From Tarantino Till Rodriguez

FDTD 01

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996): Breakdown by Rantbo

Criminals rob, kill, rape, kidnap and escape to a Mexican strip-club, where—SURPRISE! There’s Vampires.

[THE EXECUTION]

FDTD 02

“OK vampire killers, lets kill some fuckin’ vampires!”

In the mid-nineties, it was harder to get more cool than a Tarantino or Rodriguez joint, so when the two backlot rebels decided to join forces on a full length feature, it was an event not to be missed. Especially when the flick in question is a exploitative 70s horror homage film about two bank robbing brothers that kidnap Harvey Keitel and his family to skirt across the U.S.-Mexico border for a rendezvous at a bar called the Titty Twister. Which, happens to be occupied by a coven of bloodthirsty Mexican strippers.

FDTD 03

A documentary was made covering the making of the film titled FULL TILT BOOGIE and it’s not just a clever name. FDTD takes not just one fan favorite genre and cranks the level of aggressive excitement, it does a switch-up half-way through and pounds out a separate one in a hyperactive booze and blood ridden breakdown of everything that seemed lucid and sane not ten minutes prior.

Though the switch is clever, unexpected and fun, I still can’t help but deep down despise it as I would have been more than happy to simply see how the story of these two rag-tag families played out had the supernatural satanic cocksuckers decided not to feast this particular night. Which shouldn’t be seen so much as a complaint, but rather a compliment to how compelling the root story is, which was a simple, yet stylish tale of two outlaws on the run.

The twist isn’t all disappointing, however, as two more legendary B-Movie icons join in the fray and add an ample shot of badass to the surviving wild bunch. Fred ‘The Hammer’ Williamson plays a disgruntled Vietnam vet named Frost, and make-up effects guru Tom Savini plays a cheeky biker named Sex Machine.

FDTD 04

So, as much as I love the first half of the film, the trade off into the twilight zone isn’t anything I can scoff at too loudly. The only real complaint I have is that the movie seemed to try a little too hard to be cool and as such just felt abrasive and rushed. In two area’s specifically. One,  though much of the dialogue is as hip, retro and cool as the Fonz, some of the lines just fall flat into the groan-zone. Example:

Santanico: “Welcome to slavery.” Seth: “No thanks, I already had a wife. [BANG!]” Groan.

Vampire Chet: “You know what everybody says about me, eh? I suck!” Crickets.

And two, some of the monster effect gags seemed too over-the-top, ill-explained and unnecessary. Example: When Vampire Sex Machine gets his head ripped off (spoiler), his neck grows a giant mutant rat head and his body changes accordingly. Fuckin’ why? Sure, this sounds pretty cool when you read it, but when watching, even within the context of this wacky story, it seems really What-The-Fuck?ish.

When broken down, I’d give the first half of the movie a 10 outta 10. It’s fresh, witty, violently stylish and cool as a pair of aviator sunglasses. And I’d give the second half a 6 outta 10. Great cast, awesome effects, bitchin’ music, sexy hoes, Danny Trejo—but I can’t get over how forced the product felt from the imposed need to constantly one-up itself with needless and overbearing camp zaniness. The fact that vampires exist in this world was enough, I didn’t need the giant rat, gas-powered stake-drill, or the makeshift musical instruments made out of human corpses. So all-in-all, the flick falls somewhere in-between the aforementioned scores.  Not amazing as it could have been, but still really fucking entertaining.

[HOW BAD-ASS ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?]

George Clooney & Quentin Tarantino are The Gecko Brothers

FDTD 05

A Couple Of Real Mean Motor-Scooters

Seth Gecko:
Before Clooney became the pussy-moistening Oscar winning heart-throb, he was known to men as that BAMF from FDTD.

“I am a professional fucking thief, I don’t kill people that I don’t have to. AND I don’t fucking rape women!”

In short, he may be a bastard, but he’s not a fucking bastard. Sporting a classic black blazer and a sleeve of stylish black ink, Seth became the go-to model for mid-90s badass, inspiring many a copied tattoo and catch phrase. With one foot always over the razor’s edge of acceptable social interaction, Seth manages to retain just enough self control and rationality to make you root for him when the trucker blood hit’s the fan. Hardcore and aggressively violent to say the least, he’s the driving force behind this fucker, keeping a steady stream of badass vibes reverberating out of the screen and into the front seat of your pants.

And the fact that he never got his own spin-off movie is a criminal act far greater than any committed within the character’s prime.

Richard Gecko:
Every bit as criminally insane as his big-bro, plus the added character defining traits of child-like stupidity and psychotic delusions, Richie the Rapist was a little harder to get behind. Though, and I’m not sure quite what it is, there’s something about Tarantino portraying a creepy loud mouth outcast, obsessed with feet and violence that just feels right. And even though Richie is the bane of his easy to like brother, a whiner and compete fucking psycho—I can’t help but like him. There is a moment in the film when, shortly after grabbing a table at the Titty Twister, Richie leans over to the teenage boy they have taken hostage and tells him anytime he wants a lap dance, to just let him know.

Richie is like that Uncle that doesn’t get invited to the family get-togethers, because even though he’s entertaining and polite, there’s that off-chance you’ll find him playing shirtless show and tell in the basement with the children. And who can afford a child psychiatrist these days?

