Top Ten Cheesy but Great Action Films by Singer and Songwriter Ratinoff who channels his love for vintage ’80s rock ‘n’ roll into his sound on his self-titled, debut album
My first pick is Samurai Cop. This is the last bad but fun, movie I watched, which is why I think it is my number one pick. I recently saw an interview with the main actor Matt Hanon and he recalls while shooting, thinking how bad the movie was going to be. There is a scene where he is wearing a wig, and the wig constantly falls on and off his head. It’s a fun movie because it doesn’t try to be more than it is, from cheesy fight scenes to the way people meet their demise in this movie are awesomely bad.
I COME IN PEACE
Oh, Matthias Hues, you are an awesomely bad ’80s action hero and villain. Hues plays an alien who has a sort of calling card where he always says, ”I come in peace.” At the end of the movie, (spoiler alert) Dolph Lundgren’s character says ”and you will die in pieces.” The movie is filled with class bad but funny one-liners. I love how Hues plays the villain with his long bleach blonde mullet.
The film itself is loosely based on martial artist Frank Dux’s life. It stars Jean Claude Van Damme who in my opinion, is the epitome of bad action movies from the ’80s. This one is by far, his best movie. The most recognizable. Bolo Yeung is in it as well, as the villain. He did movies with both Bruce and Brandon Lee in his career. The fight scenes are amazing. It’s predictable from start to finish but also very entertaining.
BOYKA – Undisputed
Yuri Boyka is a Fictional character played by Scott Adkins, in the Undisputed film series. I was first introduced to Scott Adkins, when he played Boyka, in Undisputed 2. When I first watched Adkins and heard him, I thought he was Russian, he played that character so well. He is a phenomenal martial artist.
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA
This movie is a hilarious, dark fantasy martial arts comedy directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, and James Hong. Russell runs around in a tight white tank top, ’80s style jeans, with a mullet. The special effects are comical with people blowing up and splattering all over the place; one of the bad guys explodes.
SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO
This movie came out when I was in the 4th grade. I remember passing by the theater and seeing the movie poster with Dolph Lundgren and Brandon Lee. I begged my parents to take me to see it, but they wouldn’t. Then one weekend I spend the night at a friend’s, and his parents took us. I remember being very scared by the villain, played by Cary Togawa. Years later I watched the movie, and I realize how bad it was, but back when I was a kid, I thought it was one of the best movies ever made. Dolph Lundgren is a 6’4” Swedish guy dressed up as a B0112ZBY6Ki kicking butt in the streets of LA.
When I first saw this as a kid, I remember thinking that Michael Dudikoff was an actual ninja in real life. His side partner, Jackson, played by Steve James, was the perfect tough guy. Dudikoff plays Joe Armstrong, an orphaned drifter with little respect for much other than martial arts. He finds himself on an American Army base in The Philippines after a judge gives him a choice of enlistment or prison.
On one of his first missions driving a convoy, his platoon is attacked by rebels who try to steal the weapons the platoon is transporting, and kidnap Patricia, the base colonel’s daughter, who happens to be along for the ride. Joe rescues Patricia and gets her safely back to the base, but everyone else in the platoon is killed, leading his superiors to conclude that Joe is guilty of cowardice, collaboration, or simple incompetence. At the same time, the rebel leader vows revenge against the serviceman who disrupted his plans and sends an army of ninjas to assassinate him and bring back Patricia. If he wants to survive and save the girl, Joe’s going to have to draw on every ounce of his training.
BEST OF THE BEST
This movie makes me cry until this very day…it is great and emotional. This is not the typical movie where the good guys win, per se. The story is about a team from the United States who has to compete against Korea in a Tae Kwon Do tournament. The team consists of fighters from all over the country, and they have to overcome their rivalry and work together to win. It still makes me cry to this day. The movie is powered by James Earl Jones, Eric Roberts, and Chris Penn as well. Amazing movie.
ONLY THE STRONG
I used to love this movie as a kid. I got introduced to the Afro-Brazilian martial art Capoeira with this film. It’s not an Oscar winner, but it’s a good action film; the fight scenes are priceless. Ex-Special Forces soldier Louis Stevens returns to Miami to find his former high school overrun by drugs and violence. A master of the Brazilian martial art, capoeira, Stevens pledges to straighten out a dozen of the school’s worst students by teaching them this highly disciplined fighting style. But the local drug lord played by Paco Prieto is also a martial arts expert and wants to stop Stevens’ positive influence.
THE LAST DRAGON
I watched this movie at a friend’s house when I was in elementary school on VHS. The Last Dragon (aka Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon) is a 1985 American martial arts comedy film produced by Rupert Hitzig for Berry Gordy and directed by Michael Schultz. Based in New York City, young martial artist Bruce “Leroy” Green (Taimak) searches for the “master” to obtain the final level of martial arts mastery known as the glow. Along the way, he must fight a martial arts expert corrupted with power, and rescue a beautiful singer, played by one of my childhood crushes, Vanity, from an obsessed music promoter.