cannon films

Dead or Alive, You’re Coming With Me: VHS Revival’s Blockbuster Action Quiz

Think you know your Waynes from your Eastwoods, your Schwarzeneggers from your Stallones, your Keanus from your Stathams? Then test your mettle with VHS Revival’s Blockbuster Action Quiz



 
1. What do film historians cite as the first ever action movie?
The Great Train Robbery
Correct! Though the western genre and swashbuckling adventure films truly came to prominence during the 1920s, Edwin S. Porter’s 1903 silent classic (also a Western) was the first to carry some of the hallmarks that the action genre would one day become synonymous with.
Life of an American Fireman 
Sorry, Incorrect.  
The Bold Bank Robbery
Sorry, Incorrect.
Rescued by Rover
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
2. Who do film historians cite as the first ever action star?
Buster Keaton
Correct! Though technically a physical comedy actor, silent star Keaton would risk life and limb, grabbing onto moving cars, leaping across train carriages and swinging across waterfalls. The dedicated daredevil picked up his fair share of injuries along the way, including a rather severe broken neck. Eat your heart out Keanu Reeves!
Douglas Fairbanks Sr.
Sorry, Incorrect.
Errol Flynn
Sorry, Incorrect.
Basil Rathbone
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
3. The legendary Tarzan is one of the industry’s most tried-and-tested action characters, but who was the first actor to portray him?
Elmo Lincoln
Correct! Lincoln would star in the first ever Tarzan movie, 1918’s Tarzan of the Apes. The second adult actor to portray Tarzan was Gene Polar in 1920’s Return of Tarzan, though an eleven-year-old Gordon Griffith was technically the second actor to portray the character, starring alongside Lincoln as young Tarzan in Tarzan of the Apes.
Gene Polar
Sorry, Incorrect.
P. Dempsey Tabler
Sorry, Incorrect.
James Pierce
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
4. Errol Flynn’s portrayal of fabled antihero Robin Hood is generally considered the most iconic, but who was the studio’s original choice to lead their timeless 1938 classic The Adventures of Robin Hood?
James Cagney
Correct! Cagney was a shoe-in until he decided to walk off set, convincing producer Hal B. Wallis to go with Flynn against the wishes of Warner Brothers. What a diva!
Spencer Tracy
Sorry, Incorrect.
Shirley Temple
Sorry, Incorrect.
Clark Gable
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
5. Which action movie ranks highest on the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest American Films List?
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Correct! David Lean’s much celebrated World War II epic ranks at an incredible 13th on the AFI’s 100 Greatest American Films list. Released in 1957, the movie would land seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture). The film was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress. The film was an international co-production with the UK, which means that it also made the BFI Top 100 British Films list, coming in at number 11.
The French Connection
Sorry, Incorrect.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Sorry, Incorrect.
The American Ninja
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
6. American icon and western stalwart John Wayne starred in an incredible 178 movies, beginning with an uncredited role in 1926’s Brown of Harvard and ending with 1993’s posthumous release La Classe Américaine, but how many of those movies did he die in?
13
Correct! The legendary onscreen tough guy would bite the dust in a total of thirteen movies: Hangman’s House (1928), The Deceiver (1931), Central Airport (1933), West of the Divide (1934), Reap the Wild Wind (1942), The Fighting Seabees (1944), Wake of the Red Witch (1949), Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), The Sea Chase (1955) The Alamo (1960), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), The Cowboys (1972) and The Shootist (1976). Wayne would only succumb to gunfire in four of those movies. Four of the thirteen deaths happened off screen. Duke would also be hanged, blow himself up, drown at sea, be killed by a squid, succumb to poisoned water and die following a plane crash.
15
Sorry, Incorrect.
11
Sorry, Incorrect.
7
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
7. Which Akira Kurowsawa classic is widely regarded as the first modern action film?
Seven Samurai
Correct! Released in 1954, Kurosawa’s hugely influential samurai movie is regarded as the first modern action film. It is currently one of the most remade, reworked or referenced films in all of cinema.
Ran
Sorry, Incorrect.
Rashomon
Sorry, Incorrect.
Yojimba
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
8. The incomparable Sean Connery would achieve international fame as Ian Fleming’s suave super spy James Bond, but before settling on a career as an actor, which other profession was he strongly considering?
