10 Unsung Movie Heroes Of The Video Rental Era

8. Dolph Lundgren

The Punisher
New World Pictures

The role of Rocky Balboa’s towering Soviet opponent, Ivan Drago, in 1985 put Dolph Lundgren on the map. Rocky IV was only the Swedish actor’s second movie part and already he was known worldwide.

After seeing Rocky IV, studios were impressed with the aura of menace he carried and were quick to cast Lundgren in major parts. Just two years after playing Drago, he was front and centre playing He-Man in the live-action Masters of the Universe. Although Masters of the Universe was a box office disappointment, it was a hit on video.

Big Dolph would enjoy a few years of being a popular name among action fans. In 1988 he played the lead in cold war thriller Red Scorpion, in 1989 he portrayed the legendary marvel antihero Frank Castle in the Punisher, and a year later he was fighting an evil alien in Dark Angel. Posters of these movies could be seen on video shop walls for years after their release. With two more hits in the early 1990s, Showdown in Little Tokyo and Universal Soldier, ensuring his place on this list.

Despite the impressive list of credits, Lundgren never reached the heights of some of his peers. His legacy was acknowledged later, however, with his inclusion as part of The Expendables alongside many other action heroes.

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Cat Gentleman and bookworm. Huge fan of martial arts action movies, sci-fi and especially horror, from Bela Lugosi to the Walking Dead. Love heavy music, retro gaming and pro wrestling.