Forgotten Action Cinema: Nasty Hero

The title to director Nick Barwood’s forgotten 1987 actioner “Nasty Hero” (aka “Avenger”) is a bit misleading. The film’s titular hero isn’t really all that nasty, unless, of course, you’re talking about his dirty hair, scruffy facial hair, and overall greasy appearance. This probably would’ve been a disappointment had I not known the film was rated PG-13. After all, it’s kind of hard to be impossibly nasty when can’t do the all the things an R-rating would allow you to do. Scott Feraco stars as Chase, an ex-con who embarks on a quest to find the bastards responsible for sending him to prison. Unfortunately, Chase isn’t all that bright, and he soon finds himself in a number of incredibly sticky situations. To make matters worse, he’s not that great of a fighter. In fact, there are several severely embarrassing fight sequences spread thinly throughout the feature, most of which involve Chase getting his rump stomped by a gang of ultra-wimpy car thieves. We’re talking “Revenge of the Nerds” wimpy, folks. How am I supposed to root for a hero that can’t even hold his own against a small group of wannabe gangsters who look like they just graduated from Bayside High School? Barwood manages to stage a few reasonably enjoyable car chases, though they’re not nearly as entertaining as lead baddie Robert Sedgwick. He’s easily one of the least-threatening villains I’ve ever seen, second only to that irritating pipsqueak in “12 Rounds”. The final showdown between Chase — who is sporting a metallic cast on his arm at this point — and Brad (Sedgwick) is thoroughly amusing, so much so that I actually watched the last 15 minutes of the film twice. No kidding. I proudly own a pristine copy of this flick on VHS, and I encourage anyone with a taste for cheesy action cinema to seek it out. For a taste of the film’s genius, check out the video embedded below. This should be more than enough to get you started.