Why Commando is the Most Fun Action Movie of the 80’s

Commando is the most fun action movie of the 80’s.  Is it a better movie than Die Hard or Rambo?  No.  Is it more fun?  Hell yes!  Commando is one of the most entertaining action movies ever made.

The plot is dumb.  Basically Ahnuld’s daughter is kidnapped and he wipes out an entire country of brown people to get her back.  And I don’t mean brown people in a racist way.  Commando actually takes place in the fictional country of Valverde, so even the script doesn’t know what the f*ck they are.

And what a script!  Written by 80’s action god Steven E. de Souza (he wrote Die Hard which makes him better than you), Commando doesn’t offer much in the way of extravagant plotting but does give us ample bodies to be bagged and a badass main character to bag ’em: John Matrix.  You know Matrix is a wrecker of sh*t when he’s introduced to us carrying a tree.  Not a log.  A tree.
But what really makes Commando so damn watchable is the collection of inept bad guys.  We’re supposed to believe these guys are a crack team of mercenaries and all of them look like they just walked off the set of Xanadu.  Apparently, all it takes to be a mercenary in the world of Commando is the ability to pirouette when shot.  Arnold kills over eighty bad guys and forty of them spin.  And the ones that aren’t shot die in the most over the top kills since Kane Hodder strapped on a hockey mask.

Their fashion sense is also terrible.  Even for the 80’s.

But enough foreplay, Bennett.  “Let’s party,” and meet the henchmen:

Sully (David Patrick Kelly)

If you couldn’t tell from the picture, Sully is kind of a douche.  The guy’s roughly four feet of sleaze and horrible pickup lines: “You know, I’ve got something I’d like to give you”.  By something he means penis, and by give you, he means intercourse.

Why He Sucks: because Sully is supposed to be a trained mercenary and he can’t even shoot his way out of a phone booth.  Because he tries and fails to hook up with Rae Dawn Chong and who hasn’t slept with her?  Because he drives a Porsche.

Lame Wardrobe: the suit is so 80’s it needs to be shoved back into the rectum of Phillip Michael Thomas from whence it came.

Dumb Dialogue: “This place used to be great for hunting slash.”

Method of Demise: a long fall off a short cliff.  Remember when Arnold said that he would kill Sully last?  He lied.

Cooke (Bill Duke)

Notable for being the only mercenary in Commando that poses a credible threat, until you realize that he’s a complete moron.

Why He Sucks: because Cooke’s idea of careful planning and assassination is to steal a garbage truck, drive it outside the target’s house, and somehow convince the target to run outside with his garbage to get riddled with bullets.  What if the target didn’t realize it was garbage day?  What if he didn’t hear the truck?  What if he wasn’t home?  Cooke is so stupid he leaves the dead bastard in the middle of the street when he could’ve disposed of the body in the garbage truck.  Sh*t for brains.

Lame Wardrobe: actually, Cooke’s wardrobe isn’t too bad.  He wears stupid well.

Dumb Dialogue: right before he steals a car: “You know what I like best about this car?  The price.”

Method of Demise: impalement after being uppercutted onto a piece of steel rebar.

Bennett (Vernon Wells)

You may recognize him as that mohawk guy from Road Warrior that wears assless chaps.  Actually, that doesn’t narrow it down any.  Usually when actors are cast in action movies they get in shape.  Not Vernon Wells.  Dude spills out of his costume like a fat Freddy Mercury.  According to imdb, Vernon was the second choice for Bennett — the costume was originally tailored for a skinnier actor that dropped out.  Personally, Wells owns the role and Commando wouldn’t be half as good without his presence.  Even if he is fat.

Why he sucks: because the dude has Schwarzenegger dead in his sights with a freaking Uzi and instead of shooting him in the face, he drops the gun in favor of a knife.  Dumbass.

Lame Wardrobe: the chain mail tank top.  Really, chain mail?  What the f*ck purpose does it serve?  It can’t stop bullets.  It can’t even hide Bennett’s fat.  And where the hell did he get that thing?  Have you ever seen chain mail for sale?  In the form of a tank top?  Ridiculous.

