The Ruthless Guide to 80s Action

Big sweaty men! Big noisy guns! Dozens of people getting beaten and slaughtered–per scene! Entire cities razed to the ground! Liberal wimps beware as simple handguns become judge, jury and executioner!

And the only repercussion is that the Stupid Chief takes your badge and gun for the weekend…

Check Out the RUTHLESS TIMELINE of 80s Action

Welcome to the wonderful, whitebread world of 80s Action. The brain trust here at Ruthless spent some time figuring out just what exactly made a shoot ‘em up flick in the 80s so much better than the identical film shot in some other decade. That task took all of about five minutes. Firstly, action films from the 80’s are all exceedingly homoerotic. It is an essential part of the given movie’s aesthetic. Sure, Steve Reeves took his shirt off in The Thief of Baghdad, but he spent most of his time chasing after the princess, not touching other men. Of course all of the heroes in 80s Action flicks talk like tough guys, but there is rarely any hetero-sex and by the end of the movie they are typically locked in mortal, lascivious combat with another muscular, shirtless man.

Furthermore, the heroes of these great films are men who in real life could actually beat the living fuck out of you. Say what you will about his political abilities [Ed Note: Vote Larry Flynt], but back in 1983, Arnold Schwarzenegger could have ripped the arms off your body. Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lungren, Charles Bronson, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude van Damme or Clint Eastwood, back about eighteen years, were all actually muscle-bound, tough-as-nails uber-mensches. You would not have wanted to run into any of them while lurking in a dark alley. Especially if you’re a commie-nazi, drug-dealing terrorist leftist cop who’s soft on crime and likes kidnapping/molesting under-aged white girls in said alleys. These days, more often than not, all you get are androgynous pencil-dicks like Jared Leto playing the heavies. Put more succinctly, if me and Leto met in a darkened alley, I’d be the one bending him over. And Will Smith is exactly as intimidating as Milhouse Van Houten. Action stars of today are pussies. Action stars of two decades ago shot .44 bullets out of their cocks. Honestly, if me and Charles Bronson were in the same room I’d kill myself just to make sure he didn’t hurt me.

Finally, 80s Action films have a definite right-wing slant to them. Similar to Triumph of the Will. Sure, no one wanted to see sex on screen while Reagan was in office, but more than half of the films we’re going to discuss derived their plots from Willie Horton commercials. Whether it is Rocky Balboa single-handedly bringing down the Iron Curtain while draped in Old Glory or Charles Bronson intricately dissecting the fallacies of liberalism with a .357 Magnum or Schwarzenegger waltzing around half-nude with more guns than the Branch Davidians, people who enjoy circle jerking to Norman Rockwell prints simply love action films of the 80’s. We know we do. Enjoy!

The Ruthless Guide To 80s Action is a living document and will be updated every so often. We’re thinking 50 100 is a nice round number, so we’ll probably stop there. Here is what we currently have:


10 TO MIDNIGHT
10 TO MIDNIGHT

ABOVE THE LAW
ABOVE THE LAW

ACTION JACKSON
ACTION JACKSON

ALIENS
ALIENS

AMERICAN NINJA
AMERICAN NINJA

ARMY OF ONE
ARMY OF ONE

ASSASSINATION
ASSASSINATION

BEASTMASTER, THE
BEASTMASTER, THE

BEST OF THE BEST
BEST OF THE BEST

BLACK RAIN
BLACK RAIN

BLOODSPORT
BLOODSPORT

BRADDOCK: MISSING IN ACTION 3:
BRADDOCK: MISSING IN ACTION 3:

COBRA
COBRA

COMMANDO
COMMANDO

CONAN THE BARBARIAN
CONAN THE BARBARIAN

CONAN THE DESTROYER
CONAN THE DESTROYER

CYBER TRACKER
CYBER TRACKER

CYBORG
CYBORG

DAYS OF THUNDER
DAYS OF THUNDER

DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR
DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR

DEATH WISH 2
DEATH WISH 2

DEATH WISH IV: THE CRACKDOWN
DEATH WISH IV: THE CRACKDOWN

DEATH WISH V: THE FACE OF DEATH
DEATH WISH V: THE FACE OF DEATH

DIE HARD
DIE HARD

DIE HARD 2: DIE HARDER
DIE HARD 2: DIE HARDER

DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE
DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE

DOUBLE IMPACT
DOUBLE IMPACT

DOUBLE TEAM
DOUBLE TEAM

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK

EXTREME PREJUDICE
EXTREME PREJUDICE

EYE OF THE TIGER
EYE OF THE TIGER

FIREWALKER
FIREWALKER

FIRST BLOOD
FIRST BLOOD

FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER
FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER

HARD TO KILL
HARD TO KILL

HEARTBREAK RIDGE
HEARTBREAK RIDGE

INVASION USA
INVASION USA

IRON EAGLE
IRON EAGLE

KICKBOXER
KICKBOXER

KICKBOXER 2: THE ROAD BACK
KICKBOXER 2: THE ROAD BACK

KICKBOXER 3: THE ART OF WAR
KICKBOXER 3: THE ART OF WAR

LETHAL WEAPON
LETHAL WEAPON

LOCK UP
LOCK UP

LONE WOLF MCQUADE
LONE WOLF MCQUADE

MALONE
MALONE

MARKED FOR DEATH
MARKED FOR DEATH

MAXIMUM RISK
MAXIMUM RISK

MCBAIN
MCBAIN

MISSING IN ACTION
MISSING IN ACTION

MISSING IN ACTION 2:
MISSING IN ACTION 2:

MURPHY'S LAW
MURPHY’S LAW

NAVY SEALS
NAVY SEALS

NEXT OF KIN
NEXT OF KIN

NO DEAD HEROES
NO DEAD HEROES

OUT FOR JUSTICE
OUT FOR JUSTICE

OVER THE TOP
OVER THE TOP

PREDATOR
PREDATOR

PREDATOR 2
PREDATOR 2

PUNISHER: WARZONE
PUNISHER: WARZONE

RAMBO
RAMBO

RAMBO III
RAMBO III

RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II
RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II

RAW DEAL
RAW DEAL

RED DAWN
RED DAWN

RED HEAT
RED HEAT

RED SONJA
RED SONJA

ROADHOUSE
ROADHOUSE

ROBOCOP
ROBOCOP

ROCKY III
ROCKY III

ROCKY IV
ROCKY IV

ROCKY V
ROCKY V

ROLLING VENGEANCE
ROLLING VENGEANCE

S.W.A.T.
S.W.A.T.

SHARKY'S MACHINE
SHARKY’S MACHINE

SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO
SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO

STEEL DAWN
STEEL DAWN

STONE COLD
STONE COLD

TANGO & CASH
TANGO & CASH

THE DELTA FORCE
THE DELTA FORCE

THE EVIL THAT MEN DO
THE EVIL THAT MEN DO

THE HANOI HILTON
THE HANOI HILTON

THE LAST BOY SCOUT
THE LAST BOY SCOUT

THE PERFECT WEAPON
THE PERFECT WEAPON

THE PUNISHER
THE PUNISHER

THE RUNDOWN
THE RUNDOWN

THE RUNNING MAN
THE RUNNING MAN

THE THING
THE THING

THEY LIVE
THEY LIVE

TOP GUN
TOP GUN

TOY SOLDIERS
TOY SOLDIERS

UNDER SIEGE
UNDER SIEGE

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER
UNIVERSAL SOLDIER
255
SHARES
About Plexico Gingrich

Plexico likes to gamble. He writes for a boxing site which you can visit: here
Follow him on twitter: @ruthlessreviews