If you’ve read Busted Knuckles before then you’ve heard me mention my passion for low budget, direct to video/DVD, B-Movies. They’ve been something I’ve enjoyed even before I knew what they were.
When I was a kid I just thought they were cool monster and tough guy movies. I didn’t know A-List from D-List. I didn’t know or care if a movie was made for 10 million dollars or 10 cents. If I liked it, then that was good enough for me.
In the last 20 years I’ve come to appreciate B-Movies even more. I’ve met and become friends with lots of folks that have made and continue to make low budget films. Folks tend to call them independent or “indy” films now days. That’s fine. The meaning of words change all the time anymore.
By getting to know some of the people that direct, write, produce and star in low budget movies I’ve come to find that they have the same passion for film making that we do in making comics. The two are a lot alike. They’re different processes and mechanics, but still very close to being the same.
The passion and desire of the creative people is the same as comic book creators. The sad and bad part is that the “suits” meaning the money people, distributors and studios are worse than most publishers, distributors, promotions and marketing people in the comic book business. I don’t mean to paint them all with black hats, but I work on both sides of the fence and know the workings and reasons of both sides. It can sometimes be the most frustrating part of the industry.
Something that the creative end should always remember is that no matter if it’s comics or films it is still a business. You’re in business to make money. It’s not a charity. The thing that the business end need to remember is that they are NOT creative talent and they should leave that to the ones that are.
It’s sadly amusing how both sides always seem to forget these things. Everybody thinks they know how to sell and everybody thinks they know how to create.
It just ain’t so.
The main point of this week’s Busted Knuckles is to get you to think about trying some of these low budget films that are out on DVD. I’d say try em’ at the local movie theater, but the chances are slim that you’ll find em’ there. Your best opportunity is to check out your local Blockbuster or Mom & Pop video store. Online is a great way to treasure hunt these hidden gems as well.
One of the online tools that I find most helpful is The Internet Movie Data Base http://www.imdb.com I’m sure most all of you have been in the know about this site for years. It’s a great resource to find out more about the people and films that make very entertaining low budget movies.
Back in the stone age of vinyl record albums I used to pour over the liner notes to see who produced and played on records I liked. I would then look for these people on other records. I figured if they were on something I like they must be making great music elsewhere. I was/am a pop culture marketing department’s dream come true. I continue to do all their leg work for em’. I always did the same hunting with movie and TV credits.
I know that some of the low budget films take themselves a little serious, sometimes too serious. They are the first to call themselves “indy” films. Like some of the “indy” comics, they ride a high horse and think they are much more clever than anyone else in comics , especially those “childish” super hero books. It’s kinda funny when these die-hard indy creators get a nibble from Marvel or DC to do a super hero book they jump on it like my buddy Crabtree on a drunk babe at closing time.
It’s the people that make the low budget Action and Sci-Fi films that ya see on cable TV late at night or on the Sci-Fi channel in prime time that have my admiration. They know what they’re doing and they’re having a good time doing it. It’s a wonderful minor league filed to learn and hone their craft. For actors it’s a great place to make contacts, be seen and try and take a sub-standard script and make it shine. It’s a great place to grow and learn. It’s also a great place for older actors to work regular and squeeze every dropout of their name. As we all know, in Hollywood they want youth, well in low budget movies they still admire and love to work with vets that can teach by example to younger actors starting out.
There is no shame in being in a low budget film. It’s a positive opportunity on a learning, teaching and film making level. The chance to make connections and learn is priceless. You can use it to move up into bigger budget movies or stay and make a home for yourself. As long as you learn , earn and have fun then it is worth it.
Today I’m gonna give you a list of some low budget Action and Sci-Fi movies that you should rent or buy. I’m gonna give you some names of actors that frequent low budget movies that always give you a fistful of entertainment. I’ll also list up a few directors to look for when searching up some fun beer and Chili Cheese Fritos films. You should use The Internet Movie Data Base to research these films and people even more. I think it’ll open up a whole new world for ya.
Keep in mind that you have to go into this with the right attitude. You have to leave your film snob ego at the door. You have to look at these as guilty pleasure entertainment. This is the fast food of the film world. Yes, there are some hidden gems here. I think you’ll find that there are some actors, screenwriters and directors that are as good if not better than any A-Lister out there. Remember, there is more to Hollywood than just being good. There’s the minefield of agents, producers, suits, lawyers, publicists, media and other ticks that can keep a good person down or off the radar.
You know how much I believe in word of mouth. Consider this me practicing what I preach.
Here’s the list. I’m not gonna go into any reviews or long notes. I’ll let you and The Internet Movie Data Base have that fun. I think you’ll be surprised at just how much fun you’ll have. I will post up a Four Star symbol **** for those that are must sees. These are in no particular order. I realize that I may not list or remember one of your favorites, I ain’t perfect so don’t get bent out of shape if one of your favorites is left off or forgotten. This isn’t here to start arguments it’s just a starting point, a guide line and I hope an opportunity for you to be entertained. All of us would love to hear about some of your favorites. Share in the wealth. We all wanna be pop culture rich! Have a little fun.
