Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Robert Z'Dar - RIP

Robert Z'Dar has died. He was 64 years old.

Z'Dar wasn't one of the most beautiful actors to appear on screen but he always stole the spotlight thanks to his sheer presence and, of course, his massive jaw. This unique look allowed him to find steady work in Hollywood, appearing in a ton of films and television shows, where he was most often cast as a giant thug or as an imposing boss for the main heroes to somehow defeat.

His most famous role was as Officer Matthew Cordell a.k.a. the titled character in the Maniac Cop trilogy. His character was one of the most distinctive antagonists of the slasher genre, as he went around killing innocents in full police garb, before then bringing down the big heat on his former brothers in blue.

For general film fans, Z'Dar is best known for facing off against Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell as, well, "Face" in the 1989 cult action classic Tango & Cash. Other purveyors of HBO will recognize him in the brat pack crime flick Mobsters.

In recent years, thanks to the plethora of internet review shows, Z'Dar was further spotlighted in many of the cheesy and downright terrible movies he took part in. The most infamous of these is Samurai Cop, where he starred as the villianous Yamashita, a bearded white "samurai" who partakes in an unfortunate sex scene and promises to lay the hero's head on his boss' piano. Additional lowlights included Killing American Style, the Roddy Piper-less Frogtown II and the sheer incomprehensible Pocket Ninjas.

Finally, I can't end this obituary without mentioning his appearances on MST3K. Two of his films were lampooned by Mike & The Bots in the show's last season: the sci-fi disasterpiece Future War, where he only had a brief role as a badly constructed cyborg, and Soultaker, where he turns up as an ambiguous grim reaper.

He will be missed.

No comments:

Post a Comment