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This coming weekend will see the long-awaited release of “Dangerous Men,” an action film oddity/achievement that took 22 years to complete and another decade to hit screens. It’s a combustible aesthetic assault of machismo, vengeance, non-arousing sexuality and unspeakable anti-logic, framed in a sweat-choked L.A. otherworld that’s filtered through the unique mind of Iranian-American outsider filmmaker John S. Rad.
Brimming with ideas and dialogue grown from a primordial alien id, “Dangerous Men” is like no other experience you will ever have with a movie. BUT!… against all odds, it’s representative of a secret genre that is only now creeping its way into the limelight; a decidedly ’80s cinematic sub-sub-sub-category that we lovingly refer to as “ACTION DADS!!!” If you’re like me, you thrill to heroic, no-rules masculinity defined by the low-budget passion projects of amateur director/stars who’ve gained their experience through a lifetime of street smarts rather than some namby-pamby bullshit film school. These middle-aged men triumph over their advancing years by establishing themselves as straight-to-VHS karate masters and vigilante supermen.
“Rock House” a.k.a. “Deadly Addiction”
“The Crime Killer”
6’4″ and Greeker than a barrel of baklava, writer/director/star George Pan Andreas pilots this rampager about Zeus, a renegade cop who’ll stop at nothing to clean up the streets. When Zeus isn’t effortlessly eradicating all crime from Los Angeles, he’s stealing the president’s wrist watch, or engaging in witty exchanges like: “Why you got to talk to me this way, Johnny?” “Because… we’re never in the same place once.” (Dir. George Pan Andreas; 1985)
“Geteven” a.k.a “Road to Revenge”
In the finest ’80s movie of the ’90s, real-life LA trial lawyer John De Hart financed/cast himself into action history as…yep, a renegade cop bent on taking down corruption in his city. Along the way, he’ll sex up a jacuzzi, battle satanists and teach a bar full of hillbillies how to dance “The Shimmy Slide.” Featuring a genuinely incredible supporting performance by master actor Wings Hauser, who may have smashed all his belongings and his agent’s face before filming was complete. (Dir. John De Hart; 1993)
“Operation Las Vegas”
“Dangerous Men” opens in limited release this Friday, November 13.
Zack Carlson is a programmer for Fantastic Fest, a producer and the author of “Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film.”
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