Bullet Points: Traxx
As action film lovers, why were we forced to watch exciting action films but forced to listen to inferior speakers? Was it too much to ask for our heroes to speak English good? (OK, it isn’t that easy to speak English well, but still…) Arnold was the king of one-liners that were always hilarious, but he couldn’t shake that Austrian accent. Sly speaks like he was actually punched by Carl Weathers when they were filming. (Need more Stallone proof? Watch the beginning of Cobra.) Bulletproofaction.com favorite JCVD is stuck with that Belgian French accent. (Thank God he doesn’t have a Flemish accent.) Even current day stars like Vin Diesel from the mega-hit Fast and Furious franchise talks like he has a mouth full of marbles. There was one 80’s action film that somehow slipped through the cracks that not only contains all of the pulse-pounding action of the above star’s flicks, but also features the dulcet tones of a man who can make a reading of the phone book entertaining, Shadoe Stevens. 1988’s Traxx is a non-stop thrill ride that is both visually and auditorily appealing.
- Synopsis: Traxx is a Texas State Trooper who doesn’t play by the rules because he can’t stand criminals getting away with their crimes. To prevent them from getting set free because of a trial, he usually tends to shoot criminals when he catches them in the act. Of course his bleeding heart superiors don’t agree with his tactics and Traxx quits to become a mercenary. After four years of taking care of business all over the world, Traxx is looking to settle down to become a cookie maker in his home town of Hadleyville, TX. On his return he finds a town where the criminal element is running amok. He gives himself the job of “town tamer” to clean up his beloved city and to get the money to help his fledgling cookie business.
- Local Town: Hadleyville, TX has become the per capita degenerate capital of the world while Traxx was gone. The town is only filled with strip clubs and brothels, which for some reason Traxx wants to get rid of. Well, the reason is not because the hard working women, but because of the no-goodniks that frequent these establishments. On his first night out of cleaning up the town, Traxx helps Deeter (Robocop 2’s mayor himself, the honorable Willard E. Pugh) during a dust up with some street toughs. While Deeter is no saint himself, he agrees to help Traxx after some not so gentle persuasion. Deeter, being a one-time part of the criminal element of Hadleyville, is able to show Traxx around town in Traxx’ kick-ass GMC truck.
- Local Government: Hadleyville’s power brokers include Mayor Alexandria Cray (Priscilla Barnes) and Police Chief Emmett Decker (John Hancock of Fortune Dane fame). Chief Decker is close to retirement and fed up with the crime in Hadleyville. He is all in favor of Traxx cleaning up the town and supports his actions in the media. Mayor Cray is the typical small town mayor who is more concerned with her public appearance and votes than the well-being of her town. That is until she gets a look at Traxx, with his ever present smile and perfectly quaffed do and succumbs to his machismo in the town library.
- Local Criminals: The criminal syndicate in Hadleyville is run by Aldo Palucci (Robert Davi.) (Timeout, this movie has Robert Davi and Priscilla Barnes, what am I writing about Licence to Kill? No, the top of the page says Traxx, but take a look at the Bullet Points for Licence to Kill and the other great reads on Bulletproofaction.com.) Palucci has a large criminal network filled with yes men, but the toadiest of the toadies is Tibbs (Raymond O’Connor.) Tibbs is charged with bringing the maniacal Guzik Brothers to town in order to take down Traxx. This leads to an epic final battle for Hadleyville between the Guziks and Traxx.
- QuoteTraxx: Traxx has some quotes and one-lines that would make Arnold proud. There are few that stick out and probably require some context to fully appreciate, but use it as extra motivation to watch this Shadoe Stevens’ classic. “Garbage you dump, trash you kill.” “You got three choices, be good, be gone, or be dead.” “Flap your arms and suck some sky.”
- ActionTraxx: Traxx features some of the most hard core action scenes ever filmed. When was the last time you saw a criminal hold a loaded gun to a five year old boy’s head and ask the star “Do you want him to live to see the age of six?” The last time I saw that was in Traxx. Besides the violence against children, there are attacks on the blind, bicyclists and barbers, among others, that boarder on barbarianism.
- CameoTraxx: One of the greatest surprise, but relevant, cameos of all time happens in Traxx. Throughout the movie Traxx is trying to start his cookie business, and none-other than cookie impresario Willy Amos, founder of Famous Amos cookies, appears at the end of the film.
- SoundTraxx: The one downside about Traxx is that for a movie called Traxx starring a famous disc jockey, the soundtrack is severely lacking. The lowlight is the Guzik Brothers singing the Cuban song “Guantanamera”. (The Sandpipers undoubtedly rolled over in their grave when they heard this butchering.)