No.5 David Bradley
Claim To Fame: Starred in movies that included Ninja, Samurai, Cyborg, Cop, Warriors, American, Blood, Hard, Justice, and Die in their names. You can use those exact words to form the title of every single B-movie ever made.
What does it say about your career when you’re considered the poor man’s Michael Dudikoff? When Dudikoff declined to return for American Ninja 3, Bradley was chosen as his replacement. And over 20 years later, the franchise still hasn’t recovered from his touch of death. The only thing he brought to the role was an apparently endless supply of body wax.
Bradley then tried his hand at being an American Samurai in the movie of the same name, a film heavy on well choreographed fight scenes and light on anything resembling acting, plot, direction, lighting, key grip. What the hell is a key grip anyway? Moving on. Bradley went up against Gimli in Cyborg Cop, fellow B-movie legend Frank Zagarino in Blood Warriors and Shannon Tweed’s boobs in White Cargo. Mercifully, the world has been spared his particular brand of shiny, turtle wax upper body nakedness since 1997, a mere five years too late to spare us this sight…
Potential Expendables 3 Role: I wouldn’t wait by the phone if I were him.
No.4 Olivier Gruner
Claim To Fame: Unlike most of the people on this list he’s managed to find pretty constant work since 1990.
If you’ve never heard of Olivier Gruner, you’re missing out on some sweet B-movie goodness. Born in France, Gruner is Van Damme with an even more incomprehensible accent. He kicked off his career in 1990 with the movie Angel Town, a film that was rented so often at my localstore that the owner had to order new copies of the flick to replace used ones. Guner followed up with Nemesis, a surprisingly well-made Terminator rip-off and one of B-movie hack Albert Pyun’s rare movies that I can view over and over again without suffering permanent brain damage. (Seriously, you try watching Alien From L.A and not want to stick a fork in your higher brain functions.)
Gruner worked steadily in the ’90s and landed a short-lived TV series, Code Name: Eternity, in 2000. Recently, he reunited with NemesisPyun for a “28 years after the fact” sequel to The Sword And The Sorcerer. Say what you will about Gruner, but the man keeps on trucking.
Potential Expendables 3 Role: Pair him up with Van Damme and watch the duo fight over who can mangle the English language more.
No.3 Don “The Dragon” Wilson
Claim To Fame: Bloodfist. Bloodfist 2. Bloodfist 3. Bloodfist 4. Bloodfist 5. Bloodfist 6. Bloodfist 7. Bloodfist 8. The upcoming Bloodfist 9. No, I have no idea if they’re making a Bloodfist 9, but I think it’s a safe prediction to make. There was even a Bloodfist: 2050 set in the future, but Wilson skipped that one.
For the longest time, Don “The Dragon” Wilson was the undisputed champ of the direct-to-video world. He had an entire shelf all to himself. And that was just to contain the endless Bloodfist series. He often released several movies per year, crowding out other, less popular martial arts stars. He was a veritable B-movie empire all by himself. Unlike his comrades on this list, however, Wilson never graduated to bigger things. His acting remained confined to video stores, aside from a quickie cameo in Batman Forever. Keep in mind, I use the term “acting” in the loosest possible way. Wilson’s acting ability is on par with that of your average wooden plank, and even then it’s a toss up to decide who walks away with the Razzie award.
Wilson’s output as lessened considerably in the 2000s. The decline of cheap martial arts movies and video stores in general has rendered his once considerable popularity a thing of the past. Oh well, there’s always television…
Here he is starring in a Kool-Aid commercial.
Potential Expendables 3 Role: He could show up as an ex-member of the Expendables, a retired champ coming back to recapture his glory days. Alternately, he could just make Bloodfist 9. And 10. And I Can’t Believe It’s Not Bloodfist. And Bloodfist 52: Bloodfistier.
Find out who the Number 1 action hero who could be an Expendable is after the last jump…