Freedom Strike (1998)

If we truly wanted to get this Middle East business settled once and for all, we need to do is what I’ve advised four Presidents to do – initiate the Dudikoff Option. The Dudikoff Option is so simple, it’s beyond bizarre that it hasn’t been thought of outside of several terrible thrifty action movies.

The scenario plays out like this: an evil and appropriately swarthy military leader in some Middle East country comes up with some scheme which threatens to make things even worse over there so the U.S. military deploys the only asset in its arsenal that has the required combination of third tier action hero status, bland to nonexistent personality (so as to not draw attention to himself during daytime invasions of various installations), and martial arts skills that will invariably barely be featured at all during the mission. Continue reading “Freedom Strike (1998)”

Quicksand (2002)

Quicksand PosterNew base psychiatrist Bill Turner shows up at his new post just in time to fail to talk a guy out of committing suicide right in front of him. Later that night at the officer’s club, a sleazy blond broad comes on to him, but it turns out she’s the general’s daughter and has been confined to base for stripping in public. Oh, and she’s also going to be his first patient. Yep, it’s going to be one of those kind of tours of duty for a bored-looking Michael “the Dude” Dudikoff.

The audience doesn’t fare much better as it suffers through a parade of alternately laughable, sordid, and just downright disgusting dialogue combined with a criminally insane lack of action from the Dude. When we have to hear the Dude ask his patient/prospective love interest if she had ever had sexual relations with her father, the viewer is likely to need a session on one of the Dude’s fancy leather couches that he brought to the Marine base from his practice in Chicago. Continue reading “Quicksand (2002)”

Chain of Command (1994)

While Chain of Command is truly abominable on every level, it’s really almost Italian-esque in the pleasingly effortless way it manages to get so many of the little things we take for granted in movies so wrong. Like hair.

In looking back on the hair situation in this one, I can only surmise that Michael Dudikoff used his pull as premiere third-rate straight to video action star to make sure his hair was the best in the movie by default.

You had guys with hair slicked back. You had a guy with hair thinning in not one, but two spots on his head. You had a guy wearing a Richard Marx wig. (I had forgotten that pop singer Richard Marx had ever existed until I watched head bad guy Rawlings strut into an oil company and take it over and I said to myself without thinking, “hey, the head bad guy named Rawlings is wearing a Richard Marx wig.”) Continue reading “Chain of Command (1994)”

Black Horizon (2002)

Space…the final frontier…for Michael Dudikoff’s acting career! The Dude (American Ninja, Black Thunder caps off a quarter century of filmmaking the biggest (or at least as big as an extremely low budget would allow) way possible with 2002’s Black Horizon (aka Stranded) that sees him kicking ass in outer space, having kicked all of it on Earth already! And while he didn’t actually lay a whupping on anyone worse than making a few snarky comments as shuttle commander Ed Carpenter, he was kicking space’s ass by spacewalking all over it! Continue reading “Black Horizon (2002)”

Avenging Force (1986)

There are powerful men intent on perverting all the United States holds dear! Powerful men who would stop at nothing to achieve their own deranged agenda! And it’s not just Democrats either! There is also the Pentangle!

If you’re like me, when you weren’t wiping wuss-sweat off of your brow from the sheer terror you felt when you heard about the Pentangle you were also rushing to your dictionary to see exactly what the Pentangle meant.

Thankfully though, you won’t be forced to hit pause and break the action spell that Avenging Force deftly weaves for every single one of its 105 minutes because a character helpfully explains that the Pentangle is a five pointed star. Each point represents one of the five secret leaders of the Pentangle!

And the Avenging Force? That’s one guy. Name of Dudikoff. Ex-Secret Service. Best there ever was. G-6 rating. Quit the Service after his parents were killed by a terrorist bomb. Raising his little sister on his ranch. Just a cowpoke roping calves, driving pick ups, and rocking the biggest assed belt buckles west of the Pecos. Until the Pentangle comes a calling. Continue reading “Avenging Force (1986)”

American Ninja (1985)

The highlight of American Ninja is a fight between Michael Dudikoff and Steve James that sees the Dude choking Steve out with a garden hose before putting a pail on his head and urging Steve to try to hit him with a stick!

It’s a great scene made even greater because it concludes with Steve gaining a grudging respect for the Dude, what with the Dude being able to beat him down even while doing an impression of erstwhile Guns N’ Roses guitarist Buckethead. But it’s not so great a scene because it also happens to be the best thing about a movie that features the Dude battling endless waves of evil ninjas! Continue reading “American Ninja (1985)”

American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987)

If I had a son, I would want him to grow up and be American Ninja 2! And if I had a daughter, I would want her to marry American Ninja 2 and have all of its ninja babies!

The best low budget action movie tag team of the mid to late 1980s, Michael “The Dude” Dudikoff and Steve “Died Way Too Young From Cancer” James are back in this follow up to the annoyingly routine original American Ninja. And they deliver the American Ninja movie that every American can be proud of! Continue reading “American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987)”