Professional soccer player
Correct! Possessing superb skills, a 23-year-old Connery almost pursued a career in professional football, and was even offered a £25 per week contract to sign for Manchester United by legendary club manager Sir Matt Busby. Connery would later claim that his decision to ditch his boots and tackle Hollywood was one of the most intelligent he ever made.
Olympic wrestler
Sorry, Incorrect.
Milkman
Sorry, Incorrect.
Comic book artist
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
9. 1963’s all-star war movie The Great Escape is famous for Steve McQueen’s incredible motorcycle jump, the only stunt in the movie not performed by the daredevil actor, but which model bike was used?
1961 Triumph TR6 Trophy
Correct! Though disguised as German BMW R75 motorcycles, McQueen would ride the ’61 Triumph TR6. The famous barbwire fence jump was actually performed by McQueen stunt double Bud Etkins.
1950 Indian Chief Black Hawk
Sorry, Incorrect.
1945 AJS 500cc Model 18
Sorry, Incorrect.
1962 Kawasaki B8M Red-Tank Furore
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
10. Which Bruce Lee movie was the only one directed by the martial arts sensation?
Way of the Dragon
Correct! In 1972, Lee would assume directorial duties on the legendary Way of the Dragon, casting US karate champion Chuck Norris as his onscreen adversary. To prepare for what was his directorial debut, Lee read a dozen books dealing with every aspect of filmmaking. He would also have a hand in directing posthumous release Game of Death, though would remain uncredited for his input. Bruce would tragically die at 32, a whole five years before the movie’s release. Pieced together using existing material, Game of Death would include actual footage from the actor’s real-life funereal.
Enter the Dragon
Sorry, Incorrect.
Fist of Fury
Sorry, Incorrect.
The Big Boss
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
11. Above is an East German poster for which classic 60s action movie?
Bullitt
Correct! If you got this one right, it surely had to be a guess. If not, that’s rather impressive. Yes, this Cold War eyesore is actually a poster for Steve McQueen’s most iconic film. Truly bizarre! Lalo Schifrin’s silky smooth jazz score has never sounded so inappropriate.
Thunderball
Sorry, Incorrect.
The Italian Job
Sorry, Incorrect.
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
12. Clint Eastwood would become known as what after starring in Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Western “Dollars Trilogy”?
The Man with No Name
Correct! I thought you deserved an easy one after a fairly tough opening. Eastwood would portray bounty hunter “The Man with No Name” in A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).
The Man with No Brain
Sorry, Incorrect.
The Man who Feels No Pain
Sorry, Incorrect.
The Man who Almost Starred in Shane
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
13. Which actor was first considered for the role of Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle in William Friedkin’s based-on-true-events action thriller The French Connection?
Paul Newman
Correct! Newman was the first actor considered for the role of Popeye, though his financial demands, which would have eclipsed the entire budget, forced Friedkin to look elsewhere. The same went for Steve McQueen, who was later considered, though McQueen had no desire to star in another action movie following his iconic turn in 1968’s Bullitt. Bronson was also briefly considered. Connery was busy working on what was then his last appearance as James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever. Obviously, he was never considered.
Steve McQueen
Sorry, Incorrect.
Sean Connery
Sorry, Incorrect.
Charles Bronson
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
14. Former ‘Saint’ Roger Moore, who would star in a record-equalling seven James Bond films, was originally contracted to star in how many?
3
Correct! Moore, who took over from Sean Connery for 1973’s blaxploitation riff Live and Let Die, was originally set to end his tenure after 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me but was enticed back for infamous Star Wars cash-in Moonraker, which would become 1979’s highest-grossing movie worldwide. Moore would go on to star in a further three instalments: 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, 1983’s Octopussy and 1985’s A View to a Kill. He was simply keeping his end up.
2
Sorry, Incorrect.
4
Sorry, Incorrect.
5
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
15. Which character is considered the first female action star?
Coffy
Correct! Though less iconic that 1974’s Foxy Brown, 1973’s undercover vigilante Coffy is considered the first female action star. Both characters were portrayed by blaxploitation icon Pam Grier. Foxy Brown was also the most notorious film. It was famously seized and confiscated in the UK under the Obscene Publications Act of 1959 during the ‘Video Nasty’ panic of the early 1980s.
Ellen Ripley
Sorry, Incorrect.
Princess Leia
Sorry, Incorrect.
