Tag Archives: Dolph Lundgren

The Punisher (1989)

I guess Frank picked up some silver smithing skills in between bouts of punishing the guilty.
I guess Frank picked up some silver smithing skills in between bouts of punishing the guilty.

Like Ghost Rider before him, the Punisher is one of those breakout characters from early ’70s that seemed dark and edgy in his time, only to be surpassed by any given action movie hero on any given weekend of any given summer. Vengeful murder became a novelty in American comic books after the Moral Panic of the mid-1950s sanitized everything. The 60s and 70s were sad times, and they produced some sad sack characters, but at least the wave began to roll back towards a grim, more gruesomely violent place. That’s something, right? Sure as hell makes things more marketable.

But since I don’t do what so many do and confuse marketable levels of violence for “realism” I’ve never been able to take the Punisher all that seriously. He would’ve been yet another one-off Spider-Man villain in an age that already overflowed with them, were it not for the fact he shared Parker’s tendency to monologue like a Spalding Gray robot and constantly question the merit of his own actions…even as he murders bad guys by the mansion-full. The contrast can be hilarious, depending on how overwrought the prose turns out, and so obvious even Marvel’s realized it on occasion. Continue reading The Punisher (1989)

Masters of the Universe (1987)

He's just thinking about kicking Jean-Claude Van Damme's ass.You remember He-Man, right? Of course you do. If you were anywhere between the ages of 3-14 during the 80s then you couldn’t spit without hitting (buy) He-Man (stuff). That steroid driven bastard was everywhere. You could find He-Man in toy stores, on TV, on T-shirts. Lunchboxes. Shorts. Shoes. Socks. Underwear. I even remember my cousin had a talking He-Man toothbrush holder. I can still hear its creepy, mechanical voice to this day. “I’m He-Man! I’m strong as can be! And I brush my teeth! With reg-u-larity!” {More}

Universal Soldier (1992)

Duh...When the wretched idiocies and injustices of modern life pile upon you, don’t go on a killing spree: find a suitable target for your aggression. Something that can’t defend itself. Something that can’t fight back. Something that doesn’t break as easily as, say, puppies or children. Me, I review movies. The ultimate target. Nothing gets your ego big and hard like taking a shameless hack’s hatchet to something hundreds of other people poured their hearts and souls into.

Tonight’s example: Universal Soldier. You all remember this movie…don’t you…? Good. Neither did I. Universal Soldier is like the freeloading uncle no one talks about, since that time he tried to clean out the bank accounts. It may be the film most directly responsible for Roland Emmerich’s continued career. Yet no one shows this flick on cable anymore. The networks refuse to touch it. Crummy, straight-to-video sequels have failed to revive it and all of its stars have fallen…some harder than others.

To understand why, consider the prologue set in Vietnam. Private Luc (Jean-Claude Van Damme) takes time out from dodging mortars to encounter Sergeant Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren), who’s gone all Heart of Darkness on us. Even made himself a necklace of human ears to bring that out psychopathic shine in his Dolph Lundgren-y eyes. Luc, upright, moral, all-American that he is, steps between Scott and the few surviving villagers. Scott and Luc kill each other in a true blue Good vs. Evil blood bath, and along comes The Military to cover it all up. Naturally. Another Tuesday in Vietnam in the seventies. {More}