Director – John Stewart (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Click: The Calendar Girl Killer)
Starring – Gregory Scott Cummins (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Breaking Dawn), William Hubbard Knight (Family Matters, Touched by an Angel), and Barri Murphy (Dangerous Curves, Armed for Action)
Release Date – 1989
Rating – 3/5
Blu Release – 4/5
About ten years ago I decided to fire up a blog to review unforgotten action and exploitation flicks. After accumulating several 70s and 80s action flicks I decided it would be fun to review them. This lasted for awhile before my love of horror took over. However, I do occasionally get in some pretty cool action flicks.
Vinegar Syndrome absolutely destroyed my wallet with their Black Friday sale and November releases. Among some of the films were a few 80s and 90s action flicks. After reviewing Silent Madness, Don’t Panic, Martial Law, and Martial Law II it was time for 1989’s Action U.S.A. This one looked wild and I couldn’t wait to dig into it.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a young woman who witnesses her boyfriend’s murder at the hands of hired goons. They are looking for stolen diamonds and believe he stole them. The FBI intervenes and is able to save her but the organization wanting the diamonds need her in case she has information on where they are hidden so they bring in a hired gun to track her down sending the FBI agents on an adventure to protect the woman. **Spoiler Alert**
I love tossing in a straight to video action flick from the late 70s and 80s. Something about the beautiful women, pointless nudity, cheesy one liners, and the action scenes that seem to serve no point to the story just makes these so fucking entertaining. Action U.S.A. is one of the cheesiest I’ve seen yet that wasn’t directed by Andy Sidaris.
The acting in this one is not that bad but the leads ham is up. I’m talking 80s made for television day time drama ham. The characters are fun but the cast plays into every stereotype from all the popular action movies before it. It’s fun but so fucking campy.
The story for this one is nothing knew especially by 1989. Government agents protecting someone from an evil crime boss/organization had been done countless times before. Hell, it was even an episode of Dragnet and The Dukes of Hazzard. However, the unintentional humor and the characters makes this one a little more entertaining than the other action flicks using similar stories. With that being said, the film does get a little repetitive which makes some of the later scenes a little boring and tough to sit through.
Finally, the film has some blood and a few gunshot wounds but those looking for buckets of the red stuff will be disappointed. However, if fights, high speed car chases, and explosions are your thing then you will truly enjoy this one. Overall, Action U.S.A. is the cheesiest action ride you will ever see. It’s got some boobs, explosions, honky tonks, and some seriously corny dialogue. I really enjoyed it and if you are a fan of 80s action then you will too. This VSA release from Vinegar Syndrome is a must have if you can still score a copy. I highly recommend it.
Region Free Blu-ray
Newly scanned & restored in 4k from its 35mm original negative
Group commentary with director John Stewart, cinematographer Thomas Callaway, actor Gregory Scott Cummins & filmmaker Steve Latshaw.
Q&A with director John Stewart and filmmaker Brian Trenchard-Smith
“Lost Gem” – an interview with actor Gregory Scott Cummins
Newly created theatrical trailer
Limited edition of 4,000
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles