It’s come to my attention that it’s been a while since I’ve given you a list of some manly B-movies to rent or buy. I’d hate to think that you’ve been wasting your time watching unmanly reality shows or worse, watching reruns of Sex And The City. If that’s the case then I am truly sorry for neglecting my manly movie duty.
Before I haul em’ out I just want to remind you that a B-Movie or direct to video/DVD movie is not the same as an A-List movie. I don’t mean that they’re worse, they just don’t have the big budget or the “hot, hip for the moment young star” in em’. That’s usually a good thing. I’m also not one of these guys that thinks you need 75 to 100 million to make a good movie. I admire the Direct to DVD films because they make the most of what little money and resources they have. I also think there is more passion in direct to DVD films. Think about that when you read your comic books. Try and forget for a minute that you’ve loved a certain character since you were 12 years old. Really read that comic and see if there is really any passion there.
Okay, enough mush. Let’s get at these manly movies that are waiting for you They are rated in the “Busted Knuckles” rating system. Five Knuckles being the most manly rating you can get . As the knuckles get lower so does the movie. The worst rating is an open hand noted as a “Bitch Slap”, because that’s all you deserve if you are unmanly enough to rent it. Let’s get started:
Stars-Thomas Ian Griffith, Tia Carrere, John Lithgow, and Donald Sutherland.
Rating: Five Knuckles
FBI agent Diane Norwood (Carrere) is ready to do almost everything, even to spoil her own wedding, in order to bring down Livingston, big money launderer. In course of her action she meets a manly obstacle in shape of Max Parish, (Griffith) agent from rival Drug Enforcement Agency who also wants Livingston. After two of them reluctantly join forces, they track down Garret Lawson, one of Livingston’s hit-men. Livingston is trying to merge the Russians, Chinese and Italian gangsters into one group with huge amounts of money and power.
This movie is very well done and doesn’t look low budget at all. The dialogue is quick, witty and very smart. Griffith and Carrere have, as they say, a real chemistry. You watch them and wonder to yourself why they are in more big budget movies. I can tell you why? most of Hollywood is run by morons that make the folks running comic book look smart.
My friend, screenwriter and sometimes co-writer, Kevin Bernhardt, had his hand in this movie with story and other stuff. He’s given me some great behind the sense stories about this movie that made it even more enjoyable. You’ll really enjoy the characters in this movie and what they say.
There is one scene where Donald Sutherland’s character is wearing a bomb coat and says: “I don’t know if you know what this is, but when I take my thumb off this, it will explode . And if you knew how much work it took for me to create this, then you might know how excited I am at the possibility that I might be able to use it”‘ You just gotta love a scene with a bomb coat.
Action fans, this one has lots and it’s all done really well. The gun fights are planned out nice and look good. The fist fights are also smooth. I first saw this 10 years ago when HBO used to run movies like this all the time. I miss those days. Don’t miss this movie. Look for it where you rent movies or buy em’. (my buddies at http://www.blockbuster.com will always be able to help you out. That’s where I rent my manly movies.)
Directed By Fred Olen Ray
Stars-Michael Dudikoff, Randy Travis, WILLIAM SMITH, Valerie Wildman, Andrew Stevens, and Cal Bartlett.
Rating: Four Knuckles and a Thumb Jab (Because of the great WILLIAM SMITH.)
This movie is far better than you might think. I was surprised. I’ve always been a fan of Michael Dudikoff‘s action movies and that’s why I picked this one up. Randy Travis is the one that really surprised me in this. It’s obvious that this is the kinda script for him. Dudikoff is really good in this low budget western. In fact you’ll be surprised how good when you set into it. Unlike a lot of westerns and action movies, the hero gets the dog snot beat out of him and shows that he is not a Steven Segal kind of hero. He takes a pretty brutal beating. The best part of this movie is that it has the manliest actor in the world is in it?WILLIAM SMITH. Yeah, THAT WILLIAM SMITH. He’s played everything from Conan The Barbarian‘s dad to that eyepatch wearin’ bad guy Falconetti in Rich Man, Poor Man. Having him in this movie is reason enough to rent it. You may wonder why I always type his name in capital letters, it’s because he IS the very meaning of the word testosterone.
This movie has a really nice story twist to it and a good back-story. When you watch this you might also agree with me that Dudikoff would be a great Cobb when they make my Cobb: Off The Leash into a movie. I’d also have to have WILLAM SMITH play either Ivan the enforcer or perhaps The Cossack in the story.
The Shooter has it all, Lust, revenge and justice. It’s also a western and you should watch em’ any time they come around. Granted, the budget isn’t huge, but try not to think about it. Sit back with a cold beer and your wife on mute and enjoy this one as only a real man can.
Clawed: The Legend Of Sasquatch (also billed as The Unknown)
Stars-Dylan Purcell, Brandon Henschel, Miles O’Keefe, Jack Conley, Chelsea Hobbs, Casey LaBow, Michael Bailey Smith and David “Shark ” Fralick.
