The definitive list of ridiculous action hero character names


17th August 2012

If you've seen The Expendables' IMDB page lately, you'll have seen the amazing character names in all their glory, but these are just the latest in the long, fine tradition of giving action stars the most ridiculous monikers possible. With that in mind, we present to you the cream of the crap: the most ludicrously macho characters ever named.

Sylvester Stallone knew exactly what he was doing when he named the motley crew of The Expendables: the likes of Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) and Toll Road (Randy Couture) weren't drawn randomly out of a hat. Sly was simply adhering to one of the unwritten rules of movie action: tough guys need to have tough names. They either have to sound ridiculously hard, or mysteriously exotic: that's you won't find many action heroes called Derek or Alan or Phil. Or Tarquin.

Using selected Expendables as a jumping off point, I decided to go through the archives to see which actor had the most incredible array of action hero names to his credit. It was no easy task, but it did make me feel manly: I'm thinking of changing my name to Punch 'Kick-Puncher' Kickerton.
Sylvester Stallone

With his Italian heritage, Sly can just about pull of semi-exotic surnames like Provolone and Balboa and Carboni, but is equally comfortable with traditional powernames like Jake and Joe and Joseph. Grrr. He began the tradition of matching one with the other: John Rambo was the result. It'd sound instantly ridiculous if it wasn't so perfect.

Barney 'The Boss' Ross (The Expendables 2, 2012)
Dean 'The Dean' Stevens (Shade, 2003)
Jake Malloy (D-Tox, 2002)
Joe Tanto (Driven, 2001)
Boss (The Good Life, 1997)
Kit Latura (Daylight, 1996)
Robert Rath (Assassins, 1995)
Judge Joseph Dredd (Judge Dredd, 1995)
Ray Quick (The Specialist, 1994)
John Spartan (Demolition Man, 1993)
Gabe Walker (Cliffhanger, 1993)
Angelo 'Snaps' Provolone (Oscar, 1991)
Lt Raymond Tango (Tango & Cash, 1989)
Lincoln Hawk (Over The Top, 1987)
Lieutenant Marion 'Cobra' Cobretti (Cobra, 1986)
John Rambo (First Blood, 1982)
Captain Robert Hatch (Escape To Victory, 1981)
Deke DaSilva (Nighthawks, 1981)
Cosmo Carboni (Paradise Alley, 1978)
Johnny Kovac (F.I.S.T., 1978)
Rocky Balboa (Rocky, 1976)
Elmore 'Rocky' Caddo (Police Story, 1975, TV)
Machine Gun Joe Viterbo (Death Race 2000, 1975)
Jerry Savage (No Place To Hide, 1970)
Stud (The Party At Kitty & Stud's, 1970)
Arnold Schwarzenegger

TRENCH. That sort of name says a lot about a man. Like... you wouldn't want to... be stuck in him? I guess not. Arnie has sported some highly ludicrous action hero titles in his time (I wonder if, in a parallel universe, Joe Santo and Sly's Joe Tanto ever hung out?), but he mastered the skill of having one name only early on in his career and never looked back.

Trench (The Expendables 2, 2012)
Gordy Brewer (Collateral Damage, 2002)
Jericho Cane (End Of Days, 1999)
Dr Victor Fries (Batman & Robin, 1997)
U.S. Marshal John 'The Eraser' Kruger (Eraser, 1996)
Harry Tasker (True Lies, 1994)
Jack Slater (Last Action Hero, 1993)
Capt. Ivan Danko (Red Heat, 1988)
Dutch (Predator, 1987)
Mark Kaminsky/Joseph P. Brenner (Raw Deal, 1986)
John Matrix (Commando, 1985)
Kalidor (Red Sonja, 1984)
Conan (Conan The Barbarian, 1982)
Handsome Stranger (Cactus Jack, 1979)
Muscleman (The San Pedro Beach Bums, 1977, TV)
Joe Santo (Stay Hungry, 1976)
Bruce Willis

Bruce is no muscleman like Sly or Arnie so has to make do with interesting-sounding names rather than ones that conjure images of men carrying tree trunks. Willis shows signs you'll see again and again in this list: having suitable character traits reflected in his name (see: Doug MASTERson, Butch COOLidge, James URBANski). Bonus points also for being Tom Hardy before Tom Hardy was Tom Hardy.

