Action USA (1989)
Fresh off the blistering Fantastic Fest sneak preview world theatrical premiere, the newly restored, rarely seen, soon-to-be-universally-adored ACTION USA is available now exclusively on Alamo on Demand until midnight on October 12th
Turns out a stuntman-turned-filmmaker unleashed the most explosive, death-defying, bullet-riddled, grenade-launching, flame-broiled, anti-human megattack in independent film history — shot right here in Texas – back in 1989, and no one knew… UNTIL NOW.
When you think of the broad panorama of VHS-era action, your mind detonates with fast cars, helicopter chases, profanity, nudity, cocaine-ity, fisticuffs, stolen diamonds, FBI agents, defenestration, shotgun castration, men on fire and Casio soundtracks. But what if we told you there’s one single movie that impossibly squeezes all of the above into 89 minutes, not to mention sunroof gunfights, a car jumping over a school bus packed with screaming children, honkytonk brawlin’, bathroom kissin’, plus exploding cars, houses AND recreational vehicles? In the late ‘80s, against all known laws of reality, daredevil-turned-filmmaker John Stewart took to the cities, highways and saloons of Texas and accomplished that very feat. Having cut his teeth handling stuntwork for such features as NEON MANIACS, FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF and HARD ROCK ZOMBIES, Stewart’s directorial debut tears out of the gates with a ferocity never seen before or since in the independent action pantheon. Under-appreciated character actor Gregory Scott Cummins — who’s played a greasy lowlife 167 times and a good guy twice — is a reluctantly heroic FBI agent tasked with keeping a witness (Barri Murphy) safe after the mob murders her boyfriend (Rod Shaft; no relation to Peter O’Toole). But the route back to federal headquarters is a non-stop barrage of bullets, blasts, and bodies, constantly raising the bar of inhuman wildness until the film’s final second. The mayhem is further enriched by supporting performances from William Smith (MANIAC COP), Cameron Mitchell (RAW FORCE), and Ross Hagen (BLOOD GAMES), a who’s-who of B-movie demigods. ACTION USA takes the grand tradition of self-made two-fisted epics like MIAMI CONNECTION, HARD TICKET TO HAWAII and SAMURAI COP and turns the knob past 11, then snaps it off and jams it in your eye socket. If you’ve ever enjoyed watching any movie in your life besides DOWNTON ABBEY, then this rampaging rager from 1989 will be your favorite film of the 21st century, guaranteed.