Rating: Four Very Hairy Knuckles.
When a group of poachers are found ripped to pieces and dead in the deep forests of the Pacific Northwest, a mob of drunken, revenge hungry hunters pursue the beast while four high school seniors try to find it for a science project grade that they all really need. Mayhem, bloodshed and horrific deaths follow. Everything you need in a Bigfoot movie.
Something I’ve gotta mention right off the bat is that the cinematography in this movie is really good. That’s something that I almost never see in a low budget movie. The outdoor scenes are really sharp. I don’t know enough to know if that’s because of the cinematographer Victor Lou‘s work or if it’s the cameras they used. Thing is, I noticed it from the opening scene. That’s unusual.
On one end this movie is typical in the fact you’ve got good looking teenagers being chased by not only drunken peckerwood hunters but by Bigfoot as well. That’s to be expected. The teenagers have the smart, borderline nerdy guy and the jock. The girls are both babes. One blonde cheerleader type and the other is the cute smart girl that all the D&D playing guys think they might have a chance with if only she knew they were decent guys. Dylan Purcell plays the smart kid and I have to say, I think the guy has a future. His character grew on me and he did the best he could with the role. A nice surprise.
The drunk hunters/poachers were great. Miles O’Keefe (Bo Derek’s Tarzan) is the head redneck. Mean, heartless and dumb as a bag of hammers. His buddies are made up of some great B-Movie character actors and stunt men. Michael Bailey Smith. You’ll know him as soon as you see him. Huge muscle bound guy with a shaved head. He has fought Van Damme and every other action star at one time or another. He even played Ben Grimm/The Thing in the Roger Corman version of The Fantastic Four. He has a great website that is pretty in-depth and wellworth checking out http://www.michaelbaileysmith.com. David “Shark” Fralick is another well seen character actor and stunt man. I can’t even begin to list all the action movies he’s been in. It ain’t a B-Movie party unless Shark is there.
Speaking of great character actors, Jack Conley plays the sheriff. He’s another that you’ll recognize as soon as you see him. He always plays cowboys and detectives. He has been a regular for Joss Whedon and recently he showed up on the western Broken Trail on AMC. He is a wonderfully understated actor. He kinda has that Fred Dryer look. He brings a sense of humor to the role that is real. You can tell it’s because he is a really good actor and knows what he’s doing.
The bigfoot monster isn’t bad. Thankfully unlike the movie Sasquatch Hunters, they didn’t do it with CGI. This is a big guy in an ape suit doing the best he can. This is where not having a budget makes a difference.
The DVD has a “Making of” documentary which is fun. The box art for the DVD is also very A-List. The movie has all the manly things needed? babes, Bigfoot, bad guys, beer? LOTS of beer. For a while ya kinda wonder if this is product placement for the local brewery. This is a fun one, kids.
Directed By Kevin Tenney
Stars-Robert Forester, Lance Edwards, Hilary Shepard and Robert Davi.
Rating: Five Knuckles
Two aliens arrive on Earth trying to kill each other. This ain’t easy, since they seem to be able to regenerate lost body parts and survive bullet wounds and sharp objects jammed through their heads. Both of them happen to meet a beautiful young pathologist , and each alien tells her that he’s a peacemaker (an intergalactic cop) and that the other one is a bad guy. This goes back and forth through out the movie and is done well.
The script is far above regular low budget movies. A very cool Sci-Fi Whodunit. There are loads of fistfights, alien sex, car chases and a superior motorcycle stunt that is better than any I’ve seen in A-List movies. Remember, this movie was done in 1990. The SFX in this movie show you that you can do em’ well if you really get creative and do the best with what you have. The fights are violent and well done. Stunt work is top notch. There is just enough humor to make it interesting. So many low budget and A-List movies, both seem to have trouble with a sense a humor. (as well as super hero comics) This movie shows that it can be done.
I cannot stress enough what a really good movie this is. Great action and it takes every R the R rating can give. Nothing trashy, just good and violent. It’s also a smart movie.
Robert Forester is an actor that should have won an Oscar by now. He is as good an actor as anyone on the planet. If he is in a movie, see it. He never lets you down. I’ve been a fan of his since I was a kid. In this film he also carries one of the biggest pistols you’ve ever seen.
The babe in this movie is Hilary Shepard. She’s a real leggy beauty in that smart kind of way. She was doing the Sandra Bullock thing long before Bullock did anything. The other alien in this movie is played by Lance Edwards. I had never seen him before this and haven’t seen him since. I looked him up and he’s only done a handful of movies. His last one was in 1993.
At first I thought he wasn’t a very good actor, but after I saw that being an alien this was the way he was supposed to play the part. He has some of the same traits that Jeff Bridges did in Starman. I wonder what every happened to this guy?
Famous character actor and screen bad guy, Robert Davi is in this and he is always a treat. I used to live in an apartment next to a guy who was Davi’s first cousin. Another Beau brush with fame.
