Thursday, July 31, 2008
Biehn there, done that.
Tonight it occurred to me that despite my fascination / obsession with 80's action movies and the tremendous actors that starred in them, I had never given the slightest mention of my all-time favourite 80's actor, Michael Biehn. Then when I realized the completely ridiculous potential puns that I could come up with to use as the title of the post, it kind of seemed like a no-brainer to write something about Michael. From 1984 to 1989 he was James Cameron's golden boy, appearing in the Terminator, Aliens, and the Abyss, 3 of the best genre pictures ever made, and yet was somehow never able to translate this success into official leading man status. In 1990, he did star in Navy Seals with Charlie Sheen, but after that, besides Tombstone in 1992 and the Rock in 1996, all he's really done is a bunch of crappy TV movies that no one saw, like Asteroid, or critically reviled theatrical flops like Jade.
This just kind of upsets me just because he's so great in the hard-assed hero role in both Terminator and Aliens. I vividly remember crying uncontrollably when he sacrificed his life to save Sarah Connor, and...shit I just realized I cried uncontrollably when his character died in the opening minutes of Alien 3. I honestly just realized that. That is actually fucked up, even for me. Do I have some kind of weird, Freudian pshychosexual obsession with Michael Biehn? You know what, on second thought, don't answer that. Um, anyways, he was also awesome as a scary military psychopath in the Abyss (where he also sported one of cinema's all-time great moustaches, seen above.) He proved he had range, was in some damn successful films, and had some, dare I say, ruggedly handsome good looks, so I don't see why he never became more of a movie star. By 1999, he was slumming it by "acting" in the videogame Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun. That is just not cool at all. He did do a bunch of other movies in the 90's but a lot of them are quite obscure and I have a strong feeling that many of them are played late at night on Cinemax, and feature gratuitous butt shots. I have too much respect for the guy to find out.
Anyways, I was delighted to see him pop up in Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror, even though I wasn't crazy about the movie itself, and the whole Grindhouse experiment was pretty much a massive theatrical flop. Nevertheless, I do see that he has an astonishing 5 movies in post production right now, including Streets of Blood with Val Kilmer, Sharon Stone, and 50 Cent. So that's kind of a big deal. Here's hoping that more directors realize that there has been a serious lack of Biehn - a Biehn-vacuum, if you will - in modern day cinema, and that it would be foolish to allow this virtually untapped ass-kicking resource to continue wasting away in late night Cinemax purgatory. Because trust me: this guy is no has-Biehn.