Slingback Chaingun is probably still Hollywood’s most famous leading slab of acting muscle, despite rapidly approaching his 85th birthday, or as his publicist insists, nearing 45. Still with a full head of jet black hair, the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime crossed with a mountain gorilla. He is also – allegedly – well-endowed enough to make a stallion feel inadequate, Chaingun is rapidly approaching his 65th year in the movie industry.
Some say he is typecast as the misunderstood rebel on the side of truth and justice with a massive gun. Other critics, however, see this more as an in-depth study of the modern world. An examination of the crisis of masculinity that forces men to take on overwhelming odds armed only with a miscellany of high-powered weaponry.
Many feminist critics, though, dismiss Chaingun and his whole oeuvre as conforming to outdated stereotypes of masculinity. In particular the role of the male in society as warrior with the innate male understanding of which end of the gun the bullets come out of.
However, in the real world, away from academia, Chaingun remains a star in the only way that matters. His last twenty-seven films have all been massive box-office successes, especially the last 14 films in the phenomenon that is Shooty Kill-Death Mayhem (parts V-IXX).
Here Chaingun plays the rogue Green Beret Steve Massacre in his seemingly never-ending quest to take on every failed state, dictatorship, terrorist organisation and jungle location. All in a solo attempt to rescue brave American captives from torture, abuse, un-American involvements and certain death. Each in a multitude of cinematically-gruesome ways as the scriptwriters can imagine. All while the US government does all it can to disown, discredit and abandon Steve Massacre to his fate.
At least right up to the last act, where they discover he is winning. They then send a helicopter to take the captives back home to a hero’s welcome and a massive boost in the polls for the incumbent president. Meanwhile Massacre is left behind in the jungle to await the discovery of yet more innocent Americans in peril.
All of which goes to show why even at the great old age of 85… 45, Slingback Chaingun is still at the top of his game, and long may that continue.