Church (The Expendables 2, 2012)
Dink Heimowitz (Lay The Favourite, 2012)
Mr Suave (The Black Mamba, 2011, short)
Frank Moses (RED, 2010)
Harrison Hill (Perfect Stranger, 2007)
Col. Doug Masterson (The Astronaut Farmer, 2006)
Mr Goodkat (Lucky Number Slevin, 2006)
Sonny Truelove (Alpha Dog, 2006)
Lieutenant AK Waters (Tears Of The Sun, 2003)
Jimmy 'The Tulip' Tudeski (The Whole Nine Yards, 2000)
Trey Kincaid (Apocalypse, 1998, videogame)
Major General William Deveraux (The Siege, 1998)
Harry Stamper (Armageddon, 1998)
Korben Dallas (The Fifth Element, 1997)
Muddy Grimes (Beavis & Butt-Head Do America, 1996)
Butch Coolidge (Pulp Fiction, 1994)
Det. Tom Hardy (Striking Distance, 1993)
Hudson Hawk (Hudson Hawk, 1991)
James Urbanski (Mortal Thoughts, 1991)
Tom Mix (Sunset, 1988)
Jason Statham

He's not had as long in the game, but Jason Statham has already racked up more amazing character names than most RADA-trained actors would do in a lifetime. Lee Christmas is an obvious pisstake (Jason Statham doesn't celebrate Christmas; it celebrates him), but Chev Chelios is an awesome bit of alliteration and Evan Funsch is just the most fun to say (it rhymes with punch!). Blame Guy Ritchie: with Bacon and Turkish, he started the convention of lumbering The Stath with silly names.

Lee Christmas (The Expendables 2, 2012)
Jensen Ames (Death Race, 2008)
Terry Leather (The Bank Job, 2008)
Farmer the farmer (In The Name Of The King, 2007)
Chev Chelios (Crank, 2006)
Handsome Rob (The Italian Job, 2003)
Monk (Mean Machine, 2001)
MVA Agent Evan Funsch (The One, 2001)
Sgt Jericho Butler (Ghosts Of Mars, 2001)
Turkish (Snatch, 2000)
Bacon (Lock Stock, 1988)
Jean-Claude Van Damme

The man known simply by his initials is Belgian by birth but beloved by all, hence our mass acceptance of any vaguely European character name Hollywood is willing to saddle him with. I simply can't let it pass with mention: Van Damme once played a character called Jacques Kristoff. Say it fast and it sounds like a masturbation instruction manual. Obviously JCVD took it really hard that his first ever credited movie role was that of 'Gay Karate Man' in 1984's Monaco Forever.

Jean Vilain (The Expendables 2, 2012)
Samson Gaul (Six Bullets, 2012)
Tiano (Dragon Eyes, 2012)
Vincent Brazil (Assasination Games, 2011)
Frenchy (The Eagle Path, 2010)
Jack Robideaux (The Shepherd, 2008)
Phillip Sauvage (The Hard Corps, 2006)
Ben Archer (Wake Of Death, 2004)
Jacques Kristoff (Derailed, 2002)
Rudy Cafmeyer / Charles Le Vaillaint (The Order, 2001)
Replicant / Edward Garrotte (Replicant, 2001)
Alain Moreau / Mikhail Suverov (Maximum Risk, 1996)
Darren McCord (Sudden Death, 1995)
Colonel William F. Guile (Street Fighter, 1994)
Chance Boudreaux (Hard Target, 1993)
Luc Deveraux (Universal Soldier, 1992)
Alex / Chad Wagner (Double Impact)
Gibson Rickenbacker (Cyborg, 1989)
Frank Dux (Bloodsport, 1988)
Ivan Kraschinsky the Russian (No Retreat, No Surrender, 1986)
Chuck Norris

He might be a prick in real life, but Chuck Norris plays men with names that reflect our more animal instincts. With names like Hunter, Booker (x2), Wilder and, er, Slaughter, he's primed to kick your ass no sooner than he's been introduced. "Hi there, I didn't catch your name.. Frank Shatter, was it? Uh, excuse me, your knee seems to be on my throat."

