Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Newsploitation: Robert Z'Dar RIP (1950-2015)

It is probably bad form to do a write up on a death on April 1st, but most folks already know that Robert Z’Dar passed away this week at the age of 64. News broke yesterday that the veteran character actor passed away on March 30 in Florida due to cardiac arrest. Perhaps fittingly, Z’Dar had been in the Sunshine State to do a film convention before being admitted to the hospital. Even more fittingly, according to a friend, he still made a few hours for fans despite being in very poor health and was talking about his upcoming shoot for SAMURAI COP 2 on his deathbed.

Z’Dar was one of those guys you never forgot, yet I can’t recall what the first film I ever saw him in was.  Looking at his extensive filmography, I’d wager it was CHERRY 2000 (1987).  Of course, the film that cemented him for me (and a lot of folks) was the first MANIAC COP (1988) movie. After that it seemed like Z’Dar was popping up everywhere.  I can still remember seeing TANGO & CASH (1989) theatrically and getting excited when I saw him as a prisoner.  Yeah, I get excited easily.

For a guy who started his movie career late in life (he didn’t start until well into his 30s), Z’Dar made up for lost time.  In the end he ended up doing over 100 films in his thirty years in the business.  Some were fantastic, some were good, some were bad, and some were made by Scott Shaw and Donald Jackson.  Being Video Junkies, a lot of those films passed before our eyes.  While every film may not have been good, I don’t think I can say I ever saw a terrible Z’Dar performance.  He gave his all in any role and was truly one of a kind.  Here are the reviews of films featuring Z'Dar we've done:

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