Beau’s Manly B-Movie, Low Budget, Direct To DVD/Video Choices:
The Immortals ****, Top Of The World ****, The Elite, Double Tap **** (Geoff Johns was an assistant on this), Made Men ****, White Tiger, Thick As Thieves, Detour, Lone Justice, Project: Shadowchaser ****, Automatic ****, The Fighter ****, Nemesis ****, Deep Evil ****, High Voltage ****, Supreme Sanction, Body Armor ****, Montana ****, The Mountain Men ****, Last To Surrender, The Stranger, Acts Of Betrayal ****, Peacemaker **** (NOT THE GEORGE CLOONEY ONE), Ghost Rock ****, Blood, Guts, Bullets & High Octane, Bounty Hunters, Back To Back ****, Back In Business, Drive ****, Blackout, Stone Cold ****, One Man’s Justice, Mean Guns ****, Rapid Fire, Direct Action, Detour, Crossworlds ****, Deathwatch ****, Dog Soldiers ****, Under The Gun, Deep Rising ****, The Substitute, Critical Mass, Lethal Force, Absolon, Equalibrian, Maniacts ****, Killing Cupid ****, Curse Of The Komodo, The Eliminator **** (So bad it’s good), Unstoppable, Freeway ****, Sniper, Lone Star State Of Mind ****, Red Scorpion 2, The Circuit 1 & 2
Roddy Piper, Olivier Gruner, Martin Kove, Frank Zagarino, Cary Tagawa, Eric Roberts, Brian Bosworth, William Forsythe, Billy Drago, Danielle Burgio, Ona Grauer, Jeff Fahey, Gary Busey, Michael Worth, Cynthia Rothrock, Gary Daniels, Michael Rooker, Michael Madsen, James Hong, Jeff Kober, Matt McColm, Ron Perlman, Clint Howard, James Russo, Frank Stallone, Tim Thomerson, Reb Brown, Vernon Wells, Marc Dacascos, Richard Norton, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Michael Dudikoff, Christopher Lambert, Dolph Lundgren, Treat Williams, Richard Tyson, Paul Logan, Tim Abell, Marshall Teague, Kathy Long, Rachel McLish, Brion James, Sonny Landham, David Patrick Kelly, James Remar, Wolf Larson, Patrick Kilpatrick, Lou Diamond Phillips, Jason Scott Lee, Robert Ginty, Sam Jones, Gail Harris, Melissa Brasselle
Art Camacho, Rick Jacobson, Albert Pyun, Isaac Florentine, George Erschbamer, Sidney J. Furie, Ringo Lam, Mark L. Lester, Jim Wynorski
You might wanna try out any film from DEJ Productions. They’ve got a lot of fun low budget movies that will entertain ya.
I know it’s a long list , but trust me, I could’ve made it longer. I hope ya have some fun trying these out and maybe finding some new favorites. Remember, these are not supposed to be Oscar Award Winners. Good thing, because most movies that win Oscars bore me to death. So if you’re looking for The Notebook, A Beautiful Mind and Terms Of Endearment ?don’t look here or in my DVD collection.
Busted Knuckles Manly Comic Book Cover Of The Week
Fiction House Publishing, June 1944
Okay, you wanna know how to kill the enemy in a manly way? Take it from the G.I. on this cover of Rangers #17. You shove about 6 inches of steel into their chest and stomach until they give up their addiction to breathing. This Army Ranger is giving the bad, bad Japanese a powerful bayonet uppercut. Check out the Japanese soldier on the ground that already “got the point”. All done to win the war and save the bound up babe from getting molested by these two Tokyo turds.
I have to admit that Chuck Dixon’s attempt to “out man” me this week on his site was his best one yet, but once you check his out http://www.dixonverse.net I think you’ll agree that I win again.
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week
As most of you Knuckleheads know, I have a strong fondness for the Latina ladies. This week I bring you one of my favorites, Roselyn Sanchez. This beauty from San Juan, Puerto Rico is an amazing actress that is just now starting to get the attention that she deserves. As you can see she is beautiful, built and the Busted Knuckles Babe of The Week. Roselyn has three movies in the works right now and you may have seen her before in Kojak, Nightstalker, Rush Hour 2, Basic, or one of my favorite movies to watch with the mute button on, Chasing Papi. In this movie you not only get to see Roselyn run around in a tight skirt and heels, but you also get Sofia Vergara (Past Babe Of The Week), Jaci Velasquez and Lisa Vidal. This movie is a Beau Babe Fest. Ain’t it great to have manly eyeballs?
Piss On The Campfire. The Show’s Over
I wanna thank all the hundreds of Knuckleheads that emailed me this past week telling me that they are gonna buy my just released Parts Unknown Book One Trade Paperback. It should be in the stores this week and I’m glad that you guys are backing me. I hope you enjoy it and are ready for the upcoming Volume 2. For you first time guys you can order it at the Afterburn Comics site.
Beauology 101 is over for this week. Make sure you do your manly homework and next week all you pretty girls in the short skirts sit up front.
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507
Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!