Most Underrated Actions Movies of the 1980s, Ranked


The ’80s was a classic era for the film industry as it gave excellent movies like batman, E.T., and Command. Although movies these days steal the show because of the mind-blowing special effects and cinematography, the nostalgic appeal of the ’80s never fades away and has allowed for movies today to be what they are.



For action lovers, the era of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis will be near to impossible to forget. The variety of masterpieces ranging from RoboCop and Terminatorto First Blood and predator, would always call back youngsters of the ’80s, and even the newer generation. However, this time, let’s also bring other sensational underrated action movies of the 1980s to light.

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6 Black Rain (1989)

Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Michael Douglas, Black Rain is a movie that falls short of a good story line and inaccurate representation of the city of Osaka. However, it becomes a good watch with the other exceptional visuals of action scenes that would attract any action admirer.

Charlie (Andy Garcia and a policeman from New York (Michael Douglas) witness a gruesome murder in a bar, and manage to arrest the killer immediately. To make matters worse, the killer, Sato (Yusaku Matsuda) is a member of the infamous Japanese Nick and Charlie must now work together to scour through the underworld of the Yakuza to search for the criminal, while battling enemies on the way.


5 Maniac Cop (1988)

Maniac Cop, starring Bruce Campbell and Tom Atkins is a great watch. The plot involves a young New York City cop being framed for the increasing murders in the city. His girlfriend teams up with a detective to catch the maniac cop and save her boyfriend from going behind bars.

The ridiculously low budget of the movie does not stop it from being recognized for some of its most amazingly gruesome scenes, classic car chase scenes, and the final police massacre that stays in the mind for quite some time. William Lustig projected impressive acting skills, along with the direction of the movie, offering fans horror, suspense, mystery and witty dialogue, which will keep fans entertained throughout.

4 Best of the Best (1989)

The widowed father (Eric Roberts) of a five-year-old son has to go to represent the United States of America in a karate tournament against a Korean Team. Eric gives fans some of the most action-packed sequences in the entertainment industry, which proved to be quite the hidden gems of the 1980s.

Accompanied by the right amount of sentiment and perfect martial arts sequences, Best of the Bestis in fact one of the best. The dialogue can be considered a bit cheesy for an action movie, and the acting does fall short in some moments; however, the melodrama is irreplaceable in an emotional powerhouse.

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3 Action Jackson (1988)

Starring Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson, and Sharon Stone, Action Jackson is one of the best action-comedy movies to come out in the 1980s. Being a representation of the stereotypes at the time, this movie is mostly reviewed as so silly, that it’s amazing.

Action Jackson is packed with ridiculous action from start to finish with the right levels of cheesiness that it is said to be a never-mentioned gem of the 1980s. Another important thing to note is that this movie was the return of the Black hero in Hollywood, which was a great feat to achieve, considering the 1980s was not so kind to Black Hollywood actors in major roles.


2 Streets of Fire (1984)

Director Walter Hill’s lesser-known movie, is quick to become a guilty pleasure for a lot of fans. This masterpiece is considered to be ahead of its time from a visual point of view. It exceptionally pulls off the rock-and-roll-action love story genre. Starring Dianne Lane as the kidnapped rock and roll singer, Willlem Dafoe as the gang leader, and Michael Pare as the ex-boyfriend setting out to save his kidnaped ex-girlfriend, Streets of Fire has developed a cult following.

From incredible sets and colorful costumes to brilliant rock performances and action sequences, this movie does not leave room for dull moments. There is very little that can be criticized about this film, such as the laughable dialogue and horrible posters, but those just account for the nitty-gritty details that most viewers tend to overlook, when the storyline flows as well as that of Streets of Fire.

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1 Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

The most ridiculous adventure with the absurdly amazing story line, Big Trouble in Little China steals the number one spot for the most underrated action movie of the 1980s. Set in a world of green-eyed fiancées, Chinese street gangs, a powerful evil sorcerer, magic, and martial arts, a truck driver and his Chinese friend must explore underground Chinatown to go on the biggest adventure of their lives. Director John Carpenter seems to be the only man who could pull off such an action movie.

Sly humor, witty dialogue, noisy action, and thrilling scenes make Big Trouble in Little China very enjoyable for its viewers. Kurt Russell, the hero of the movie, plays his character of a bold man who fears nothing with extremely corny dialogue. The movie overall has enough charm to woo anyone of any generation.

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