Reflecting on growing up in the videostores is always fun. I never try to come off like the old man telling you that you missed out on something because you were too young or not born because saying shit like that is not fair. But instead I always try to express my thoughts coming from a kid that was stuck in that childhood/ teenager time when going to the videostore and looking through countless VHS and BETA covers was a hunt. A hunt to bring some sweet shit home to hopefully make us laugh or be in awe with terror and excitement because of insane action. And honestly we never came in with a list of flicks to look for because we did not research the movies on the internet beforehand because, you know, there was no internet.

Anyways before I keep rambling on about videostores during the mullet era the point is we took some amazing and entertaining movies home to fill us with joy and watching enough of them we would start recognizing certian actors in the movies over and over again. Actors that you just enjoyed seeing pop up in the latest horror, sci-fi, comedy, or action movie. Like seeing an old friend again you knew they would do their best to entertain you. They might not have become the biggest stars in Hollywood but to us they were heroes. Heroes we found on the videostore shelf. So I’m gonna bring them back to our attention every now and then again with thoughts like this. Some will be obvious stars to us and myabe some might not be. Some are still killing it in film and TV and others just kind of left us. Either way growing up with way too much movie watching in life these faces left an impression on me.

If you grew up in the 80s there is no doubt in my mind required viewing were atleast a few ninja martial art flicks. The ninja explosion was mainly due to CANNON FILMS and there was no doubt if you enjoyed watching the shadowy warriors do their thing you knew SHO KOSUGI. The man was the leader of the genre by a mile.

Watching him in the “ninja” trilogy go from bad guy, good guy, to exorcist was a blast. A true badass I was obsessed with him. My personal favourite was Revenge Of The Ninja by a long shot but all his films had something special in then…him. With so many weapons, so much violence and brutal ninja death as a kid how could you not love these movies?!

There was just something cool about him. I mean how could I not love a man who fought a silver masked, flame throwing evil white ninja and a gang that looked like the Village People in Revenge Of The Ninja and then go on to fight Jean Claude Van Damme in BLACK EAGLE?

After a couple decades of doing other amazing things life I was completely losing my shit when he showed up in 2009’s NINJA ASSASSIN. I literally had to check IMDB to make sure it was him. It had been so long and I was overjoyed to see one of my childhood action star heroes back on the big screen.

The fact is no man rocked eyeliner better than Sho in those 80s flicks and I would recommend taking a revisit to any or all of his films.

His name was Dudley Dawson but most people called him “Booger”. This was my introduction to the actor known as Curtis Armstrong in Revenge Of The Nerds. He was the one nerd that stood out from all the rest for me and that ensemble cast was great. He was rude, crass, even brutal at times, but always hilarious and even heart warming at the same time.

Armstrong got his breakout a year earlier in Risky Business acting beside so guy named Cruise but it was Revenge Of The Nerds that made him a pop culture icon to kids like me at the time. Even by the time we got to Revenge Of The Nerds 4: Nerds In Love, which was pretty weak sauce, I still had to watch it because of him.

But why just have one amazing character in an 80s flick when you can have two. In BETTER OFF DEAD Armstrong gave us Charles De Mar, the advice giving and snow drug dealer to John Cusack. Again, Armstrong was in top form in this brilliant flick and for me he was a guy I would just get excited to watch in whatever he was in from that point on.

Hell I even watched Moonlighting on TV to him. And not bad company he was keeping on that show either. Curtis Armstong could bring the laughs and looking back these four films still showcase his comedic acting very well.

In the end Curtis Armstrong has kept his career going through the years but it was those early roles that always stayed with me and always will.

Growing up one has many childhood crushes through renting movies at a young age. In some of my favourite movies there was always this one woman who would keep turning up in such films. I never knew her name until I was older but now looking back KELLY JO MINTER was serious crush for me from the videostore. There was just something about her. She had this take no shit kind of vibe in almost everyone of her roles.

Going through the sweet cinema she was in is actually pretty impressive. Starting with MASK with Eric Stolz and Cher and Summer School, another favourite of mine, she was making a name for herself.

Going through the sweet cinema she was in is actually pretty impressive. Starting with MASK with Eric Stolz and Cher and Summer School, another favourite of mine, she was making a name for herself.

Also blink and you might miss her but she is indeed the lovely videostore clerk in THE LOST BOYS that Keifer and the guys are making small talk with and why wouldn’t they?

Later on she would show up as “Cheryl” in the cult classic flick POPCORN. Such a fun movie about a group of friends putting together a one night film festival and shit goes wrong. Either way her take no shit and looking out for her friends attitude shines right through here.

To add to her great resume of goodness she also would show up in HOUSE PARTY, THE PRINCIPAL, and PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS. Not too shabby at all.

I make no bones about it. If Kelly Jo Minter was ever at a convenstion near my city I would have to go and try to keep my cool in getting autographs for all of her great work taking me back to my younger years.

Sometimes you can never quite explain what draws you to an actor. As strange as it sounds when it comes to RICHARD MASUR there just seemed to be a warmth about him in all his work. Even if he was playing a terrible person he still seemed kind of likable. Basically like an uncle in the family that you only see at gatherings every now and then but you know he’ll have a good story or two to tell. And for me there are three movies I saw him in as a kid that sold him to me.

