A Movie A Day #201: L.A. Bounty (1989, directed by Worth Keeter)

Sybil Danning vs. Wings Hauser?  What could go wrong with that?

Cavanaugh (Wings Hauser) is an insane drug dealer who is also an artist.  When he is not coming up with elaborate ways to kill people, Cavanaugh can be found painting in his warehouse and talking to himself.  Cavanaugh spends a lot of time talking.  Ruger (Sybil Danning) is a former cop turned bounty hunter.  In the tradition of Clint Eastwood, Ruger rarely speaks.  Ruger has good reason to hate Cavanaugh.  When she was a cop, Cavanaugh killed her partner.  Now that Cavanaugh has kidnapped a local politician, Ruger is the obvious choice to track down Cavanaugh, get revenge for her partner, and save the next mayor of Los Angeles.

A typical low-budget late 80s action film, L.A. Bounty is distinguished by the contrast between the ferocious overacting of Wings Hauser and the underacting of Sybil Danning.  This was one of Danning’s final starring roles before she retired from the movies.  (She has recently returned, with cameos in two Rob Zombie productions.)  It is interesting to see Danning in the type of role that would typically go to either Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, or maybe even Chuck Norris.  According to the imdb trivia section for L.A. Bounty, Danning only has 31 lines in the entire movie, which is more than I can remember her saying.  Danning, however, is such a strong physical presence that she does not have to say anything to make her point or show how tough she is.  Hauser, on the other hand, never stops talking, moving, and laughing.  This is one of Hauser’s craziest performances, which is saying something.  From scene to scene, Hauser’s performance is so consistently bizarre that it keeps things entertaining.

L.A. Bounty may not be anything spectacular but fans of Danning and Hauser will not be disappointed.

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