Read PART 2 here
Read PART 3 here
Again, in no particular order...
16. Mark Dacascos
In his best films, his on screen fighting style is as impressive, if not more so, as any of his 80s and/or 90s contemporaries. He continued through the decade with weird teen, kung-fu adventure stuff like Double Dragon, the Brandon Lee looking Crying Freeman and the highly superior Drive.
His similarity to Lee would get him the role of The Crow in the TV Show and he would continue churning out straight-to-video actioners for the next 20 years. Yes he would yo-yo up and down the cast list and yes, you might have never heard of him but he is on this list because his filmography demands to be revisited. His fighting style, if nothing else, can be incredible in the right film.
Must see: Drive, Crying Freeman
Also Suggest: Double Dragon
Avoid: No Code Of Conduct, Sabotage
Check out our commentary for Drive
17. Olivier Gruner
Although Nemesis spawned 3 sequels, Gruner did not return and instead made a string of similar, straight to video/limited release fare for the rest of the 90s for the same production company, Imperial Entertainment.
Gruner is still kicking ass in front of the camera, as well directing, watch out for the forthcoming Gruner starring and directed SECTOR 4, written by friend of the show Richard Pierce.
Must see: Nemesis
Also suggest: Angel Town, Savate, Automatic, Alien Interceptors
Avoid: The White Pony
Must See: The Last Dragon, Never Too Young To Die and Action Jackson
Also Suggest: 52 Pick-Up, Neon City
Check out our commentary for Action Jackson
Check The Kick Ass Kid out discussing Never Too Young To Die on Drunk On VHS
19. Jeff Wincott
He starred in the detective/cop drama Night Heat for 4 years in the 80s and his first, feature length, action role was in Martial Law 2 next to, none-other-than, Cynthia Rothrock. What followed was the predictable and prolific stream of straight-to-video action films that gloriously littered the 90s.
His stand out classic, during this period, is Mission of Justice, which features some fantastically kinetic, stunt and fight heavy action set pieces. Again, like Mark Dacascos, his fighting style and stunts are arguably faster and more enjoyable than a lot of his A-List contemporaries.
We can't urge you enough to check out his filmography.
Must See: Mission of Justice, Martial Outlaw, Last Man Standing
Also Suggest: Martial Law 2, Open Fire
20. Billy Blanks
Some of his 90s output is still very much worth checking out though.
Must See: Talons of the Eagle, Back In Action and Tough and Deadly
Also Suggest: TC2000 and Showdown
Matthias Hues - The giant, big haired, wide shoulder padded, thick accented one is a staple villain throughout 80s and 90s action and has probably worked, at some time or other, with everybody on this list.
Lorenzo Lamas - A jokey cult action icon all of his very own. From the TV show Renegade to straight to video stuff like The Snake Eater series, the muscular, long haired one's filmography is indeed worth dipping in to from time to time.
Brigitte Nielsen - She has been romantically linked to Stallone, Lundgren and Schwarzenegger, which, let's face it, is probably enough action for a life time but she was also Red Sonja, in Rocky 4, Cobra and played memorable villains in Beverley Hills Cop 2 and Mission of Justice.
So there you have it! All 20! How did we do? any changes? anyone we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
- Dr.Action and the Kick Ass Kid