In Search Of The Last Action Hero, Oliver Harper Interview
Oliver Harper is in the midst of making what I think is going to be the most anticipated action documentary ever made. We got the opportunity to chat with him…
AR: Hello Oliver, a warm welcome to you! It is awesome to have you come chat with me today. Can you please tell everyone and me a little about yourself?
OH: I’m UK based YouTuber residing in Cambridgeshire. I’ve been producing content for YouTube for nearly 7 years, starting in late 2011 with a review to Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. A pretty bad film that had good intentions. My goal was to provide the viewer with some production information and discuss its visual effects, soundtrack and give my overall critic on the movie. This formula proved successful and I continued putting out these Retrospective / Reviews on a weekly or bi weekly basis covering films from the 80s & 90s. My channel expanded into other areas such as audio commentaries and reviews on modern films.
AR: You are here today to chat with us about your new project In Search Of The Last Action Hero, please tell me all about it.
OH: The documentary will be focusing on action movies of the 80s and 90s. I want to speak with the people involved in these iconic movies and try detail how the genre changed from the serious revenge and crime thrillers of the 70s to the muscle bound heroes of the 80s with endless ammo who took on drug dealers and soviet troop also the buddy cops, the heroes who throw out the guns and used their martial art skills to take on the bad guys. I want to bring across why these movies are so special to fans of the genre around the world and why many of them still hold up today.
AR: Will it focus on action stars and there iconic characters?
OH: Yes the aim is to interview many of the action stars and cover their iconic roles as the story I want to tell unfolds from the early action movies of the 80s as they evolved and expanded during that decade and on into the 90s and beyond.
AR: What inspired you to create this project?
OH: The project was not inspired by one idea but my overall feelings on the action genre. Over the year’s actors, writers and directors have discussed their work on a particular movie for a DVD special feature or for a one off article. Many movies that were very popular have never had anything extensive or had a light shone on them for the years. I would like to know about the making of say Timecop for example and the difficulties implementing the CGI or the troubled production of Tango and Cash. There are so many great films to expand on and discuss as the action genre was finding new ground, new actors and taking advantage of modern filmmaking techniques. I also want to cover the video games and toys based on these adult action films and the reactions parents had at the time.
AR: Who would be your favourite action hero?
OH: It’s a tough one, you could easily pick Rambo or say John Matrix from Commando both characters are iconic and are often the ones that pop into your head when you think of an action hero from the past. But I would go with Jack Burton from Big Trouble in Little China. Jack is a total bozo who thinks he is the hero, this makes him extremely likeable and despite his ego and clumsiness he eventually saves the day and its clear Kurt Russell is having so much fun playing the part.
AR: Do you think the old school action genre is slowly fading due to superhero movies and family action movies being the latest craze?
OH: Hollywood has certainly lost interest in 18 rated action movies, its bizarre now to think that film studios threw huge sums of money on films such as Total Recall a movie clearly not aimed at a younger audience. Its great that John Wick has encouraged Hollywood to get invested in the action genre again and not have the film be toned down for 12 year olds. But movies such as John Wick and Atomic Blonde don’t have huge budgets so its not much of a risk to the studios, I want to see a $200 million 18 rated action film with Stallone or Jean Claude Van Damme kicking arse!! Hopefully Shane Black’s upcoming The Predator will give us what we action fans crave.
AR: I think Stallone is trying his best to keep The Expendables as old school as he can, I think he definitely succeeded especially giving all the old school stars one last hurrah on the big screen, what are your thoughts?
OH: The idea of The Expendables is brilliant, capturing the action of the past and bringing back the stars that made those movies successful but in execution it left a lot to be desired for me. The violence was cut down, it lacked the bite of what they were doing in the 80s and even the early 90s. These should’ve been 18 rated movies, not a 15 or say 12, which the 3rd gained on its release. Arnold only had a cameo and should’ve had a bigger role in the series, other action stars left out for new upcoming actors. Kelsey Grammar wasn’t an action star! So why was in the last film? It just felt a bit short sighted on what it was trying to do. It had so much potential but never really delivered on what it was selling.
AR: Can you tell us who is involved with the project already?
OH: We have some great names attached to our documentary including Richard Donner, Cynthia Rothrock, Sam Firstenberg, Eric Roberts, Al Leong, Bill Duke, William Sadler, Peter McDonald, David Worth and many more will be announced during the Kickstarter campaign.
AR: Can you tell us guys the best place to find you and keep up with the most recent news for this project?
OH: To keep up to date on the project you can check out the Kickstarter here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2141699743/in-search-of-the-last-action-heroes
You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @lastactiondoc If you want to check out my work on YouTube you can head over to my channel – http://www.youtube.com/user/ollyh82