Thursday, October 06, 2005

Alternative Heroes - Al Leong

Here's an experiment. Ask everyone you know if they know who Al Leong is. Almost everyone won't. Then, tell them that he's the little, long-haired, balding Chinese henchman from late 80s action movies, and immediately they'll know who you're talking about.

Al Leong is a name that should be on the lips of everyone in the world. He is one of the most recognisable figures from the late 1980s, due to his appearance in some of the decades most iconic and popular action movies (Big Trouble in Little China, Lethal Weapon and Die Hard, amongst others).

He rubbed shoulders with the great and the good back in the days when being a henchman was a proper job, and got the chance to play some cool roles (being a cleaver-wielding triad in Big Trouble in Little China, torturing Mel Gibson with electro-shock sponges in Lethal Weapon, being a chocolate bar-loving foot soldier in Die Hard, and being Genghis Khan in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure).

He has a large cult following on the internet, and it is well deserved. His legacy is such that the presence of Al Leong is a good indication of a decent 80s action film. For that, as well as for being yay high, having a Fu Manchu mustache and being the definitive 80s henchman, Al Leong you are an Alternative Hero.


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