“Get to The Choppa Now”

Yumper and Svo are back, this time pitting the two giants of 80’s action movies against each other in this battle of Arnold vs Sly, grab a drink, get your popcorn ready and GET TO THE CHOPPA!



Notes Drop:

Round 1

First Blood (1982)

  • Directed by Ted Kotcheff
    • Weekend at Bernie’s
    • Based on First Blood by David Morell
  • Starring Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, and Richard Crenna
    • Young David Caruso appears as Mitch
  • Box office 125.2 million on a 15 million Budget
  • Trivia
    • The large piece of rotten canvas that Rambo finds in the woods and cuts into a makeshift coat was in fact not a movie prop, but a real piece of rotten canvas found by the film crew during the movie’s production. Since there was only one piece, Sylvester Stallone joked about how the canvas became a treasured prop on the set. After filming ended, Stallone kept the rotten canvas and still has it in his possession to this very day.
    • Many of the extras who appeared throughout the film were local townsfolk who were recently left unemployed when a nearby mill had ceased operations, and they were more than happy to have the cast and crew of the film there to provide them work opportunities.
    • After watching a rough cut of the film, which was about three hours long, Sylvester Stallone and his agent claimed that the film was so bad that it made them sick. Stallone also feared that the film would kill his career, and he attempted to buy all the footage and destroy it. When he couldn’t do that, he suggested that the producers cut much of his part and let the rest of the characters tell the story. After heavy edits, the film was cut down to 93 minutes and set a precedent for future action movies
    • Sylvester Stallone and the producers wanted to make Rambo a different character in the film that he was in the book. They didn’t want him to be a psychotic cold blooded killer like he was in the book, and decided to make him a man who was lost, and didn’t know what to do with his life, and was a victim of circumstance.
    • Rambo’s trademark combat knife was custom designed by the late Arkansas knife maker Jimmy Lile. The movie popularized knock-off hollow handled survival knives with compasses in the pommel.
    • David Morrell, the author of original novel, stated that he prefers this film over his novel.
    • During a Q&A with “Ain’t It Cool News”, Sylvester Stallone revealed the following: “I was doing the scene in First Blood where I’m in the cell being whipped in the lower back with a piece of rubber hose. David Caruso was standing directly behind me. After every hit with the hose, David’s character was suppose to exclaim, ‘Jesus, can’t you see this guy’s crazy?’ and then I get hit again. We had about four takes and David had repeated the line perfectly on each take, yet the director said, ‘Let’s try it again.’ At this point, my back was on fire and I turned to the director and said, ‘How many more times are you going to do this? The kid said it perfectly.’ And the director basically said, ‘Just shut up and do it again.’ As he came forward, I pushed him back and the next thing I knew I was tackled by a pair of security men and driven against the cell wall, which in turn cracked my rib. Anyway, after several moments, everything cooled down, we all apologized and marched on.”
    • Al Pacino was considered for the role of John Rambo, but turned it down when his request that Rambo be more of a madman was rejected.
    • “First Blood” was Sylvester Stallone’s first non-Rocky movie which didn’t bomb.
    • After Kirk Douglas pulled out due to script differences at the last minute after being cast as Colonel Trautman, the producers rushed to replace him. They tried Rock Hudson first, who was recovering from open heart surgery and turned it down. They then offered it to Richard Crenna, who accepted the Friday before filming began the following week. Crenna had to ask the script supervisor constantly to feed him his lines until he was able to get caught up with memorizing the part.
    • A Navy SEAL was brought in to show Stallone how to get away from the group of police officers who were detaining Rambo. The actors on set, David Caruso among them, were convinced they could hold him with all of them ganging up, but the SEAL, as Stallone puts it, “laid out about three of them.”
    • George Miller had been offered to direct, but passed on it. George Miller was offered to direct mostly due to the box-office success of The Road Warrior (1981). The film was a sequel to Mad Max (1979) which was about a policeman (played by Mel Gibson) who succumbs to madness and sets out to hunt down the motorcycle gang that murdered his family and his partner.


Conan The Barbarian (1982)