[THE BODY COUNT: 75]

FDTD 06

Between the bikers, vampires and main characters, I’d estimate around 75. Which is a pretty high number, and made even more impressive when considering the plethora of novelty deaths. People are shot, stabbed and decapitated. And vampires are shot, stabbed, decapitated, cross bowed, liquefied, burned, impaled, jack hammered and one has his heart ripped out of his chest…

[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING & DEATH]

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Copyright: Miramax Films & Dimension Home Video

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

“So, what’s the story with you two—ya a couple of fags?”

Very little. The only thing I can really come up with is that for some reason Fred Williamson is more interested in stacking dominoes than looking at Salma Hayek’s perfectly formed ass.

FDTD 07

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

“All right, pussy, pussy, pussy! Come on in, pussy lovers. Here at da Titty Twister, we’re slashin’ pussy in half. Give us an offer on our best selection of pussy. This is a pussy blowout! All right, we got white pussy, black pussy, Spanish pussy, yellow pussy. We got hot pussy, cold pussy. We got wet pussy. We got smelly pussy. We got hairy pussy, bloody pussy. We got snappin’ pussy. We got silk pussy, velvet pussy, “Nalgahyde pussy. We even got horse pussy, dog pussy, chicken pussy. Come on, you want pussy. Come on in, pussy lovers. If we don’t got it, you don’t want it. Come on in, pussy lovers!”

FDTD 08

“Dinner is served.”

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

Seth Has His Shit Together

Chet Pussy, the Titty Twister barker, attempts to stop The Gecko’s and their captives from entering the bar, but before he can even finish his objection, Seth breaks Chet’s finger, drops him with three punches to the face (breaking his nose) and without losing a beat, ushers his entourage into the establishment. But—it gets better.

Pumped after watching his brother act like a fucking psycho, Richie turns around and kicks Chet 4 times in the ribs while he’s down.

FDTD 09

“Hi! [Kick] How ya doin’? [Kick] Enjoying it? [Kick] I hope so! [Kick]”

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

It doesn’t matter how crazy they are, psychos don’t explode when sunlight hits them.

[THE CHECKLIST: 12 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor” [The Hammer]
[  ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack*
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[  ] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[  ] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[  ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[  ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[  ] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[  ] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel
[From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money]
[  ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[  ] Vigilante Justice

*

FDTD 10

“Attention, pussy shoppers! Take advantage of our penny pussy sale. If you buy one piece of pussy at the regular price, you will get another piece of pussy of equal or lesser value for only a penny. Try and beat pussy for a penny.”

FDTD 11

For news on future Breakdowns and Killcounts, visit our updates page: The Meat Grinder

GUN: The Movie

E2000 01

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Equalizer 2000 [The Cut-To-Shit U.S. Version] (1986): Breakdown by Rantbo

The story of a gun, with a half-assed sub-plot about the asshole that fires it the most.

[THE EXECUTION]

“North Alaska—a hundred years after the nuclear winter. The dense nuclear waste that used to girdle the planet has been burned away by the blistering relentless sun. And what used to be a snow-bound earth, is nothing but a scorched and aired desert. The north slope is controlled by a military government, that calls itself the Ownership. The oil fields of Point Barrow, the source of its power—but a weather wind, is rising.”

E2000 02

The film opens with what ever the fuck that was supposed to mean and almost immediately afterward jumps to a spectacular casualty-free (well, almost) shootout sequence in the middle of the barren post-apocalyptic land of Alaska. Played by Eastern California. Wherever the true filming location, it’s a land free of grass, so you know mankind must have fucked mother nature in the crater, long and hard.

With no easily discernible narrative, I was left to assume that the main character of this art house classic, was this Chuck Norris-esque looking gay-wad named Slade. A lone badass caught between two warring factions of fascist Nazi douche-bags and Mountain Men dressed as Native Americans.

Best I can tell,  it’s up to Slade and a giant make-shift gun called the Equalizer 2000 to save a group of rebels lead by a female porn star and an aging drag-queen. For some reason there are also a fleet of soldiers dressed in spray-painted football gear, a tribe of rampaging Mexicans pretending to be Indians and Robert Patrick as an American Civil War vet… So, this movie has quite a bit going for it.

E2000 03

EQUALIZER 200 is essentially 75 minutes of people shooting machine guns into dirt and 1 minute of soft-core homoerotic porn. So, all-in-all, it’s not that bad. The title gun (I just realized that might be the only time I get to type that and have it be true) is truly a sight to behold, and lends itself well to long epic shots of the film’s hero hugging it to his bare chest, caressing it like a kitten and firing it as though it were an extension his dick.

What’s not to love about that? Also, the music and sound effects are surprisingly bad-fucking-ass, which is good as the whole movie involves nothing but shooting and driving around in cars, whilst shooting. I honestly believe the action score could give Contra a run-and-gun for it’s money. As for everything else— there isn’t. It’s just a bunch of sexually confused looking men shooting at one another and a big-chested bimbo strutting around for good measure. And I totally recommend it, I had a blast. Good luck finding a reasonably priced copy though, should you choose to pursue watching it.

[HOW BAD-ASS ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?]