Dumb Dialogue: “John, I’m not going to shoot you between the eyes.  I’m going to shoot you between the balls!”

Method of Demise: a steam pipe through the sternum followed by Arnold’s classic, “Let off some steam, Bennett.”

It may not be high art, but Commando is without a doubt the most fun action movie of the 80’s.  A sequel was written but never made it to production.  Rumor has it that a lot of the ideas for the Commando sequel were rolled into what eventually became Die Hard.  David Ayer was attached to a Commando remake a few years ago, but there’s been no forward movement on the project.  Oh well, at least we’ll always have Valverde.


Cinema Obscura Presents: Megaforce

Remember when major studios ponied up serious dough and rolled the dice on absurd ideas like Megaforce?  I do.  It was called the 80’s, and it was a glorious time for cheese-ball cinema.

Take one look at that poster and imagine the ball of cocaine it took to greenlight a sci-fi adventure movie starring Barry Bostwick.  Yes, that Barry Bostwick. The mayor from Spin City.  Throw in Michael Beck from The Warriors and you’ve got yourself a cult classic in the making.

The plot is simple.  Bostwick stars as Ace Hunter, the fearless leader of the titular Megaforce — an elite band of super soldiers that travel the world to fight evil.  Megaforce is tasked with eliminating a power mad dictator before he can spread his seed tyranny across the peace loving Republic of Sardun.  That’s it.  That’s the plot.  If this sounds ridiculous and stupid, it is.  But delightfully so.

The great thing about Megaforce is that it knows it’s a bad movie, but it has a large enough budget to actually make it a fun, bad movie.  That’s the key.  If you released Megaforce today, it would cost fourteen dollars and premiere on syfy.  And probably still feature Barry Bostwick and Michael Beck.  But back in the 80’s, Megaforce was a big deal.  Or at least it was supposed to be.

Megaforce was conceived as a tentpole release for 20th Century Fox.  Famed stuntman and Smokey and the Bandit director, Hal Needham, wrote and directed.  Needham may not sound like a big deal, but he was hot sh*t back in the day.  Remember, Smokey and the Bandit was one of the highest grossing movies of that time.  Needham could’ve made any movie he wanted.  And he willingly made Megaforce.  That fascinates me.

Serious money was spent.  And serious money was lost.

Megaforce was not the franchise starter that Fox hoped it would be.  The film cost over twenty million dollars and only grossed five.  A sequel, Deeds Not Words, was planned and subsequently cancelled.  Unfortunately, the world was not ready for the sheer awesomeness of Barry Bostwick flying a jet-motorcycle.  But I’d like to think we have evolved.  Perhaps our civilization is now sophisticated enough to appreciate Barry Bostwick as a superhero.  Behold:

So is Megaforce any good?  No.  Not remotely.  It’s one of the worst movies ever made.  But damn if it isn’t fun.  And howlingly hilarious.  Sadly, the film is currently unavailable on DVD or Blu-ray.  However, if you can stand the low quality, Megaforce is on YouTube in its entirety.  In all honesty, the streaming adds to the hilarity of the effects.

Little Known Fact:  In the years since release, Megaforce has obtained cult movie status, and was even cited by Matt Stone and Trey Parker as inspiration for the hilarious Team America.

Christopher Nolan Says Goodbye to Batman

Now that Christopher Nolan has concluded his Batman trilogy in spectacular fashion and mothballed the cape and cowl, he’s penned a goodbye letter to the Caped Crusader.  While some Dark Knight fans may have issues with Nolan’s vision of the character, you can’t read this and say Nolan did it for a paycheck.  Dude is a class act.  Thanks to Superhero Hype for originally publishing:

“Alfred.  Gordon.  Lucius.  Bruce…Wayne.  Names that have come to mean so much to me.  Today, I’m three weeks from saying a final good-bye to these characters and their world.  It’s my son’s ninth birthday.  He was born as the Tumbler was being glued together in my garage from random parts of model kits.  Much time, many changes.  A shift from sets where some gunplay or a helicopter were extraordinary events to working days where crowds of extras, building demolitions, or mayhem thousands of feet in the air have become familiar.

