Retired mercenary Arnold Schwarzenegger has 10 hours to save daughter Alyssa Milano from an exiled dictator in this endlessly quotable and gloriously balls-out crowning achievement of ‘80s action.
This Is Vintage Arnold: loving close-ups of greased up biceps, post-mortem puns tossed off at every kill and a climactic blood-orgy in which Arnie employs a variety of weapons (from rocket launchers to pitchforks) to take out a private militia. Originally intended as a vehicle for Nick Nolte before it was handed off to America's favorite Übermensch, this was the first film that dared to portray him as a mere mortal. An instant hit, this comic book on ‘Roids towers over its legions of imitators, due to a sly subversiveness throughout—from the opening credits pre-carnage montage featuring Arnie feeding a baby deer to the choice casting of Vernon Wells as the supervillain in leather-daddy get up. A knowingly fascist piece of pop spectacle (director Mark L. Lester cites Reifenstahl as an influence), above all Commando is a lean slab of B-flick pulp, with ruthlessly economical pacing of the ticking-clock premise, back when a summer Hollywood blockbuster could still be a killer example of genre craftsmanship.
Director: Mark L. Lester. 90 min. 1985. 35mm.
Ticket Price: $12, member price: $8
Part of the series Basic Cable Classics.
Also screening this evening at 9:30 pm: Roller Boogie. Buy tickets to both films and get a free PBR!
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