Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated Action/Adventure - Brad Henderson ""

Friday, July 18, 2014

Underrated Action/Adventure - Brad Henderson

Brad Henderson writes for Popshifter and is the co-host of the wonderful Scream Cast podcast (along with Sean Duregger) which is a show I have become a regular part of these days. Check it out here: and follow along on twitter @Scream_Cast
Brad is also a Writer/Director/Producer whose projects include TEDDY, AT NIGHT THEY COME, SEVEN SHADES OF RED, HOWL, THE DARK ONES, THE LAKE, and GREY SKIES.
Brad is a good dude with a huge depth of knowledge about cinema - see his list below to get a taste:
We throw the term “underrated” around quite frequently and I’m sure at this point it has lost its meaning. We throw the term at films like The Boondock Saints, Last Action Hero, Donnie Darko, Dredd, and many more. However, those films bombed at the box office but they have all had major success on VHS/DVD/Blu-ray. At this moment they are not underrated and never will be. Once a film that bombs at the box office or just doesn’t do well but makes a huge success in another market or gains large amounts of popularity throughout time doesn’t make it an underrated movie anymore. At one time Last Action Hero was an underrated film but at this point it has found a major fanbase and is loved by many. Same thing can go for the film Office Space; no one knew what that film was when it came to theatres or hit the video market. At a time Office Space was an underrated film but at this point it has gained large amounts of popularity and the term “underrated” can not be applied. Underrated should only be applied to films that you mention and many can’t haven’t seen or even heard of. Just because a film is a “dud” when it comes out doesn’t mean that it can’t resurface and find it’s audience. Now, just because you may love or have seen these films below doesn’t mean that they aren’t underrated because of what I said above. Just consider yourself part of the in-crowd that has seen these kickass underrated action flicks.

20. Death Ring (1992)
When you can’t get A+ actors you get their C- family members. That is exactly what this film did as it used elements from The Most Dangerous Game. A fun and simple action flick
that has been a favorite for years.

19. Crying Freeman (1995)
Who knew that Christophe Gans made an action film starring Mark Dascasos that wasn’t Brotherhood Of The Wolf. I didn’t until last year and I tracked it down immediately and buried into my eyes.

18. Rage Of Honor (1987)
Anything with Sho Kosugi is badass. It doesn’t matter what it is he always gives an excellent performance when it comes to anything he is in...well, he is a ninja most of the time but a badass ninja.

17. Enemy Territory (1987)
Ray Parker Jr. plays a hero and Tony Todd plays the villain of a gang called The Vampires. Is that enough to get you to hit play?

16. One Down Two To Go (1976)
One of my favorite blaxploitation films of all time and one that stars Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, Jim Kelly, and Richard Roundtree. With a cast like that you can’t go wrong.

15. Deadlock (1991)
They changed the title to this to Wedlock but it will always be Deadlock to me. I dig this film quite a bit and its sequel and is a film that needs a decent re-release because it is extremely underrated.

14. Tiger On Beat (1988)
Yun-Fat Chow stars in this Hong Kong Lethal Weapon style action flick that is a perfect kooky buddy cop flick.

13. The City Of Violence (2006)
I still say this is one of the best action films ever made. The action sequences are outstanding and the overall story is heartbreaking and sad. I will be the first in line to purchase this once it get a Blu-ray release.

12. No Escape (1994)
This film seemed like it was going to be huge but died way down after its release in the video market and was never really heard from again. This is one that could really use a Blu-ray release but I have a feeling we will be waiting for a while.

11. Who Dares Wins (1982)
This film is also known as The Final Option which is a decent titles but Who Dares Wins always sticks out. If you already don’t know this was Ronald Reagan's favorite film and if you have seen it you know why. One of the slower action flicks on the list but the badassery from Lewis Collins is one of the greatest things ever in the history of cinema. It still bothers me that Lewis Collins didn’t blow up into a action star or become the next James Bond.

10. The Nest (2002)
I passed this film countless times at my local video store because by the cover it just looked liked everything else around that time and didn’t stand out at all. After a while of perusing the aisles and trying to make my mind up I finally picked it up and took a look and realized it was a French film rather than some B grade action flick. I decided to take it and give it a chance. Holy shit.

9. Gunmen (1993)
Christopher Lambert, Mario Van Peebles, Denis Leary, Patrick Stewart, Kadeem Hardison, and Brenda Bakke are in this epic action flick that still holds up to this day. I remember the night my mom came home with this and we chilled and watched it that night. Even as a child I thought it was epic and this one holds a certain sentimental value to me as well. My mom is the reason I’m a complete nerd when it comes to cinema and if it wasn’t for her I probably wouldn’t be composing this list at this very moment.

8. The Wild Geese (1978)
I’m obsessed with older actors being put as heroes and badasses. Wild Geese is a film where that happens and takes you surprise of how action packed this gem is. They also made a sequel to it years later with Scott Glenn but it wasn’t the same or as good but still watchable.

7. Drive (1997)
My second film that has actors Mark Dacascos and Kadeem Hardison. Drive is a film that is silly but it has some of the best choreographed fight scenes you will ever see.

6. Class Of 1999 (1990)
This is one of my favorite films of all-time and is in my Top 10 of all-time. I can quote this one inside and out and love it to death.

5. Stone Cold (1991)
Brian Bosworth. That is all.

4. Rapid Fire (1992)
Brandon Lee was like a babysitter to me when I was little. I wanted to be him so bad and loved everything he was in...yeah, even Laser Mission.

3. Showdown In Little Tokyo (1991)
Yeah, I wouldn’t just have one Brandon Lee flick in this list.

2. The Perfect Weapon (1991)
Jeff Speakman is one of the most underrated action stars ever and I think this is by far his best film and also shows off his talents in a major way.

1. A Better Tomorrow Trilogy
A perfect trilogy and perfect movies. Yes, it does have some corny music at times but that doesn’t bother me at all. It also has some balls out shootout sequences that are to die for even if they are a little over the top but it works in what I like to call “Woo World”. This films are the best of the best and have some incredible shots and choreography that no one has been able to replicate to this day.

Now I hit my Top 20 but I have one more that goes on the list and this is another one that is on my Top 10 of all-time. The reason why I didn’t put it on this Top 20 list? It is a different breed of action and kind of an odd film itself and needs a certain kind of attention. That film is Raiders Of Atlantis.
0. Raiders Of Atlantis (1983)


George White said...

Yes, Lewis Collins should have been BOnd. Apparently, Cubby Broccoli found him too aggressive. I have a theory that John Glen and Mike G Wilson devised For Your Eyes Only with Collins in mind, with the graveyard scene to re-introduce us that this is still Bond, and the opening, with its dockland flavour has a feel very like Collins' TV show the Professionals.
Collins was supposed to be WIldGeese 2, with RIchard Burton, who died before production and Edward Fox was rushed in as Burton's character Al(an) Faulkner's brother Al(ex) Faulkner, and Collins didn't do it because Euan Lloyd discovered who produced the Wild Geese and Who Dares Wins, discovered Collins had gone off to work with Antonio Margheriti on Codename WIld Geese, the knock-off with Van Cleef, Kinski and Borgnine, and as punishment, apparently fired him and replaced with Scott Glenn.

DOLPH - The Ultimate Guide said...

CRYING FREEMAN is a cult-classic in Europe (and Asia?), and one of the best action martial arts movies of the 90s, unfortunately shelved by Universal in the U.S. for some legal disagreement.

Look for the fantastic French special edition on 2 discs DVD or Blu-ray!