E2000 04

Richard Norton is Slade the Sand Chopper (Because It Sounds Cool, That’s Why!)

I’m struggling right now to remember if this guy even talked in the movie… I seem to remember him shouting “Shit!” at one point, but I think it was just a declarative statement about Norton’s predicament of trying to emote. But that would be snobbish of me to use against him. Slade is shirtless, muscley, looks kick-ass shooting a gun, rocks a bitchin’ beard and “acts” by staring blankly into the middle-distance. And for this movie, it’s more than I could have asked for.

E2000 05

Chunk of Plastic is Equalizer 2000

“We’ve come up against a formidable piece of iron. It’s a recombinant automatic, sitting on top of a portable cannon. It—it’ll stop anything.”

Look at that monster! This fucker has 6 barrels, count ‘em. The bottom two fire, what I believe to be shotgun shells. The lower-middle one grenades. The upper-middle is a machine gun. And the top two fire ky jelly and baby oil. And it never runs out of ammunition. Ever. If Equalizer had had legs, this movie wouldn’t have needed Norton at all.

[THE BODY COUNT: 100+]

Don’t let the high numbers fool ya, only 5 of the deaths actually featured squibs. However, I did appreciate that there were at least 7 men engulfed in flame at separate moments, running around punching their own heads trying to put the fire out. That was pretty sweet.  Slade himself gets in a satisfying 28ish, while the rest are up in the air. It’s nearly impossible trying to tell the warring sides apart, and with the exception of a couple key characters, it doesn’t matter anyways. Bang-Bang-Bang-Bang-Boom-Boom, men fall down, repeat.

[MOST SATISFYING DEATH]

Hasta La Vista, Deke

E2000 06

Robert Patrick takes an impressive 20+ bullets to the torso, a la Equalizer and is left smoking in the dirt.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

Old Gay Guy: “We can’t hold, we’re gunna havta pull out!”
Slade: “Alright go! I’ll cover ya!”

Q. What’s gayer than a shirtless man?
A. A shirtless man in a leather vest.

Q. What’s gayer than a shirtless man in a leather vest?
A. Slather that same man in dudesweat and extra virgin olive oil and put him in a montage using power tools crafting a dildo attachment for his gun that he fondles like a little kid discovering his penis for the first time.

E2000 07

Then have him use it to eviscerate other gayly dressed men. Thus is EQUALIZER 2000.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

Well, Tits-McGee (Corinne Wahl) isn’t exactly suited for acting outside of bargain-barrel grab-bag porn, so the fact that they cast her in a role involving dialogue outside of “Stick it in my tight pussy!” and “OHhhh, FUCK Yeah!” is nothing short of a full motion back-hand to the entire female species.

And, of course,  she gets kidnapped. As does the gun. Three guesses as to which one takes precedence. [Hint: It’s not the girl] Later, after Slade inadvertently saves her from being raped by Robert Patrick, she asks him why he came back to save her. And Slade just stares at her, completely befuddled. It’s never said, but made perfectly clear, saving the wench was a happenstance, as Slade was simply out to rescue Equalizer. After about 20 seconds of looking dumbfounded, he just grabs her and sits her on his lap. Taking this as a cue, she forgets about the question and kisses him. Whew! That was close!

And, it gets better. During the final assault, Tits rushes to Slade’s aid and in a half a second (no joke) is shot and presumably dies, because she is NEVER seen nor spoken of again. And this is the second lead character! She just drops out of frame and poof! Thanks for playing!

E2000 08

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

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Copyright: Concorde Pictures (Equalizer 2000)/Warner Brothers Pictures (Demolition Man)

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

The more BadAss the poster, the more horrifically ‘B’ the movie.

E2000 09

[THE CHECKLIST: 15 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor” [Richard Norton]
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are*
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[  ] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[  ] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[  ] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[  ] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[  ] Torture Sequence(s)
[  ] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

*It’s in reference to the gun, but I’ll count it.

E2000 10

How could they have this chick in their shitty B Sci-Fi movie and NOT have her show her tits?

She was a Penthouse Pet of the Year, for Christ sakes!

Machine Gun Bronson

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Machine Gun Kelly (1958): Breakdown by Kain424

A bank robbing gangster tries his hand at kidnapping, but is slowly eaten alive by his own fears.

[THE EXECUTION]

This is apparently Charles Bronson’s first starring role, based upon the actual gangster of the same name.  Bronson plays the part well, giving a layered performance by showing fear, anger, and a cruel arrogance.  There are several scenes where Bronson seems to be doing his own thing while the actors around him are all seemingly going the motions.

The direction is all very quickly paced but with a scope that is surprising upon learning that the film was shot in only eight days.  There are two bank heist scenes, chases, and even a couple shoot-outs.  I think the film starts to drag a bit towards the end, but it’s really over before you know it.

While not among the better of the films of the era, or even among Bronson’s own filmography, Machine Gun Kelly does enough in a short amount of time to be entertaining and Bronson’s incarnation of Kelly is actually a very interesting approach.  The idea of a woman wielding a dangerous gangster like her own weapon is also pretty cool.

Still, this one is only for fans of gangster films and old Chuck’s earlier work.

