Jump to content

In Search of the Last Action Heroes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Search of the
Last Action Heroes
Directed byOliver Harper
Written byOliver Harper
Timon Singh
CinematographyJim Kunz
Edited byOliver Harper
Michael Peristeris
Music byPeter Bruce
CreatorVC Studios
Distributed byGravitas Ventures
(United States)[1]
101 Films
(United Kingdom)[2]
Release dates
18 December 2019
(London premiere)[3]
21 January 2020
(home video)[1]
Running time
140 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

In Search of the Last Action Heroes is a 2019 documentary film written and directed by Oliver Harper, and co-written by Timon Singh.[4] The film revisits the action films of the 1980s and 1990s, often regarded as the genre's Golden Age, via interviews with filmmakers and actors who were active during that time, or are viewed as their successors.[5][6][7][8]


David J. Moore, author of the book The Good, the Tough, and the Deadly: Action Movies and Stars,[9] and Ian Nathan, Empire journalist and author of the book The Terminator Vault, also appear.[3]


Director Harper worked in various capacities for British cinema chain Cineworld.[3] Inspired by video retrospectives produced by gaming website Gametrailers, he started producing similar featurettes about classic action films, which he published on Blip[10] and his own website Oliver Harper's Retrospectives and Reviews. Robin Block, a music documentarian looking to branch out into popular film history,[11] came across Harper's series and offered to sponsor his work.[12] The relationship evolved into a feature-length project.[13] News of the documentary's production reached Timon Singh, an advertising creative and author of the book Born to Be Bad: Talking to the Greatest Villains in Action Cinema, who offered to collaborate on the venture and use the connections he had forged during the making of his book to arrange some of the film's interviews.[14] Film journalist David A. Weiner, who would go on to direct his own documentaries for Block, served as a producer on the feature.[4]


In Search of the Last Action Heroes premiered on 18 December 2019 at the Castle Cinema in London, United Kingdom.[3] The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc by American distributor Gravitas Ventures on 21 January 2020.[1]


Writing for Stuff, reviewer James Croot asserted that while "[p]erhaps not as in-depth, irreverent or stylish as Netflix’s The Movies That Made Us, or revelatory as the likes of Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films [...], In Search of the Last Action Heroes is still a thoroughly entertaining, inspiring watch."[15]


In Search of the Last Action Heroes launched a series of similar pop culture documentaries, which also includes In Search of Darkness, a trilogy about horror films, and In Search of Tomorrow, a science-fiction film retrospective. Those were directed by Weiner.[16]
Harper went on to direct Here Comes a New Challenger, which examines the craze surrounding the Street Fighter transmedia franchise.[17] He also edited The Last Kumite, a throwback feature reuniting many familiar faces of 1980s films|martial arts cinema, including this film's interviewees Cynthia Rothrock and Stan Bush.[18]


  1. ^ a b c "In Search of the Last Action Heroes Blu-ray". blu-ray.com. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  2. ^ @101filmsuk (3 November 2020). "Out now in the UK… In Search of the Last Action Heroes" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ a b c d Premiere Event of In Search of the Last Action Heroes Documentary (Video report). CreatorVC. 10 January 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "In Search of the Last Action Heroes: Full Cast & Crew". imdb.com. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  5. ^ "Tracking down cinema's action heroes". Film Stories. 7 March 2019. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  6. ^ Jones, Garrett K. (2 October 2020). "Filmaniacs: New documentary explores the history of action". Hanford Sentinel. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  7. ^ Croot, James (15 July 2021). "In Search of the Last Action Heroes: TVNZ doco celebrates era of Sly and Arnie". stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  8. ^ "Caffeinated" Clint (21 January 2020). "Disc Reviews : Twin Peaks, E-Street, Last Action Heroes". moviehole.net. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  9. ^ a b Friel, Eoin (27 November 2019). "In Search of the Last Action Heroes (2019) Review". The Action Elite. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  10. ^ Harper, Oliver (8 March 2013). "Sudden Death (1995) Retrospective/Review". Oliver Harper's Retrospectives and Reviews. Blip Networks. Retrieved 14 January 2023. blip.tv/oliverharper
  11. ^ "Shoot to Thrill". Retro Gamer. No. 223. Bath: Future. 5 August 2021. p. 8. ISSN 1742-3155.
  12. ^ Friel, Eoin (13 July 2018). "Oliver Harper Talks In Search of the Last Action Heroes". theactionelite.com. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  13. ^ "Interview with Oliver Harper". 80snostalgia.com. 3 July 2018. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  14. ^ Singh, Timon (2021). "The Man Who Tracked Down His Childhood Movie Villains". whynow.co.uk. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  15. ^ Croot, James (15 July 2021). "In Search of the Last Action Heroes: TVNZ doco celebrates era of Sly and Arnie". stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  16. ^ Banks, Nick (23 March 2022). "In Search of Tomorrow Director David A. Weiner". conskipper.com. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  17. ^ "Here Comes a New Challenger (2022 – Documentary)". avclub.com. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  18. ^ Harper, Oliver; David, Sean (18 April 2023). The Last Kumite – Interview with Sean David (Executive Producer) (video interview). Harper, Oliver. Retrieved 14 June 2023.

External links[edit]