Foxy Brown
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
16. John Carpenter cited which of these movies as an influence on his 1976 breakout indie picture Assault on Precinct 13?
Night of the Living Dead
Correct! Carpenter compared the film’s urban western street gang to Romero’s zombies. Both are dehumanized with an almost supernatural resilience. The claustrophobic setting and decision to have an African American protagonist are also elements that the two have in common.
The Wild Bunch
Sorry, Incorrect.
The Dirty Dozen
Sorry, Incorrect.
Village of the Damned
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
17. Name the all-female gang who almost get the drop on Vermin, Cochise and Rembrandt in Walter Hill’s cult gang movie The Warriors.
The Lizzies
Correct! When our naive gang members stop off to chase some tail, The Lizzies prove that not all ass-kickers are of the male persuasion. Right on, sisters!
The Orphans
Sorry, Incorrect.
The Baseball Furies
Sorry, Incorrect.
Satan’s Mothers
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
18. Mad Max creator George Miller described his original 1979 film as a mix of action and which other genre?
Horror
Correct! Miller envisaged the original Mad Max instalment as an action horror and was keen on a Gothic score in the vein of Psycho composer Bernard Herrmann. If you guessed western, award yourself half a point, because Miller has also described Mad Max as “a western in new clothes”.
Western
Sorry, Incorrect.
Sci-fi
Sorry, Incorrect.
Musical
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
19. Name the highest-grossing action movie of 1981.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Correct! Indy’s first outing was the highest-grossing film of 1981 by some margin, with worldwide returns of $389,900,000 — a crazy amount since creators Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas struggled to get the picture made thanks to a lack of interest from the major studios. Superman II, which suffered from an infamously troubled production, was the second-highest grossing film of 1981 with $190,400,000. The Cannonball Run came in 6th place, one position above For Your Eyes Only in 7th.
For Your Eyes Only
Sorry, Incorrect.
Superman II
Sorry, Incorrect.
The Cannonball Run
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
20. Complete this famous John Rambo line from 1982’s First Blood: Don’t push it! Don’t push it or…
…I’ll give you a war you won’t believe.
Correct! He lived up to his promise too.
…it may fall over.
Sorry, Incorrect.
…I’ll show you what war is all about.
Sorry, Incorrect.
…you’ll discover the true meaning of war.
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
21. Axel Foley’s iconic theme “Axel F” was composed by which 80s synth giant?
Harold Faltermeyer
Correct! The song, which became an international number 1 smash the following year (1985), was part of the composer’s third movie soundtrack. The German-born synth innovator would go on to compose albums for 15 (to date) feature-length films, including Fletch (1985), Top Gun (1986) and The Running Man (1987).
Giorgio Moroder
Sorry, Incorrect.
Vangelis
Sorry, Incorrect.
Tangerine Dream
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
22. 1985’s Death Wish 3 took Cannon’s notoriously exploitative series to preposterous levels, but what is the movie’s death count?
83
Correct! 83 people die in Death Wish 3, the majority at the hands of Charles Bronson’s unconscionable harbinger of death Paul Kersey. As the character would explain during what was British director Michael Winner’s final instalment, “It’s like killing roaches – you have to kill ’em all. Otherwise, what’s the use?” Indeed!
77
Sorry, Incorrect.
55
Sorry, Incorrect.
41
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
23. Cannon B-movie classic The American Ninja would transform actor Michael Dudikoff into an overnight action sensation. Chuck Norris was originally set to star instead, even going as far as posing for the film’s press material, but would ultimately decline the role for what reason?
He didn’t want to have his face hidden.
Correct! Chuck felt that the ninja’s stealth attire would limit his exposure and detract from his star power. Instead we got the iconic tandem of Michael Dudikoff/Steve James. His loss, our gain.
He found the film to be too xenophobic.
Sorry, Incorrect.
He demanded too much money.
Sorry, Incorrect.
He felt his karate style was a bad fit for a movie based around ninjutsu.
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
24. Can you name the title of this 1986 Michael Dudikoff/Steve James Cannon classic?
Avenging Force
Correct! Sandwiched between 1985’s American Ninja and 1987’s American Ninja 2: The Confrontation, Avenging Force — the tale of a former CIA agent who attempts to rescue his young sister from the clutches of John P. Ryan’s egomaniacal right wing paramilitary group The Pentagle — was the second of three movies to unite the actors. Cannon go-to director Sam Firstenberg would direct all three.
