I had planned to write about my favorite six comedies, but I was extremely saddened to learn that Robert Z'Dar passed away this past Monday. When I say he was one of my favorite actors, I don't mean just for cult films. I mean he was legit one of my all time favorite actors. Many days I would bug my wife about watching one of his films, and because she loves me (and is a fan of his as well) she'd oblige. She's a keeper, that's for sure.
So I decided to take a quick look at six movies with Robert Z'Dar that you should take a look at.
Blood Money/Killer's Edge
I reviewed this one here, but a quick synopsis for you all...Wings Hauser is after bad guy Robert Z'Dar, but he doesn't really want to because Z'Dar saved his life in 'Nam! There's action, a guy who looks like a cartoon Tony Curtis, Z'Dar blowing shit up with a rocket launcher, and so much more. So take your drunken Wings and watch the fun. Oh and Karen Black is locked in a room for the whole film. Bonus.
Most of you reading this already know about Samurai Cop. It's a Lethal Weapon ripoff with a sometimes wigged Matt Hanon and his partner Frank taking on a Japanese gang led by a gloriously mulleted leader. His right hand man of course is our beloved Z'Dar. Robert looks good with a beard here. I wish he'd kept it for other roles.
In this AIP "classic" Z'Dar plays the biggest and baddest Russian taking on America's best Ted Prior to see who has the better country. I guess ticket sales weren't good (or they were all watching Rocky take on Drago) because they fight in an abandoned army building. It's one of the few times that Z'Dar turns out to be a good guy. A good Russian in the 80's? Don't be Reedickulus!
The Night Stalker
No, not the Kolchak series (or TV movies), but the 1987 film starring Charles Napier in one of the very few leading roles for him. This is also one of Z'Dar's first movies, and I bet the reason why he got the Maniac Cop role. I don't know why filmmakers try to make him Japanese though, it's not like he looks remotely asian.
This movie only had one clip on Youtube (and that one was only of Napier) so I ripped this scene myself to share to with you. You're welcome.
Maniac Cop Series
I'd be dumb not to mention his best loved series of films. Sadly, I'd have to admit to only seeing the first one. But I really liked it. I mean, Z'Dar, Bruce Campbell, Tom Atkins...what's not to love. The other two seem to be a bit goofier (and I'm not much of a Robert Davi fan) but any film that has a dead cop ressurection is worth looking into.
The Galactic Video Review Adventure Magazine
OK,OK, so it's not really a movie per say. If you want another movie, see Hell Comes to Frogtown 2, where he takes over the Sam Hell role made famous by Roddy Piper. I wanted to talk about this 40 something minute video because it shows exactly why I loved this guy. Here is a lame video talking about video games and accessories, but Robert Z'Dar does everything in his power to have a good time with it. He's mugging, acting goofy, laughing uproariously at absolutely nothing...in short, he's playing an insane space captain. And I love it.
As a treat, here's the entire video from youtube. RIP Robert Z'Dar...and thank you for all those hours of entertainment. God bless you, man.