When it comes to finding those cult classic movies dad will love, these 5 surely make the list. Dads are nothing more than big kids, and like kids, they love action movies. Make no mistake, Dads can sit through watching a love story with their wives, but nothing excites them more than watching a good explosion filled, in your face, bare knuckles action movie. The best gift for Dad , is not only the action movie, but the classic action movies. Here are the top 5 cult classic action movies that are sure to become Dad’s favorites.
1. The Thing (1982)
Starring Kurt Russell. Wilford Brimley, TK Carter, David Clennon, Keith David, and Richard Dysart.
Directed by Academy Award winning John Carpenter, this is the ultimate guy movie. A remake from the 1951 Howard Hawks film “The Thing from Another Word” this is science fiction storytelling at its best. While it was panned by critics for being overly grotesque, its special effects are simply astonishing. Since its release, it has developed a cult following and has spawn both comic books and video games. As early as 2004, discussions had been taking place about filming a sequel. This is testament to its strength as a fantastic science fiction horror movie. At the time of its release, viewers had grown fatigued of the horror movie genre. However, there is greater appreciation for the film now, as critic Roger Ebert called the effects “among the most elaborate, nauseating, and horrific sights yet in Hollywood”. Set in the Antarctic, the story follows an all male cast lead by Kurt Rusell, who are besieged by something, from somewhere, that none of them can identify. The thing is anyone at any time, and the mistrust among the characters in the film takes you on a frightening journey where surprises lurk at every corner.
2. Escape From New York (1981)
Starring Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton and Adrienne Barbeau.
Yet another of John Carpenter’s nihilistic movies that has developed a huge cult like following. Unlike “The Thing” this movie was well received by critics upon it’s initial release, helping to solidify Carpenter’s reputation for excellent story telling. The story takes place in an alternate history where the effects of World War III have left both the United States and the Soviet Union seeking a peaceful end to the war. Due to overwhelming increase in the crime rate, the once great city of New York is turned into the one maximum security prison for the United States. Once you go in, you don’t come out. Once again the movie’s star is Kurt Russell who plays an infamous war hero turned criminal “Snake Plisken” who is sent in to the New York prison to retrieve the President of The United States. On his way to a three way summit between the world’s three super powers, Air Force One is hijacked and is purposely crashed inside the prison. The inmates hope to use the President as leverage to secure their freedom. Plisken is sent in to retrieve the president and must navigate the inner workings of the prison and get the President out alive.
3. Blade Runner (1982)
Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah, and M. Emmet Walsh
Directed by Ridley Scott, this is another excellent science fiction movie that examines what it truly means to be human. Set in Los Angeles 2019, the film stars Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, a member of LA’s Blade Runner unit who are charged with killing biologically engineered humanoids called “replicants”. These replicants are used on off world colonies for manual labor, but are illegal on earth. Advances in technology have allowed scientists to not only duplicate the physical appearance of humans, but have also placed a 4 year time limit on life. After an off world revolt, several replicants come to earth searching for a way to extend their life beyond their 4 years lifespan. Ridley Scott’s dark vision of a future Los Angeles and strong story telling make this an excellent movie for science fiction fans. It has since spawned novels, comics and video games as well as a strong cult like following.
4. The Road Warrior (1981)
Starring Mel Gibson, Michael Preston and Bruce Spence
Directed by George Miller
The movie that introduced the United States and the world to future action movie star Mel Gibson, is a sequel to an Australian post-apocalyptic film called Mad Max. The Road Warrior, also referred to as Mad Max 2, was both a critical and box office success immediately upon its release. It lead to yet another film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. The movie follows the life of Mel Gibson’s portrayal of Max Rockatansky (“Mad Max”) as he ekes out a living in a desolate and destroyed Australia where the only commodity of value is oil. The world’s cities are destroyed, chaos reigns and Max must lead a rag-tag group of survivors across the desert to a new life. Along the way, they are chased by a rival gang, and the road battles that ensue are nothing short of spectacular.
5. Blade (1998)
Starring Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff and Kris Kristofferson
Directed by David. S Goyer
The film that successfully launched the Marvel Franchise of films, and rejuvenated the comic to film genre, Blade is a film with style and appeal that helped propel two additional sequels. However, it’s this first film that is the most successful of the franchise. It had mixed reviews among critics, but was a box office success and had strong visuals and style. Wesley Snipes plays a half-human, half-vampire hunter who is capable of walking around during the day. Kris Kristofferson plays his guardian and elder mentor, while Stephen Dorff is excellent as Blade’s arch nemesis Deacon Frost. The movie has action, gun fights, well choreographed fight sequences and an excellent sword play. While it’s not as old or has as much of a cult following, its credited with renewing the comic to film industry and is one of the major reasons why Spiderman was finally put to film.
There are several notable movies that could also have been included in this list. Among them are movies such as Michael Mann’s 1981 classic “The Thief” starring James Caan or 1968’s “Bullitt” staring legendary Steve McQueen and Robert Vaughn. However, these 5 movies are not only rich in story telling, but also offer excellent visual and special effects. The first four came at the height of the cold war and represented our doom and gloom view of an uncertain future. They are cult classics that will forever set the bar on science fiction action movies.