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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Recoil

December 6, 2017 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #439: Recoil

Gary Daniels December: Week 1

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never been threatened with a potato (or any potato related product, for that matter), The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host, Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number four hundred and thirty-nine, Gary Daniels December begins with Recoil, which home video way back in May of 1998.



Recoil, directed by the great Art Camacho, is from the legendary PM Entertainment outfit that cranked out direct-to-video action flicks from the 1990’s to the early 2000’s. Based on that fact alone, you know that the movie is going to be action packed up the wazoo. And, yes, Recoil is so action packed that it’s insane to think that what’s in the movie is actually in any movie. The story is fairly typical in terms of a revenge tale, but all of the stuff that we see in that revenge tale is so shockingly awesome that it’s a shame we don’t get more movies like it today. I would love to see someone try to outdo it in terms of the action Camacho and “action director” Spiro Razatos put on the screen on the budget Recoil was made for.

Recoil stars Gary Daniels as Detective Ray Morgan of the LAPD, a badass cop who, along with his partner Lucas Cassidy (Gregory A. McKinney) and a few other cops, end up taking out a vicious bank robbery crew that causes massive damage in downtown LA. Unknown to Morgan and his fellow cops, one of the robbers is the youngest son of notorious LA mobster Vincent Sloan (Richard Foronjy). As a result, Sloan demands revenge and puts together a crew of killers, including several of his other, older criminal sons, to take out Morgan and the other cops involved in killing his son. Sloan’s revenge crew is brutal and efficient, taking out the other cops, including ones that weren’t even involved in killing Sloan’s son (two of the revenge crew enter a local precinct and kill every cop they see. That’s pretty goddamn brazen, isn’t it?). When the crew sets its sights on Morgan he’s trying to get his wife Tina (Kelli McCarty) and kids (Jeremy and Michelle, as played by Grady Hutt and Marina Malota) to safety by taking them to a house out in the desert (the beach house they spent a few days at before the revenge crew started its work is no good as it’s too public). Morgan’s plan almost works. But Sloan’s revenge crew, led by the sadistic Mr. Brown (Billy Maddox), attacks Morgan’s family truck with a Mack truck and pushes them all off a cliff.

Now, with the way cars and trucks explode in this movie, you’d think that Morgan’s family, including Morgan, would have perished in a massive explosion as Morgan’s truck fell down a cliff. They don’t, though. I mean, Sloan’s revenge crew does manage to wipe out Morgan’s family, but they die because the seat belts in Morgan’s truck suck and, shit, the truck falls down the side of a cliff. Morgan manages to survive, though, and after spending some time in a monastery recuperating, decides that his best course of action is his own brand of revenge. Sloan is going to die. Sloan’s revenge crew is going to die. And if there are any dirty cops involved (and Morgan suspects that someone inside the department tipped Sloan off on where the cops that killed his son lived) he’s going to kill them, too. Ray Morgan is a man with nothing left to lose. That’s always the most dangerous kind of man to deal with, especially in a movie like Recoil.

What sets Recoil apart from other low budget action flicks is the action itself. There are car chases and car crashes and car stunts in this movie that will make your jaw drop. When you realize that Recoil was made for the catering budget on something like Michael Bay’s Bad Boys II, Recoil becomes even more impressive. It’s insane that director Camacho and “action director” Spiro Razatos were able to get so much out of what amounts to so little. Some people may feel overwhelmed by some of the car chases and action sequences since there are so many of them, and, yes, there are moments where you think the sequences could have been tightened up a bit, but the payoffs are worth the wait. The big truck/limo sequence is grounds alone for some sort of honorary Oscar for stunt sequences. I am still in awe of it several days later.

The opening bank robbery sequence is something that seems to play a little too long, mostly at the beginning when the cops show up and find out that they’re seriously outgunned against the robbery crew. I’m going to assume that the sequence was inspired by the infamous North Hollywood shootout, since the robbery crew is outfitted in body armor that the cops can’t penetrate. But then Camacho and crew added to it with one of the robbers escaping via dirt bike and attacking pursuing cops with hand grenades. You never see that kind of thing in real life, right? I mean, I don’t think that happened in the North Hollywood shootout.

