About Explosive Action

I am and always have been a fan of action movies. I grew up watching mainly the 80's and 90's classics - Die Hard, Commando, Lethal Weapon, Under Seige - and always had a fondness for movies that had a higher explosion quota than believable plot lines. As I grew older I got interested in other genres in a big way, but I always remembered my classic action movies and classic action heroes.

At the peak of DVD market penetration, I discovered the wealth of action movies, old and new, that somehow passed me by. How did I miss Rambo (yes, unbelievably!)? What was I doing when Kickboxer was out on video? This has helped me build a respectable library of movies, almost always focusing on the action, albeit sometimes horror-action and scifi-action.

I also remember seeing on the shelves movies I had never heard of; that probably nobody had heard of. To my eyes they looked cheap and nasty. Why would anyone be interested in a Universal Soldier movie without Van Damme in it? How many movies does Steven Seagal have with him pointing a gun on the coverBloodfist?! Surely that can't be good...

WRONG! That is what I have been discovering the past decade of doing this. Just because the cover screams 'direct to video' doesn't mean it will be bad. A lot of the time they are on par with their larger, more expensive peers. And picking up these movies can be very cheap, thanks to eBay and the like.

PM EntertainmentNu Image

Companies such as PM Entertainment in the 80's/early 90's and Nu Image from the mid 90's until now have kept the direct-to-video and made-for-tv flame alive. With little budget and second-tier actors they make enjoyable no-nonsense action movies that, generally, do the job well and don't outstay their welcome.

This blog will feature all kinds of action movies - buddy-cop, disgraced soldier, warring street gangs, merciless alien hunter, etc. - but will try to focus on the lesser known titles, new and old, and give them a fair go.

Pictured here is The Mancave. It comes complete with Coke and Doritos to keep me awake and alert, and a notepad to take notes as I watch. The TV is a Panasonic 46" plasma with great colour and deep blacks. Connected to it is my Oppo BDP-95SE (sometimes swapped out for the BDP-105) for primary viewing. For VHS I have a Sony SLV-EZ2000S PAL/NTSC beast that really makes tapes look their best. I even have a Pioneer LaserDisc player and Sony VCD unit.

I source my DVDs and Blu-rays from all over the place - localy, Amazon, Facebook groups and of course eBay. I'll even occasionally stream from Netflix.

I'm a bit of a sucker for quality prints and correct aspect ratios in my films, so I will somtimes be giving a brief description of the video and audio quality of the particular DVD (or video) I have reviewed and try to find out if what I am seeing is what the director had intended (no pan-scan or cropped videos when I can help it). This particularly is relevant for older titles and not modern DTV.

Be sure to check me out on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook where I show the latest pickups and even delve into my other hobby of metal collecting.

Action DVDs