Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dudikoff double feature

The Human Shield
(1992) * * *

Cast:Michael Dudikoff, Tommy Hinkley, Steve Inwood

Directed by Ted Post

Dudikoff stars as a Iraq war vet who returns to Iraq to rescue his brother who has been taken hostage by a Saddam Hussein look-a-like (Inwood) in this surprisingly suspenseful and better than average Dudikoff action flick. While Dudikoff leaves the ninja pajamas home the transition of darker material and suspense make this far better than what you would expect from Dudikoff. The action is well staged, Steve Inwood makes for a good villain and the film actually goes a step further by making the Arabs not cut and dry evil, as even the brother’s guard is seen to be three-dimensional. The Human Shield isn’t without it’s flaws, for one the movie’s revenge angle plays fine until you think about it, mainly why Hinkley would be in a country in the first place where a man that is high ranking official in the army has a vendetta against your brother but for what it’s worth, The Human Shield is an agreeable mix of action and intrigue. Indeed it might not be perfect but it is a step in the right direction for a man trying to get beyond the ninja stars and black jammies.

The Shooter (1997) * * *

Cast:Michael Dudikoff, Randy Travis, William Smith, Valerie Wildman, Andrew Stevens

Directed by Fred Olen Ray

For a change of pace Dudikoff has actually made a decent movie after such uninspired fare as Crash Dive and Chain Of Command, Dudikoff ventures out to the Western genre and for the most part is well suited to such. The Shooter is a fairly standard story in which Dudikoff plays a Civil War hero who rescues a hooker from a beating, by killing the son of a town’s crime boss (Smith) to which Dudikoff is tortured and along the way a mysterious gun slinger (Travis) may have a score to settle with Dudikoff as well. The Shooter is not in the same league as say Good The Bad And The Ugly or even Django but it is a rather interesting Western and one that has well made and well acted. The simple story is simply the same old stuff, but the actors make their characters believable and even Smith manages to make his character more than one dimensional. Travis though is a standout, making for a worthy advesary, Dudikoff meanwhile fares well in this environment. The shootouts are well staged and The Shooter then is a fairly decent Dudikoff flick all things considered.



  1. Human Shield I remember being on the fence about, but I loved the final battle with the head baddie. The Shooter I liked, but they tried too hard to incorporate that Yojimbo aspect of nursing the hero back to health, which cut back on the amount of Dudikoff kicking ass-- which was what we signed on for. I'm still working on getting Quicksand going, so I stayed off that review for now and will come back to it after I've seen it.

  2. I wish I could do a more intensive response to all comments but i'm just out the door on vacation (Waiting for GF to actually get done) I'm gonna try to bring back the Guttenberg. The site needs it, then I will apply such to ROTOR and Undefeatable. I'm going to try, it may not let me.

    As for Quicksand, this is like Jill The Ripper was for Dolph. Except Dudikoff acquits himself rather well in the role. I actually liked it, although this isn't nearly as good as American Ninja 1-2 and Avenging Force. But those had Steve James.

  3. Also I had actually reviewed Quicksand before in a Sam Firstenberg binge. Why I didn't remember this is because i've been overworked, basically I wrote two seperate reviews from the notes I gathered when I watched. I like the other review better hence I made the change. I'm a moron.

  4. Good reviews. Didn't care too much for the Human Shield, esp. the Sadaam lookalike, but it was Dudikoff, so I'll take it. As for the Shooter- great movie; this and 'The Silencer' were two of Dudikoff's best movies during that period of time, not as good as something like 'Movng Target' or 'Cyberjack', but definitely better than those crappy submarine movies he seemed to do every other movie.

  5. Ninja Vampire, Very cool concept and reviews
    The work is very versatile, with so many concentrations intermingling
    Ninja Gear

  6. One cannot deny the direction mainstream Hollywood "horror" films are going in, not a direction of true horror, but one of teen screams and cheap scares. And even though PG-13 Hollywood horror has created some gems like The Conjuring, for the most part they have disappointed this horror veteran. This film was no different, it just plain old wasn't scary, or thrilling, or suspenseful. To be fair I liked some the kills but other than that I could not find anything redeeming. Its another sad attempt by Hollywood at horror, it just isn't scary. Like many other mainstream horror films, I found myself being bored, waiting for the next scare/kill, only to be disappointed by it. But I suppose if you are a 14 year old girl, like the majority of the theater was, then I suppose it might scare you, but for a man who has been a horror nerd since childhood, this just didn't do it at all for me, I was truly disappointed.

    The acting was just so generic it ruined many aspects of the film. Not only did I not relate with these characters, I didn't care if they died or not, which can be an essential aspect of such a horror film as this. Also in the tense moments of suspense, their acting wasn't convincing enough to make the scene actually suspenseful. And another thing I just cant stand is that stupid CGI face-morphing that goes on. Not just in this movie, but in all movies, where the face screams but its mouth is CGI'ed to make it look bigger. Ugh it just sooooooo takes me out of the scare and honestly makes me laugh in embarrassment for whoever thought it looked good. As a horror veteran, these films make me sad, If you are an easily frightened child, go see it, but if you are a horror veteran like myself, this will only disgust you.