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

Charles Bronson is George R. “Machine Gun” Kelly

Bronson plays the character as a man with a hard shell, but underneath he is a frightened child.  When he’s in control, Kelly is brutal, mean, and tough as nails.  He wipes out five guys like it was nothing, remains dead calm during a heist, and even cackles like a giddy little boy once it’s over.

But when he’s not in control, he’s visibly fearful, breaking out in “cold sweat” at the sight of a coffin and waking up from a nightmare shrieking aloud.  It’s certainly novel, but it’s iffy whether or not he’s really a bad-ass.

[THE BODY COUNT: 9 or 10]

Bronson is able to dispatch 7 or 8 people all on his own, killing most during a nighttime ambush with his trusty Tommygun.  Another two of Kelly’s cohorts die at the hands of the law, and one bank guard may or may not die due to his wounds at the hand of Machine Gun Kelly.

[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING]

After all her pushing, jibing and goading, Bronson finally decks out Susan Cabot’s character of “Flo”.  For man on woman violence, it’s strangely satisfying.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

In a bizarre twist, Charles Bronson doesn’t even take off his shirt in the movie.  So there’s nothing here.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

Machine Gun Kelly: “You tell you’re old lady to keep her wisecracks to herself or she’s gonna be wearin’ false ones!”

Other than a couple smart lines of dialog from Bronson and aside from the kidnap victim and her nurse, the women in this flick are all given quite a bit to do.  Susan Cabot’s character is actually the one running the show, having scenes where she basically cuckholds Bronson’s titular character and takes a slapping like it didn’t happen.  The movie goes so far as to show where she got it from too, with her mother being a strong female character as well.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

Bronson busts in on a gang of gambling thugs who had threatened him earlier and guns them all down.  Check it out:

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Copyright of Combia/Tri-Star.

“Afraid of gettin’ your hair mussed, Howard?”

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

Without their guns, these criminals are all cowards.  And behind every gangster, there’s an evil woman goading him on.

[THE CHECKLIST: 07 outta 25]

[  ] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[  ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[  ] Factory/Warehouse
[  ] Giant Explosion(s)
[  ] Heavy Artillery
[  ] Improvised Weapon(s)
[  ] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[  ] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[  ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[  ] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[  ] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[  ] Torture Sequence(s)
[  ] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[  ] Vigilante Justice

Well, will I look bad-ass if I grow a mustache?

Wish of Death

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Death Wish (1974): Breakdown by Rutledal

Charles Bronson’s family gets murdered, and he takes revenge on every criminal in New York.

[THE EXECUTION]

Death Wish is the third and best film that resulting from Charles Bronson and director Michael Winner’s (The Mechanic)  many collaborations in the 70’s and 80’s. Based on Brian Garfield’s novel by the same name, the movie treats its source material like Rambo treated the Burmese soldiers at the end of Rambo. Turning the tale of an average man forced to take the law into his own hands when the police fail to do so into a movie about Charles Bronson taking the law into his own hands. In other words, your usual Charles Bronson movie.

While it’s not the original “father gets wronged by gang and takes revenge” vigilante movie it certainly is the movie that made the (now beaten to death) movie formula popular. If it hadn’t been for Death Wish we might never have seen movies like Commando, The Punisher or Vigilante. It’s also the movie that gave Charles Bronson his international breakthrough, so without it we wouldn’t have had movies like Death Hunt or 10 to Midnight either.

The movie starts of with a nice trip to Bahamas, or some place that’s Bahamas-ish. Bronson and his wife are on a holiday having fun and junk, but fortunately it’s soon replaced with the crime filled, gritty and gray streets of New York City. It doesn’t take very long before Bronson’s wife and daughter get attacked by Jeff Goldblum and his band of merry rapists.

Shortly thereafter, Bronson receives the news and rushes to the hospital, only to learn that his wife has passed away. It just gets worse because we are soon introduced to his son-in-law, Jack. I fucking hate Jack. I hate him more than any other movie character. He’s a whiny, complaining schmuck who just whines and complains, and then whines some more.

“Whine, whine, whine.”

Moving on, Bronson takes an assignment that lets him leave New York and travel to Arizona to work. Paul Kersey, Bronson’s character, is an architect by the way. However he ends up spending just as much, if not more, time at the local gun club’s firing range, and when he leaves he brings a gun home with him. I’ll let you figure out where the movie goes from there.

Order has been restored to the universe.

When it comes to Bronson movies I place this second only to Once Upon a Time in the West, and for reference I place that one amongst the top 5 movies of all time. So Death Wish is a pretty damn good movie. It takes a little while to set up story, but the payoff afterward is more than worth it. It also sports an awesome and really stylish soundtrack that sets a perfect mood for the movie. While some of its sequels might be slightly more entertaining it’s superior to them in every other way, setting a good standard for a pretty damn cool series. (That is, if you ignore the fifth one. But that’s for another time.)

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

Charles Bronson is Paul Kersey

Paul Kersey is easily the most badass architect ever, not that that’s saying much, but he really is. It does however take him a heck of long time to become a badass. At first there is not really anything badass about him, except the obvious fact that he is Charles Bronson. In fact, he is even a conscientious objector. Instead of badass stuff he does the following:

– works
– mourns
– works some more
– asks the police if they’ve found the killers
– mourns
– visits his daughter at the loony bin
– works a little more
– listens to his son-in-law whine
– mourns
– and finally works some more

This is, of course, before he gets his hands on a gun and then all of a sudden he is turned into a badass vigilante. He’s a calm, frightening, vengeance machine that serves justice trough the barrel of his gun. Well, at the end it’s just Bronson being Bronson, but has Bronson ever played Bronson better?

