If you’ve seen and enjoyed ridiculous B-movies in the vein of Hard Ticket to Hawaii, it’s imperative that you put Action U.S.A. on your radar.
In 1989, stuntman John Stewart made his directorial debut with his own outrageous, over-the-top piece of high-octane filmmaking, full of insane practical stunts and without a speck of CGI in sight. The movie languished in obscurity…until now. Check out the trailer below.
Action U.S.A. Trailer
Action U.S.A. made its debut at this year’s virtual Fantastic Fest, who describes it like this:
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?
Since it’s not exactly clear from the trailer what the plot is, let’s break it down. When the mob murders her boyfriend (Rod Shaft), a woman (Barri Murphy) has to be transported to federal headquarters by a reluctant FBI agent (Gregory Scott Cummins). But the journey won’t be easy, and they’re challenged at every turn by baddies played by William Smith, Cameron Mitchell, Ross Hagen, and more, putting them through a gauntlet of bullets and blood as they desperately try to stay alive. It’s 89 minutes of total action movie excess, and a window into the mind of an ambitious madman behind the camera. It reminds me of similarly bonkers movies like Miami Connection and Dangerous Men, films that were unearthed and given new life by Drafthouse Films, the distribution arm of Alamo Drafthouse. (If any of this sounds interesting to you, make sure to watch both of those movies as well – they’re really fun.)
The best part? You can watch Action U.S.A. right now. The movie is available to rent for $9.99 exclusively on Alamo on Demand, and will be accessible on that platform until midnight on October 12, 2020.
Alamo Drafthouse, the theater chain associated with Fantastic Fest, is embroiled in a scandal that has dismantled the company’s reputation as one of the coolest theater chains in the country. Allegations of sexual harassment, unsafe work environments, and a boy’s club culture have been lobbied at Drafthouse, and those reports paint a picture of a company in desperate need of systemic change. John Stewart, the director of Action U.S.A., had nothing to do with any of that, so we don’t think he should be punished for having his movie featured on an Alamo-related platform. We’ll continue to monitor this situation and decide whether to cover Drafthouse-related news stories on a case by case basis.
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