Saturday, October 5, 2013

TOP 20 second tier 80s & 90s Action Stars PART 3

Read PART 1 here
Read PART 2 here
Again, in no particular order...
11. Roddy Piper
When you look at Roddy Piper's life as a tartan draped professional wrestler turned action star, it's hard not to believe that he really was put on this earth to chew bubblegum and kick ass and I hope nobody ever gives him his beloved gum he's spent the last 30 years looking for.
Since playing the mulleted hero in John Carpenter's classic They Live and wrestling the fantastic Keith David for 6 straight minutes, Roddy Piper carved himself out an action film career during the 80s and 90s that included starring opposite such other action legends as Billy Blanks, Sonny Chiba, Don 'The Dragon' Wilson and Robert Davi.

Must see: They Live
Also Suggest: Tough & Deadly
Avoid: The Bad Pack

Check out our commentary for They Live and the commentary that nearly broke us, The Bad Pack

12. Pam Grier
Ok, so, on first glance this looks a little like I'm cheating. Yes, I know, Pam Grier is mainly known for a string of awesome, action packed, grindhouse Blaxploitation classics in the 70s and this is a list about 80s & 90s action stars and I know you probably think I am just trying to crowbar her into this list because, well, she's my first lady of cinema and she once touched my beard but when you look at her career in the 80s and 90s, you might realise, I am still, right on point.
I am going to list some films now and I dare you to say she doesn't belong here:
1988's Above the Law with our favourite, flappy handed, greasy haired legend Steven Seagal
1996's Original Gangstas with other iconic 70s hero and list member Fred Williamson
1997's Jackie Brown
When you add to that The Vindicator, Class of 1999, Escape From LA, No Tomorrow and In To Deep not to mention the fact that she's awesome, she was one of the first ladies of action and, yes, she did touch my beard, she completely belongs on this list.
I love me some Pam Grier.

Must see: Above the Law, Jackie Brown, Original Gangstas
Also Suggest: Class of 1999 and Escape from LA

Check out our commentary for Pam Grier's films:
Ghosts of Mars
Watch The After Movie Diner's coverage of Pam Grier's appearance at the Lincoln Center:

13. Don 'The Dragon' Wilson
Don 'The Dragon' is an 11 time World Kickboxing Champion turned martial arts movie star best known for the, Roger Corman produced, long running, Bloodfist franchise (ludicrous name considering he's a kick boxer but this is a place that calls a sport predominantly played with the hands and upper body, football so...), Ring of Fire 1 - 3 and Cyber Tracker 1 & 2. He was excessively prolific in the 90s especially, churning out 26 of his 38 credits in that decade alone.
The Bloodfist series is not an ongoing plot, he only plays the same character in the first 2, it's just Corman's gift for name recognition marketing that, despite the change of style and character over the 8 films, they all carry the name Bloodfist and a number. You can normally tell from the subtitle what it really should be called.

Must See: Bloodfist 1-3
Also Suggest: Bloodfist 4 & 5, Ring of Fire 1 & 2

14. Christopher Lambert
Best known as MacCleod from The Highlander films, French American actor Lambert spent a lot of the 90s squinting and looking confused through a series of enjoyable action films (this is due to being near-blind without glasses apparently). After Highlander most people would know Fortress and Mortal Kombat, based on the video game of the same name but he was also in Gunmen, The Road Killers, The Hunted, Mean Guns and Albert Pyun's Adrenaline: Fear the rush.

Must See: Highlander and Fortress
Also Suggest: Gunmen and Mean Guns

15. Gary Busey
Known now for being madder than a box full of pickled March hares glazed in jelly, back in the 80s and 90s Gary Busey tore through the action genre with his wild hair, enormous teeth, gravelly voice and unnerving presence. What's more interesting is that he managed it with one of his feet in the Hollywood mainstream, normally in a secondary role or villain and another of his, no doubt, insane, feet starring in a string of 2nd tier actioners.
Amongst his most well known credits are films like Lethal Weapon, Predator 2, Point Break and Under Siege but you might not know his action man status extends to the B Movie likes of Eye of the Tiger, Bulletproof, Chrome Soldiers, South Beach with Fred Williamson, Breaking Point, Drop Zone with Wesley Snipes, Plato's Run with Jeff Speakman, The Rage with Lorenzo Lamas and No Tomorrow with Gary Daniels and Pam Grier.

Must See: Lethal Weapon, Predator 2, Point Break, Under Siege
Also Suggest: Eye of the Tiger, Chrome Soldiers and Plato's Run

Check out our commentary for Lethal Weapon 1

- The Kick Ass Kid 

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