Saturday, August 9, 2014

1991: Guilty Pleasures

No worst list for 1991 as while there were a few movies I hated, nothing really jumped out at me as being worthy of more than a few words a piece.  In lieu of that, we're going with an extra king size guilty pleasure post as there was lots of cheesy goodness to be found in 1991, starting with a double dose of Van Damme!

Double your Van Damme, double the wondrous cheese.  JCVD plays twins separated at a very young age, raised differently, who end up meeting while hunting down the bad guys who killed their parents.  Tons of action and a fun supporting performance from Geoffrey Lewis make this one a fun ride.

JCVD plays Leo, a legionnaire who has deserted in order to get to his injured brother in Los Angeles.  He ends up getting involved in underground street fighting for money to help his family after the brother dies.  Lots of fighting helps move the film along, though the story is rather thin.  Like most JCVD films from this period, the plot slows way things down quite a bit.

What list of fun cheesy movies would be complete without a good old fashioned Steven Seagal smash fest?  Out for Justice is a bit harder edged than most of his earlier films with a real gritty, violent 70's sort of feel as Seagal plays a tough cop named Gino who goes on a roaring rampage of revenge after his partner is gunned down by old friend Richie (William Forsythe), a drugged up psycho who not only makes Gino mad but the local mob. Seagal has some real showstopping bits here, especially a "fight" in a bar which boils down to about maybe two minutes of him actually fighting guys and a lot of him being an intimidating bastard as only Seagal can be.  It's quite the brisk, fun ride.

1991 was a great year for cheesy martial arts films (as I believe this post proves) and Jeff Speakman's debut film is a perfectly solid, entertaining meat and potatoes "martial arts guy seeks revenge after his master is killed" film with some impressively fast action scenes and an nice, cheesy sense of fun.  Speakman is okay and while the kid sidekick could have been dropped, the film makes up for it by having our hero get into a climactic brawl with Toru Tanaka.

This one flopped pretty hard when it was released but I sort of dig its oddball pseudo-futuristic biker film charm.  Mickey Rourke and Don Johnson make for a pretty good duo, oddly enough and there is plenty of action and humor to keep one occupied.  Just don't go in expecting anything great.

This is possibly the most insane, staggeringly stupid buddy cop movie I have ever seen.  Dolph Lundgren plays the requisite tough cop gunning for psycho Cary Tagawa and he's joined by Brandon Lee as an equally nutty cop.  Tons of cheese, sweaty action and some impressively bad dialogue.  This one is pretty damn bad in the best way possible, plus it's only 78 minutes long so it's not like you're making a huge time investment.

Equall6y cheesy and wonderful is Stone Cold, the film debut of former NFL player Brian Bosworth who plays an undercover cop trying to bring down a biker gang led by Lance Henriksen.  Lance is the best thing about the movie as he snarls out great line after great line and generally hamming it up like there's no tomorrow.  The rest of the cast is blah (though William Forsythe is fun as another biker) but the over the top action more than makes up for that.,  The highlight is Bosworth shooting a biker as he rides at him, causing him to crash through a window into a helicopter which blows up.  It's pretty awesome, hell of a movie.

Freddy Krueger in 3-D was the main selling point for this cheesy, actually quite awful entry in the series.  Freddy is back, this time he is up against his long lost daughter, played by Lisa Zane.  The f/x are cheesy, especially the 3-D finale and Freddy is about as scary as a kitten but Robert Englund brings such energy and the film is so relentlessly nutty that it ends up being sort of endearing in how bad it is.

And to wrap this up, a double dose of Bruce Willis.

First off is this loud, impressively obnoxious, violent buddy film with Willis as a down and out private detective and Damon Wayans as a disgraced football player whose girlfriend gets killed to kick off the plot.  Willis and Wayans make a pretty good duo and Shane Black's script is loaded with funny lines.  It's also loaded with a fair amount of rather unpleasant sexism (even for a Joel Silver film) as there isn't one single likable female character in the entire thing.  Hell, even Willis' daughter, played by Danielle Harris is an unlikable little turd.  Still, the film is just so ridiculous that it ends up being fun with lots of jokes, action, a rather frivolous sports gambling legislation plot and a fun villain played by Taylor Negron.

God help me, but I actually find this notorious turkey of an ego trip pretty entertaining just for how odd it is willing to get.  Willis is a cat burglar roped into one more gig and everything else is just bizarre gags, dumb dialogue and overall strangeness as Willis and the rest of the cast just goes as over the top as they can.  It's really something... Though I freely admit it's a very bad movie.  Still, if you have an off beat sense of humor...

Coming soon: The Best of 1991


  1. I find Hudson Hawk oddly endearing in the way that it commits to being barking mad, and cheerfully admits it.

    1. Ditto. If nothing else, it is very comfortable with what it is.


About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.