The first obvious one will be John Carpenter’s THE THING. Masur playing Clarke was different then the rest of the guys. He was there for the dogs. The quiet one who loved his furry friends and sadly was wrongly killed by Kurt “I Once Played Elvis Presley” Russell. Poor Clarke..he was human! So saying The Thing is an easy choice because it’s one of the greatest movies ever made. On that note I could pick anyone from the cast and say the same thing and maybe one day I will but for today it’s Richard Masur. It’s the next role that made 10 year old me really like this guy.

That role would be as Carleton Davis, the dad of a family who made his money selling and creating pratical joke gags and items but also would have have to protect his family and help fight off the evil Mr. Boogedy. That’s right, you know you’re an 80s kid if you ever watched the Disney TV films Mr. Boogedy and the sequel Bride Of Boogedy. He was just perfect in these as the goofy and lovable dad dealing with the absurd ghostly baddie. Perfect viewing for 10 year old me.

And speaking of playing dads in 1988 Masur would have to try to control the “Two Coreys” who at that time were at the height of their fame. Playing Haim’s father Mr. Anderson Masur cracked me up with freak outs in the film dealing with his car and his pregnant wife played by the always great Carol Kane. Infact those two had some fun chemistry together. Regardless of all of that it made his acting stick with me and whenever I would see him show up in other stuff I would be “Hey! It’s that guy!” Well I’m glad I got to know that guy in film.

His career has spanned decades now and he’s still going strong on TV and film but three titles that also stand out with his appearance are 1987’s THE BELIEVERS, the criminally underrated action/ thriller SHOOT TO KILL, and ofcourse his very brief but memorable role in IT.

And finally is it just me or is there a certain same look between Seth Rogen and Rchard Masur from the 80s? Hmm…

For an actor that has more or less worked in television for decades on dozens of popular shows STEPHEN MACHT will forever be known to me as the guy who played two roles in two movies that were exactly opposite of each other to the point where I did not realize it was the same actor until a few years ago. True story. Now that is good acting!

On one hand is Del, a good cop trying to do best for his son Sean and his friends in the MONSTER SQUAD. The scene where him and Sean sit on the roof of their house watching a slasher movie through binoculars while eating burgers always stayed with me as perfect father-son bonding moment. And later when shit hits the fan he’s there fighting Dracula, Wolfman, and the rest of the monsters defending his family like a badass. What a guy!

On the other hand in 1990’s GRAVEYARD SHIFT Macht plays the world’s shittiest boss Warwick. An absolute piece of trash human to his workers who has no issues with sacrificing their lives to the giant rat monster in an abusive manner.

Honest to god his acting in this film is worth the watch alone. He goes so over the top gonzo by the end you can not take your eyes off of him. And that Maine accent he rocks gives Pet Semetary’s Fred Gywnn a run for his money. Trully amazing stuff!

For these two roles in these two movies Stephen Macht is a videostore hero in my eyes.

You know sometimes all it takes are two great acting moments that you see when you are a kid and forever you will smile when you see that actor reappear in almost anything else years later. I mean seriously. I just posted a pic from JUWANNA MANN. Why? Because I watched it on the power of Miguel A. Nunez Jr. being it. And why did I do that? Anyone that knows me already has the answer.

1985 made him and myself forever friends. Atleast in a film fan to actor I will never meet kind of way. Starting with the insanely underrated and sleazy as hell Friday The 13th Part 5 he showed up and stole our hearts as “Demon”. Not only was his few minutes of screen time memorable with fun dialogue filled with damn enchiladas but he gave us some inspired singing, a bit of screaming, and brilliant death scene, and ofcourse amazing hair.

And later that year he would forever in mind be “Spider” from RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD. How could you not love his character? He helped light up “trash” in the graveyard so she could perform her dance. Cared for Tina when he knew that Freddie was turning into a zombie. Teamed up with Burt and Ernie to try and figure out how to stop the zombies. And ofcourse had a bad feeling about calling the goverment who would come in and nuke them all. Rest in peace Spider. You fought the good fight and after watching you over 200 times in my life I always hope that somehow you survived the blast and went on living.

Over the years he has kept busy working but those two roles will forever, in my videostore mind, be his legacy to us fans and that is not a bad thing at all! But he also did have a great small scene in Black Dynamite in 2009 so hell yes to that as well.

Her film credits are small (only 6 acting gigs in her career) but quality over quantity baby. Lucinda Dickey’s few movies were without a doubt heavily rented in the 80s and now collectors I’m sure own most her films or rebuy them everytime a new speciual edition comes out. Her short time acting in film is still felt today to B-movie aand genre fans. And I’m not even talking about her first gig in Grease 2.

In 1984 breakdancing was everywhere. So when the movie Breakin came out all the kids wanted to see it. Enter Lucinda Dickey who plays Kelly, a struggling jazz dancer, who meets up and teams up with Ozone and Turbo, two break dancers, and together form a bad ass dance team that learns to respect their differences and unite to conquer with the power of dance. Cheesy yes but damn were those dance moves great at the time to go along with a killer soundtrack of that year. And just like that Lucinda Dickey was a videostore star.

