Being a man is brilliant. You get to fight, drive cars through explosions, shag birds, drink beer, and be an asshole. But what really makes a man a man? Muscles? Sure. Blood, guts, and fisticuffs? It helps. A bit of nationalism? Of course. Wildly improbable baddies, snakes, the Mafia, guns, lots of guns, boxing, and rude words? All are welcome. But manly movies are the real cornerstone of our species – while women are reading Cosmo and buying shoes, us alpha males are out saving the universe with our shirts off.
As a man, I am entitled to like movies which ooze anything manly – from hardcore violence to a testosterone-packed cast to manly values. The following are unadulterated MANLY movies WITH BALLS that I can sit back and enjoy whenever I need a dose of manliness. Most of these were created in a time when movies were created before rating and box office became the aim of moviemaking, and before the action genre was neutered.
Meet the cruellest, fiercest, wonderful, violent and blood thirsty movies all packed into one list (in no particular order). They are a salute to manliness, and in return I am saluting them.
Oh, and movies which show non-plot-related, gratuitous nudity can also qualify because, as men, we do love our porn.
1. Predator (1987)
Here we have a film so manly, it’s been reported that women who’ve watched it have seen their breasts shrink and their vagina close up as a result.
Predator represents a paradigm in the manly action movie genre. Take one look at that amazing cast. You have Arnie, Bill Duke, Shane Black, Carl Weathers… I dare you to find another cast of this calibre. There’s lots of damn muscle and testosterone here! So much, in fact, that a makeshift gym was constructed in the middle of the jungle during filming. Every morning, the muscle-bound behemoths would spend a few hours pumping iron before getting into shooting.
For crying out loud, Sonny Landham needed a bodyguard on-set. Not to protect him from others, but to protect others from him.
Apart from that, there’s a lot of action. And oh yes, it’s VIOLENT! We’re talking unapologetically R-rated. Men being skinned, people sliced to pieces, and so on. Your ears will also be subjected to masses of profanity and men talking like real MEN!
As good as the action scenes are (and trust me, they are among the best), it is the quotable dialogue that really makes this movie. Within the first few minutes, Jesse Ventura sets the tone for the dialogue of the film by offering chew to his comrades. When they refuse, he politely chastises them by letting them know that they’re all a “Bunch a slack-jawed faggots around here! This stuff will make you a goddamned sexual tyrannosaurs, just like me!”
But it doesn’t stop there. Here’s a small sampling of Predator’s ingenious dialogue:
Poncho: “You’re bleeding, man.”
Blain: “I ain’t got time to bleed.”
Dutch: “If it bleeds, we can kill it.”
Hawkins: “Billy. Billy! The other day, I was going down on my girlfriend, I said to her, “Jeez you got a big pussy. Jeez you got a big pussy.” She said, “Why did you say that twice?” I said, “I didn’t.” See, cuz of the echo.”
Such eloquence. Seldom have more noble words been spoken.
Predator is THE MANLIEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME!
2. Road House (1989)
Road House is one of the ultimate manly movies. It has everything, and has it in spades, from cheesy one-liners to hardcore action to sex scenes to bar brawls, roundhouse kicks, boobs, a kickass soundtrack, and even Patrick Swayze who ices the baddies and gets the gal. Not to mention, Sam fucking Elliot is in here!!!!
It’s such a manly movie that the film stock practically has fucking whiskers growing out of it. The whole thing is so rowdy that the fucking director is a man named Rowdy!
Let’s take a moment to pay homage to the trademark dialogue here.
“Pain don’t hurt”
“I used to fuck guys like you in prison!”
“That gal’s got entirely too many brains to have an ass like that.”
“I’ll get all the sleep I need when I’m dead.”
Actual spoken dialogue in a motion picture, folks. Here are some additional reasons why this film is manly:
- Patrick Swayze stitches up his own wounds with a sewing needle and fishing line (and no pain medication, of course).
- Professional wrestlers Terry Funk and CT Night are featured as henchmen.
- Elvis’ badass bodyguard and leader of his ‘Memphis Mafia’, Red West is in the movie as the owner of an Auto Parts Shop.
- Swayze drives a 1965 Buick Riviera (a very manly car).