Booker (The Expendables 2, 2012)
John Shepherd (The Shepherd, 2005)
Joshua McCord (The President's Man, 2000, TV)
Jake Fallon (Logan's War: Bound By Honor, 1998, TV)
McKenna (Forest Warrior, 1996)
Jake Wilder (Top Dog, 1995)
Frank Shatter (Hellbound, 1994)
Capt. Ranger Cordell Walker (Walker, Texas Ranger, 1993, TV)
Matt Hunter (Invasion USA, 1985)
JJ 'Lone Wolf' McQuade (Lone Wolf McQuade, 1983)
Sean Kane (An Eye For An Eye, 1981)
John T. Booker (Black Tigers, 1978)
Chuck Slaughter (Karate Cop, 1974)
Colt (Way Of The Dragon, 1972)
Dolph Lundgren

Dishy Dolph has some unique traits to his character names: they're almost always referencing weapons or manners in which to hurt people. Gunner. Gatling. Gannon. Gunar. Decker. Major Frank Cross is majorly cross. Note also he's played Nikolai Cherenko AND Nikolai Rachenko: apparently there are only a few names to go around in Russia these days.

Gunner Jensen (The Expendables 2, 2012)
Max Gatling (Battle Of The Damned, 2012)
The German (The Package, 2012)
Dr. Sage Mennox (Small Apartments, 2012)
Edward Genn / Icarus (Icarus, 2010)
Mike Riggins (Direct Contact, 2009)
Ryder (Missionary Man, 2007)
Xander Ronson (Diamond Dogs, 2007)
Brixos (The Inquiry, 2006)
Nikolai Cherenko (The Mechanik, 2005)
Lance Rockford (The Defender, 2004)
Sgt. Frank Gannon (Direct Action, 2004)
Sam Decker (Detention, 2003)
Warchild (Bridge Of Dragons, 1999)
Major Frank Cross (The Peacekeeper, 1997)
Waxman (Silent Trigger, 1996)
Michael Dane (The Shooter, 1995)
Nick Gunar (Men Of War, 1994)
Wellman Anthony Santee (Joshua Tree, 1993)
Det. Jack Caine (Dark Angel, 1990)
Lt. Nikolai Rachenko (Red Scorpion, 1988)
Ivan Drago (Rocky IV, 1985)
Venz (A View To A Kill, 1985)
Steven Seagal

He couldn't be bothered to get off his couch to appear in The Expendables or its sequel, but Steven Seagal can still boast some of the most laughable character names ever uttered on film. Some are right on the money (Tom Steele, Samuel Axel, Travis Hunter) but others are woefully misjudged (Orin Boyd sounds like a scented candle; Gino Felino sounds like an ice cream/convicted paedophile). In case you're wondering, Cock Puncher is from a spoof movie, in which he plays a character that punches people in the cock. It sounds obvious, but on this list, you never know.

Tom Steele (Maximum Conviction, 2012)
Elijah Kane (True Justice, 2010, TV)
Rogelio Torrez (Machete, 2010)
Samuel Axel (Born To Raise Hell, 2010)
Ruslan (Driven To Kill, 2009)
Tao (Against The Dark, 2009)
Cock Puncher (The Onion Movie, 2008)
Simon Ballister (Urban Justice, 2007)
Commander Marshall Lawson (Attack Force, 2006)
Jonathan Cold (The Foreigner: Black Dawn, 2005)
Harlan Banks (Today You Die, 2005)
Travis Hunter (Into The Sun, 2005)
William Lansing (Out Of Reach, 2004)
Professor Robert Burns (Out For A Kill, 2003)
Sasha Petrosevitch (Half Past Dead, 2002)
Frank Glass (Ticker, 2001)
Orin Boyd (Exit Wounds, 2001)
Lt. Colonel Austin Travis (Executive Decision, 1996)
Forrest Taft (On Deadly Ground, 1994)
Casey Ryback (Under Siege, 1992)
Detective Gino Felino (Out For Justice, 1991)
Mason Storm (Hard To Kill, 1990)
Carl Weathers

