Action Films

All posts tagged Action Films

Great Performances: Sybil Danning

Published April 7, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

l.a. bounty poster

A stern look from someone in real life can sometimes stop you dead in your tracks. Silent expression is also an efficient tool to communicate emotion on film. This is often difficult to pull off, though, as it must be done subtly to be truly effective.

Thankfully for genre fans, one of the most exciting performances to utilize a bare minimum of dialogue and rely almost entirely on facial fluidity, is Sybil Danning’s commanding and efficient Ruger in the beloved cult favorite L.A. Bounty.

l.a. bounty 1A former cop turned determined bounty hunter, Ruger here is dead set on taking down Cavanaugh, a vile criminal who murdered her former partner and who has recently kidnapped Mike Rhodes, a handsome mayoral candidate. Much of Ruger’s time is spent protecting Mike’s uncooperative wife Kelly, a woman whom Cavanaugh wants decidedly dead. As Ruger tries, mightily, to protect this innocent bystander, she systematically works her way through Cavanaugh’s associates. Growing ever more stern and calculating, when she finally gets to the man, himself, even the plot’s fun twists and turns will not deter her.

Nicely, with a simple yet powerful presence, Danning outguns even the most treasured male action icons here. She is cool yet obviously emotionally conflicted, delivering a classic performance – truly one of the best in the exploitation medium and beyond. The rest of the cast is also impressive with Wings Hauser oozing blistered menace as Cavanaugh and the underrated Lenore Kasdorf (Guiding Light, Missing in Action) bringing nervy grace to Kelly Rhodes. Drive-in enthusiasts will also cheer to the contributions of such esteemed participants as Henry Darrow and Robert Quarry.LA-Bounty-3

But it is Danning’s heart that truly provides the significant pulse of this piece. Granted, the action beats, including the anticipated shotgun blasts and deaths by torture and electrocution, are exciting. But she truly imbues this make believe world with its soul. Not surprisingly, a look at the credits shows that she wrote the story and also produced this emotional slice of mayhem… a true tribute to feminine power and the bad-assery of women everywhere, if there ever was one.

l.a. bounty 2

L.A. Bounty merchandise, including a new comic book based upon the exploits of Ruger, is available directly from Danning at www.sybildanning.net.  Be sure to follow her at https://www.facebook.com/Sybil-Danning and https://twitter.com/sybildanning, as well.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

 

The Destruction of Princess Tilde!

Published February 23, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

Princess Tilde defying Valentine.

Princess Tilde defying Valentine.


Someone left this cake out in the rain!

Filled with sophisticated, comic style mayhem that is piloted by a handsome, plucky hero (Taron Egerton’s Eggsy), who, in turn, is buoyed up by such distinguished talents as Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Samuel J. Jackson and Mark Hamill as a multitude of engaging mentor types and villains, Kingsman: The Secret Service is loads of glorious fun.

My one issue with the film, besides some truly obvious head bursting moments of CGI action, is the ultimate treatment of Princess Tilde, one of the movie’s strongest female characters, portrayed with quirky resolve by Hanna Alström.

Tilde is one of the few fully featured, distinguished characters who actually rejects the devious plan of the primary villain, Valentine (Jackson), and winds up imprisoned in his underground bunker. Spunky and willful to Valentine’s every overture, she is a steely example of a femme in an action movie.

Yet, co-writers Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn (who based their script on the comic book The Secret Service created by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons) betray this positivity by turning her into a sexual joke by the film’s closing. Upon finally meeting Eggsy, who promises to defeat Valentine, Tilde spontaneously offers up an outrageous sexual favor should he succeed.

This suggestion is so damaging, ultimately, because it is so left field for the defiant princess. Development is, obviously, important for a character and if even, momentarily, Tilde had revealed some kind of amorous side previously, this denouement may have worked. Even more importantly, it is, also, out of context for the film, itself. While there are plenty of spy antics, exaggerated feats of violence and explorations of the darker side of the street thug lifestyle detailed in the film, there is little to no sexuality offered up, making Tilde’s comment stand out all the more.

That our last image of the character is one of her rolling over to, luxuriously, fulfill her promise is, also, unfortunate. Granted, anytime a woman in film (or life, for that matter) expresses a powerful sexuality outside of the vanilla zone is definitely important. Yet, the effect, here, is that moment is all most movie goers will remember about Princess Tilde.

Surely meant as a play on the excessive sheet turning of the Bond films, this issue could have been saved if we saw Tilde reversing the tables on Eggsy by throwing him on his backside to, ultimately, show him what she really meant by “do it in the asshole”.

Sadly, this is not to be.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

http://www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan