Cheesy ’80s Action: Bulletproof (1988)


Released in 1988, Bulletproof is a glorious display of 1980’s action movie cheese.  Starring the great Gary Busey as McBain (no, not the Simpsons version), this movie has all the hallmarks of an awesomely bad action movie: a quip-filled hero, Arab and Latino Commies, and a few babes for good measure.

Gary Busey stars as our hero McBain, aka Bulletproof.  McBain is a cop for the LAPD and while he isn’t busting up drug deals, breaking the rules, and calling people butthorn, he likes to bang hot babes in front of a fire place (in his bedroom!) and play soft rock saxophone (this is literally from the movie).  After a secret army tank gets abducted by Libyan and Latin American Commies, the army asks McBain to get it back.  To compound matters is that McBain’s old love interest was also captured along with the tank, making this personal.

To its credit, Bulletproof knows exactly what its audience wants from a Gary Busey led action movie: Big car chases, big guns, big explosions, and big lines.  Busey does not chew scenery as much as he scarfs and spits it out.  He’s so wonderfully over-the-top that the audience is whooping and hollering with him to beat up some commie ass.  The fact that he does this while wearing blue jeans and an LL Bean shirt makes it all the more better.

Another fond point of this movie is that this movie continues the old 1980s tropes of evil Latin American and Libyan communists.  Such tropes were common in the 1980s when the villains were cartoons: these Commie scum bags hate freedom, mom, and apple pie!  The fact that they are led by the great Henry Silva as the Libyan colonel makes it better. While it is true that this type of villain is stereotypical and became tiring in the 1990s, it does not distract the fact that a movie like Bulletproof needs these types of villains: the kind that do not give a rat’s ass about freedom but want to destroy you through Communism!

On a scale of cheesiness, with cheese whiz being the worst, american cheese being palatable, and sharp aged cheddar as good, this ranks as fine smoked gouda.  Something you can indulge in and enjoy.

Fun Facts: The opening is a total rip off of Lethal Weapon, but its great anyway.  I was half expecting McBain’s partner to say “I’m getting too old for this shit.” Also Look for Danny Trejo as a sharp dressed gangster.

See how many times characters say “Bulletproof”, you could probably make a drinking game out of it.


Plus, the credits are awesome: Gary Busey IS Bulletproof!

Here is a video that the guys at Everything is Terrible made, making Bulletproof three minutes:


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