Yes, I know what you're saying: "Who?"
“The diet doctor?” you ask.
Tom Atkins, the hardest working man in show business. Tom Atkins, the man who was craggy and gruff when he came out of the womb. Tom Atkins, the man who invariably plays a cop, a soldier, or a doctor who might as well be a cop or a soldier. He even played Xena's father on "Xena: Warrior Princess", and all you could think of was 'Xena's dad was a cop?'
Tom Atkins, who was Lt. Cdr. Alex Diehl on "The Rockford Files" (aside: did you know that James Garner is SEVENTY-FIVE GODDAMN YEARS OLD?). Tom Atkins, who is so stereotyped as a policeman people probably surrender to him on the streets. Tom Atkins, whose roles include Det. McCleary, Sgt. Fred Hardy, Det. Grogan, Det. Leland, Sheriff Collier, Det. Ray Cameron, Sgt. Krebs, Lt. Bragdon, Lt. Tom Sullivan, Sgt. Harry Cole, Det. Frank Standish, Major Weems, and the unforgettable 'Policeman in Apartment.'
Sure, he has a propensity to star in movies with titles like "Striking Distance", "Sworn to Vengeance", "Dead Man Out", "Blind Justice", "Striking Back", and "Murder Me, Murder You". But not only does he exude cool, old-school film-noir toughness from his every rocky pore, but he also has appeared in movies that are really good (“Serpico” and the incredible, underrated “The Ninth Configuration”, in which Tom played a soldier and was the last time in history he didn’t have a mustache), or sort of good (“Lethal Weapon”, “Bob Roberts”), or, best of all, are better than they have any right to be. Here I refer to the movies that made me fall in love with Tom Atkins, and bow before his throne as the King of Movies That Don’t Suck Nearly as Much as They Should. He was the cop-like dad in “Creepshow”. He was the cop-like doctor in “Halloween III: Season of the Witch”. He was the cop-like cop in “Escape from New York”. And he was the cop-like maniac in “Maniac Cop”.
And, as if there weren’t reason enough to want to live the life of Atkins, he played uber-cynical, mega-tuff Det. Ray Cameron in the outstanding, rarely-seen 1980s teen-horror classic “Night of the Creeps”. Not only did he play a cop in this movie, not only did another actor play him as a teenager and he was STILL a cop, and not only did he have some spiffy dialogue and a great catchphrase (“thrill me”), but he had one of the best lines in the history of ‘80s cinema:
“I’ve got good news and bad news, girls. The good news is, your dates are here. The bad news is, they’re dead.”
Tom Atkins. Goddamn.