Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Steele Justice (1987) * * *

Cast: Martin Kove, Sela Ward, Soon-Tek Oh, Ronny Cox, Bernie Casey, Robert Kim, Shannon Tweed,Joseph Campanella, Jan Gan Boyd, Peter Kwong

Vietnam vet and one man army John Steele (Martin Kove) takes on the Vietnamese army after the death of his war buddy (Kim) and in the process steals military equipment and single handedly finds closure from his Vietnam days by wiping out the Vietnamese gangs that is led by an old enemy from the war (Oh) Steele Justice is one of those movies that have to be seen to be believed. It’s so over the top it makes Death Wish 3 seem like a model of plausibility. For instance would you be surprised if I told you that the movie features rats with live grenades strapped to their backs trying to kill our hero? Or what if I told you that our hero gets shot with a poison dart, he cuts out the poison, sucks out the poison and then cauterizes it with a frying pan. Steele’s wife (Ward) who is in a on and off again relationship with Steele is also a music director giving us a really bad 80s music video, while our hero also uses a poisonous snake to kill various bad guys, steals dope and then closes the Vietnamese mob in closed doors before shooting his wife with a beanbag gun (!) “ I don’t want to run, I’m simply keeping you in” is what Kove yells to the bad guys when they tell him there is nowhere to run. Steele Justice then is competently made as far as these things go, but the film is best appreciated as 80s action camp. Martin Kove meanwhile makes for an enjoyable hero whose playfulness goes a long way to making this a pretty fun Rambo rip off.


  1. I'm pretty stoked about making this one happen at some point. After Shootfighter, I'm on a bit of a Kove kick.

  2. Once again, we have to disagree once in awhile. Indeed The Boondock Saints is a movie that almost everyone I know likes but I just never got into it.(I don't think it's terrible though) With Shootfighter, I liked the idea of such, I mean I liked the Karate Kid and the Karate Kid Part III (No fan of Karate Kid Part II) and I used to sort of look out for various actors from such and that's how I found Steele Justice. Kove wears a band-aid over his nose through out and really, this movie is awesome. Yet it's well made. The climax is great and Kove should've done more than what he did.

    Indeed it's sad that he isn't as prominent as he once was. Although he went the Sasha Mitchell route by going the television route which kinda sucks, although Mitchell not doing anything really sucks.

  3. It's funny you mention Boondock Saints, because my old roommate showed me it like five years ago, telling me how awesome it was, and when it was done, I told him "dude, you know that's a gay movie.", and he thought I meant like gay as in lame, but I said "no, it's a celebration of homosexuality. I think it's kind of cool in that sense actually." I pointed out all the areas, especially that the brothers are a metaphor for a gay couple (the biting the towels scene was too obvious for me, and that's where my hunches clicked), and it blew his mind. It's kind of funny that a film that's sold so heavily as the ultimate Alpha Male flick really isn't when you look at it more closely. I'm curious to see what the sequel is like, because it has Julie Benz in it, so maybe they went away from those gay undertones.

  4. One of the most laughably sh!tty movies I have ever seen. So low-budget and badly directed and acted that I have to assume it as a pilot for a cr@ppy TV cop show to fill the CBS slot between Magnum P.I. and Simon & Simon.