[THE BODY COUNT: 11]

There is the initial vigilante movie trigger kill which is the death of Kersey’s wife. After that, Kersey does what he does best: Design houses. I mean, kill lowlifes and criminals. In all, Bronson kills 10 scumbags.

[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING]

Thug Tastes The Sock Of Bronson [not a typo]

After the attack on his wife and daughter, Bronson decides to get himself a little protection. Since he’s a conscientious objector he can’t get himself a gun so he takes out two rolls of quarters and fills a sock with them. The very same night a hoodlum tries to stick him up, only to get surprised by a quarter-filled sock in the face. He runs away empty handed and Bronson runs home to drink some Scotch. (I told you it wasn’t a typo.)

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

This movie is as straight as they come. The only time it comes even close to being gay is when you see Jeff Goldblum’s ass, but only because he takes his pants off to rape Bronson’s daughter (or rather, “paint her face”). In fact, it’s so straight that the asexual icon, Bronson himself, kisses a woman and tries to have sex with her at a beach. For the record it was his wife. No dice. No dice at all.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

In a vigilante movie having a vagina is like being on death row, no matter what you do you are going to die. Or just get severely raped. This movie manages to squeeze in both consequences. Bronson’s wife gets killed and his daughter into raped into catatonia [Editor’s Note: Literally].

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

Two scumbags are making their way trough a subway until they come to the cart where Bronson is seated. Slowly everyone else has left the cart and it’s only Bronson and the scumbags left. One of them walks over to Bronson and pulls a knife on him. Bronson shoots him trough the newspaper, stands up and guns down the other one before walking off the train. All the while cool as a cucumber.

Since the movie was scripted as a serious drama movie about a man pushed over the edge it’s not loaded with one-liners, but it’s fairly even between a line during the final shootout and the one I chose. The other one might sound better on paper, but since Bronson is barely able to speak when he utters the line during the shootout and subsequently falls down a pile of stairs due the exhaustion straight afterward, I picked this one.

Paul: What have we become? What do you call people who, when they’re faced with a condition or fear, do nothing about it, they just run and hide?
Jack: Civilized?
Paul: No.

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

The only good criminal is a dead criminal.

[THE CHECKLIST: 09 outta 25]

[  ] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[  ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[  ] Crotch Attack
[  ] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[X] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse*
[  ] Giant Explosion(s)
[  ] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)**
[  ] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[  ] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)***
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[  ] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[  ] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[  ] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[  ] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel [Death Wish II]
[  ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

* I’m not sure what you would call the location of the final shootout.
** It’s not on the spot improvised, but it’s homemade.
*** The whole movie reflects the crime rise that was taking place in America at the time because of economical…oh, fuck it, it’s not like you know what I’m talking about anyways.

This goes to eleven.

Lethal Franchise 1

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Lethal Weapon [Director’s Cut] (1987): Breakdown by Rantbo & Kain424

Two lawmen overcome their contrasting social lives by sharing their feelings and learning to love their odd-couple partnership. And Gary Busey holds his bare arm over a butane lighter for like 30 seconds just to prove how crazy badass he is.

[THE EXECUTION]

RANT: Two polar opposite cops; an older straight-laced black family man, Sgt. Roger Murtaugh (Glover) and a younger suicidal hard-ass white loner, Sgt. Martin Riggs (Gibson), are reluctantly made partners and must work together to solve a case filled with murder, kidnapping, terrorism, torture, extortion, drugs and mud-wrestling.

Named after a line of homoerotic dialogue in which Murtaugh discusses in awe the physical  prowess of Riggs:

“Your file also said you’re heavy into martial arts, tai chi and all that uh, killer stuff. I suppose we have to register you as a lethal weapon.”

LETHAL WEAPON is considered by many (including us) to be the pinnacle of the Buddy-Cop Sub-Genre of BadAss Cinema, and as such, we (Kain and Rant) have decided to tackle this breakdown in tandem. To prepare for this venture I have eaten nothing but dog biscuits for the last 24 hours and Kain chained himself up in our bathtub and had me administer shock treatment until he called me Endo. Not to mention, upon commencing, we plan on celebrating by watching the Looney Tunes Christmas Carol and then fighting to the death in our front lawn, soaked in fire hydrant water for an audience of members from the local PD.

KAIN: Are you through?
RANT: I haven’t even started. —But you go ahead.

KAIN: After the Sydney Poitier and Rod Stieger film In The Heat Of The Night, it took a surprisingly long time for Hollywood to start making buddy cop films.  The genre really started in films like Dirty Harry and 1972’s Hickey & Boggs, written by former I, Spy writer Walter Hill.  Hill would go on to further expand the genre in 1982 with 48 Hours.

But it would be new screenwriter Shane Black that would more fully realize the genre with Lethal Weapon.  Taking the black and white cop element from In The Heat Of The Night, combining comedy and irony from 1974’s Freebie And The Bean, and character elements from Dirty Harry, Black would create a film by which all others in the genre would be judged.