Some viewers may also be surprised that star Gary Daniels, a badass martial artist in real life, doesn’t actually engage in any significant martial arts in the movie until well past the halfway mark. That seems kind of weird, especially when you consider that the ability to beat the crap out of people is what helped make Daniels a star. How long should you make an action movie fan wait to see a martial arts movie star do flying spin kicks? I am happy to say that the fights that we do get in Recoil are well worth the wait and well-staged and exciting. They’re not as viscerally exciting as the car stunts, but then it would be pretty hard to top those in the first place. Daniels kicks ass and he’s fun to watch doing it.


Now, when it comes to Daniels here, the movie doesn’t try to hide his British accent but, at the same time, never really explains why a British guy is a badass LAPD detective. There’s no quick backstory about how Morgan is an ex-British Special Forces operator who married an American, moved to America, and became a cop. Morgan is just a cop in a major American city who happens to be British. It sort of resembles the old Schwarzenegger protocol where he always played a guy with an Austrian accent. It didn’t matter if his accent didn’t make sense. The audience showed up to see Ahnold kick ass. And that’s likely the strategy the fine folks at PM Entertainment worked here. As for the overall performance of Gary Daniels in Recoil, he does a decent enough job. He’s likeable, he has good buddy cop chemistry with his partner played by Gregory A. McKinney, and you believe him as a devout family man. When Daniels switches into “badass cop out for revenge mode,” he’s just awesome. Guns blazing, kicking ass left and right, and watch the hell out.

The rest of the cast is good to decent. As I said, McKinney does a good job as Morgan’s partner Lucas. They have the necessary chemistry to be a believable buddy cop team, and you will likely be devastated when you see what happens to poor Lucas. Billy Maddox is a sadistic prick as Mr. Brown. He’s exactly the kind of “main henchmen” you expect a vicious mob boss to have. The man is totally devoted to the cause of crime. Kelli McCarty does a good job as Morgan’s wife Tina. They really do seem to be in love.

Thomas Kopache is shifty as hell as Morgan’s police captain. The man sweats too much to be a captain, so you know something is up with him. The same goes for John Sanderford as the chief of detectives Arnold Canton, although he doesn’t sweat as much. Still shifty.

And then there’s Richard Foronjy as the mob boss Vincent Sloan. At first, Sloan seems like a fairly typical action movie mob boss. He’s crass, a bully, and a vicious asshole who is all about his family and his wife (Robin Curtis, who is excellent as the pissed off mob wife Julie) until that shit interferes with his business. What Foronjy brings to the part is a sleaze factor that makes you feel uncomfortable. Watch the guy play pool.

Recoil is a late 1990’s low budget action classic. There’s just no other way to explain it. It’s a classic. Track it down, check it out, and stand back in awe of what director Camacho, “action director” Razatos, and star Daniels put together. Why the hell isn’t this movie more well-known? Why the hell isn’t there a special edition Blu-ray in the pipeline?

See Recoil. See it, see it, goddamn see it!

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 39

Explosions: Tons. Small, large, and even larger.

Nudity?: Yes.

