So apparently boys won't go see a movie called "A Princess of Mars" and girls won't see a movie called "John Carter of Mars" so what we genre fans are left with is a potential sci-fi epic shoehorned with the innocuous title of just "John Carter." So, shall we write it off? Not so fast, there have been plenty of films plopped with bland Name titles that have ruled all kinds of crazy brilliance. Here are five of my favorites.
5. Rambo: It had been twenty years between installments, but when Sly Stallone stepped behind the camera for the fourth entry in the Rambo saga he unleashed a beast of a film. Vietnam Vet Rambo, John J has been hiding out in the jungles since his Afghanistan Commie War of the third film and was just waiting for a batch of wimpy Christian missionaries to get captured by psychotic Burmese despots so that he could spend 90 minutes of runtime butchering and machine gunning every baddie in sight. Part IV is a bloodbursting exploration of pentup domestic rage and it puts a great big smile on this 80s Action Movie Junkie.
4. Remo Williams: Based on the adventure novel series The Destroyer, Remo Williams is an NYPDer who fakes his death to join ranks with Joel Gray's Korean zen Kung Fu master...yeah, you heard me right. This is the goofy type of pretentious Do-Goodery that I just ate up as a kid and when he's fighting for CURE atop the Statue of Liberty in an effort to "preserve the Constitution by working outside of it" you'll be hollering for the good ol' days of Commie Smashing.
3. Flash Gordon: Speaking of goofy...Dino's Flash Gordon is the king of the smiley meat heads as he uses football to battle Ming The Merciless and save the planet Earth from total annihilation. Along the way he scores with alien and reporters, crosses swords with Timothy Dalton and howls along with Brian Blessed. Plus, Queen trumpets his every punch. 80s cheese at its finest.
2. Foxy Brown: Okay, not as badass as Coffy, but Foxy Brown wins in the realm of the iconic. After her boyfriend is executed, Pam Grier becomes a prostitute to seek revenge against the drug dealing madame who put him in the ground. Both Brown & Coffy give Grier perfect opportunities to show off her beautifully intense rage face, but her turnaround from that horror show shack in the woods in Brown is an amazingly cringy action set piece. When she takes those two pervs out it's a violent crowd pleaser.
1. Tom Horn: Yep, I've been ranting & raving about Tom Horn a lot lately. To see my love fully explored check out my Western Review over at cineAWESOME! But it really is the quintessential West Gone By cowboy picture and Steve McQueen was never better than he was as the titular hero of this tragic tale.