When I was in eighth grade a new kid moved in and was quickly assimilated into our wandering band of geeks. The new guy came to Louisiana from New Jersey. He brought The Destroyer with him.
I was intrigued by the covers of his paperbacks showing cars, guns, women, ninjas and guys doing martial arts. None of those were things eighth grade me was doing.
I wanted to check out the books, or, at least, books like them. So the next time we were at the department store I made my way to the long aisle containing the paperbacks. They were all there: best sellers, romance, and, down at the end, the "men's fiction."
It was there that I met Mack Bolan.
"The Executioner" became my companion. I think I must have carried around one of those paperbacks with me for the next 3 or 4 years. In that time I learned a lot about guns, the Mob and international terrorism.
What does any of this have to do with The Expendables?
It was these books that paved the way for my entry into that sub-genre of movies known as the 80s action-adventure movie. Mack Bolan got me to John McClane. He got me to Red Heat, Commando, Cobra, Lethal Weapon, Predator and Wanted: Dead or Alive.
And, as I was watching The Expendables, I couldn't help but think of Phoenix Force.