RANT: And he was only 22 at the time he sold the script for a record breaking sum.

LETHAL WEAPON is THE quintessential cop movie to watch and enjoy with your best bud (gay lover). It has everything: Explosions, shoot-outs, a car chase, broken glass, Gary Busey, drugs, titties, sarcastically witty dialogue, Mel Gibson’s bare ass, Al Leong, prostitution, Mel Gibson’s mullet, horny teenagers, Gary Busey and a car driven through a house into a Christmas tree. Brought to us through the combined talents of producer Joel Silver (COMMANDO),  director Richard Donner (THE GOONIES) and the green, yet golden screenwriter, Shane Black (THE MONSTER SQUAD), there was practically no-way that they could have fucked this up and made it anything less than the nearly perfect piece of BadAss Cinema it is.

KAIN: What’s interesting, as well as bad-ass, is the fact that though the characters are of different races and different classes and backgrounds, the subject is never breached in the film.  Compare that to films made almost twenty five years later and you’ll see just how far ahead of the curve Lethal Weapon was at the time.  And like Rant said, this is truly a great film to watch with a best bud.  Once my electric burns have been thoroughly cared for, I fully intend to do so.

[HOW BAD-ASS ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?]

Danny Glover is Sergeant Roger Murtaugh is Getting To Old For This Shit

RANT: Age before beauty.  Sounds like an 80s man to me.
Glover was given the unforgiving task of playing the straight man to a lovable psychopath. Instead of having relatable quirks such as power-drinking and soliciting prostitutes to watch The Three Stooges, he has to make the grumpy old family man likable by comparison. But, like the man himself says, “Fuck easy.” With a combination of his gritty veteran cop skills, quick cynical wit and childlike wonder at humorous situations, Roger Murtaugh holds his own.

-God hates him.
-Can bust mad rhymes.
-Has a hellova nice family.
-Gets shot, beaten, then tortured for questioning, and the only piece of info he lets leak: “Go Spit!”
-And a saxophone riff plays every time his mood changes.

Mel Gibson is Sergeant Martin Riggs is One Psycho Sonovabitch

KAIN: Riggs is the titular “lethal weapon”, written as Shane Black’s version of Dirty Harry. What Gibson managed to do was fill the role with equal amounts of mad intensity and warm humanity.  He, like Harry Callahan, lost his wife in a car wreck and now puts his all into his police work, accepting the deadliest jobs and pushing for an end to his mortality. Against Glover’s more relaxed and cool Murtaugh, Gibson’s Riggs is like a time bomb, ready to explode on the nearest foe.

-God hates him. But he hates God right back.
-Can bust a cap in someone 800 yards away.
-Has a cool dog in his beachside pad. [RANT: Pad, Shanty]
-Beats up Gary Busey and kills Al Leong.
-And a guitar riff plays every time his mood changes.

[THE BODY COUNT: 25]

KAIN: The final tally is 25, with Danny Glover offing 5 guys and Gibson killing 16.  They both pour their lead into one guy, and with the rest of the film’s deaths being largely also those caused by gunshot, it’s nice to see a little variety and the film makers have obliged us.  We also get deaths from falling, drowning, and broken necks.  The bad guys never had a chance.

It’s a violent film, and you’ll love every minute of it.

[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING & DEATH]

RANT: I think that we can both agree that Busey’s is the best.
KAIN: Definitely.  Having just beat and defeated Gary Busey’s Mr. Joshua, Mel Gibson is wrapped in a blanket with his buddy Danny Glover.  Suddenly, Busey springs up from getting handcuffed, pulls a gun from a nearby officer.  Unfortunately for him, Riggs and Murtaugh have developed a strong bond over the film, which gives them special danger senses.  The two draw their own guns and, in tandem, blast Mr. Joshua to Aryan hell.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

Riggs [to Roger]: “What are you, a fag?”
If that isn’t the pot calling the kettle queer…
Riggs: “I never forget an asshole.”
Riggs: “We’re gonna get bloody on this one Roger… …you’re gonna have to trust me.”

RANT: In an effort of full up-front disclosure, this film puts it’s bedazzled hot-pink playing cards on the table during the first hand, as Murtaugh is introduced in a bubble bath and Riggs with a bare-assed impromptu walk through his trailer.

Then the second day working together, Riggs shows up at Murtaugh’s home to wake him up from bed with a hot cop of coffee so they can get an early start to a busy day of comparing each other’s gun sizes and accuracy rates down at the precinct shooting gallery. Not surprisingly, Murtaugh’s is bigger and thicker, but Riggs’s has a larger capacity with more precise aim.

KAIN: That’s because it’s not about the size of your gun (I’m talking to you two, Callahan and McQ), it’s how you use it.  Of course, this doesn’t stop Riggs from taking Murtaugh’s advice to “Put it in yo mouth!”

While at times it does seem to delve into an almost father-son sort of relationship, by the time these guys are bonding on a boat or shirtless and hugging at the end, we’ve seen that it goes much deeper than that.  Like Rant mentioned earlier, Riggs wakes “Rog” up early one morning with a cup of coffee in bed.  My girlfriend doesn’t even do that for me.

