Price: 75 cents
Run Time: 110 Minutes
Director: Aaron Norris
A Globus Pearce Production
Starring Chuck Norris, Billy Drago, Mark Margolis, Begonia Plaza, John P. Ryan, Richard Jaeckel
When perusing dollar videos, there is no signifier of quality more important than the names "Menachem Golan" and/or "Yoram Globus." In the eighties when they ran Cannon Films together, they produced (as well as occasionally writing and directing) well over 100 of the most delirious, trashy, and illogical (predominantly) action films ever made. After kicking off the decade with his glittering disco mind control in 1994 slash biblical allegory masterwork THE APPLE, which is probably the greatest movie ever made, Golan (usually with Globus) continued to shit out gloriously sofa king we todd did action movies such as DEATH WISH III, COBRA, and BLOODSPORT. Although Golan-Globus produced legendary entries in the action careers of Sly Stallone, Charles Bronson, Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Eric Roberts, and Michael Dudikoff, no collaboration was sustained for as long or as successfully as their teaming with future U.S. president Chuck Norris. From the first MISSING IN ACTION in 1984 through Cannon's last film before going bankrupt 1994's HELLBOUND, Norris and Golan-Globus produced a decade's worth of explosions and spin kicks that will long outlive their earthen chambers.
It also bears mentioning that for a class project in the 7th grade I wrote a commercial jingle for WALKER TEXAS RANGER whose lyrics consisted of "My name's Walker Texas Ranger / I hate people who kidnap kids / I don't shoot them / I just kick them / HIYA! / HIYA! / HIYA! / HIYA! / HIYA!"
Anyway, now that the deification/ironization of Chucky N. seems to have fully run it's roffly course and can only provide the metaphorical sand for our collective vagina, it's safe to go back to the products that created such a pop-cultural nuisance and this flick is top-shelf ground chuck (or you could also call it a good bottle of One Buck Chuck if wine metaphors are more your thing).
Despite Chuck Norris' top-billing and reputation, this movie belongs to two of his co-stars, the comedically evil, slippery, pee-wee-herman-esque pervasexual ooze of Billy Drago as Colombian Drug Kingpin Ramon Coto and the whiskey swilling, innocent villager mowing down insanity of John P. Ryan as General Taylor (catchphrase: "Always the hard way").
This exchange sums up Coto's evilness and General Taylor's sensitivity well:
Drago was a clutch utility villain for the Golan-Globus empire, who would later acheive nerd immortality as uber-villian John Bly on the late, lamented Bruce Campbell Fox series, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr and for his acidic turn as The Dog Catcher in SOCCER DOG: THE MOVIE. In this movie, he overcompensates for his inability to remotely look Columbian by eating the rest of the cast like that big snake did to the train at the end of SNAKES ON A TRAIN.
All in all, it's a solid genre entry high on intentional laughs and malevolent absurdity, but with some nice scenes of Chuck scaling a mountain that were so pastoral I could almost hear the Popul Vuh. It's all pretty standard issue Golan-Globus fare, immensely enjoyable and re-watchable. I'll get into their sickness more with posts on OVER THE TOP, MURPHY'S LAW, and AMERICAN NINJA 2 (and maybe CYBORG) over the next couple of weeks. Here's a nice homo-erotic training scene to cap it off: