What does it mean to be an action hero? Is it not just saving the world via a great many well-choreographed fight scenes? Or is it enough that you’ve changed the course of history, silently, sneakily? What about if you’ve spent your time making sure kids don’t get typhoid? Does that count? And what if you’ve been an actual action hero - a stuntman? Because Pakistan has had each of these, each celebrated locally and, for some, internationally too. And no, they’re not all men. They are, however, exceedingly camp. Because you wouldn’t want them any other way.
A true action hero. And by "true action", I mean In Real Life. Like Evil Knieval, only third world and so probably facing more danger with every stunt. Sultan Golden was Pakistan’s premier stuntman, known for his elaborate and death defying stunts involving a variety of automobiles, motorbikes, fire and a curly mullet. A CURLY MULLET. In Pakistan. The man defied reason in every way.
Sultan Golden, dressed in a snazzy gold jumpsuit would ‘jump’ a golden Datsun (that’s right - a Datsun. Pakistan’s been big on Japanese cars for decades) over a string of a dozen parked cars. He’d ‘fly’ a motorbike through a ring of fire. He’d drive through three burning wooden walls. He’d speed through a sixty foot tunnel of flames. As if this wasn’t enough, in 1984, he broke world records by ‘jumping’ his motorbike over 22 cars. In 1990 he performed a reverse motorbike jump over 15 cars. It wasn’t enough to jump over cars and risk death facing the front - he had to do it backwards. All of this with only home-made ramps, a leather jumpsuit, and a helmet to protect his fantastic hair. I mean head.