If you’re already familiar with the picture on the cover, then Mine’s Bigger Than Yours is probably the book for you.
Incidentally, that image is from the original promotional artwork for 1987’s Strike Commando, starring the one and only Reb Brown. And if that name rings a bell, this is definitely the book for you. Not only are Strike Commando and Strike Commando 2 featured among the selected titles, so are a few other films in Brown’s dubious resume (though unfortunately, not his magnum opus, Yor: the Hunter from the Future).
The book’s subtitle, “The 100 Wackiest Action Movies,” is pretty accurate. Having seen Strike Commando, I can attest that this silly, sloppy Rambo rip-off might be the Holy Grail of wacky action movies. Not stopping there, authors Christopher Lombardo & Jeff Kirschner dive deeper than the Surgeon General recommends to unearth a slew of other films, many of which I never knew even existed. The cheeky essays dedicated to each title certainly has me curious about some of them…they may be bad, but are they Strike Commando bad?
Elsewhere, some of the usual suspects appear…titles from the likes of Dolph Lundgren, Steven Seagall and Chuck Norris, along with more-than-a-few action hero wannabes (like Reb Brown). But the authors don’t just pick on the little guys. A few comparatively bigger budget Hollywood films are here, too, like Electra, Roadhouse and Batman & Robin (and they deserve to be).
Still, it’s the essays dedicated to the low-to-no budget boomfests that are the most entertaining. The plot synopses are often very funny, but also informative and detailed without providing spoilers (which is appreciated). Unsurprisingly, a lot of these films hail from the 1980s, but older and more recent titles are included as well. The list is divided into nine different chapters for different subgenres. Each film is given its own one-to-two page summary and assessment, along with stills and (best of all) promotional art that’s often as silly as the movies themselves.
My only personal quip? No Cobra, certainly the silliest of Sylvester Stallone’s cinematic suppositories. It might come as a surprise that only one Stallone flick is featured (Lock Up). But other than that, Mine’s Bigger Than Yours is a fun read that encourages action fans with a sense of humor to check some of these crappy classics themselves (I, for one, can’t wait to see Crocodile Fury).