BLOCKBUSTED B-Movie Blogathon: Action Jackson (1988) & Dark Angel (1990)

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Katy from Girl Meets Cinema spearheaded this Blogathon, inspired by the recent Godzilla movie.

Choose a super cheesy blockbuster B-rated movie(s). Genres include: disaster flicks (examples: Twister, Poseidon), alien invasions (i.e. Independence Day, Mars Attacks), creature attacks (Eight Legged Freaks, Tremors), retro horror (i.e. The Crawling Eye, The Blob), and 80s and 90s action (i.e. Total Recall, Armageddon), supernatural (The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Van Helsing), etc. In your post, include a picture(s) of your selection (etc) and reasons why you love that particular movie. Characteristics to consider may be the sense of adventure, the cast, the script, the one-liners, an nostalgic memory, the cult following. Share all the reasons why you are shamelessly in love with this particular movie; the sky’s the limit!

It’s time to spread the shameless love for B-movie awesomeness.

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As a big fan of summer blockbuster films, I have an endless list of B-movies that I can name but I don’t know if big summer movies should be consider B-movies? I mean most of them stars A-list actors, have gigantic budgets and support from studios. To me B-movies are the lesser known ones that don’t have a big budget and most of them weren’t hits at the box office. With that in mind, I’d like to write about two movies that absolutely fits the B-movie category and both were directed by the same person: Craig R. Baxley.

Here are two B-movies that I shamelessly love:

Action Jackson (1988)

ActionJackson1988Producer Joel Silver was on the top of his game back in the 80s, he’d produced many of the box office hits in that decade (48 Hrs., Lethal Weapon, Predator) and he wanted to create a character similar to Shaft for the 80s audiences and Jericho “Action” Jackson was born. Silver recruited second unit director Craig R. Baxley to helm this smaller budgeted action film and he signed Carl Weathers AKA Apollo Creed to play the title role. The film also stars Craig T. Nelson as the villain, the young Sharon Stone and the then popular singer and actress Vanity. The film was box office dud but sort of gained a small cult following and I shamelessly love it!

Why do I think it’s a great B-movie?

Well it’s a fun action flick that’s full of 80s cheesy one liners and Carl Weathers was pretty great as Action Jackson. Just like many action heroes of that era, he’s an honest cop who always figured things out before anyone else, his superior and co-workers don’t like him and of course the bad guys want him dead. Weathers was perfectly cast as the man of action, he played the role pretty straight and didn’t do anything over the top or took it too seriously. The antagonist in the film was the always great Craig T. Nelson, he’s your typical 80s villain. He’s powerful and always have endless henchmen who can’t seem to kill our hero. Sharon Stone had a brief screen time and her role didn’t really add much to the movie. The weakest link here is Vanity, yes she’s pretty but she can’t act and to have her be a love interest was kind of weird. She’s basically a junkie and didn’t care about herself yet somehow Action Jackson fell for her? That’s the only thing annoyed me about the movie.

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Craig R. Baxley was a second unit director on Predator and I assume that’s how he got to direct this film, he shot most of the action sequences in that film and here he didn’t disappoint. He staged a pretty cool foot/car chase and the hand to hand combat finally between Jackson and the villain was pretty great. What I found a little surprising was the film didn’t include any big shootouts, in fact there weren’t any a shoot out at all, pretty rare for an action film of the 80s. Maybe that’s the reason why it didn’t perform well at the box office, people were expecting to see big shootouts and the film didn’t have any.

If there’s a film that deserves a remake, Action Jackson should be on the list. If they do it right, it can a potential franchise for the studio. I think Idris Elba would be the perfect choice to play Jackson.

Here’s the film’s original theatrical trailer:

Dark Angel: I Come In Peace (1990)

DarkAngel1990After Action Jackson, Craig R. Baxley got to make another B-grade action picture. This one starred Dolph Lundgren as a cop trying to take down an alien who kills humans because our brain have some sort of drug that he can sell on his planet. Sounds silly right? Well it wouldn’t be a B-movie if the story isn’t as silly as this one.

I would describe the movie as Predator meets Lethal Weapon, it’s sort of an alien invasion but also a buddy cop action/adventure. As mentioned, Lundgren played the rogue cop and again he’s your typical 80s/90s action hero. He knows everything but can’t seem to convince people to believe him, his boss constantly yells at him and he can take down an army of bad guys.

Brian Benben co-starred as the sidekick/buddy and I thought he’s quite hilarious in the role. It’s too bad his career never took off. The main villain is played by the always frightening actor Matthias Hues, he’s a perfect antagonist to the tall Dolph Lundgren. Their mano-a-mano showdown was fun to watch.

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Being that the movie doesn’t have much of a plot, Baxley was able to keep pace moving smoothly by incorporating some good shootouts and a very cool climatic car chase. I don’t know what else to say about this movie except that if you haven’t seen it, I would recommend you check it out because it’s so silly that you might laugh along with it or at it. No, it’s not a great movie but it sure was entertaining.

Here’s the original theatrical trailer:


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Those are my two absolute favorite B-movies and I would highly recommend you check them out just for pure entertainment cheesy fun.