Thursday, October 6, 2011

Life in Poster Art: Charles Napier (1936-2011)

Damn, we were hoping to get our Halloween Havoc 2011 stuff rolling this week, but we figured this deserved a mention.  Yesterday the world stopped to mourn the loss of Steve Jobs (no joke, they interrupted JEOPARDY to tell us), but the B-movie world lost an even bigger star.  A lot of folks might not know the name Charles Napier, but they would recognize his face. Probably best known as the evil bureaucrat in RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II (1985), Napier appeared in well over 200 movies and television shows over his 40-plus year career.  One thing is for sure, you could always count on a solid performance from the man, even when the production might not be as solid.  As a good guy, bad guy or ordinary guy, he was always tops.

The most recent viewing I can recall seeing him in was Fred Olen Ray's DEEP SPACE (1988) where he played a cop (a role he was often in).  The film actually had a bit where Napier's character tries to seduce a girl by playing the bagpipes (!) and he made it work.  I know Tom recently saw him in the direct-to-video actioner FELONY (1995).  And while the final product was subpar, I'm sure Napier delivered in his role.  Of course, the biggest career achievement one can obtain is working for the Italians in low budget flicks.  Like all truly worthy thespians, Napier traveled there to turn out some of our favorite flicks of his including Fabrizio de Angelis' THE LAST MATCH (1990), where a football team break some falsely accused American kids out of a their football jerseys.  Tom adds: One of my all time favorite lines was in THE BLUES BROTHERS and his reading of it really made it the great line that it is. “You’re going to look pretty funny trying to eat corn on the cob with NO FUCKING TEETH!” Classic.  RIP, Mr. Napier!

The Italian years:

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