  • Directed by John Milius
    • Wrote and Directed Red Dawn
      • Homefront VG
      • Apocalypse Now
    • Screenplay
      • Clear and present Danger
      • Magnum Force
      • Jeremiah Johnson
      • Dirty Harry
      • The emperor
    • Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Sandahl Bergman, and Max Von Sydow.
    • Box office of 68.8 million on a 20 million budget
    • Trivia
      • Arnold Schwarzenegger called Max von Sydow the first “incredible dramatic actor” he ever worked with. He finds von Sydow’s performance “staggering.”
      • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sandahl Bergman did their own stunts, as suitable body doubles couldn’t be found.
      • Arnold Schwarzenegger had weapons training, martial arts training and horseback riding lessons from specialists. He trained with an eleven-pound broadsword two hours a day for three months; each broadsword cost $10,000 and had to look weathered. He also learned climbing techniques, and how to fall and roll and jump from fifteen feet in the air. John Milius made sure all of these were videotaped, and according to Schwarzenegger, they were just as intense as training for bodybuilding competitions. Franco Columbus was his trainer and was rewarded with a small part in the film.
      • James Earl Jones was a last-minute addition to the cast because of his commitments on Broadway. He and Arnold Schwarzenegger became friends on-set; Schwarzenegger helped Jones stay in shape and Jones coached Schwarzenegger on acting; so did Max von Sydow.
      • Arnold Schwarzenegger calls the movie “God’s gift to [his] career.”
      • Arnold Schwarzenegger kept the snake dagger as a memento. According to his autobiography, he gave it to his nephew.
      • This film was intended to be the beginning of a series, with at least four sequels in the pipeline, and Arnold Schwarzenegger had to commit to all of them.
      • Arnold Schwarzenegger was entitled to 5% of the film’s profits.
      • Mako was chosen for the role of the Wizard of the Mounds (and the narrator) because of his considerable acting experience. He had been acting in film roles since 1959. He had been nominated for an Academy Award for his supporting role in The Sand Pebbles (1966).
      • A limitation for Arnold Schwarzenegger was his heavy Austrian accent. He undertook extensive voice coach training to control it.
      • Arnold Schwarzenegger’s contract restricted him from starring in other sword and sorcery films.
      • Arnold Schwarzenegger had trouble riding the camel. It kept walking him into the hut’s wooden beams.
      • James Earl Jones reportedly was offered the role of Thulsa Doom at a time when he was considering applying for another film: Grendel Grendel Grendel (1981). He wanted the part of Grendel. When he lost interest in that production, he read the Conan script and agreed to take the part of the villain.
      • Arnold Schwarzenegger was 33 when filming began on the film in 1980.

Yumps Pick Rambo



Round 2

The Specialist (1994)

  • Directed by Luis Llosa
    • Sniper
    • Anaconda
  • Starring Sylvester Stallone, James Woods, Rod Steiger, Maro Ernest Sanchez, and Eric Thomas.
  • Budget of 45 million and Box office of 170.4 million
  • Trivia
    • Sharon Stone was 36 when this movie was filmed, although her character was supposed to be in her early twenties.
    • Sylvester Stallone had this to say on filming the shower scene with Sharon Stone:
    • “OK. Let it be known, I didn’t want to do this scene because Sharon was not cooperating. We get to the set and she decides not to take her robe off. The director asks only a few of the crew to remain, and she still won’t take it off. I promised her I wouldn’t take any liberties, so what’s the problem? She said, ‘I’m just sick of nudity.’ I asked her if she could get sick of it on someone else’s film. She was having none of it, so I went down to my trailer, brought back a bottle of Black Death vodka that was given to me by Michael Douglas and after half-a-dozen shots we were wet and wild.”
    • The scene where Tomas threatens Ray with a knife was written by Sylvester Stallone at the last minute so he could share a scene with Eric Roberts. Stallone and Roberts got another chance to play hero and villain 16 years later, in The Expendables (2010).
    • The producers got Sylvester Stallone to do the movie by threatening to replace him with Warren Beatty if he didn’t commit himself to the project within a fifteen-minute deadline.
    • The Hughes Brothers turned down directing this movie when Steven Seagal was attached.
    • Mario Van Peebles was attached to direct the movie in 1991, but bailed.
    • When Sylvester Stallone enters his computer to activate the massive explosion of his home near end of film, the password he uses is “Top of the world, Ma.” This is a slight paraphrase of Jimmy Cagney’s last line in White Heat (1949), just before Cagney shoots into the large gas storage unit he’s standing on, causing massive explosions. (“Made it, Ma. Top of the world!”)
    • Timer, Ray’s cat survives the warehouse explosion.



Eraser (1996)

  • Directed by Chuck Russell
    • The Scorpion King
    • The Mask
    • Nightmare on Elm street 3
    • Bless the Child
    • The Blob
  • Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vanessa Williams, and James Caan.
  • Budget of 100 million and Box office of 242.3 million
  • Trivia
    • Nominated for an Oscar for Effects
    • The John Kruger role was originally offered to Sylvester Stallone. He absolutely hated the script, turned the offer down and instead starred in Cop Land (1997).
    • The company name “Cyrez” was originally “Cyrex”, but the real-life company Cyrix (a microprocessor developer, now defunct) complained. The movie had been shot, but all dialogue was dubbed and company logos were digitally altered during post-production. In one scene where Kruger and Lee review the files on the disc in Donohue’s office, some of the files have names beginning with CYX, indicating Cyrex.
    • Chuck Russell looks back fondly on his experience making the film. “It’s a crowd-pleaser. It’s still fun to watch.”
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger premiered the film at the Olympic Village in Atlanta, Georgia, during the 1996 Summer Games. The Goo Goo Dolls performed a live concert before the film was shown.
    • James Caan recalled, “Arnold and I had fun. We did that macho stuff, but we were always poking fun at it, too.”
    • The film’s rail guns are based on real military technology, a fact outlined at some length in Roger Ebert’s “thumbs up” review of the film. As Ebert noted, however, the rail gun technology that exists was in an early developmental phase, and designed to put such weapons on U.S. Navy ships, instead of making for anything that an individual could carry and safely discharge.
    • In the final scene at the docks, a thug sitting high on the crane with an EM gun locks onto Sal (who is holding a hunting rifle). However, Sal was already locked onto him and shoots the thug’s eye out while he was looking through the EM gun’s scope. This is a nod to legendary Vietnam veteran sniper, Carlos Hathcock, who took out an enemy sniper by shooting his eye out in the same fashion.