This is a really good movie for anyone that enjoys sci-fi and action. I can say that it was also an inspiration to my own sci-fi comic book, Parts Unknown. I’ve watched this one a few times and always enjoy it. It would make a great comic book series? Hmmmm? do I smell more work for Beau?
This one may be hard to find. I don’t think it’s out on DVD. Even the VHS version is hard to find. If you ever see or hear of it being on DVD make sure you let me know where you found it.
That’s about it for this episode of Busted Knuckles B-Movies, aka Testosterone Theatre. I hope you rent or buy one of these and enjoy em’. If so, let me know what you think. I’ll try and do this more often. I wanna make sure you’re not wasting your time watching endless Law & Order episodes or Real World. I’m looking out for you 24/7.
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week
You will immediately recognize Gina from your favorite TV series and mine, Firefly, as Zoe, but if you have a good eye (and for Gina you should) you will also know her from her work on Alias, The Shield, Justice League (Vixen), 24, Angel, Cleopatra 2525, Hercules, La Femme Nikita, Dark Angel, and let’s not forget M.A.N.T.I.S.
She can play any role and always looks exotic and beautiful doing it. She is my height, 5′ 10″. I wouldn’t mind looking at her eye to eye. Sorry to say she is also married to well know actor, Laurence Fishburne. Oh, well?. man can dream.
Xenozoic Tales #13
Kitchen Sink Comix 1994
Mark Schultz Creator/artist/writer
Listen to me and listen good. In the world of comic books right now there is NO ONE better at drawing dinosaurs than Mark Schultz. I will also state here and now that there is no one better are visual story telling than Mark Schultz. He has learned from the masters; Frazetta, Raymond, Foster, Williamson and Krenkel. Issue #13 of Xenozoic Tales is a perfect example and lesson for any artist or writer that wants to know how to tell a story. The action scenes on paged 16 through 20 are amazing. This is how it is done. No one at Marvel, DC or any other publisher can compare. This is as good as it gets. The cover of this book is just the start. Open the book up and you are brought into another world. Anytime you get the chance to read or buy Xenozoic Tales or Cadillacs and Dinosaurs?DO IT. If you get the chance to meet Mark at a con you will find that he is one of the nicest guys you will ever wanna meet. I am very proud to say that he has been my friend for 20 years and I still find it hard to believe that a human being can draw this perfect. Did I mention that he draws the best babes this side of Frank Cho?
Cobb: Off The Leash #2 In Stores July 12th-This Week!!!
I have been throwing the testosterone around pretty heavy this week. I guess it’s because the most action packed comic book of the year hits the retail stores this week? Cobb: Off The Leash #2.
I don’t say that in boast. I mean it. From the cover to the last page you will not find more pure action that you will in Cobb: Off The Leash #2. The thing is, not only is there wall-to-wall action, but the story moves with the action. As a writer this is the hardest thing to do. If you look at most comics or films it goes?set up?talk?action?then back to talk. It’s chopped up. Everything is in blocks. Cobb: Off The Leash #2 is fluid action and story. The move together and don’t sit and take turns. The only chops here are the one’s Cobb busts.
Eduardo Barreto and I worked very hard to play out the action so that the reader’s eye becomes the organic camera is really is. I hope you notice what Eduardo did with lighting and mood. This is all done with his expert use of inking. There is no stock template Marvel or DC style here. Like the paper IDW Publishing used for this book, the look of the art is not slick and smooth. It’s rough and gritty as it should be.
I can’t thank all of you enough for supporting this book. I cannot stress enough how much that means to me. I know that you could easily spend your money on another event driven tie-in book or one with a character that you’ve known for decades. The best part of Cobb: Off The Leash is that you chose to buy it. It was new and didn’t have 60 years of history and deep corporate pockets. It didn’t have a fan favorite creative team that been pimped like a high priced hooker in Vegas. This is not a book that retailers could put upon the shelves and know that it would sell itself. This book rolls up it’s sleeves and fights for every sale and reader it can get. I thank all of you for standing beside it and throwing knuckles with it.
Look for it this week. If you don’t see it please ask for it. If you get it, please pass the word. I truly appreciate your help and hope to reward you with an entertaining read. The Diamond Order number for Cobb: Off The Leash #2 is APR06 3232
The Round Up
That’s it for another week. I am enjoying the great summer weather here in West Virginia. I hope it’s nice in your part of the country. I wanna thank everybody that has sent in their comics and I hope to mention them here in Busted Knuckles real soon.
I wanna also thank all of you that have sent in comics and requests for autographs. I’ve signed em’ and added a little extra to em’ as you should find out in a couple of days when they reach your mailbox.
Big thanks goes out to Jim Reed of Tulsa for sending me a great color photo of John Wayne from The Shootist. It is framed and on the wall here at the ranch. Much appreciated, Jim.
One last thanks goes out to Lisa DeFerro and the rest of her fellow cheerleaders for the lovely photo of them enjoying their vacation at Daytona Beach. I will cherish this photo?and you know I will.
Be here next week for more action and adventure.
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