One Tough Bastard 1995 ****

Pretty much deleted from the memory banks and One Hard To Find Movie, Kurt Wimmer’s debut feature is a fondly remembered slice of red-blooded American Macho. The star is Brian Bosworth, who plays John North, a straight-shooter drill sergeant tormented by his inability to prevent the murder of his wife and children; North emerges from a coma keen to find out who is responsible. It’s not a huge intellectual leap to figure out that the baddie here is Karl Savak, a long-haired, trench-coat afficionado with a nose-ring, a crooked FBI-man who barks out quite the most extraordinary deranged dialogue ever heard in an action movie. One notable scene has him drawing up to To Do list with the words ‘Kill Marcus’ on it; a possible sequel would do well to explore what else Karl Savak was planning that day. ‘You may have the gun, but I have the GUNS’ Savak screams while leaping around with all kinds of armoury; as if Nicolas Cage was encourages to try touching the sides of acting while playing General Zod, it’s a knowingly over the top villainous performance that cements Payne’s position at the most sainted of cult actors. It’s a measure of the insanity here that MC Hammer’s drug lord barely makes an impression; this is the finest hour of Payne’s storied career, and he dutifully gives One Tough Bastard an energising kick to the Boz.


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