American Ninja
Sorry, Incorrect.
River of Death
Sorry, Incorrect.
Platoon Leader
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
25. Which future comedy star had a small role in the 1988 Dirty Harry sequel The Dead Pool?
Jim Carrey
Correct! Carrey would play a wild-eyed rock star who would shoot an Exorcist-themed music video before becoming yet another murder victim for Harry Callahan to heartlessly ponder.
Jack Black
Sorry, Incorrect.
John Goodman
Sorry, Incorrect.
Ben Stiller
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
26. When Die Hard’s Bruce Willis first runs into Nakatomi nemesis Hans Gruber, the sophisticated thief introduces himself as an American employee named what?
Bill Clay
Correct! McClane seems to fall for it too, handing Gruber what appears to be a loaded gun before turning his back on him, only to reveal that he was bluffing all along. “You think I’m fucking stupid, Hans?”
Bob Clark
Sorry, Incorrect.
Bill Clinton
Sorry, Incorrect.
Brian Cartwright
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
27. How many action movies did genre giant Arnold Schwarzenegger star in during his 1980s pomp?
9
Correct! Arnie would headline a total of nine action movies: Conan the Barbarian (1982), Conan the Destroyer (1984), The Terminator (1984), Red Sonja (1985), Commando (1985), Raw Deal (1986), Predator (1987), The Running Man (1987) and Red Heat (1988). He would also star in two non-action movies: 1980’s bodybuilding documentary The Comeback and 1988’s buddy comedy Twins (1988). Since he was only being offered action roles at the time, the actor would waive his fee for Twins for the chance to star alongside Danny DeVito and broaden his genre horizons.
11
Sorry, Incorrect.
13
Sorry, Incorrect.
7
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
28. 1992’s ‘Die Hard on a Plane’ Passenger 57 would be rising star Wesley Snipes’ first pure action vehicle, but which actor played onscreen nemesis Charles Rane?
Bruce Payne
Correct! Passenger 57 was the peak of Payne’s sparse silver screen career, the actor mostly doing TV work thereafter. He would go on to star in a handful of low-key movies such as 1999’s direct-to-video horror sequel Warlock III: The End of Innocence.
Tom Noonan
Sorry, Incorrect.
Ted Levine
Sorry, Incorrect.
Viggo Mortensen
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
29. Daredevil extraordinaire and action movie legend Jackie Chan is famous for his death-defying stunts, but is known to use stuntmen for what?
Walking
Correct! Though willing to perform any stunt thrown at him, the Hong Kongese star often uses stuntmen for the simple act of walking so he is able to rest up for his next death-defying act. Well earned, Jackie.
Double somersaults
Sorry, Incorrect.
Being confined to closed spaces
Sorry, Incorrect.
Anything to do with spiders
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
30. How Many Lethal Weapon instalments has actress Rene Russo starred in?
2
Correct! Internal Affairs officer Lorna Cole would join up with the gang in 1992’s Lethal Weapon 3, becoming blue-eyed bad ass Martin Riggs’ significant other. The two would undergo an impromptu marriage in 1998’s Lethal Weapon 4 prior to Lorna giving birth to Riggs Junior.
3
Sorry, Incorrect.
4
Sorry, Incorrect.
1
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
31. 1995’s action comedy Money Train would reunite White Men Can’t Jump duo Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, but which up-and-coming female star would play the warring pair’s love interest?
Jennifer Lopez
Correct! Her third feature after smaller roles in 1986’s My Little Girl and 1994’s Oscar-nominated My Family, the Bronx-born actress would star in a total of nine movies during the 90s, including a part as a voice over actress in 1998’s Dreamworks computer animated feature Antz. She would also forge a hugely successful pop music career, re-branding herself as “J.Lo”.
Beyonce Knowles
Sorry, Incorrect.
Salma Heyek
Sorry, Incorrect.
Eva Mendes
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
32. In which 90s movie did Steven Seagal play a green tea drinking, prayer bead wearing, Chinese remedy advocating mass murderer with a badge?
