What would a 1970s-era “Expendables” cast look like? We’ll tell you

What would a 1970s-era “Expendables” cast look like? We’ll tell you (photo)

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Okay, yes, “The Expendables,” ended up being better as an “idea” than a reality. Sylvester Stallone gathered a bunch of over-the-hill action stars (including his “Rocky IV” opponent, Dolph Lundgren, and his “Get Carter” pal, Mickey Rourke) for a bloody shoot-’em-up designed to show all the young whippersnappers out there that the old men still got it. The resulting film had its moments but was ultimately too confusing, too haphazard and too, well, expendable.

But what are sequels for if not a chance to make things all better (don’t answer that)? Stallone has gathered an even more impressive cast for “The Expendables 2” — Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme will be contributing to the mayhem this time around, and Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, both of whom only had cameo appearances in the original film, will have much larger roles in the new adventure. And, of course, all of the old gang is back, including Lundgren (how…? Never mind), Rourke, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Crews and Randy Couture.

All of this casting news has us wondering what the lineup of action stars would’ve been if “The Expendables” had been made in the 1970s. Here are the mighty men that might’ve wreaked havoc back in the day.

charlesbronson.jpgCharles Bronson

The leader of the pack, natch. Bronson was a tough guy from the day he was born — seriously, this dude probably came out of the womb with those weather-beaten features and that steely gaze. Some of Chuck’s most memorable gigs include “The Great Escape” (1963), “The Dirty Dozen” (1967), “Once Upon a Time in the West” (1968), “The Mechanic” (1972) and, of course, “Death Wish” (1974). Paul Kersey of “Death Wish” might be the role that Bronson is most remembered for — he went on to play the poor, angry, violent man in a couple of ’80s sequels as well. And, for the record, Nicolas Winding Refn’s movie, “Bronson,” is not about Charles — but it should be.

malcolmmcdowell.jpgMalcolm McDowell

The “Clockwork Orange” star is our pick for Jason Statham’s stand-in. The young British actor caused quite a stir with his lead performance as Alex in Stanley Kubrick’s classic dystopian tale — as a fan of a “bit of the ol’ ultraviolence,” McDowell is an ideal addition to Charles Bronson’s team of rugged rogues. Some of McDowell’s other memorable ’70s romps include “Aces High” (1976), “Voyage of the Damned” (1976), “The Passage” (1979) and, of course, that gorgeous, mind-boggling, brilliant mess, “Caligula” (1979). Oh, that’s a fun one.

stevemcqueen.jpgSteve McQueen

Of course the Tunnel King would bring in the Cooler King! Charles Bronson’s “The Great Escape” cohort would have to be in on the “Expendables” action. McQueen would definitely show off the driving skills he exhibited to legendary effect in “Bullitt” (1968), crashing through the proceedings with Bronson looking (just a little) nervous in the passenger seat. McQueen was a huge star in his day, appearing as Thomas Crown in “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968), Junior Bonner in “Junior Bonner” (1972) and Doc McCoy in “The Getaway” (1972).

brucelee.jpgBruce Lee

Okay, how amazing would this be? Where as Stallone had Jet Li, Charles Bronson would have Bruce Lee! The “Enter the Dragon” star would leap and kick all over the place, smashing in doors and walls and taking on, like, five hundred bad guys at once. Lee’s greatest film is definitely his last, the astonishing “Enter the Dragon” (1973), but we’re also quite fond of “Fists of Fury” (1971), “Fist of Fury” (1972) and “The Way of the Dragon” (1972). However, we’re imagining a scenario in which Bronson tells Lee that he offered him the part because he “loved him as Kato on ‘The Green Hornet.'”

leemarvin.jpgLee Marvin

Charles Bronson would be morally obligated to bring his “Dirty Dozen” pal into the mix. Lee Marvin was so cool, sheep counted him — and then he slaughtered them and ate them raw. Another one of cinema’s all-time awesomest tough guys, Marvin started kicking ass and taking names in the ’50s, playing hard-ass military characters in “Attack,” “Pillars of the Sky” and “The Rack” (all 1956). Some of his best gigs include “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (1962), “The Killers” (1964), “Ship of Fools” (1965), “Point Blank” (1967) and “Sergeant Ryker” (1968). He reprised his role as Major John Reisman in the TV movie, “The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission” (1985), and his last film was “The Delta Force” (1986), which co-starred Chuck Norris, who will be appearing in “The Expendables 2.” Coincidence? We think not.

richardroundtree.jpgRichard Roundtree

Who’s the black private dick who’s a sex machine with all the chicks? It’s the star of “Shaft,” of course, and as Isaac Hayes would say, you’re “damn right” he would be part of Charles Bronson’s team. Roundtree would spend most of the movie punching dudes in the face, running over other dudes with sweet pimped-out cars and bedding bodacious babes — all at the same time. Roundtree was so damn cool as John Shaft, he went on to play the role in “Shaft’s Big Score!” (1972), “Shaft in Africa” (1973) and in the “Shaft” TV series (1973-1974). He was also in “Earthquake,” so in reference to this, he’d have to greet Bronson and the rest of the gang in every scene with, “What’s shakin’?” Damn right.

genehackman.jpgGene Hackman

So who’s the big baddie these dudes would be taking on, anyway? The villain of the ’70s “Expendables” would definitely be played by Gene Hackman, one of the hardest of the ’70s hardasses. Hackman still holds the title of the best comic book movie villain of all time (sorry, Heath) for his inimitable portrayal of Lex Luthor in “Superman” (1978) and its sequels, and he kicked all sorts of butt as Jimmy ‘Popeye’ Doyle, the rugged and occasionally racist detective in “The French Connection” (1971) and its 1975 sequel. Hackman was also a part of “The Poseidon Adventure” (1972), went crazy paranoid in “The Conversation” (1974) and took “A Bridge Too Far” (1977). Who would dare take on the greatest criminal mind of our time?

clinteastwood.jpgObligatory Cameos: Clint Eastwood & Charlton Heston

The scene in the church between Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Scwarzenegger in “The Expendables” was completely bizarre. What the hell were they supposed to be talking about, anyway? And why did Arnold look like he was about to completely break at any second (or something)? It was weird and anti-climactic, but hey, it was a scene featuring Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Our choices for the ’70s equivalents of Arnold & Bruce are Clint Eastwood and Charlton Heston. The “Dirty Harry” star could just kind of growl and squint and the “Omega Man” himself could just kind of grin and mug whilst Charles Bronson glares and looks tired. There wouldn’t even have to be any spoken dialogue — how’s that for confusing?

Who would you cast in a 1970’s era “Expendables” movie? Let us know below or on Facebook or Twitter.


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.