Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)

Back in 1982 Tobe Hooper directed Poltergeist, a movie that was written and produced by Stephen Spielberg, and in all honesty it may as well have been him behind the camera. Everything about that movie screamed Spielberg, from its familial tone and grandiose set pieces to its high profile marketing strategy and tantilsing teaser poster. The grisly touch of Hooper – a wonderful director in his own right – was nowhere to be found.

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Predator 2 (1990)

When it comes to Predator, less is definitely more.

In the three decades since the release of the original there have been so many pointless sequels that I now look upon this once cherished character with derision, his movies indifference. Predator 2 is perhaps the best of all those sequels, but it still manages to fail on just about every conceivable level, not least because you find it nigh on impossible not to compare it to the original, to which it is nothing more than a diluted carbon copy…

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American Ninja (1985)

Michael Dudikoff wasn’t much of a ninja. Come to think of it, he wasn’t much of an actor either. But for a brief period during the mid-1980’s he became a hero to kids the world over, and he owes it all to American Ninja.

For me, American Ninja is the defining movie of the oft memorable Cannon Group, who churned out ultra-violent schlock by the bucket load. This was cheap production, nonsensical storytelling, and some of the stiffest, most unmemorable acting of a generation, but there was something there; there had to be…

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Double Team (1997)

By 1997 the Buddy Action Movie had become so diluted it had begun to resemble a thin, tasteless gruel.

Gone were the aromatic days of Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy, of Riggs and Murtaugh, of John McClane and the black cop from Die Hard whose name I can never remember. Unconcerned with onscreen chemistry, relatable characterisation, and the kind of wry, acerbic wit that made the genre so successful, money-obsessed producers had begun to overlook traditional recipes in favour of flavour of the month celebrities…

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