THE EXCELLENT EIGHTIES: The Patriot (1986)

We’ve already covered this movie, but seeing as how Mill Creek repeats so many movies in their box sets, I wanted to ensure that our site isn’t all repeats too. I also like to get different views on movies.

Former TV reporter Frank Harris broke into movies via doing cinematography for action movies. He took advantage of the VHS rental boom to make his own films in the genre, starting with Killpoint, a movie that he was a one man crew for, working as the director, producer, screenwriter and cinematographer. He also made Low Blow and Aftershock, movies filled with gun, explosions and the kind of actors we love around here, including Cameron Mitchell, Elizabeth Kaitan, Richard Lynch and John Saxon.

This movie has a broken arrow event, as a gang led by Atkins (Stack Pierce, who was in nearly all of Harris’ movies) steal a nuke and a burned-out Navy SEAL (Gregg Henry, The Hunt for the BTK Killer) gets hired by Leslie Nielsen, of all people, to stop him.

There’s a great supporting cast filled with the kind of people I obsessively read about on IMDB, like Jeff Conaway (!), Simone Griffeth (Annie Smith, Frankenstein’s navigator in Death Race 2000), Michael J. Pollard (Four of the Apocalypse), Glenn Withrow (Sweet Sixteen), former pro boxer Mike Gomez and Sally Brown (Crawlspace),

A lot of comedy — not from Nielsen — kind of ruins what this movie could be, but it’s movie fifty of fifty on this Mill Creek set and I wasn’t expecting it to be anything to destroy my mind. That said, it did make me wonder the path that Jeff Conaway wandered from Kenickie to being in a Crown International action movie.

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