The film culminates with Mel Gibson and Gary Busey shirtless and mud wrestling, while Danny Glover lustfully looks on, getting really into it and shouting things like “Come on!  Let me take him!”  I would say this movie is gayer than two guys yelling over who gets to mud wrestle another guy, but that’s precisely what this film is.  Gibson’s torture fetish is showing early on in this film as well, with Al Leong’s Endo zapping a shirtless Riggs all over the chest area while water drips on him. This film’s got something for everyone.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

RANT: The film opens, OPENS with a half-naked chick, whacked out of her mind on poisoned smack, jumping to her death out of a 15 story hotel room.

Classy.

KAIN: Outside of Murtaugh’s wife, I don’t think there’s a positive portrayal of a woman to be found in Lethal Weapon.  After the opening scene of female mutilation, Murtaugh makes crude comments to a hooker, [RANT: Murtaugh: [To A Hooker] “All dressed up and no one to blow.”] who later gets blown up in the film’s biggest explosion.  Murtuagh’s own daughter is kidnapped and when she gets a chance to escape is foiled by her own incompetent driving.

Mary Trainor shows up long enough to be made fun of for trying to be sensitive, a role that she’ll play again and again over the course of the series.  There’s also a couple coke-whores who give away the bad guys whose house they’re staying at by using large amounts of their nose candy in front of a set of giant windows.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

RANT’S
EP-M: Riggs Get Tortured, Then Pissed
“I’M GONNA FUCKIN’ KILL THE BOTH OF YOU!!!”
Chained half-naked below a leaking water main, Riggs’s abs are repeatedly hit with high voltage electric shock currents by Gary Busey and notorious stunt-man, Al Leong in his most arguably notable role of Endo the Torturer. Soon after Busey tires of Riggs’s stubborn refusal to divulge information, he leaves and orders Endo to culminate the festivities.  At this point, Riggs has reached his breaking point, just not the one his captors were aiming for…

Feigning unconscious, Riggs waits for Endo to get close and surprises the poor bastard with a headbut, then quickly wraps his legs around the stunned man’s neck and snaps it like a kit-kat bar. Meanwhile, the best part is, in an adjacent room, the main villain is busy threatening the life and chastity of Murtaugh’s distraught daughter, as Roger is forced to sit and watch with nothing but hopeless promises of violent retribution to console him. To which the villain replies, “Spare me son, it’s over. There’s no more heroes left in the world.” And it’s at this moment Riggs busts in the room screaming with the body of Endo around his shoulders like a fucking bear-skin to save the day. It truly is epic.

BO-L: Murtaugh [referring to Busey’s corpse]: “Get that shit off my lawn!”

KAIN’S

Damn it, that’s a great one.  I’m gonna go with Lethal Weapon‘s take on a great Dirty Harry moment.  In Dirty Harry, Eastwood’s Callahan goes to talk down a suicide jumper from a ledge.  Eventually, Callahan just decks the guy out and carries him to safety.  In Lethal Weapon, Gibson’s Riggs goes up to talk a jumper down, but finding the guy inconsolable, he handcuffs himself to the jumper and throws away the key.  It’s at this point that Riggs gets that insane look in his eye.

The jumper still uncooperative, Riggs jumps off the ledge of the building, taking his handcuffed “jumper” with him.  Brilliant.

BO-L: Riggs [after shooting a smiley face into a range target]: “Have a nice day.”

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

The love of two men can conquer anything, especially if that anything is a convoluted heroin case and a man’s feeling of loss for his dead wife.  Or maybe they’re saying opposites attract.  I don’t know.  Love stories like this are never quite clear.

[THE CHECKLIST: 19 outta 25]

[  ] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[  ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[  ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[X] Manly Embrace(s)
[X] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[Al Leong]
[  ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[X] Tis The Season
[Christmas]
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[  ] Vigilante Justice

McQ: Dirty John Wayne

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

McQ (1974): Breakdown by Kain424

A cop does everything he legally can to find out the plot behind his cop friend’s death.

[THE EXECUTION]

With the popularity of Westerns dropping, and having missed out on the role of Dirty Harry, John Wayne decided to make his own cop movie.  McQ is visually and tonally similar to Dirty Harry in most respects, but manages to be neither as dark nor entertaining.  Wayne plays his detective a man of another time, using 50s tactics against a new breed of thugs; but more importantly, crooked cops.

The biggest difference between the two films seems to be McQ‘s focus on Wayne’s do-right character’s sensibilities and stunts, compared to Dirty Harry‘s politics and sense of righteous justice.  The stuntwork seems to be an effort to compete with films like Bullitt, and while the final car chase is nicely done, it doesn’t completely shake one of the boredom contained in the rest of the film.

Action fans will find little of note here, outside a few crushed vehicles and one shootout.  In these movies there is usually an ending featuring the protagonist either in silent, desperate, and often isolated contemplation or a general “fuck it” attitude.  Wayne liked happy endings, so this one concludes unusually.

There is ample focus on McQ’s car and Ingram MAC-10, but without good characters or Action to hide away the plot holes, the whole thing ends up feeling like a so-so effort in the gritty cop genre.  So while it’s interesting historically, I can’t really recommend it to anyone beyond big fans of similar films.