Naturally with the movie being a hit a sequel was coming. The sequel with the greatest follow up title to this day…Electric Boogaloo. The crazy thing about it was the movie came out the same freaking year! Anyways even more over the top and silly the combo of the films continued to get Dickey attention which would lead to her next cult classic film.

Along comes NINJA 3: THE DOMINATION. It was like throwing all kinds of stuff at the wall and hoping something stuck. What we ended up with in this movie was a film that combined the successful ninja genre, Lucinda’s dancing ability for a flashdance vibe along with an exorcism possession of a dead warrior all rolled into one. Did it work? Well it’s 2020 and I’m still talking about it and people keep renting it repeatedly so yeah, I think it worked. It is a complete gong show to watch but when making a film better to be crazy and nonsensical than boring and forgettable. Which lead to her next role in a genre near and dear to my heart….a slasher film. Sort of.

In this 1988 sex comedy/ slasher/ guess who the killer is flick Dickey plays Cory Foster. Cory is an alligator mascot for her cheerleading team at the year’s big competition in a remote camp ground for some reason. Anyways, lots of nudity, fart jokes, and one dimensional acting finally turns into high bodycount at the end with the mystery of who the killer is. I will ot spoil it here if you have not seen it but having Lucinda in this amazingly bad yet so so so good on an entertainment level of film sealed the deal for me that I would never forget her impact on renting movies back in the day. In those few films she left her mark. Cheers!

80s? Videostore? Hero? Was there ever any doubt I was gonna add Micahel Dudikoff to the first volume of this list? Before I rave about the man I do have to point out two movies I completely forgot he was in from that era and I love both of them…

The 1981 evil as all hell kid move Bloody Birthday and the comedy classic from 1984 Bachelor Party starring that guy from Bossom Buddies. A good start to the carry Michael! And then Cannon Films got their hands and this man.

But before he would work for them he also was in the way better than Missing In Action movie Uncommon Valor. Check it out.

And in the end the 80s always comes back to ninjas in the videostore. Truly American Ninja by Cannon films made Dudikoff a star to us young ones and every month going back to the shop we would see his name on a new VHS cover. It was to the point where if it said Dudikoff it was coming home with us. Now they made 5 American Ninja movies but the film that I love with Mr. Dudikoff in it was no ninja movie. No my friends, you could say the film was Hard Target years before John Woo and JCVD made it.

In Avenging Force Dudikoff plays Matt Hunter. A badass former CIA agent who is trying to help a political friend out. The friend is being hunted by a shady right wing white supremacist group know as the Pentangle. It will up to his martial arts skills to see if Hunter will be the hunter or the hunted. Seriously, the movie is Hard Target. And it’s damn fun!

In the end Michael Dudikoff was a name we all knew from the videostore shelves. I understand it was a bummer his career did not explode they way it should have. I mean he had the looks, the skills, the personality. He had it. Hell, he was even close to playing Spider-Man back in the day. But instead we can only look at him for all the amazing bad ass action flicks he gave us and many were only really discovered when we saw them appear on the videostore shelf.

Oh one more thing about Michael Dudikoff. He is not related to Dennis Reynolds but I feel he should be. Seriously.

One more for you tonight as my drink is almost empty and the bed is calling because it’s new movie day at the videostore tomorrow. And I’m gonna leave you with Mr. Dean Cameron. If for nothing else that he single handedly played a character in the 1987 film Summer School that inspired every horror movie obsessed kid out there to make us think we were not alone. Finally one of us is being shown in a movie. Big time!

There is no doubt watching every scene with Cameron’s Chainsaw character along with best friend Dave was the highlight of this film for most of us. If you even wondered what movie really got me to embrace being a horror movie nerd as a 11 year old look no further than Summer School. Ironic it being a comedy and all.

BAD DREAMS, Dean Cameron, 1988. ©20th Century Fox

One year later Cameron would show up in a straight up horror movie called Bad Dreams. Now if truth be told it’s basically ripoff of Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. It even has Jennifer Rubin in the movie as the lead. But who cares. A fun flick and Cameron’s performance as a patient with issues is a stand out right till his demise. That hand and knife scene. Ouch…

But from bad nightmare horror flicks Dean Cameron would come back to the comedy world with 1991’s Ski School which is not in year an 80s sex comedy but it still feels that way,. Again he basically carries this film by just having fun with it. A great double feature with Hot Dog: The Movie or Ski School Part 2 which also has Cameron returning.

One of the best episodes of Always Sunny In Philly was The Gang Hits The Slopes which is basically a perfect tribute to ultimate 80s sex comedy in every politically incorrect way. A combination of Ski School and Hot Dog the most amazing part was getting Dean Cameron himself back almost 30 years later to more or less play the same character but old. Brilliant casting by the show.

Well guys these are a few of the videostore shelf heroes from my childhood. I literally wrote down over a hundred names on paper so expect a new list every week till I have most of them covered. There are just so many. Anyways as always thanks for reading these silly ramblings and we’ll see you at the videostore soon enough. Wash your hands first though. Cheers!