Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated Action/Adventure - Jackson Stewart ""

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Underrated Action/Adventure - Jackson Stewart

Jackson Stewart is a writer/director living in Los Angeles.  He created the web series 'The Cartridge Family' and wrote for the CW show Supernatural.  He also did a short entitled 'Sex Boss'.
He's on twitter @bossjacko.
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1. Night of the Juggler (1980)
-This movie is basically Death Wish meets The Warriors meets Serpico.  Cliff Gorman plays an unhinged maniac who kidnaps the mayor's daughter -- or so he thinks.  Turns out the daughter was actually James Brolin's (a hard working New Yorker) and now with the mayor refusing to pay the ransom and the police offering zero help, Brolin must take to the mean streets of 80s NYC to rescue his daughter.  This was the only 35mm print I have ever owned.



2. Beast With A Gun (1977)
-Amazing score, a career defining performance from Helmut Berger and one of the few other notable films the ultra sexy Marissa Mell from Danger: Diabolik appeared in.  It's an exciting Polizzioteschi movie placing you with the evil Helmut Berger for the duration of the movie and a mostly forgettable, yet necessary detective character trying to hunt him down.  If you are a complete wuss or easily offended, avoid this masterpiece.  
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3.  Crack House (1989)
-One of my favorite 80s exploitation films.  Quentin Tarantino programmed this a few years back at the New Beverly and gave it an intro I will never forget -- "listen up, you might think this movie is funny, but get this straight, no one in here is better than CRACKHOUSE."  He went on to point out that no matter how much more clever the audience might think they are than the movie, no comment they made would match the excellence on screen.  It's violent, weird and filled with some cheesy romance.  It's currently on Netflix streaming.
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4.  2019: After The Fall of New York (1983)
-Easily the best of the Italian Escape From New York rip-offs delivered by the masterful Sergio Martino.  Michael Sopkiw gives a commanding performance as Parsifal, a headband sporting, jean jacket wearing, Snake Plissken knock-off.  It's a shame Sopkiw didn't have a bigger career as he's a genuinely good actor and has a very unique look.  Also, Children of Men completely seems to have lifted a few scenes and ideas from this. Alfonso Cuaron owes Sergio Martino some money.   Yes, it's low budget, but it's a total blast and deserves a lot more praise.  Martino deserves to be held in the same regard as Argento and Fulci.
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5.  Street Law (1974)
-My twitter friend Phil Noble Jr once described this movie as Italian thugs threaten Franco Nero's machismo and he must make them pay.  That is exactly what this movie is about and goes to prove how ridiculously bad ass Italian exploitation films were in the 1970s.  It features a haunting (and sometimes hilarious) score by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis.  In a perfect world, the title track 'Goodbye My Friend' would have been a number one radio hit for 57 weeks straight; according to my itunes library I've listened to it one hundred times and it still kicks so much ass.  I defy you to not feel like a boss while listening to this soundtrack.  On top of that, Castellari's direction is exciting and really well choreographed.
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