People ask if we’d always planned a trilogy.  This is like being asked whether you had planned on growing up, getting married, having kids.  The answer is complicated.  When David and I first started cracking open Bruce’s story, we flirted with what might come after, then backed away, not wanting to look too deep into the future.  I didn’t want to know everything that Bruce couldn’t; I wanted to live it with him.  I told David and Jonah to put everything they knew into each film as we made it.  The entire cast and crew put all they had into the first film.  Nothing held back.  Nothing saved for next time.  They built an entire city.  Then Christian and Michael and Gary and Morgan and Liam and Cillian started living in it.

Christian bit off a big chunk of Bruce Wayne’s life and made it utterly compelling. He took us into a pop icon’s mind and never let us notice for an instant the fanciful nature of Bruce’s methods.  I never thought we’d do a second—how many good sequels are there? Why roll those dice? But once I knew where it would take Bruce, and when I started to see glimpses of the antagonist, it became essential. We re-assembled the team and went back to Gotham. It had changed in three years. Bigger. More real. More modern. And a new force of chaos was coming to the fore. The ultimate scary clown, as brought to terrifying life by Heath. We’d held nothing back, but there were things we hadn’t been able to do the first time out—a Batsuit with a flexible neck, shooting on Imax. And things we’d chickened out on—destroying the Batmobile, burning up the villain’s blood money to show a complete disregard for conventional motivation. We took the supposed security of a sequel as license to throw caution to the wind and headed for the darkest corners of Gotham.

I never thought we’d do a third — are there any great second sequels? But I kept wondering about the end of Bruce’s journey, and once David and I discovered it, I had to see it for myself. We had come back to what we had barely dared whisper about in those first days in my garage. We had been making a trilogy. I called everyone back together for another tour of Gotham. Four years later, it was still there. It even seemed a little cleaner, a little more polished. Wayne Manor had been rebuilt. Familiar faces were back—a little older, a little wiser . . . but not all was as it seemed.  Gotham was rotting away at its foundations. A new evil bubbling up from beneath. Bruce had thought Batman was not needed anymore, but Bruce was wrong, just as I had been wrong. The Batman had to come back. I suppose he always will.

Michael, Morgan, Gary, Cillian, Liam, Heath, Christian . . . Bale. Names that have come to mean so much to me. My time in Gotham, looking after one of the greatest and most enduring figures in pop culture, has been the most challenging and rewarding experience a filmmaker could hope for. I will miss the Batman. I like to think that he’ll miss me, but he’s never been particularly sentimental.”

If I ever meet Christopher Nolan and thank him for giving us a thrilling Batman trilogy, I like to imagine his response will be: “you’ll never have to,” before jumping off a rooftop and gliding into the night.

Movie Titles That Describe Bowel Movements

Warning: this article is dumb. For proper consumption you should read it on the toilet. Take your pants down, pucker your butthole, and for God’s sake make sure you’ve got plenty of toilet paper. Preferably two-ply. Wouldn’t want you to chafe.

Now for a little expository (not suppository) information:

I don’t have an obession with fecal matter. Far from it. I am, however, movie obsessed. And like most of you, I’ve been known to take a dump from time to time. Sh*t happens. So it was only natural that somebody like me would start using movie titles as a way to describe bowel movements.

While I’m sure this won’t win me a ton of followers (unless you’re into scat, in which case, DO NOT contact me), I thought I’d share my favorites with you. So without further adieu, grab your plunger and pull down your pants. It’s time to get this sh*t started.

  • There Will Be Blood
  • Black Snake Moan
  • Children of the Corn
  • A River Runs Through It
  • What Lies Beneath
  • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
  • Mississippi Burning
  • The Unsinkable Molly Brown
  • The African Queen
  • Splash!
  • Dark Water
  • Gone in 60 Seconds
  • Grease
  • Deep Impact
  • Operation Dumbo Drop
  • Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps

And for those of you that might be constipated:

  • Failure to Launch
  • The Andromeda Strain
  • Waiting
  • Kicking & Screaming

What movie titles would you use to describe bowel movements? Put your scat hat on and leave us some brain droppings. Remember, a comment a day keeps the Kraken at bay.