Yumps Pick Eraser



Round 3

Over The Top (1987)

  • Directed by Menahem Golan
    • Cobra
    • Lifeforce
    • The Apple
  • Starring Sylvester Stallone, Robert Laggoia, Rick Zumwalt, and David Mendenhall.
  • Box office of 16 million on a budget of 25 million.
  • Trivia
    • Years later, Sylvester Stallone explained why he agreed to appear in this movie. “Menahem Golan kept offering me more and more money, until I finally thought, ‘What the hell – no one will see it!'”
    • Sylvester Stallone was reportedly unhappy with the final film. In an interview with Ain’t It Cool News, he said that if he’d directed the film he would’ve changed the setting to an urban environment, used scored music instead of rock songs, and made the Las Vegas finale more ominous.
    • Rick Zumwalt was actually the studio’s third choice for Sylvester Stallone’s rival. They originally wanted Arm Wrestling Champion Cleve Dean, but he was so massive compared to Stallone that it wouldn’t have looked believable, so they went with Professional Wrestler Ox Baker. When Baker didn’t pan out, the role went to Zumwalt.
    • Rick Zumwalt was paid $10,000 to shave his head for the film. He liked it so much he never let his hair grow back.
    • A real-life “Over The Top” arm wrestling tournament was created once the movie was approved for production. Organizers worked closely with producers at Cannon Films in hosting the tournament while the film was being made. The contest was described as “the biggest event in arm-wrestling history.” Beginning with the first qualifier in Beverly Hills in August 1985, the competition lasted a year throughout North America and included qualifying events in Europe, Israel, and Japan. The finale took place on July 26th, 1986, with an 18-hour marathon tournament at the Las Vegas Hilton. The movie featured many real-life arm-wrestlers and footage from the Vegas finals. The only exceptions were the scenes that featured Sylvester Stallone, whose matches were filmed the day after the real finals. The same location was used, and the extras who made up the audience in those scenes were the same fans who had filled the venue the day before.
    • Scott Norton was also in the flick.
    • In the montage of arm-wrestling towards the end, one competitor goes so hard that his elbow breaks – this was Michael Bociu, a German National Champion in LA for a wrestling tournament during the shooting of the film. This break was very real, and totally unplanned.



Red Heat (1988)

  • Directed by Walter Hill
    • The Warriors
    • 48 hours
    • Streets of Fire
    • Crossroads
    • Producer
      • Aliens/Prometheus franchise
    • Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Belushi, Laurence Fishburne, Gina Gershon, Peter Boyle, and Ed O’Ross.
    • Budget 29 million and Box of 35 million
    • Trivia
      • Walter Hill, thinking Arnold Schwarzenegger was too muscular, asked him to lose ten pounds for his role, and Jim Belushi to gain ten pounds.
      • Arnold Schwarzenegger spent three months learning to speak Russian. Jim Belushi spent two weeks working at a Chicago police district headquarters
      • The film crew applied for a permit to film in the Red Square but the application was denied, so the crew had to “sneak-film” the Red Square scenes. They dressed Arnold Schwarzenegger up in the uniform and filmed him as though making an amateur/home movie with just a couple of crew people present.
      • Walter Hill wanted to use buses rather than cars in the climactic action scene because it would be more interesting. “Also, I thought it was very appropriate for Arnold. He doesn’t fit well in cars.
      • The bad guy who Ivan Danko shoots on the steps in Moscow was played by one of Hungary’s leading action-movie actors, Gábor Koncz. In an interview, he said that until he met Arnold Schwarzenegger and the others in the film he thought of himself as a muscular and tough actor. He subsequently described himself as a “small potato”.
      • The name and signature above Ivan Danko in the hotel guest book are of Jim Morrison, lead singer for The Doors.
      • For the Joliet prison scene, two hundred real inmates were used as extras.
      • Walter Hill described the film as “in an odd way it’s a traditional love story between these two guys.
      • Walter Hill conceived of the idea for the film because he and Arnold Schwarzenegger had long wanted to work together: “I didn’t want to do sci-fi and it’s tough to use Arnold credibly in an American context with his accent. I thought it would be interesting if he could play a Russian cop in the US. I wanted to do a traditional John Wayne/Clint Eastwood larger-than-life movie. You then ask the question: Will the American audience accept an unapologetic Soviet hero, someone who will not defect at the end of the movie?”
      • Pruitt Taylor Vince, Mike Hagerty, and Brion James all make appearances.