Now perhaps more famous for his commitments to the world of comedy (who here can honestly cook a stew without quoting him?), Carl Weathers has some stonking character names on his resume: you could try not hiring a guy like General Hugh McKraken, but oh look, shit, he already got the job and by the way you're fired. It's a simple life lesson: never fuck with a guy called Jericho or the dude with the nickname 'Hurricane'.

General Hugh McKraken (American Warships, 2012)
Chief Benjamin Benson (Phoo Action, 2008, TV)
Freddie Wiseman (The Comebacks, 2008)
Dr. Artimus Snodgrass (The Sasquatch Gang, 2006)
General Skyler (Alien Siege, 2005, TV)
Adam Beaudreaux (Street Justice, 1991)
Billy 'Hurricane' Smith (Hurricane Smith, 1992)
Colonel Carl Brewster (Tour Of Duty, 1989, TV)
Kyle Western (Dangerous Passion, 1990, TV)
Sgt. Jericho 'Action' Jackson (Action Jackson, 1988)
Cullen Monroe (The Defiant Ones, 1986, TV)
Lieutenant Harry Braker (Braker, 1985)
Sundog (Death Hunt, 1981)
Dreamer Tatum (Semi Tough, 1977)
Bateman Hooks (The Hostage Heart, 1977, TV)
Apollo Creed (Rocky, 1976)
Jack Hopper (Barnaby Jones, 1976, TV)
Yarbro (Friday Foster, 1975)
Hambone (Bucktown, 1975)
Bad Sam (Kung Fu, 1975, TV)
Wings Hauser

We have a winner, ladies and gentlemen. Wings Hauser, '80s action hardcase, has the most ridiculous collection of action hero character names ever committed to film. Each and every one of these guys' monogrammed mailboxes would rape yours senseless. Ramrod? Reddog? That's what MURDERERS call themselves. John Luger? Jack Saxon? Joe Joiner? Masters of the three-syllable assault. The icing on the cake, however, has to be Van Vandameer: a name that brings to mind DOUBLE Van Damme even better than Van Damme did in all those twin movies he made.

Clint Armstrong (Eyes, 2005, TV)
Not Hasselhoff (The Ruining, 2004)
Little G (The Blue Lizard, 2002)
JD Gold (JAG, 1996, TV)
Strom (Tales From The Hood, 1995)
Leland Duvall (Victim Of Desire, 1995)
Warden Pitt (Broken Bars, 1995)
Joe Joiner (Skins, 1994)
Huck Finney (Road To Revenge, 1993)
Lt. Col. 'Mac' Miller (China Beach, 1990)
Jack Saxon (The Killer's Edge, 1991)
Arklon (Beastmaster 2, 1991)
Jack Maxwell (In Between, 1991)
Van Vandameer (Pale Blood, 1990)
Victor Lundgren (Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind, 1990)
Alriss Ryder (Street Asylum, 1990)
Di Nardo (The Siege Of Firebase Gloria, 1989)
Carpenter (The Carpenter, 1988)
John Luger (Dead Man Walking, 1988)
Sam Striker (Hostage, 1987)
Capt. Alvin Luther Regency (Tough Guys Don't Dance, 1987)
Wilson Mahood (The Long Hot Summer, 1985, TV)
Jimmy Jo Walker (Hunter, 1984, TV)
Lieutenant Byrd (A Soldier's Story, 1984)
Stoney Cooper (Deadly Force, 1983)
Reddog (Homework, 1982)
Ramrod (Vice Squad, 1982)
By the way, it's perhaps no coincidence I'm thinking of names for my as-yet unborn child. I wonder how my wife will take it now that I've decided on Hambone 'Snaps' McKraken? What a beautiful little girl she'll be.

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