|Years ago, when I was a mere two bricker, there was a decade called the 80’s.
In cinema terms, I believe the 80’s was the thick gooey climax to a fifty-year build up of male testosterone that could be contained in its Chuck Norris branded all lead lunch box no more.
Where as in previous decades we had the tough guy, the loner, the man who’d rather live a life of misery, solitude, with wolves and grow an extra hairy beard rather than snuggle down with a lady or indeed sometimes opt to ‘off himself for no logical reason’: In the 80’s, they did it with muscles.
As the 80’s progressed, the muscles got bigger and bigger. So big in fact; Mr. Jake Steinfeld, celebrity fitness instructor; recorded record profits from his Hollywood based, ‘Body By Jakes’ All Natural - Wink, Wink Muscle Growth Centre’.
I think everyone will agree, muscles are ace, everyone wants them; but unless you’re willing to have your penis shrivel and sell the rest of the family jewels to fund the change, you cannot have them.
So what ruined it?………..Or who.
By the mid 80’s, one-liners were on the up and plot lines, ironically involving bad chaps smuggling ‘all natural ingredients’ into the U.S were on the way down. But soon, one liners were being used only for mirth rather than a last audible ‘cock a snook’ to a dying henchman who had just been skewered to a petrol station by an eighteen inch machete; (“stick around”). Musclemen were being more often cast as buddy detectives with comedy sidekicks and schoolteachers who were trying to get out whatever politically correct message was the norm at that time.
The time of the psychopathic ex Special Forces action hero would soon be a thing only released straight to video.
I should point out that one such film crossed the line on most counts; I don’t wish to name names, but the British remake would have been called, ‘Kia-Ora and Pounds’
Which brings me on to whom or what ruined testosterone based man films.
The Rebirth of ‘The Hunk’
There are two definitions of, ‘The Hunk’
1 - A hunk of bread, as used when dipping into sauce
2- A sexually attractive man with a well developed physique
- Where I can wholeheartedly agree with the first definition; for me, the second one really means:-
A man who brushes his teeth, still has hair on his head rather than the rest of his body and shops at a clothes shop rather than the irregular rack in the Army and Navy stores. Also has made little to no effort in becoming a killing machine.
Even though these types have always been around, they evolved into something else, something spectacular, something that an evil Doctor would be happy with. However, unfortunately thanks to boat shoes without socks, linen jackets with rolled up sleeves and hair mouse they’ve de-evolved and have remained dormant mostly since.
And, from the movie side of things and from my point of view, there’s only one person I hold directly responsible.
Even though he’s one of my favourite actors and I’d defend him in a fight against a group of children aged five to seven - and even as I type this I’m wearing the same style of boot he wore in one of his films (the reason I bought them); I must point my finger of blame to the poster of he who will remain anonymous on my bedroom wall for these reasons-
1. Even though he’s bald I bet he never gets slagged off by his Grandma for it
2. He whipped his todger out in a film once - You just don’t do that (after you hit the big time)
3. He’s a hunk, but over his career his muscles have not doubled or tripled in size
4. Sometimes he will go a whole film without killing anyone
5. In a film once he sent a fax and realised he had to ‘wake up and smell the 90’s. Why? There was nothing wrong with the 80’s
I have other reasons, but they make even less sense than these do.
Even as I conclude this blog, I look back at the words and think, does it matter..
To prove it matters, stand by soon for the return of the Top Ten List, proving what makes a muscle packed action film better than eating hunks of beef.
I’m just left with one thing to explain now.
Recently I watched ‘The Expendables’. The one thing I was not looking forward to was a high five, once a sign of respect and camaraderie between two muscle bound behemoths at the end of a killing spree with a loud gun and a louder gun, for the last twenty-five years or so it has been raped by businessy types who wear slacks with thin belts and address any more than one person as, ‘guys’
Fortunately, the film only had a manly ‘grr’ in it a couple of times, the mystery of why Jet Li wanted more money and the side five; a simple nudge between the little fingered side of two blokes hands which after a long day of killing drug lords and watching each other backs whilst destroying a small Guatemalan island; says it all..
..(until some twat ruins it)
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