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A Brief Tribute to Richard Lynch

I don't know how I managed to miss this until just now, but Richard Lynch has shown up in a lot of my Hipster Holy Grail movies.

It's no surprise, to be honest.  If you check out his filmography, you'll see that he has over 160 acting credits and the vast majority of them are B movies from the '70s, '80s, and '90s - in other words, the exact type of movie I'm looking for most of the time.  I think the real shock is that I didn't take notice of him until recently when I re-watched The Barbarians.

Sadly, Lynch died in 2012, so we've been deprived of any future performances.  It's a shame.  He's a guy I would've signed an Internet petition for to get into new productions.  I'm lucky in some ways because I still have at least 156 more performances of his I can track down; even so, I wish I'd known more about him when he was alive.

So I figured today I'd write a quick tribute post and point out some of the things I like about him.

Lynch seems to have almost exclusively played as villains - and damn was he good at it.  From what I've seen, he always went for a coldly menacing approach.  He's got a great "Do I need to remind you?" scowl that carries all the same weight and terror of a hundred hammy death roars.  Lynch is my favorite kind of villain actor - the kind that can carry some semblance of dignity while implying a history of brutality.

Dignity is a key word.  Consider The Barbarians again, which is a fantasy comedy starring the Barbarian Brothers and produced by Cannon Films - in other words, it's goofball nonsense with a hefty doze of sleaze.  Virtually nobody comes through the other side of it without getting a touch of humility.  But Lynch?  Despite having stupid hair and an equally dumb costume, he acquits himself well.  He makes it work and you kind of wonder if they had to blow their budget to get him involved.

Lynch appears to have been one of those actors who, like a British Michael, never considered anything beneath him.  He gave 100% of himself to his performances regardless of how offensive the role was - like when he played yellow-face as a guy named "Tanabe" in Maximum Force - or how incredibly no-budget the movie was - like when he showed up in Reflex Action, of all things.

I'm a huge fan of the humble working class type of actor, the kind that sees what they do as a career and a privilege rather than getting snotty about the artistry of it all.  Art is all well and good, but at the end of the day, you're getting paid to play dress-up in a movie.  If you're unable to see just how cool that is, then I don't want you in my B movie.

And that's why I'm eager to see more of Mr. Lynch.  Looks like I've got a nice back catalog to work through.

Thanks for all you did, Richard.  Hope they're treating you well up there.