Action U.S.A.

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1989 • dir John Stewart w/Gregory Scott Cummins, William Hubbard Knight, Barri Murphy, Ross Hagen, William Smith, Hoke Howell, Cameron Mitchell • 96 min

This brain-explodingly awesome regional action flick from 1989 is the brainchild of stuntman-turned-filmmaker John Stewart who broke records by falling 16 stories while on fire(!) for 1987’s Cold Steel and made appearances in everything from Serpico to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to The Hidden. For this turn behind the camera, Stewart concocts a film that is (literally) detonating with an absurd array of explosions, stunts, gun fire, nefarious villains, gritty antiheroes, unexpectedly capable babes, bar fights, more explosions, and an unending parade of car chases.

Shot in and around Waco, Texas, ACTION U.S.A. follows a pair of FBI agents – seemingly left on their own with no backup whatsoever – who are hot on the trail of a fortune in stolen diamonds. When they hook up with the only possible witness, a beautiful woman whose danger-loving boyfriend has been murdered, and run afoul of a notorious contract killer, the chase is on. If you find yourself wanting some mindless entertainment in these trying times – and you have a tolerance (or affection) for 1980s macho swagger – ACTION U.S.A. is just the thing.

“Stewart’s directorial debut tears out of the gates with a ferocity never seen before or since in the independent action pantheon. … ACTION U.S.A. takes the grand tradition of self-made two-fisted epics like Miami Connection, Hard Ticket to Hawaii and Samurai Cop and turns the knob past 11, then slips it off and jams it in your eye socket.”
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