Doobage: A bank robbery, guys with machine guns and body armor, guy thrown through a glass door and then shot dead, serious machine gun hooey, multiple exploding police cars, multiple grenade attacks, a cop car blows up in slow motion, sniper hooey, double handgun hooey in slow motion, exploding grenade belt, dirt bike hooey, a wicked car chase, driving a dirt bike on top of a car, serious car crashes, major wild flips, a badass pipe ramp car stunt where the car takes out a street light on a pole, a five-on-one gun accident, a drug lab inside of an abandoned factory somewhere, a fun day at a public park, a beach house trip, van sex, a brazen attack inside a police station, a vicious drive-by shooting that leads to a car driving off an elevated parking structure and exploding, multiple car attacks, a jackknifed tractor trailer, a chocolate donut that looks like a turd, attempted drive by shooting, serious car combat, squealing tires, a wicked wild flip, Mack truck attack, a truck that shockingly doesn’t explode when involved in an accident, a total lack of remorse, candle lighting, multiple flashbacks, exploding car, party infiltration, kung fu city, a vicious kick to the face, double revolver attack, a guy who tries really hard to be a badass with a .38, more flashbacks, a drive by shooting that ends with a double grenade attack, another exploding car, a great bit where a guy runs over the top of multiple cars while shooting at bad guys, a fight on top of a limo, tractor trailer crashing into a limo followed by a huge explosion, bullet to the guy, leg scissor neck break, palm thrust to the back of the head, more drug lab bullshit more grenade attacks, a big time shooting, multiple jumping spin kicks, more neck breaking, a wicked bullet to the head, a wicked bullet to the knee, and a dropped lighter into gasoline.

Kim Richards?: Big time.

Gratuitous: Los Angeles, a radio talk show about street violence, Gary Daniels, Gary Daniels as an American cop with a British accent, Gary Daniels managing to somehow withstand the shockwaves caused by multiple explosions, a box of donuts, Gary Daniels fucking around with a Zippo lighter, Gary Daniels showing off his soccer ball handling skills, shithead kids fucking around in the backseat, a board game, cops making a bet on who a hooker is potentially banging inside of a van, Gary Daniels drinking coffee and looking out at the ocean, Gary Daniels wearing an Old Navy pullover fleece, Gary Daniels in a monastery, Gary Daniels attempting to commit suicide, praying, stain glass windows, Gary Daniels doing martial arts, insane car stunts, drug lab bullshit, and it ends with an explosion in the background.

Best lines: “Put the fucking money in the bag you bitch!,” “I hit him six times! It didn’t faze him!,” “Morgan, are you nuts?,” “Welcome to hell,” “So much for staying put!,” “Jesus Christ! He’s just a kid!,” “Jeremy, I told you to leave your father alone for a while!,” “Promise me! Please! No more killings!,” “Looks like a bunch of seaweed to me,” “Man, you have to forget about that kid,” “I wonder where his parents are,” “When someone kills a Sloan, they pay,” “My name’s Devon. You killed my brother,” “Say goodnight, Chang,” “What the fuck are you doing?,” “I want Ray Morgan dead!,” “Come on, man, there’s kids in that car! Screw the kids! Kill’em all!,” “All I see is darkness. All I see is despair,” “My soul? I lost my soul,” “Ray, please be careful,” “No guns! No guns!,” “Forgive me, Tina,” “Do you dream when you sleep at night, Sloan? I don’t. Not anymore,” “Come on, boys, we’ve got work to do,” “Get Morgan! He’s coming up!,” “Kill that fucking bastard!,” “Take care of your Mom. I’ll take care of this guy myself,” “You should be going for Sloan you dumb fuck!,” and “Morgan? Haven’t you realized you can’t win?”

Rating: 10.0/10.0




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Things to Watch Out For This Week


Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child: This is presumably the first in a series of lowish budget sci-fi flicks from Australia. It looks great, has a decent enough cast, and some of the nastiest monsters in a good long time. The story is a little confusing as it’s told in “chapters” and there are flashbacks and whatnot, but I liked watching it. Check out my review for the movie here (you may have to scroll around a bit but it’s there) and then go buy or rent it. It’ll be worth it.


Dementia 13: This is a remake of the Roger Corman movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It had a brief theatrical run earlier in the fall, and now it’s out on home video. Is it worth checking out? Absolutely. It’s slick, it’s well made, and it plays better than the original. Will it live on in cult filmdom like the original? Probably not, but there’s always a chance. I liked the movie, and I will have a review of it soon enough. Check out my interview with the director Richard LeMay here (or you can scroll down to the “Interviews” section and check out the link there. Your choice).