Yumps Pick: Over The Top




Round 4


Daylight (1996)

  • Directed by Rob Cohen
    • DragonHeart
    • Stealth
    • Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
    • XXX
  • Starring Sylvester Stallone, Amy Brenneman, and Viggo Mortensen.
  • Budget of 80 million and Box Office of 159 million.
  • Trivia
    • One reason Sylvester Stallone agreed to act in this movie was to help him overcome his fear of confined spaces. He’d agreed to appear in Cliffhanger (1993) to help him overcome his fear of heights.
    • Sylvester Stallone was paid $17.5 million to appear in this film.
    • Sylvester Stallone’s son, Sage Stallone, plays Vincent.
    • Before he was cast in Daylight, Sylvester Stallone was involved in another two movie projects. One was an action disaster thriller titled “No Safe Haven”, and he was going to play disgraced ex marine who visits his mother on Martha’s Vineyard at the same time when president and his family are there on vacation. But then the militia-like cult shows up and the members of it take over entire island, but president manages to escape and he and marine then join up to fight against cult members and save his family, and entire film would take place during large hurricane. Despite Universal studio spending $300,000 on buying the script after six hours long bidding war with other studios for it, “No Safe Haven” was cancelled very early in pre-production.
    • The second project Stallone was involved in was another action thriller titled “High Roller”. Written by screenwriter J.F. Lawton, who wrote Steven Seagal’s action hit Under Siege (1992), High Roller was described as “Die Hard in a casino”, and it was about ex-hitman who has to fight against mobsters and his former boss inside huge Las Vegas casino which they took over and kidnapped the owner, and not only that he has to save the owner but he and some down on his luck gambler who got involved into entire thing by accident also must protect casino owner’s daughter from mobsters.
    • The script for the film was sold for $1 million against $2.5 million in mid 1995 to Savoy Pictures studio who were in financial problems, which is why they disagreed with Stallone’s $20 million contract to star in the film, so he went on to make Daylight while they cancelled High Roller which, following the bankrupt of their studio, was never again attempted to be made into a film, even though various studios tried to buy the rights for it in 1996 after Savoy Pictures went bankrupt.
    • Sylvester Stallone used $28 million dollars of his own money to finance this film
    • This film is considered to be a “Die Hard (1988)” copycat, nicknamed “Die Hard in a tunnel”.
    • Sylvester Stallone’s character was meant to die in the end, but a change in the script meant that he survived.
    • The end scene. The blowout is based on real events that happened in 1906 in making a tunnel under the river. 3 died 1 survived as he said.



Sabotage (2014)

  • Directed by David Ayer
    • Fury
    • End of Watch
    • Street Kings
    • Suicide squad (2016)
    • Bright
    • The Tax Collector
    • Harsh Times
  • Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard, Olivia Williams, Mireille Enos, and Joe Maganiello.
  • Budget of 35 Million and Box office of 22 million.
  • Trivia
    • According to director David Ayer, Sabotage was heavily cut by the studio in favor of delivering more of an action based film rather than a mystery thriller. The original cut of Sabotage was rumored to be close to 3 hours.
    • The Beastie Boys, Mike D and Adam Horovitz, turned down a request to use their 1994 song “Sabotage” in promos for the film. In his will, Adam Yauch prohibited the use of his music in advertisements.
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger greatly disliked the haircut he had to wear for this film.
    • A subplot involving Brentwood trying to nail an abusive father who has killed his young daughter was cut from the final film, but it is briefly mentioned in the scene when Brentwood and Breacher talk on the way to Tripod’s house. This storyline was cut to speed up the pace of the film and concentrate on the action.
    • Sam Worthington and Arnold Schwarzenegger have both had roles in Terminator movies, though Worthington’s character was a human/machine hybrid and not an actual terminator.
    • Harold Perrineau, who plays Det. Jackson starred on the TV Show Lost with Josh Holloway who plays Eddie “Neck” Jordan in this movie. Neither actor has direct scenes with the other.
    • The film had originally a completely different ending. In that ending, Caroline and Breacher apprehend Lizzy, who confesses. Breacher shoots Lizzy before she can reveal more and Caroline becomes aware that Breacher is behind the killings. Breacher slips away undetected. Caroline and her partner Jackson then head to the lake to retrieve the money. Breacher shows up, stabs Jackson and begins fighting Caroline in the water. David Ayer filmed two alternate versions of this ending. In the first one, Caroline escapes and Breacher is confronted by two police cars when he tries to leave with the money. Breacher kill the cops and prepares to flee in one of the cars. Then Caroline appears and asks him why he killed his team. He tells her that they wouldn’t let him kill his family’s killer, who he knew he could get. She then shoots him when he tries to go for his gun. In the second version, when Caroline asks, Breacher tells Caroline that a member of his team betrayed him and one of them was responsible for selling his family to the cartel for money. He didn’t know which one, so he took them all out. He shoots Caroline when she tries to apprehend him, and then leaves with the money. Both versions were rejected by the producers, who forced Ayer to create a new ending which showed Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character as an antihero instead of as a villain.
    • The film could have ended with a dying Lizzie confessing to Breacher and Caroline that she was responsible for the kidnap, torture and murders of Breacher’s family and that she sold him out to Brujo


