Action films are no longer what they used to be. I remember the good old days of the 70´s and 80´s, when you could still make action films, that did not care about being too violent or what was allowed to do. Back then, they used to make real macho action characters, that did not care what was politically correct, but answered with a fist, a kick, or 68 bullets to solve the problem. And we need action macho men, in today´s society. Let´s be honest, if it was not for Charles Bronson, we would never have classics such as Death Wish, Mr Majestyk, Hard Times, The Mechanic and many many more films. Charles Bronson is a perfect example of the action stars of the past, who knew exactly what the audience wanted. I have seen almost all of the Charles Bronson films, beginning from the early 60´s, up until his last films. It is quite incredible how many great films he managed to make in his career, and some of them are just as good as they were when they were released. i could easily mention some more titles, but i decided to talk about one specific Charles Bronson film that you don´t hear about often these days. And that is the 1980 film Borderline, directed by Jerrold Freedman ( who also directed the TV movie classic The Streets Of L.A. ). Borderline tells the story of United States Border Patrol Agent, Jeb Maynard ( Charles Bronson ), is forced to track down killers of a young Mexican boy and his colleague and friend, veteran Senior Patrol Agent Scooter Jackson ( Wilford Brimley ). It turns out they were murdered by Hotchkiss ( Ed Harris ), a ruthless alien smuggler. Borderline is not only a great action movie with Charles Bronson, but also show the reality of immigration, and how people are trying to make a new start. Borderline may not be seen as one of the biggest classics from Charles Bronson, but i think this film deserves more respect, for showing a different side of his amazing film career. Definetely worth checking out, if you are a true Bronson fan. Speaking of Charles Bronson, i still remember the first time i saw the film Death Kiss with action star Robert Bronzi ( who looks exactly like Charles Bronson ). It felt like a tribute to the classic Bronson franchise Death Wish, and the film is actually good. I also enjoyed the western film Once Upon A Time In Deadwood, where Robert Bronzi also proved that he can do this genre as well. I have been very excited to check out a brand new Bronzi film called Escape From Death Block 13, a prison action film. The trailer looked really good, and i finally got my hands on a DVD copy. Is this one of the greatest action films this year, or is Escape From Death Block 13 not as good as i was hoping for?
Mick Kovacs ( Robert Bronzi ) travels to America to seek justice for the death of his brother. He visits the company where his brother worked, to collect his death benefits, but ends up in trouble. Mick is arrested and sent to the prison known as Pleasent Hill Pentitentiary. Not only does he have to try and survive this rough prison, but he is still determined to get justice for his brother, no matter what he has to do.
If you were worried that we won´t have any action film this year, that respect both the audience and action movie lovers from the past, your dreams have all come true. Escape From Death Block 13 is a love letter, not only to fans of Charles Bronson, but also to people who love VHS video violence from the 80´s. You could say that this film feels like a mixture of Jean-Claude Van Damme´s classic Death Warrant and Sylvester Stallone´s classic Lock Up, with a different plot. Since we don´t get to see action films in prison very often, it feels like the timing of this film is perfect. As we have heard in the past, there are prisons who have turned out to have corrupted staff, doing illegal stuff. And this is actually one of the issues that is brought up in this film, where the prison staff are clearly not following any laws. They make their own laws, to control the inmates, and make the inmates do whatever they want. And if the prison staff is pleased, they reward the inmate, even if they know it´s illegal. We have to talk about the characters in this film, and let us begin with actor Robert Bronzi, as the lead character Mick. You can tell he is becoming better and better, in every film he does in acting, and delivering action scenes. He seems comfortable to be the new generation of Charles Bronson, and i really enjoy seeing him kicking ass. It also feels like he is becoming more confident with delivering solid dialogue. I really enjoy the performance of wonderful actress Debbi Scaletta ( who i especially recognize from the independent horror film The Curse Of Lilith Ratchet ) as Warden Jack. This is exactly the kind of character i wanted to see Debbi perform, and she does this really good. Not only is Warden Jack evil, but she does have a very interesting personality, a bit mysterious. Chris Hahn ( who played Machete Clown in the independent horror film ClownTown ) as the character Bunyan is really entertaining. Not only is this guy crazy, but he knows how to deliver charming dialogue. One of the highlights of Escape From Death Block 13 is without a doubt the violence scenes. Especially when the inmates strike back, and people get killed all over the place. Lots of bullets, lots of blood, my kind of weekend celebration. Director Gary Jones ( who i especially remember for his 1994 film Mosquito ) go all in with this film, and is definetely inspired to bring back the video violence from the 80´s back on the big screen, and he does a really good job, capturing the feeling of old school action films. Escape From Death Block 13 is without a doubt one of the better action films of 2021, and definetely proves why Robert Bronzi is the future name in the action genre. We need Bronzi in this category, to make sure that action films still have a bright future. There is no doubt, everyone needs to see Escape From Death Block 13 and experience what nostalgic love for VHS violence really feels like.