My Nominations: 48 Hours. The Beastmaster. Blade Runner. Conan The Barbarian. ET. First Blood. Megaforce. Rocky III. The Thing.
We’re into peak 80s action era now, and as such we have stunts galore. Of the many swords and sandals movies released in this era, The Beastmaster is one of the most fondly remembered thanks to its silly charm and unique premise. It’s the animal work which is most notable here, but the film has plenty of sword swinging action too.
Putting every other Sword and Sandal film to shame, is Conan The Barbarian. Thanks to Milius and Stone the story has the look and smarts which most in the genre lack, and in Schwarzenegger there’s a genuine star in the making – it helps that he’s backed up by Bergman, Mako, James Earl Jones, and Max Von Sydow. The film has several epic battle scenes throughout, from the opening village attack, the temple raids, and the climactic battle of the mounds, to many interspersed fights and encounters meaning it’s a practical stunt fan’s delight.
ET is 80s Spielberg, and while it’s not an action movie, he knows how to entertain a family audience – BMX chases. Blade Runner is not an action heavy movie but the scenes it does have are memorable for their visuals. Rocky III gets a cursory vote for for glove on glove action.
Megaforce is famously one of the worst movies of the decade, but it’s still a spectacle. While Hal Needham may not have cared much for story or character, when it came to stunts there were few better and in Megaforce he pulled out all the stops. The Thing is all about close quarters and the action is relatively contained even within the claustrophobic surroundings. Like Blade Runner, it’s all about the impact and how the action serves the story. Finally, the only genuine contender to Conan is Ted Kotcheff’s First Blood – the film which introduced us to John Rambo. A noticeably more dramatic, less action focused piece that its sequels, First Blood still sees Rambo taking out cops and amateurs in the Pacific North West using all manner of traps and tactics.
My Winner: Conan The Barbarian
Let us know your winner in the comments!
Great post 🙂 Any of these are great choices, but I would choose Conan the Barbarian as well 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