Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

So I’m watching the completely awful 1985 exploitation movie ‘Barbarian Queen’ which had a supporting role for my main man Frank Zagarino. You can see why Mr. Zagarino got a lot of these roles back in the eighties and nineties considering he’s a tall, good looking dude with flowing blonde locks and muscles all over the place. But there is a reason that folks know Jean-Claude, Arnold… or lets take it down a notch to the Gary Daniels, Olivier Grunner realm… and are not as familiar with Frank Zagarino, despite the fact this cat, physically speaking, is as action hero ready as anybody ever. This reason is possibly because Mr. Zagarino is arguably the worst actor on the planet earth. In ‘Barbarian Queen’ Frank delivered his lines with all of the passion and conviction of a dead man but still I figured I’d pick up this movie ‘Project Eliminator’, which was made six years later, to see if Frank had maybe gotten better over time. He hadn’t. I’ll also have you know that ‘Project Eliminator’ is arguably one of the worst action movies ever made. Ever. But I like this guy, still working hard to this very day. In fact I have one of his directorial joints ‘Spiker’ sitting right next to me which I am going to watch this weekend. Nonetheless, we still have the issue of Project Eliminator to deal with, the worst action movie ever starring the worst actor ever. Not a good combo.

The Action Hero Name Generator has spit out the name John Slade (Zagarino). Slade is your typical, muscle bound retired ex-special forces super badass who has stopped in this New Mexico town to visit his old friend Ron (the late David Carradine). Before Ron picks up Slade at the truck stop, Slade has to lay some supreme badassery down on a couple of clowns trying to rob the local convenient store. Not simply content kicking the asses of these idiots, Slade then completely throttles a pair of asshole cops who made the critical mistake of mocking Slade’s flowing golden locks. Normally when you beat up cops there are repercussions, even if they are assholes, but not in this reality thankfully.

So Ron picks up Slade and introduces him to his buddy Dr. Markson (Joshua Bryant) and Markson’s hot daughter Jackie (Hillary English). Markson has just created the

most awesomely awesome WMD ever, a flying robot that shoots laser explosions, and then he destroys it right after he demos how awesomely awesome it is. The reason he did this thing is because there are far too many homeless people in our great land and making WMD’s isn’t going to help the homeless have homes or something. That’s a message my friends. Slade has been brought into the fold to protect those who would do the Doc harm, desiring the plans for this weapon he has created for no reason except to blow it up.

Slade’s protection will be most necessary because his old mentor Elias (Brett Baxter Clark – who was fantastic in this awful movie) has teamed up with evil FBI agent Willis (Drew Snyder) and plans to snatch the doc along with his hot daughter and sell Markson’s brain to the highest commie bidder. Slade and his main man Ron cannot allow this to happen. Shootouts, fist fights, and car chases shall ensue, and believe me when I tell you these were some of the worst shootouts, fist fights and car chases ever committed to film.

Let’s start off with the positives that are prevalent in this early 90’s festival of awful action. Brett Baxter Clark’s character of Elias could very well be the most pissed off, angry and hostile movie villain ever. Throughout the entire flick Elias was yelling his head off at people, shooting people in the chest, throwing people off of scaffolds… and these were his teammates. Then there was Hilary English in what her filmography describes as her last role before she checked out of the biz for whatever reason. No, the girl couldn’t act either but she was mighty good looking and had a killer set of hips on her. Special shout out to Michael Durrette as the oversized goon Max who I just tracked down on Facebook. I think that’s him. He was the only guy in the movie that the character of Elias didn’t berate or belittle. For obvious reasons.

Now to the reasons why ‘Project Eliminator’ was terribly lame, fully recognizing that I am mighty forgiving towards movies coming out of this era. Reasons number 1 thru 10… the action in the action flick was among the boring, lazy, lackluster action ever. It looks like director H. Kaye Dyal just didn’t know how to an action scene back then. Yes, the movie makes absolutely no logical sense, with the basis of this illogical nonsense starting out with a guy building a weapon only to blow it up it up, but it will only get more nonsensical as the movie goes along. However if the action was just halfway decent then we wouldn’t care about the silly story. Sure Frank Zagarino isn’t much of an actor and the filmmakers made sure that he didn’t have that much to say to limit this lack of thespian mastery, but his poor acting wouldn’t have mattered if only they could’ve taken advantage of what he can do, which is be muscle bound and appear to have the ability to kick ass. They failed in this. Most of the time folks just stood around waiting to get punched. Or stabbed. Or shot. I was kind of excited to see the big fight scene between Carradine and the afore mentioned Michael Durrette, considering they told us that Carradine’s character was the badass to end all badasses, but after getting in one round house kick, the rest of the scene consisted of Durrette just kicking Carradine’s ass off and on for about twenty minutes. I’m pretty sure that’s what would happen in real life, but I was hoping for a real knock down, drag out spectacular here and I was robbed. The final fight between Zagarino and Baxter Clark was a little better, but not by much.

And the movie started out with such promise after Slade stretched out those asshole cops.

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