Yump’s Pick: Sabotage




Round 5

Cobra (1986)

  • Directed by George P. Cosmatos
    • Rambo First Blood part II
    • OF Unknown Origin
    • Leviathan
  • Starring Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, Reni Santoni, and Brian Thompson.
  • Budget of 25 million and Box of 49 million.
  • Trivia
    • Brian Thompson had to buy his own ticket to see the film himself personally because he was not invited to the films’ premiere by the films’ producers and Warner Bros. which still mystifies him to this day.
    • When Sylvester Stallone was signed to play the lead in Beverly Hills Cop (1984), he did a lot of work on the screenplay, turning it into an action extravaganza that the studio couldn’t afford. He eventually left Beverly Hills Cop and channeled his ideas for that project into this movie. Brigitte Nielsen(Ingrid) would play a villain in Beverly Hills Cop II (1987).
    • Some of the cuts made to avoid an X-rating include: the first murder victim having her hands severed; an extended autopsy scene, including lingering shots of naked and mutilated bodies; a longer death for Ingrid’s photographer Dan, including a shot of him slipping on his own blood while trying to escape; more deaths of the townspeople during the climax, including a person getting hit in the face with an ax.
    • The knife used by the Night Slasher character was made for the film by knife designer Herman Schneider. Sylvester Stallone had asked Schneider to create a knife that audiences would never forget.
    • Sylvester Stallone said he got the idea for the LAPD’s “Zombie Squad” from a real-life Zombie Squad in Belgium, comprised of cops who go out at night and handle crazed criminals on their own terms.
    • The original rough cut was over two hours long. Due to concerns it might not be a hit, the final cut was 87 minutes, thereby increasing the number of screenings per day. Some of the more violent scenes were also cut to avoid an X-rating. A great deal of plot detail was either removed or sped up while most of the violence and nearly every death was edited or depicted off-screen, resulting in numerous continuity errors.
    • Brian Thompson and Sylvester Stallone had not spoken to each other in over 20 years after the film was made until they recently met at a Horse Riding academy where Thompson’s daughter was actually giving Stallone’s daughter riding lessons.
    • There were plans to do a sequel, which never materialized.



The Running Man (1987)

  • Directed by Paul Michael Glaser
    • The air up there
    • Kazaam
    • Third watch
  • Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto, Jesse Ventura, and Richard Dawson.
  • Budget of 27 million and box office 38 million.
  • Trivia
    • When Rob Cohen purchased the rights to the Richard Bachman novel “The Running Man”, he had no idea that Bachman was actually a pseudonym for Stephen King.
    • Many people who worked with Richard Dawson on the game show Family Feud (1976) say that in real life Dawson was more like his character Damon Killian in his handling of underlings.
    • When Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for governor, he rode around in a campaign bus and named it after this film.
    • Erland van Lidth (“Dynamo”) was a classically trained Helden baritone opera singer, so in his introduction when Dynamo is singing an aria from “The Marriage of Figaro”, it actually is van Lidth singing. This was also his final movie, as well as that of Richard Dawson (Damon Killian)
    • Paula Abdul was the film’s choreographer. Many of the dancers were friends of hers from the Laker Girls.
    • The character “Mic,” the leader of the underground, is played by drummer Mick Fleetwood of the supergroup Fleetwood Mac. His compatriot in the movie, a character named “Stevie” and played by Dweezil Zappa (the son of legendary musician Frank Zappa) is an obvious homage to Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac.
    • Dweezil Zappa, son of legendary American composer/singer Frank Zappa, has only two lines in the movie: “Don’t touch that dial!”, being one of his father’s most famous lyrics from the song “I Am the Slime” (from the album “Over-nite Sensation”, 1973); and “Psst . . . you guys wanna buy a hot stereo? . . . Laughlin!, glad you guys made it” at the beginning of the film.
    • Dolph Lundgren and Christopher Reeve expressed interest in starring in the movie, and Patrick Swayze had also been considered.
    • This film correctly predicts digital face replacement and deepfake technology (in the scene of Arnold’s death in the cage). The first face replacement in film occurred for about 3 seconds in Jurassic Park (1993), where a teen girl escapes from a dinosaur through the roof; the body double’s face was replaced with the actress’ face. Deepfake technology, which indeed became prominent in real life around 2017, goes one step beyond: it can digitally replace an actor’s face with another throughout a scene, while maintaining all the facial original movements.