This movie rocks, top to bottom. More manly than drinking beer while watching the football.
3. Commando (1985)
Commando is so absurd and ridiculously violent, that it may be the most unintentionally hilarious action movie ever made.
Recent studies have shown that, while watching this movie, 9/10 viewers experienced increased muscle growth, elevated levels of aggression and an inexplicable urge to purchase an M-60. It would be prudent to keep something strong nearby to mop up all the testosterone that will be leaking out of your TV while watching this.
Arnie’s John Matrix takes the notion of a “one-man army” to a whole new level when his daughter is kidnapped. Matrix jumps out of planes, tosses a dozen security guards off him as if they were flies, and drives a bulldozer into gun store so that he can steal automatic weapons. Do I really need to explain anymore? For God’s sake, he kills 81 people in an 80-minute runtime, many of them with his bare hands.
Matrix’s immeasurable masculinity is contrasted by the least intimidating bad guy ever; Bennett. Bennett is a small, probably gay madman who has a moustache and wears a chain mail shirt. Grit your teeth as Matrix jumps out of planes without a parachute into crocodile infested waters with nary a scratch! High five as he puns his away across a series of ever gorier death scenes! And finally, camp it up as he faces off against Bennett. It’s none-too-subtle face-off – raging hetero versus raging homo, but the breeder was always going to beat the buggerer.
Commando is by far one the manliest movies ever made. If you ever find yourself doubting your manhood, pick up a copy of Commando and within a few hours you will no longer be a pussy. A bad episode of 80′s action TV writ large this movie may be, but it’s got balls the size of goddamn Sherman tanks.
And did I mention there are some tits? I shoulda… It’s important.
4. Extreme Prejudice (1987)
Extreme Prejudice was directed by epic manly man Walter Hill, who also directed films like The Warriors and 48 HRS. It has an epic cast: Nick Nolte, Powers Boothe, Michael Ironside, Rip Torn, William Forsythe and Clancy Brown, all of whom are coated in record amounts of sweat. Add to this an interesting story and a bullet-ridden climax which pays homage to Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, and you have a testosterone-fuelled actioner that deserves far more recognition than it receives. Beware, though, that the film is so manly that it has been known to make vaginas close up and turn female voices quite husky. Men, meanwhile, suffer a sudden desire to chomp on cigars, shoot some liquor, arm wrestle dinosaurs and lift weights after watching Extreme Prejudice.
The film is laden with manly goodness, from Powers Boothe crushing a scorpion with his bare hands to gratuitous female nudity and bloody violence aplenty, not to mention a healthy smattering of quotable one-liners. Written by Deric Washburn and Harry Kleiner (from a story by John Milius and Fred Rexer), the script is marvellous, overflowing with tough macho guy speak which keeps the film engaging from start to end. In the first five minutes, a character tells a random woman “As long as I got a face, you got a place to sit.” For crying out loud, the overzealously manly Jack and Cash at one stage prepare for a duel, and Cash tells the damsel in distress “Show us some tits if you want to be useful, give us some motivation.” The title is even derived from the expression “terminate with extreme prejudice.” Yeah, the film is named after a fucking kill order.
And the movie is violent as fuck. Very appropriate.
5. Rocky IV (1985)
It was a given that there would be at least one Rocky movie on this list, but it’s obvious that the manliest chapter in the series is numero quatro. I mean, Carl Weathers fights Dolph Lundgren, and Stallone fights Dolph Lundgren. These gargantuan, muscle-bound giants going head to head = MANLY!
Another reason Rocky IV makes it onto the list is the fantastically cheesy soundtrack by timeless icons of rock like Survivor and Robert Tepper. The best part of the film is the training montage. Rocky is seen jogging in knee-high snow, chopping down trees and yelling barely intelligible words off mountaintops, and Drago is injected with roids and pumps iron, all while “Hearts of Fire” plays in the background!
The final fight is a clash of the civilizations as well as the beefcakes. East vs. West, America vs. Russia, Us vs. Them. That’s another reason why Rocky IV is so manly – it’s a patriotic propaganda piece. Rocky the capitalist pig emerges victorious of course, thus proving the superiority of Western civilization. It could be argued that Rocky IV directly contributed to the downfall of the USSR and the US winning the Cold War.