Now, before you read this list, this is an ACTION film list. No aliens, robots or distant worlds. Just guns, fists, sweat and blood.
John Rambo is released from prison by the government for a top-secret covert mission to the last place on Earth he’d want to return – the jungles of Vietnam.
Say what you will about the Rambo character. I love every single one of the films. He kills, and he is very good at it. Even in some of the most unbelievable ways thinkable. These films are made for dudes. That is all. So, if you are a dude, watch it. Watch all of them.
Kill Count: 67, 57 of those by Rambo himself.
Favorite Quote: Rambo – “Mission…accomplished” [thrusts knife into table]
A tough, high pants wearing bouncer is hired to clean up a dirty bar.
What do I say about Roadhouse? Well, it’s terrible, awesome, cheesy and a little gay. If you have not seen this film, watch it at least once. Just once. It’s at least better than Dirty Dancing. Oh, and Mr. Swayze rips another man’s throat out with his bare hands.
Kill Count: 7
Favorite Quote: “Pain don’t hurt”
A 707 aircraft jetliner on its way from Athens to Rome and then to New York City is hijacked by Lebanese terrorists. The terrorists demand that the pilot take them to Beirut. What the terrorists don’t realize is that an elite team of commandoes led by Major McCoy (Norris) and by Colonel Alexander (Marvin) as been called into service to eliminate all terrorists on the jetliner and who’s involved in the hijacking and try to retake the plane.
There is no deep point to this film. Which is not a bad thing. In the 80′s action heroes were invincible, ethically flawless and totally righteous. All you need to know about this film is that zero percent of it is PC. And, most important, it is about the action. No need to think. It is a great piece of action cinema that entertains. Plain and simple.
Doc Brown got the idea for the Flux Capacitor when he was roundhouse kicked by Chuck Norris.
Kill Count: 78, 43 by Chuck Norris
Favorite Quote: Chuck after taking out a terrorist – “Sleep tight, sucker.”
A retired elite Black Ops Commando launches a one man war against a group of South American criminals who have kidnapped his daughter (Alyssa Milano) to blackmail him into starting a revolution and getting an exiled dictator back into power.
I love this Arnold film. It is a close second to T2. The definition of a one man army, John Matrix (Schwarzenegger) hands out justice the only way he knows how – with extreme prejudice and tons of firepower.
Kill Count: 109, 102 of those by Arnold.
Favorite Quote: “You’re a funny guy Sully, I like you. That’s why I’m going to kill you last.”
An American soldier who just happens to be skilled in martial arts, single-handedly takes on mercenaries in the Philippines.
Unbelievable, unrealistic and fun. With only a one million dollar budget, it was considered an indie film in its day. However it did very well. Grossing 35 times its original budget. Not bad. This was one that as a child I was not allowed to watch due the the R rating. So, I did what any other kid would have done, and watched it at a friend’s house. I loved it. I have not watched it in many years, but it left an impression.
Kill Count: 134, Dudikoff kills 28
Favorite Quote: “He possess great skills!”
Frank Dux has spent most his life being trained by Tanaka to participate in the Kumite, the ultimate martial arts tournament, where participants are seriously injured, even killed.
Hey Van Damme, how many splits do you really need to do?
Great martial arts film here. The acting is terrible but there are so many memorable moments. In my opinion, it is the best story of a soldier disobeying his commanding officers to fight in an underground martial arts tournament ever told. If you haven’t seen a Van Damme film, make this your first.
Split Count: 8 all done by JCVD
Favorite Quote: “I love anything full contact. I need more scars on my face.”
It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers bands together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces.
In November a re-make of this film will be hitting theaters. At this moment, my hopes are not too high for it. However, this is not about the re-make. It is about a great “what if” film directed by John Milius (Conan the Barbarian). There have been many times I have wondered what would happen if we were to be attacked on our own soil. I imagine it would be exactly like this. And, when I gather together my group of normal folks to fight, what other animal would I name it after? Of course the wolverine. With more violence per minute than any film before it, this is a great one to watch with the entire family. And if you think something like Red Dawn couldn’t actually happen, Soviet soldiers have been spotted in the suburbs, infiltrating our karaoke bars to sing Soviet anthems such as “Back in the U.S.S.R.”
Kill Count: 118
Favorite Quote: “Wolverines!”
A reforming ex-gangster tries to reconcile with his estranged policeman brother, but the ties to his former gang are difficult to break.
Guns and John Woo. That is really all I need to say. But, since I am long winded, I will say more.
In my opinion A Better Tomorrow probably ranks in at second place among Woo’s serious films. Second only to The Killer of course. The film has everything you could want from a Heroic Bloodshed film. It’s got the guns, the style, the unnecesary melodrama and lots and lots of blood everywhere. Now, the action sequences aren’t quite as abundant as the sequel, or even The Killer really, but what is here is quite stellar. Watch this. Not the remake released in 2010. It was good, it just didn’t have the same feel.
Kill Count: 73, 50 by Chow Yun Fatt
Favorite Quote: Don’t have one.
A veteran cop, Murtaugh, is partnered with a young suicidal cop, Riggs. Both have one thing in common – they hate working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.
The first film that spawned three more films. All of which I adore.
An unsubtle action movie that trades intrigue for visceral emotion. Writer Shane Black peppers the movie with gallows humor, and veteran action director Richard Donner keeps things lean and mean, refusing to complicate the simple drug-running plot with so much as a twist.
The film caters to the audience’s bloodlust, allowing us to relish Riggs’ ruthless retribution by making him pay for his sins with his sanity. Gibson excels at playing the dispenser of righteous violence, and tragically flawed action hero. Great. Great. Great.
Kill Count: 34
Favorite Quote: “I’m too old for this sh**”
New York cop John McClane gives terrorists a dose of their own medicine as they hold hostages in an LA office building.
What can I say that hasn’t already been said? It is a classic. Easily my favorite Christmas film of all time. Yes, Christmas film. No one plays the man’s man hero like Bruce Willis. It gave the action genre a heart, humanizing it. And of course its immediate success prompted billions of fastball pitches which Hollywood kept hitting. “DIE HARD on a plane” (PASSENGER 57), “DIE HARD on a boat” (UNDER SIEGE), “DIE HARD on a train” (UNDER SIEGE 2), “DIE HARD on a bus” (SPEED).
What stands out to me the most was Alan Rickman’s performance. His classy insanity made him one of the most entertaining villains I have ever seen. I won’t even tell you to go watch it. Because you already have. I know you have.
Kill Count: 20, McClane kills 10
Favorite Quote: ”I wanted this to be professional, efficient, adult, cooperative. Not a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way… so he won’t be joining us for the rest of his life.”