Yump’s Pick: The Running Man



Round 6

Cop Land (1997)

  • Directed by James Mangold
    • Logan
    • Walk the Line
    • Ford Vs Ferrari
  • Starring Robert DeNiro, Sylvester Stallone, Ray Liotta, Michael Rappaport, and Harvey Kietel
  • Box office of 44 million on 15 million budget.
  • Trivia
    • Sylvester Stallone gained the necessary weight for the role by eating a steady diet of giant pancakes served at a local pancake house.
    • Originally, Ray Liotta wanted the role of Sheriff Freddy Heflin, while Sylvester Stallone wanted the role of Gary “Figgsy” Figgis.
    • The sandwich scene in Robert De Niro’s office was Stallone’s first day shooting. The sandwiches, which were an afterthought for the actors’ lunch, were improvised into the scene by De Niro.
    • Robert Patrick got the part after running into Peter Berg and producer and music supervisor Meryl Poster, who were staying in the same hotel in New York City. He got the script, and then read for writer and director James Mangold a few days later.
    • Arthur J. Nascarella was a real-life NYPD officer.
    • Although it is stated during in the credits that the movie isn’t based on a true story, director James Mangold did grew up in Washingtonville, New York, which was a place where lots of policemen’s families lived. In an interview director Mangold mentioned that Cop Land (1997) was based on his experiences of growing up in his hometown among the many children of these cops. Both Mel Gibson and Tony Gilroy also were raised or spent most of their childhood in Washingtonville.
    • At the end of the film, when Freddy and Gary are bringing in Murray Babitch to the New York City authorities, there is one shot of Moe Tilden coming out of a building. In this one shot, his mustache is noticeably longer. James Mangold wanted to get a shot of Robert De Niro’s character walking out of the building. De Niro agreed to return and appear in the shot, but could not trim his longer mustache as it was required for his character, Louis Gara, in Jackie Brown (1997).



True Lies (1994)

  • Directed by James Cameron
    • Terminator 1, 2, Dark Fate
    • Alien and Aliens
    • Titanic
    • Avatar
  • Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bill Paxton, Tia Carrere, Art Malik, and Tom Arnold
  • Budget of 115 million and Box office of 378 million
  • Trivia
    • When Harry tells Gib that Helen is having an affair, Gib tells a story about his second wife taking everything when she left him, even the ice cube trays from the freezer. This is a direct reference to Tom Arnold’s divorce from Roseanne Barr that was happening at the same time – she was reported to have taken his ice cube trays when she left him as well. Arnold told the story to James Cameron on the set while saying: “What kind of sick bitch takes the ice cube trays out of the freezer?” Cameron thought the line was hilarious, and incorporated it into the film.
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biggest challenge for the movie was not doing all the physical stunts, but dancing a tango. He had to take dancing lessons to realistically perform the dance. He rehearsed the scene for about six months, as he wanted to make sure he was as good at the tango as Al Pacino was in Scent of a Woman (1992).
    • The US Government supplied three Marine Harriers and their pilots for a fee of $100,736 ($2,410 per hour).
    • Jamie Lee Curtis called the film “without question, the greatest experience of my professional life so far.”
    • The striptease scene drew some criticism for its perceived misogynistic content. Director James Cameron later said that Jamie Lee Curtis had heavy input in how the scene was played out. The original idea was for Helen to go completely nude, but in the dark so that only her silhouette would be seen. It was actually Curtis’s own suggestion to do it in full light while keeping her underwear on. She demonstrated it to Cameron beforehand, who remarked that he was reminded there what is so cool about his job. He also noted that most of the criticism of the scene came from men, while most of the female reviewers praised it as an empowering and even liberating scene for Helen.
    • Many problems plagued the shooting of the opening sequence: the mansion scene was filmed on an extremely cold night and the mansion itself was not heated; all of the women wore dresses with nothing underneath and a costume change room was set up outside in the cold; kerosene lamps were used to heat the tents; one of the extra’s blouses caught fire. For their suffering through the harsh cold that night, the extras were paid an additional $50.



Yumps Pick: Cop Land




Round 7

Cliffhanger (1993)

  • Director Renny Harlin
    • 12 rounds
    • The cleaner
    • The Covenant
  • Starring Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker, and Janine Turner
  • Budget of 70 million and box of 255 million
  • Trivia
    • The film is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the costliest aerial stunt ever performed. Stuntman Simon Crane was paid $1 million to cross once between two planes at fifteen thousand feet, without the aid of any safety devices or trick photography. The insurance company refused to insure a stuntman for this, so Sylvester Stallone offered to reduce his own fee for the movie by the amount that the stunt cost to produce, in order that the film could be made. The stunt was filmed in the United States, as such a stunt is illegal in Europe, where most of the film was shot. Crane couldn’t actually get inside the second plane, but good editing gives the appearance that he does.
    • Sylvester Stallone partly took on this project in an effort to help him conquer his fear of heights.
    • Christopher Walken was originally cast as Qualen, but left the production before filming began, so John Lithgow was cast at the last minute.
    • Electrical storms hit during filming, knocking down five crew members. Climber Earl Wiggins was hit three times, but was only slightly injured. During a later storm, crew members had fun taking pictures of each other with their hair standing on end while the climbers pointed out the wisdom of evacuating.


