1.)Commando: Did you honestly think I wouldn't include one of the most bad ass and completely absurd action films of all time? That being said... If this film is on( or if say...I own it and watch it beginning to end w/ out blinking or breaking eye... too much) you can bet I will be watching it. This film is so crazy It gets a mini highlight list... starting now!
1.) His name is John Matrix.(and that's all that needs said)
2.) He drives a car down a mountain w/ no brakes in neutral, and manages to kill pretty much everyone involved in the car chase.
3.) He murders a dude before take off and then jump off of the plane w/ out a parachute and doesn't get hurt even a little bit.
4.) He rips the seat out of like every car he rides in implying that he is "just that big," but he's really like maybe 6ft in his shoe lifts.Still it is pretty bad ass.
5.) later in the film he kills possibly 40 men who just keep running at him while he shoots at them w/ no regard for their own personal safety... and then when his ammo finally runs out he retreats to a shed that has every sharp object you can possibly imagine, which he then uses to kill like 5 to 10 more guys... Painfully.
6.) Finally, he kills his old rival Bennett w/ and freaking huge pipe, than some how, it blows steam out after it becomes embedded in his chest! Thank you.
So yeah it is crazy and at times hard to believe (the whole movie) but it is action packed and has a lot of dying and one liners! In many ways this film set the tone for the over the top 80's action film!
2.) Rambo: First Blood: For the love of god, if you see a drifter in your small town who just asks where a good place is to get a meal and shower... please tell him... and say your the town Sheriff... Help him out, give him a ride. But don't push the man w/ your cocky Brian Dennehy grin and tell him to keep walking because if you do... a lot of people are gonna get hurt. Actually, this film in contrast to Commando is at least commenting on the Vietnam War(or war in general) and what happened to our Vets! Stallone is very good in this role. (he doesn't need to talk a lot) He says a lot w/ out saying anything and there is a lot of cool survival stuff and ass kicking action, of course! But again leave the drifters alone!
3.) Die Hard: This is the Lamborghini of all 80's action. It's a dude who's dealing w/ his own crap and then he gets thrown in to the middle of a bunch of other crap and he doesn't even have shoes to protect his feet from said crap!!! Seriously though... this film put Bruce Willis on the map in a Hollywood w/ Arnold and Sly dominating the box office! He is basically by himself most of the film and he just sells the "every man" so well... He gets hurt a lot and beat up badly, but some how he comes out on top... And we can't talk about Die Hard w/ out talking about how great Alan Rickman Is as Han Gruber, no doubt one of the greatest villains ever! He's great because as much of an asshole that he is, you sort of want him to get away. You are kind of bummed when he dies too! That in my book is a great villain! (No one would be sad if I died after holding a building full of rich asshole hostage... and that's some bull shit)
4.) Beverly Hills Cop: This movie has the best of both worlds... It is extremely funny and clever, plus has some great action and bad ass moments. Eddie Murphy to me is at his finest playing Axel Fuley the wise cracking cop from Detroit City! It probably falls into the realm of action comedy, but to me it has enough action and one liners to be on this list! Plus, Eddie does a great job of playing both sides... He is both light-hearted, funny and charming, but also has a cold hard stare when necessary and means business! Great film! I have to mention this too... This film was originally going to star Sly Stallone... He wanted to play it more straight and ended up leaving over creative differences... His screenplay for BHC became his next film, Cobra! (another great 80's action film)
5.)Blood Sport: The "true story of Frank Dukes," this film is a classic revenge story about a dude who's friend gets hurt by this huge Asian dude w/ man boobs, while competing in an illegal underground fight ring. Van Damm plays the guy who has to make it right. This film would play late at night or on a weekend after noon all the time when I was a younger, and I would always get sucked in... Maybe its that Jean Claude looks like he's going to cry whenever he starts to win a fight... or maybe it's the extreme bad acting all around... or it could be that Jean Claude did like 30 films exactly like this one, but for some reason this movie is cool. And it has a lot of violence and action too. It is a little different than some of the other films I have mentioned, but because it was Jean's first somewhat major film and because I think I'm not alone with getting "sucked into this film," I have to include it on my list. Enjoy it... if you dare!
6.) Road House: I'm Not sure if you realize it or not, but when you see this movie on late at night on USA, TNT, TBS or any cable channel for that matter, you will be glued to the screen till the end. Maybe it's Patrick Swayzes Quiet brooding, yet completely at peace demeanor or maybe it's the absurdity of the films plot and premise, but for some weird reason I like this action film, a lot! Dalton (Swayze's character) is the kind of guy who gets up in the morning and complains about someone bringing him an unhealthy breakfast, while lighting up a cigarette. Dalton is the type of badass who will do a little tai chi in the morning, before putting on Luke Skywalker's shirt and going into town, to somehow find trouble (because he is the best bouncer... I'm sorry "cooler" in the world, apparently? And rich guys both hate and respect bouncers... I mean Coolers.). What's not to love about this film... Bouncer goes from town to town cleaning up bars by being nice... until he has to kick your ass... I mean seriously- there's a job for everyone! See, this film brings hope to people:)
7.) Top Gun: This film is awesome. I used to watch it all the time when I was a kid and even now I enjoy it. The sound is great, the planes are sweet and it has a "cool song" by... Kenny Loggins(sigh). It's has an interesting and multi-layered story that isn't as over the top as some of the other Action films I have listed so far. There isn't really much hand to hand combat or dudes shooting each other, but there are some great lines, great "dog fights" and a lot of homoerotic activity... Don't believe me?... How many times do men express their feelings to each other in the locker room after a hot shower in this film?(in towels) Whether it be an argument about being "Dangerous" or an " I'm sorry about Goose" It feels like Iceman and Maverick are a bit more than rivals... which is totally fine with, if anything the love triangle between "Charlie"(Kelly McGillis) Maverick and Iceman makes this film even more interesting and melodramatic. I mean who's Maverick going to end up with, right? I have to say this too... There's a lot of wetness in this film and it is surprising that no one fell and hurt themselves acting in it or just hanging out on set... Anyway, as you can see by now, this film has a way more complicated plot than your normal 80's action film, which is why it is on my list... And Maverick does seem to over come his demons, so that's nice. PS: Does "you can be my wingman anytime" take on a whole new meaning for you?