American Assassin: Man, this movie was such a disappointment. Michael Keaton is cool in it, sure, but Dylan O’Brien has absolutely no business being an action star, especially when Scott fucking Adkins is in the same goddamn movie. Why the fuck isn’t he the star? Adkins is a real deal martial artist who looks like a badass and is, well, a badass. O’Brien? Fucking weak ass pipsqueak. Check out my review of the movie here, and then rent it if you want to. I won’t hold it against you.


Singularity: This is apparently some sort of low budget sci-fi movie and John Cusack is in it for some reason. I can’t tell, based on the trailer, if it looks promising, ridiculous, or just bad. I do think it’s interesting that Cusack keeps making these low budget genre movies, though. I mean, he’s still kind of a star, isn’t he? No one in big time Hollywood wants to hire him. Why? Is it possible that Cusack just likes making these kinds of movies because it’s an easy check and they’re fun to do? I am curious, too, as to how much Cusack is actually in the movie. Did he film his role in like a day?


Silent Night, Deadly Night Collector’s Edition: The fine folks at Shout! Factory/Scream Factory are behind this release and, man, is it loaded with special features. You get two versions of the movie, the theatrical version and the unrated version, along with oodles of new special features about the making of the movie. There’s also a special, limited edition version of this release that comes with an exclusive 8’’ NECA action figure of Billy in his killer Santa garb (it’s limited to 2,000 pieces). How cool is that? This movie is a true classic, and it’s about time someone put out a special edition of it (check out my review of the movie here). And, hey, if this is a success, maybe we’ll get a special edition of part 2 at some point. How cool would that be?


Coming March 2018: The Death Wish Marathon!


B-Movie News


The Avengers: Infinity War trailer is finally here!: And, boy, does it kick ass. After finally getting a chance to see the latest Thor movie, I am more stoked for this Marvel movie than I’ve been since the first Avengers. All of the heroes are in it, and they’re ready to fight Thanos. Thanos! Holy shit! How much ass is he going to kick? And who the hell is going to die in it? The Vision? Captain America? Iron Man?

Now, Black Panther is actually the next Marvel movie (I believe it comes out in February), so how is that movie going to set up Infinity War? Are we going to see the Thanos ship during the end credits like in Ragnarok? I can’t freaking wait! Infinity War is going to be insane! Epic! Probably three hours or more!


There’s apparently going to be a Jason Goes to Hell documentary: I saw this story over at Bloody Disgustingand it sounds pretty cool. As a full on Jason Goes to Hell nerd (you can check out my why I think the movie is awesome here) I would love to know more about the making of the movie from everyone involved in it. The section on the movie in Crystal Lake Memories, both the movie and the book, is all good stuff, but what else don’t we know about the movie? Hopefully we’ll find out. And I’m a big fan of Adam Marcus interviews. The guy is a riot. His commentary track with Jason Goes to Hell writer Dean Lorey is one of the best commentary tracks I’ve ever heard.

This Jason Goes to Hell documentary is set to be called The Dark Heart of Jason Voorhees: The Making of the Final Friday. I’m going to assume we’ll be seeing at some point in 2018.

Did you know that there’s a documentary coming about Friday the 13th Part 3, too? Apparently, yes, that is happening, too.


Who is the Douchebag of the Week? Go here and find out!


Next Issue: Gary Daniels December continues with Rage!



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Well, I think that’ll be about it for now. Don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

B-movies rule. Always remember that.


Gary Daniels– Detective Ray Morgan
Gregory A. McKinney– Detective Lucas Cassidy
Thomas Kopache– Captain Trent
Billy Maddox– Mr. Brown
Richard Foronjy– Vincent Sloan
John Sanderford– Chief Detective Arnold Canton
Robin Curtis– Julie Sloan
Kelli McCarty– Tina Morgan

Directed by Art Camacho
Screenplay by Richard Preston, Jr, based on a story by Art Camacho

Distributed by PM Entertainment Group

Rated R for violence, language, and a scene of sexuality
Runtime– 96 minutes

Buy it here or here