Last Action Hero (1993)

  • Directed by John McTiernan
    • Basic
    • Rollerball (2002)
    • Predator
    • Hunt for red October
    • Die hard and Die hard 3
  • Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, F Murray Abraham, Art Carnay, Robert Prosky, Bridgette Wilson, Anthony Quinn, Austin O’Brien, and Frank McRae
  • Budget of 85 million and box office of 137 million
  • Trivia
    • Filming continued until the week before this movie debuted in theaters.
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted this movie to be PG-13, so it would appeal to a broader audience. Being executive producer (for the first time) he approved script, director, cast, studio financing, distribution, marketing, budget, PR firm, planning a foreign release, et cetera. Schwarzenegger enjoyed the added responsibility, because he could be involved in every facet of production.
    • Sharon Stone’s casting in a brief cameo as her Basic Instinct (1992) character was somewhat surprising, because she and Arnold Schwarzenegger had clashed on the set of Total Recall (1990). She was reluctant to do the cameo, but did it as a favor to Schwarzenegger, who reminded her that Total Recall (1990) had helped her career.
    • [1:01:35]The explosion of Jack Slater’s ex-wife’s (and also Meridith’s) house was used from The Last Boy Scout (1991), also written by Shane Black.
    • The fact that Jack Slater was out to avenge the death of his second cousin Frank in “Jack Slater IV” was an intentionally ridiculous element. The idea was that having gone through so many epic conflicts with supervillains that got increasingly personal during the first three movies (undoubtedly a nod to many 70s and 80s action movies that had “This time it’s personal!” as a tagline), Jack Slater was left to battle the mob due to the death of a very minor character. It would also allow the Danny Madigan character to start listing the flaws of the Jack Slater movies, as well as how they were running out of good ideas.



Yump’s Pick Last: LAH



Round 8


Demolition Man

  • Directed by Marco Brambilla
  • Starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock, Benjamin Bratt, Denis Leary, and Nigel Hawthorne.
  • 77 million dollar budget and 159 million box
  • Trivia
    • Stallone wanted Jackie Chan to play the Phoenix role.
    • Lori Petty fired as Huxley. She didn’t like sly
    • Inspired Denis Rodman to dye his hair.
    • During filming, Rob Schneider became friends with Sandra Bullock, but had reservations about her next project, “some bus movie” that he didn’t think would take off. Speed (1994) was one of the next year’s most critically and financially successful movies.
    • Sylvester Stallone is on record as being pleased with the movie, calling it “a good action film, ahead of its time.”


Total Recall (1990)

  • Director Paul Verhoeven
    • Robocop
    • Hollow Man
    • Showgirls
    • Basic Instinct
  • Starring Arold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, Rachel Ticotin, and Ronny Cox.
  • Budget of 65 million and Box office of 261 million
  • Trivia
    • After seeing Sharon Stone’s performance as Lori in this movie, director Paul Verhoeven would cast her in the movie Basic Instinct (1992) due to her ability to play a character that could change from a timid charming sweetheart to a diabolical person and back again at a moment’s notice. He also stated that this is the way Sharon Stone is in real life.
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger noticed that Michael Ironside was constantly on the phone between takes. When he broached the subject with Ironside, he was told that he was phoning his sister and that she was currently suffering from cancer. Arnold immediately brought Michael to his trailer and they had an hour-long, three-way conversation with Ironside’s sister about what exercises she should do and what kinds of foods she should be eating. Ironside has never forgotten Schwarzenegger’s kindness and neither has his sister.
    • When Ronald Shusett and Dan O’Bannon first started working on the screenplay for this movie back in the 1970s, they realized that the movie would probably be too expensive and difficult to make (by the standards of special effects and budget at the time). They delayed working on the story and instead worked on an idea O’Bannon had about a space monster terrorizing a spaceship crew. This became Alien (1979).
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger was originally going to play the title role in RoboCop (1987), but problems with the costume caused producers to drop the idea. After Schwarzenegger saw “RoboCop”, he said that he loved the movie and wanted to work with director Paul Verhoeven. When he and Verhoeven heard about “Total Recall”, they decided to work on that.
    • According to director Paul Verhoeven in the film commentary, the famous “Get your ass to Mars” line was actually an afterthought to bridge the film’s change of setting from Earth to Mars. Originally Verhoeven wanted to film a separate scene showing Quaid boarding the shuttle bound for Mars, but could not do so due to budget constraints. As a compromise, Verhoeven came up with the idea of having the laptop device repeat the part of Hauser’s message with “Get your ass to Mars” in a loop as the film transitions from Earth to Mars.
    • Patrick Swayze was signed to play Quaid when the movie began preproduction in Australia with Bruce Beresford as the director. However, early in preproduction, Dino De Laurentiis’ company went bankrupt. After Arnold Schwarzenegger heard about this, he persuaded Carolco to buy the script for him.