8.) Lethal Weapon: A Richard Donner directed film and Written by action expert Shane Black, this film invented the "I'm getting too old for this shit "gag." Mel Gibson is at his finest in this film and plays crazy w/ a splash of cool. Danny Glover does what he does best... "Danny act old and awkward." The pair are great on screen together and there are a lot of great one liners, which is one of Shane Black's trademarks if you ask me. And can we give Gary Busey some love... I mean how great is he as the Villain in this movie... he even comes back from the dead at the end! By the way Riggs lives on the beach in a trailer w/ his dog... Now I don't live in a place that has beaches, but I am pretty certain that people wouldn't be allowed to live on beaches in a trailer? It just seems like it would drive away tourists or something? But this is another reason this movie is over the top 80's action at it's best... The more I have to think about stuff not making sense, the more I like the film... But that's just me:)
9.) Mad Max 2: Road Warrior: I love this film... It is so weird and out there, but it could happen. People would really fight over supplies like gas(more likely water) if there was some kind of catastrophic event that changed the landscape of the world as we know it... This film borders on Sci-Fi, but to me it's all action... Like I said this could probably happen to some degree and Mel Gibson is like Rambo in the post apocalyptic future. He is great in this film... He is bad ass, mean but also kind and vulnerable. This film has one of the weirdest and creepiest kids ever in a film... Imagine if Sonic the Hedgehog where a little kid, but not as well groomed or clever! Plus, the Villain Humungus is so interesting... At times it actually seems like he really does want peace.... and he wheres a hockey mask, and has a weird vain on the back of his head, plus is losing his hair in clumps? I mean who the hell is this guy? And how come Bennett from Commando is his right hand man? Why does he have a Mohawk now and wear "chaps?" Is it because of the steam pipe? Anyway, this really is a cool action film and looks really cool on top of everything else.
10.) Escape from New York: I remember watching this film for the first time w/ my Uncle Steve at my grandma's house. He was living in Lafayette, IN.(He still does) BUT he would drive into Indy to see his friends and family on the weekends quite a bit. Anyway, he came home late one night while I was watching TV and flipping channels, when he told me to stop on some dude w/ an eyepatch... He explained what we were watching and I instantly loved the film. I mean how cool is it, that they have to call in some dude who's wanted for all these crazy crimes, to get the President out of New York, which is now a Prison!!! This is a John Carpenter film and he has managed to come up w/ a lot of iconic characters! Snake Plissken is one of said characters! Talk about bad ass! This dude is injected w/ a virus that will kill him in 24 hrs unless he finds the President and then gets him out of New York! He kills tons of people in the process and has to deal w/ "the Duke" who is played by Isaac Hayes. Who does a nice job playing the bad guy! It also has a great ending! This is just a movie that is a lot of fun and bad ass throughout!
11.) Tango and Cash: So I always have to reserve the 11th spot for a special film... And I love this movie... It is a great Bookend to Commando too, because this Late 80's action film is soooo over the top, it's simply incredible! If you haven't seen this movie the premise is that the two top cops in LA have been getting too many busts and have to be taken down... But rather than just kill them they are framed to go to prison! WHAT AND THE HELL!? So the crime boss guy played amazingly by Jack Palance who's already lost millions of dollars on account of these two, would rather spend more money setting them up to go to jail, than just have them killed, while they are in the bathroom or something? This is outrageous! I love it! Sly and Russell team up for this buddy cop film from hell, and they are great on screen together. Great lines, great action and of course an absurd high tech police weaponry workshops. That's right as if it wasn't crazy enough that they get sent to prison and then escape... THEN they go to Cash's buddies weapons work shop and get a bat-mobile to take down the bastards that did this to them. This movie is so great. It literally ended the 80's action genre w/ a "we don't care if it makes sense or not, deal w/ it." The other side plot that gets over looked is that the two cops begin to fall in love, and Cash uses Tango's sister to make him jealous... But you can connect the dots for yourself. This movie is one everyone should watch... so check it out if you haven't!
Okay, I have rambled long enough... So for those of you who do read these I hope you enjoyed and maybe even had your mind blown!!! I want to also say that there are some films that you may have thought would make this list like say, Terminator, Aliens or Predator to name a few... I consider those to fall more into the straight Sci-fi genre, which is why I didn't include them... I only wanted films that have more of a real world flavor to them. The films I have named don't have any supernatural or Sci-Fi elements. They are just action and testosterone! So enjoy and please mention any other films you think of on here or On my facebook page! Enjoy!