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 that kicks ass and takes names from soup to nuts. The nominal star is man-mountain 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 suss out who is responsible.
It’s not a huge intellectual leap to figure out that the baddie here is Karl Savak, played by the legendary Bruce Payne. Savak is a long-haired, trench-coat afficionado with a nose-ring, a crooked FBI-man who barks out deranged tough-guy dialogue like it was going out of fashion, which it was in 1996. One notable scene has him drawing up to To Do list with the words ‘Kill Marcus’ scrawled with a Sharpie 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 encouraged to try pushing the envelope of acting while playing General Zod, it’s a knowingly over-the-top villainous performance that cements Payne’s position amongst cult actors. Sure, the title One Man’s Justice might come from a quote from Emerson, but it’s Karl Savak and the alternative title One Tough Bastard you’ll be quoting by the end of this guilty pleasure.
I’m inching ever closer to finally sharing one of my most precious anecdotes; what went down the day I carried Bruce Payne’s ironing board across a zebra crossing in Maida Vale, but I’ll just leaving it hanging in the air for now to fuel intense public interest in this topic. It’s a measure of the insanity here that MC Hammer’s mad-as-balls drug-lord barely makes an impression; this is a highlight from Payne’s storied career, and he dutifully gives One Man’s Justice an energising hard kick to the Boz.