Celebrating B Movies, Cult Films, and Indie Classics.

Nighthawks (1981)

by  |  August 4th, 2011  |  Action/Adventure

For me, the 1970s – 1990s were a real interesting time for movies.  There was something real unique about the types of films that were produced during this time period.  I mean the 70s was obviously a great period for comedy’s with the creation of Saturday Night Live in 1975 (and the brilliant legion of funny men and women that would be produced thanks to this show.)  John Landis (Trading Places) would go on to direct a movie called, National Lampoon’s Animal House in 1978, with some great up and coming talent such as John Belushi (The Blues Brothers), Stephen Furst (National Lampoon’s Class Reunion) and heck even a young Kevin Bacon (Friday The 13th) as well!

With that said, another great decade was the 80s, which in my opinion saw a major surge in interest in horror movies, with the creation of such prolific and long lasting franchises as, Friday The 13th (1980), The Return Of The Living Dead (1985), Hellraiser (1987), along with so many others…

With that said there was another side of the 1980s that I also think was very huge,  that being the Action movies… The 80s saw the beginning of today’s veteran action movie stars… Such people as Arnold Schwarzenegger (Red Sonja), Mel Gibson (Forever Young), Bruce Willis (Hudson Hawk)….

And the star of this movie, Sylvester Stallone (the Rocky series), along with so many others!

Written by: David Shaber (Flight Of The Intruder), Directed by: Bruce Malmuth (Hard To Kill) and Gary Nelson (The Blackhole).  Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back), Lindsay Wagner (The Bionic Woman), and Rutger Hauer (The Blood Of Heroes).

This movie tells the story of Wulfgar (Hauer), a terrorist of the worst variety (He is one for hire!) With that said,  Wulfgar is violent, sadistic, and nearing the end of his career…

Rutger Hauer as Wulfgar.

What I mean by this is that while Mr. Wulfgar is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to blowing places up… (I mean he manages to blow up a large store with out even breaking a sweat!) With that said though, the one problem that Mr. Wulfgar does seem to have is that he is rather impulsive, and ends up killing a carrier who brings him some bad news about the bombing of the British store, and how his employers were not to happy with that!

Now the problem with that is that the carrier was also carrying his new papers (forged passports and the like) which gives the authorities the opportunity to know what Mr. Wulfgar looks like!

At this point Wulfgar has become a pariah in Terrorist circles, and so he decides that after a quick run to the plastic surgeon (at which point Rutger Hauer really does come in!) Mr. Wulfgar decides to make his way out to New York, to prove that he still has what it takes!

With that said, Peter Hartman (Played by: Nigel Davenport) A counterterrorism expert from Interpol, arranges to set up a join task force with the New York Police Force, which includes in this mix, Deke DaSilva (Stallone) and Matthew Fox (Williams).

Deke DaSilva (Stallone) and Matthew Fox (Williams)

Now DaSilva and Fox are two tough street wise (ex-military) cops who work a unit that goes undercover to catch petty crooks! With that said, after a very fun bust the night before, both Fox and DaSilva (who are out on another bust at this time) get called back to the station by their Lieutenant (Played by: Joe Spinell).

You see they find out that they have been re-assigned to this special task force that is being headed by Peter Hartman…

Now when the two officers report in for their training in counter terrorism, neither one of them end up liking the training that they are getting from Mr. Hartman (to the point where it looks like DaSilva is getting ready to turn in his badge!)

Despite this, after the first bombing, DaSilva and Fox decide that it is time to go after Wulfgar, and put the knowledge that they have learned on the streets and in the class room to find Mr. Wulfgar, before he can destroy yet another building!  And for the case of DaSilva anyway, he is going to have to push himself further then he has ever had to!

DaSilva and Fox as they are trying to corner Wulfgar in the subway.

With that said, what I like about this movie and what I truly do believe makes this a truly awesome b movie is a couple of things:

1. The setting for this movie was interesting in regards to the changing of the guard from the Disco 70s to the Techno 8os.

2. Obviously the cast and crew of this movies were fantastic, I mean everyone from directors Bruce Malmuth and Gary Nelson to Rutger Hauer as Wulfgar!

3. It turns out that this movie was Rutger Hauer’s first American film!

4. It also turns out that this movie was originally supposed to be the second sequel to the French Connection movies.  But with Gene Hackman having shown reluctance to reprise his role from the first 2 French Connection movies, the studio decided to scrap the project and the movie was re-tooled in to Nighthawks!

With that said folks, if you are looking for a truly fun, classic action movie, then I highly recommend checking this one out… It is great!


Nathan Strack


Nathan Strack is a Writer/Director/Filmmaker & Owner/Founder of: Hell In Space, Strack Web Design Service & Strack Store.

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