Yump’s Pick: Total Recall

Round 9

Judge Dredd (1995)

  • Directed by Danny Cannon
    • The Cure
    • I still know what you did last summer
  • Starring Sylvester Stallone, Rob Schneider, Jugern Prohnow, Diane Lane, Armand Assante, and Max Von sydow.
  • Budget of 90 million and box of 113 million.
  • Trivia
    • In later interviews, Sylvester Stallone said he felt the film was supposed to be a comedy/action film, and demanded re-writes to make it even more comedic. The director and screenwriter, however, had intended a darker, more satirical approach, which led to many difficulties behind the scenes.
    • Director Danny Cannon was so disheartened over his constant creative disputes with Sylvester Stallone that he swore he would never again work with another “self-absorbed actor” (which was his own opinion of Stallone). He also claimed that the final version was completely different from the script due to the changes Stallone demanded.
    • The moment where Dredd takes off his helmet caused a lot of controversy. Judge Dredd would never remove his helmet in the comics. He took it off only once, but his disfigured face was covered with a censor bar.
    • The scene in which Fergie mocks Dredd was improvised, and it turned out to be so funny to see Rob Schneider making fun of Sylvester Stallone that it was kept in the movie.
    • Danny Cannon was apparently not allowed on the set for the post-production reshoots.




End of Days (1999)

  • Directed by Peter Hyamas
    • Outland
    • Timecop
    • The Relic
  • Starring Sylvester Stallone, Gabriel Bryne, Robin, Tunney, CCH Pounder, and Rob Steiger, Kevin Pollak.
  • Budget of 100 million and 212 million.
  • Trivia
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first film since Batman & Robin (1997). The reason for the gap was because of his heart surgery after playing Mr Freeze; the studios were anxious about whether or not they could insure him, and despite attempts to convince them he was in perfect health, he couldn’t get any work until End of Days (1999). Even then, he was amazed when insurance people and executives from Universal came to the set just to watch him, to see if he was still up to the action scenes. They asked Schwarzenegger if he enjoyed this kind of punishment, but he said he was used to it. After the first week of shooting, the insurance guys backed off and not long after, the film offers started rolling in again.
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger found the finished film too dark – not concerning the themes or story – but director and DOP Peter Hyams’s lighting. For the same reason, this was the last movie that Steven Kemper edited for Hyams, as the dark lighting caused all kinds of editorial difficulties.
    • Years later, Miriam Margolyes revealed on a talk show she did not enjoy her first and only working experience with Arnold, citing the odd reason that in their scene together “He farted in my face!” (as she so eloquently put it).
    • Gabriel Byrne plays both good and evil in the same year, Satan in this film and a Catholic priest in Stigmata (1999).
    • Sam Raimi was offered the director’s chair on this film, but he declined in order to make For Love of the Game (1999).


Yump’s Pick: EOD




Round 10


Stop or my mom will shoot (1992)

  • Director Roger Spottiswoode
    • The Sixth Day
    • Turner and Hooch
    • Terror Train
    • Ripley Underground
  • Sly Stallone, Estelle Getty, Martin Ferrero, and Jobeth Williams.
  • Budget of 45 million and box office of 70 million
  • Trivia
    • Sylvester Stallone considers this the worst film he’s ever done.
    • According to Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger was interested in playing the lead in this movie. Stallone admitted in an interview that once he heard that Schwarzenegger wanted to do the movie, he immediately called his agent and campaigned for the leading role. He found out much later that Schwarzenegger faked interest in order to trick him into doing the movie.
    • When Estelle Getty found out that the movie would involve guns, she said she would only do the movie if there were no guns. The producers lied, saying there would be no guns in the movie, to get her to sign on.
    • According to Sylvester Stallone the role of Tutti in the film was originally supposed to be a very mean and cruel character which strained her relationship with her son even more. However when Estelle Getty agreed to play Tutti the script was re-written with Tutti being a more genteel, loving and sweet motherly type, who although she caused havoc at times she always had the best intentions for her son. Stallone has since acknowledged he felt the film would have done better and he would have liked it better if Tutti was mean as originally scripted.



Junior (1994)

  • Directed by Ivan Reitman
    • Ghostbusters I and II
    • Twins
    • Stripes
  • Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, Emma Thompson, and Frank Langella
  • Budget of 60 mil on box of 108
  • Trivia
    • Out of all of the movies that producer and director Ivan Reitman made with Arnold Schwarzenegger, he cited this movie as not his best, but his favorite.
    • Arnold Schwarzeneggerspent time in obstetricians’ waiting rooms to learn how pregnant women behave.
    • An early cut of this movie ended with an abortion scene that was nixed by the studio after the subject was deemed to be “too politically sensitive”. Extensive re-shoots were required to make the final movie work.





Round 11


-Rocky Franchise Gross

-1.3 billion



Worldwide Box 2billion

Both won Oscars

Rocky, T2

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