Bullet Points: One Man Force
John Matuszak was a two-time Super Bowl champion for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, but he might be more famous for his off field work. Whether it was his notorious partying and drug use (which eventually led to his early death), his famous role as Sloth in The Goonies, or his overexposed Playgirl pictorial, Tooz excelled and went all out in every facet of his life. However, Matuszak rarely got the chance to be the star, whether on a team filled with big personalities like the Raiders or in his many TV and film roles. When he finally got his chance to lead a movie in 1989’s One Man Force he hit a home run. Sadly, he passed away the same year that the film came out and was unable to get another chance.
- Pre-Game: One of the most famous clichés in all of sport is there is no I in team. Matuszak can be great all by himself, but he will not make a winning movie. Especially since Matuszak was a rookie in the leading man role, it helped to have established action movie actors to round out the team. Listen to this action all-star starting lineup: Ronny Cox, Charles Napier, Sam J. Jones, Robert Tessier, and last but not least Richard Lynch. These veteran presences make One Man Force a real slam dunk.
- 1st Quarter: Jake Swan (Matuszak) is a fun-loving, dedicated cop that has a great relationship with his partner Pete (Jones,) Pete’s wife Shirley (Sharon Farrell) and Pete and Shirley’s son Ronnie (Chance Boyer.) When Jake gets word of a drug deal going down he wants to go in and sack the bad guys, but Lt. McCoy (Cox,) his boss, puts that idea in the penalty box without enough evidence for a search warrant. Jake and Pete go in to the warehouse on their own, only to find it was a setup. Pete is shot and killed, Jake is suspended for not following procedures and we have the tip-off of an excellent revenge story. Jake takes responsibility to care for Shirley and takes Ronnie under his wing, teaching him self-defense that may or may not come in handy in a secondary plot point.
- 2nd Quarter: Jake is motivated to get to the bottom of Pete’s death, and I have a feeling that the drug dealers who killed Pete might be involved in a bigger racket that Jake may also discover. McCoy tries to keep the reins on Jake, providing some information, but also trying very hard to steer him away. There are two cops that don’t seem totally above board, Dante (Napier) and Wilson (Tessier) who also try to keep tabs on Jake, but are they really working for someone else? Jake searches for clues at some sort of fetish/S&M club that has men in cages and on chain leashes. (Ask BPA site proprietors CTB and Chad Cruise for more information on those types of clubs.) Dante and Wilson try to stop Jake from continuing his search with a little physical persuasion, but they are no match for Jake. A big melee erupts at the bar and Jake ends up swinging the guy on the chain, calling him a swinging gay pom-pom. I think his hate speech should be body checked into the boards, but in 1989 that was funny.
- Half-Time: When I think of half-time, I think of a full time job for cheerleaders and marching bands. I know what you think of, but we are going to discuss the ladies and music of One Man Force because I am writing this Bullet Points. Rock and Roll Star Leah Jennings (played by real life music star Stacey Q) is kidnapped and Jake is hired to find her by her manager. The lovely Leah Jennings (and Stacey Q) was made for this halftime performance. She is attractive, her real life music is in the soundtrack, and her appearance is completely unnecessary to the outcome. There is a tie in to the rest of the movie but it didn’t add anything of substance, and I don’t want to spoil it, but I kind of do, so I will say that Leah Jennings ends up like Stacey Q’s current music career. You are now probably thinking that this half-time is getting just as long as half-time of a real game. Well, millionaire athletes need a break during a game and yours truly is not a machine. Just like your gridiron heroes, I use the break to rest up for the second half and to take a dump. The shifty running backs get sturdy tape jobs during half-time. Unlike the pros, I can continue to get some work down while on the commode. God bless wirelessly streaming movies and laptops. Uh-oh, it looks like someone is poking out of the tunnel. We are close to flushing away half-time, on to the second half!
- 3rd Quarter: Jake uses every play in the playbook to get to the bottom of Pete’s murder. He skates through the defense and finds Trinity Investments might be involved. The head of Trinity Investments is the highly regarded J. Raleigh Adams. Could he be involved in any corruption and illegal activities, perchance with Pepe (Know Your Role’s Gary Carlos Cervantes)? You will have to watch to find out, but I will let you know that Adams is played by the one and only Richard Lynch. I know you know all about action movies, so you are familiar with the roles of Richard Lynch. Of course this could be the old hidden ball trick and Adams might not have anything to do with Pete’s murder. Why would I spend an entire quarter writing about him if he was not involved? I am serious, I don’t remember. You are definitely going to have to watch One Man Force and let me know because I am not sure if Adams is involved.
- 4th Quarter: Jake eventually has his man, whoever that may be, and goes after him with all the force of one man. The final one-on-one ends up being more than just a one-on-one with a twist reminiscent of Number One With A Bullet. Jake does get some help from Sparky, a wheelchair bound technical wizard, played by John Cruze. Never heard of him? One Man Force was his one and only role. At the explosive finale, Shirley and Ronnie show up giving Jake even more to fight for as he spikes his competition, hits a hole in one, serves an ace, bowls a strike, bowls a wicked googly and provides some sweet chin music.
Overtime Bullet Points
- Très Valliant: One Man Force was written, produced and directed by Dale Trevillion, a noble but normally foolhardy proposition. I have to give kudos to Monsieur Trevillion for pulling off an action classic and not a slapdash production. Huzzah!
- All in the Family: Trevillion was married to Sharon Farrell aka Shirley. Who is Sharon Farrell’s real life son from another marriage? None other than her movie son Ronnie aka Chance Boyer. It really shows their connection when the scenes the two share have as much chemistry as that scene with the brick wall and piece of wood. Jocasta!
- You Wanted the Best: You got the best, because George ‘Buck’ Flower plays a drunk at the bar owned by Shirley. Buck Flower has excelled in this role playing such characters as drifter, wino, homeless man, drunken man, hobo, tramp, rich tramp, bum, vagrant, beggar, and drunk gambler. Is that a Know Your Role I smell? No that is just the stench of stale beer and vomit. Eew!