By: John M Jerva

Awwww, the 80’s were a glorious time for action films and action fans in general and one of the biggest sub genres to come out of that era was the bring them home alive Vietnam action movies where heroes of all risked it all to invade The Nam to free our POW’s from a hell that was unimaginable. From Stallone to Norris, Hollywood’s most feared action stars tried to ease the pain of the war that we lost by making films where we came out on top and brought our boys home.

One of the best films from this genre was the ensemble epic Uncommon Valor from 1983 which was helmed by Ted Kotcheff who also directed Stallone’s original Rambo classic First Blood. One of the main reasons this was one of the best was the spectacular cast that it has which included Academy Award winner Gene Hackman as Colonel Rhodes as well as Fred Ward from Reno Williams, Robert Stack, Randall “Tex” Cobb, Harold Sylvester, Tim Thomerson and a very young Patrick Swayze in one of his first ever roles. It was truly a gravitas fueled line up that amped up the dramatic factor to go along with the fierce finale where these Vets stormed Vietnam to rescue Rhodes’ son along with a few other soldiers who were being held captive.

Another star of the film was 80’s action hero Reb Brown who starred in a host of awesome B action movies. Some of his best included Cage with Lou Ferrigno, Street Hunter which also starred the late, great Steve James, Yor, Robowar and one of my personal favorites, Strike Commando, which is the guiltiest of guilty pleasures.

Brown had the look, the physique and the best action film battle cry of any actor from any generation. When Brown let loose in his action scenes with the scream to end all screams, you knew that he meant business. It’s just something you have to experience and if your a product of the 80’s then you know that I’m talking about.

In Uncommon Valor, Brown played Blaster who was one of the former soldiers who served with Rhodes’ son and he signs up to go in and rescue his comrades at all costs.

The finale of the film featured one of the best action scenes from the genre where our heroes blast their wast through Vietnam and assault the POW prison with attack choppers and heavy weaponry. It’s pure 80’s action euphoria.

It is this scene where Blaster makes his last stand as he commits the ultimate sacrifice to destroy a bridge that the enemy needs to cross over. It is one of Brown’s best scenes ever from any film and it is one of my favorites to this day. Oh yeah, the scream makes an appearance too of course. It is here where no man is left behind.

With recent events and not being able to really go anywhere, except for my essential job, I’ve been nostalgic for simpler times when I was new to the genre and gobbled up every morsel of action that I could get. Uncommon Valor will always be a special one for me and Reb Brown was and is one of my favorite action stars. Now it’s time to watch White Ghost which doesn’t have as much Reb Brown in it but he gets in on the action at the end and yes, the scream makes an appearance.

Blaster’s Last Stand is celebrated in this edition of The Action Fix because it’s pure action awesomeness. Enjoy!!!

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