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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.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.