The Glimmer Man
Correct! Seagal would play the painfully supercilious Lieutenant Jack Cole, an ex Vietnam vet-turned-Buddhist with a penchant for street-bound genocide. Seagal would subject an already heavily edited screenplay to further interference relating to his spiritual beliefs. According to co-star Stephen Tobolowsky, a reborn Steve no longer wanted to kill villains in his movies, which is presumably why he went on to kill them for decades thereafter. In the end, Tobolowsky convinced Seagal that his murderous character would be reincarnated as something pure thanks to his divine hand, a pandering notion that seemed to do the trick ― at least temporarily. After many a sleepless night battling with his own conscience, the ass-kicking multimillionaire rallied to have the outcome changed yet again, and even provided dubbing for an alternate ending that was never used. You just couldn’t write this shit!
On Deadly Ground
Sorry, Incorrect.
Under Siege
Sorry, Incorrect.
Hard to Kill
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
33. John Claude Van Damme’s ludicrous 1997 action vehicle Double Team is infamous for co-staring former NBA legend Dennis Rodman. It is also infamous for its overbearing instances of product placement for which international brand?
Coca-Cola
Correct! The Coca-Cola brand gets so much exposure in Double Team that it often seems to determine the action, most notably when Van Damme and Rodman shield themselves from the flames of an exploding Colosseum (don’t ask) with a Coca-Cola brand vending machine. Gucci was also represented here, but there’s so much coke action, you wouldn’t know it.
Gucci
Sorry, Incorrect.
The NBA
Sorry, Incorrect.
McDonald’s
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
34. Name the highest-grossing action movie of the 1990s?
Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Correct! Though maligned in many quarters, the first instalment of George Lucas’s Star Wars prequel trilogy grossed an estimated $924,300,000 worldwide, which adjusted for inflation would amount to a staggering $1.42 billion.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Sorry, Incorrect.
Independence Day
Sorry, Incorrect.
Jurassic Park
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
35. How much was future John Wick Keanu Reeves paid for headlining 1999’s groundbreaking action spectacular The Matrix?
$10 million plus 10% of the box office take
Correct! Such a deal meant that Reeves took home a not-too-shabby $56 million for starring in the movie. For sequels Reloaded and Revolutions, he made $15 million plus 15%, $126 million and $76 million, respectively, a total of $256 million for the entire trilogy.
$5 million plus 15% of the box office take
Sorry, Incorrect.
$15 million plus 5% of the box office take
Sorry, Incorrect.
$25 million plus 5% of the box office take
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
36. In which movie did former Commonwealth Games diver and mainstream action star Jason Statham debut?
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Correct! Statham would star as small-time London wide-boy Bacon in Guy Ritchie’s Tarantino derivative crime caper.
Snatch
Sorry, Incorrect.
Turn it Up
Sorry, Incorrect.
Ghosts of Mars
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
37. Complete this Denzel Washington line from 2001’s Oscar-winning action crime thriller Training Day. It’s not what you know…
…it’s what you can prove.
Correct! Typically devious advice from Denzel’s serpent-like Detective Alonzo Harris. What a performance!
…it’s what you do that counts.
Sorry, Incorrect.
…it’s what I know.
Sorry, Incorrect.
…it’s how loud you can belch.
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
38. Which action star auditioned for the role of Judge Dredd in Pete Travis’ 2012 2000 AD adaptation Dredd?
Michael Biehn
Correct! The former Terminator star auditioned for the lead role but would lose out to Star Trek reboot regular Karl Urban
Jason Statham
Sorry, Incorrect.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
Sorry, Incorrect.
Chris Evans
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
39. Female ass-kicker Charlize Theron would suffer which injury during the super-intensive shoot for David Leitch’s 2017 action thriller Atomic Blonde?
Cracked teeth
Correct! Theron, who would spend five years developing the project, would work with eight personal trainers in order to master her colossal physical performance. She would also recruit the help of real-life martial artist Keanu Reeves prior to the release of John Wick: Chapter 2.
A dislocated shoulder
Sorry, Incorrect.
Broken fingers
Sorry, Incorrect.
A bruised spin
Sorry, Incorrect.

 
40. Finally, which of the following stars is yet to feature in self-reflexive action series The Expendables?
Steven Seagal
Correct! Not only is Seagal yet to star in an Expendables movie, he has gone on record as saying he will never star in one due to ongoing issues with some of the cast. Who would have guessed?
Mel Gibson
Sorry, Incorrect.
Jet Li
Sorry, Incorrect.
Steve Austin
Sorry, Incorrect.

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