That clumsy oaf Michael Ironside has gained one heck of an unusual Hollywood habit. The now 64-year old actor has become quite synonymous with losing a limb or two in a frighteningly high percentage of horror and sci-fi roles he's had during his career. He returns this month for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment release of new Cold War sci-fi action thriller 'Ice Soldiers'. It lands on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital here in the UK from 5 May and to celebrate we thought we'd take some time out to reminisce about just some of the highlighted on-screen accidents that Mr Ironside has been unfortunate enough to be involved in during his 35 year career.
Total Recall (1990) as 'Richter'
During some fisticuffs with the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger it's down to bad-guy Richter to stop the memory blocked Quaid from reaching the alien atmosphere reactor. Unfortunately for the walking personal accident claim he finds himself clinging to the side of a rising elevator and being strategically held in place by Arnie. He eventually falls to his death not before losing both arms in the futuristic mêlée.
Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) as 'General Katana'
Following some sword on sword action in the Russell Mulcahy helmed follow-up to classic 80's fantasy adventure flick 'Highlander' our very own Mr Ironside manages to quite literally lose his head. In the rather pointless sequel 'Highlander II: The Quickening' it comes down to French star Christopher Lambert, playing Connor MacLeod, who manages to beat down Ironside's weapon wielding character Katana onto his knees before unforgivingly lopping off the chaps noggin.
Starship Troopers (1997) as 'Lt. Jean Rasczak'
Forced to leave the field of battle and teach high school students the woes of the Arachnid enemy it's the role of the Lt. Jean Rasczak in Paul Verhoeven's 1997 sci-fi action outing 'Starship Troopers' that gives us another glimpse at Ironside's bad-ass side. After tackling a Warrior Bug the lieutenant managed to lose an arm and was sent back to Earth to teach. But the semi-armless Roughneck Rasczak was far from done with those pesky bugs when he re-enlists into the Mobile Infantry and goes back to war against the bastard bugs along with a shiny new prosthetic. And with a turn of cruel irony during the battle against the Arachnid force fell into a sand hole and instantly lost both his legs, and then sadly his life.
The Machinist (2004) as 'Miller'
Man does this dude have difficulties clinging onto four entire limbs through some of these movies. Once again Ironside becomes the go-to guy for more arm-related irregularities in Brad Anderson's excellent mystery thriller 'The Machinist'. Even though lead star Christian Bale would win the award here for most body fat lost it's once more Mikey that manages to lose one of his arms yet again. Definitely someone who should not be operating heavy machinery! During one of his habitual sleepless moments Bale's Trevor Reznik manages to lose sight of his priorities on the job leading to the severing of co-worker Miller's arm.
Guy X (2005) as 'Guy X'
Whether it's pure coincidence or written in as a sly nod towards his previous performances black comedy 'Guy X' marks the third film in our list where the actor just happens to be missing his left arm. Michael plays the title role as a wounded bedridden Vietnam Veteran who is discovered at a secret hospital ward beneath the U.S. Army Medical Corps based in the Arctic by none other that Jason Biggs! As well as his left arm Ironside also finds himself without his left leg and to top it off comes complete with a metal plate in his head.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release ‘Ice Soldier’s on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital on 5 May.