AM)
TERMINAL FORCE (1989) - Renegade cop Nick Tyree (Richard Harrison) gets suspended after blowing away a liquor store robber who interrupts his alcohol purchase. Naturally, his hot headed chief wants him back when the young daughter of key witness against mob boss Johnny Ventura (Jay Richardson) is kidnapped because Tyree's law pushing ways are the only solution. Poor Richard Harrison never got a fair shake in the US. After traveling the globe from the 1960-1980s, he ended back up in America and got stuck in this Fred Olen Ray disaster. Not much really happens in this flick and Ray proves that sometimes he is only a step above Nick Millard when it comes to shoddy action. If the film is worth seeing for any reason, it is to watch the completely terrible performance by FX man Cleve Hall, currently on SyFy in his own reality series, as demented stooge Leonard. Sporting a GODZILLA t-shirt and teased hair, it is truly one of the worst performances I've ever seen. Troy Donahue shows up for two scenes as bar owner Slim. FOR's wife Dawn Wildsmith is the female lead and Angela Porcell, who provides the film's only nudity, is the kidnapped girl. And poor Joseph Pilato (DAY OF THE DEAD) gets one scene as a detective being tortured and has his name butchered in the credits (as Josef Piato).

It's funny. I know I've seen this, but I have zero memory of it. The reason I know I've seen it is because it was the co-feature on Retromedia's RING AROUND THE WORLD Richard Harrison DVD. I also have zero memory of RING AROUND THE WORLD. Maybe I should watch the disc again. It will be like watching two new films.

When Ray (this could also go for Jim Wynorski) was interested in a film, he could do decent work. I like that he enjoyed putting familiar if now unappreciated old actors in his films, so even if the movie wasn't very good, you could get some joy out of seeing Kirk Alyn or John Carradine or Lee Van Cleef or Harrison or Huntz Hall or whomever. He also put humor into his low-budget movies, which made them easier to take. The "stock footage" DTV action movies he made in the 1990s and early 2000s demonstrate Ray was a talented craftsman when he wanted to be.


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