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

John Wayne is Lieutenant Detective Lon McQ

Wayne plays the guy as less a character than a personal reaction to the changing of the times.  He is stubborn in his refusal to change his ways, clever, but more apt to go for the brute force solution to whatever obstacle may be in his way.

Lon McQ’s backstory is all referred to but never delved deeply into, as if we were to infer that he is merely a culmination of many John Wayne roles.  Still, he drives a sweet-ass ’64 Firebird, carries around a MAC-10, and lives on boat.  So points for those.

[THE BODY COUNT: 12]

Like Dirty Harry you won’t see a huge bodycount here, but most of the kills are performed by Wayne, who gets 8 bad guys.  The rest are bad guy territory, usually not too violent, but fairly gritty.  A woman is shot a few times in the stomach, and several cops are shot with a silenced handgun, one of whom dies later, offscreen.

[MOST SATISFYING DEATH]

During the climactic chase, Wayne fumbles around for his bag carrying his awesome gun.  He finally grabs it, shoots out his window and:

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Copyright held by Warner Bros.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

This may just be the straightest John Wayne film ever made.  Everyone’s married or has been married, and Wayne even bangs a hooker.  It isn’t long after McQ’s partner is dead that he nearly tags the late guy’s widow as well.  These cop movies need to loosen up.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

Well, a hooker gets exploited by John Wayne, and there is a pimp seen several times in the film.  Still, the pimp is probably the kindest and most polite mackdaddy I have yet to see featured in any movie, and the hooker seems to actually fall for Wayne’s character.  Or it could be the cocaine balloons he gave her prior to their getting it on.  I didn’t mention that he gave her cocaine?  Well, he did.  In balloons.  You know, for love.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

The final chase scene along the beach.

Two cars full of angry mob members chase John Wayne’s character along a beach.  Unfortunately for them, he is well equipped with a MAC-10, and their puny weapons don’t even scratch him.  Because he’s John Wayne.

Anyhow, this scene features the first on-film use of the mechanism that blasts a car so that it flips over and over in a crash stunt.  Probably the best part of the film.

The one-liner occurs when some guy lets McQ try out his new Ingram MAC-10.  McQ likes it so much he just puts it in his bag along with a few extra clips.

Gun guy (in protest): “Lon, it’s not licensed!”

McQ (not giving a shit): “Jack, neither am I.”

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

The good guys always win because they’re good.

[THE CHECKLIST: 12 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[  ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[  ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[  ] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[  ] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[  ] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[  ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[  ] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[  ] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[  ] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

A Better Tomorrow Also

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Ying hung boon sik II a.k.a. A Better Tomorrow II (1987): Breakdown by Rantbo

More Gangsters, More Guns, More Bullets, More Blood—Same Amount Of Credits.

[THE EXECUTION]

The magical ballet of bullets and brotherhood continues in John Woo’s sequel to his heroic bloodshed masterpiece, A BETTER TOMORROW.  A BETTER TOMORROW II picks up roughly a couple years after the events of part one, and our surviving hero, Ho, is busy repaying his debt to society in prison for killing off all of Hong Kong’s criminals and leaving the police with nothing to do.

But, with the absence of his gun-wielding talents out on the streets, it only takes a couple dozen months for the scum to re-assemble and the police to buckle under the pressure of stopping it. So, Ho is asked by Interpol to go undercover and investigate his old mentor in an effort to gain information on a new large scale counterfeiting operation in Hong Kong. Initially he refuses, but then thinks better of it, as watching him rot in jail would make for a boring Action movie. Oh, and his brother, Kit The Cop, is a pussy and needs protection from the big mean criminals. Along the way the god machine intervenes and delivers a ‘resurrected’ Chow Yun-Fat and folds some crazy old guy into the fray for a fan service action dish best served with a kevlar vest.

The movie is self-referential and as such it loses a lot of the saga’s gritty feel. Which is a real double-edged sword for me. BT2 is bad in that most of the story revolves around post modern nods to the phenomenal success of part one, yet awesome in that it’s paying homage to the fans of a fucking great movie.

To relate my feelings to another set of films, A BETTER TOMORROW II is to A BETTER TOMORROW like SCREAM 2 is to SCREAM. They got the movie perfect the first time, but the fan’s clamor for an encore with flaming one-hundred dollar bills was just too enticing to not trout out the .45’s and play a swan song in blood. So, instead of trying to one-up the first film’s story, they decided to make a funny fan service film. Which in my opinion, is an almost completely ass idea, except for the fact that John Woo brings the fucker home with one of the most extremely badass shootouts of all fucking time.

Even Woo himself appears to feel this way, as he has allegedly disowned everything but the finale, blaming the limp-wristed camp joke-fest story on his long-time collaborator, Tsui Hark. And after watching A BETTER TOMORROW III, I believe it.

So, all-in-all, BT2 is bittersweet to me. It’s almost impossible to not find Chow charming to the point of wanton male comradely and the action once again, is pure magic. All the surviving characters (and one of the dead ones) return, the story furthers the amazing underground Chinese gangster mythology and you get to watch almost 200 people get shot the fuck up in both slick slow-motion and gratuitous mass-massacre real-time.

Unless you’re a real movie-snob prick like me, there isn’t much more you could ask for than that. And I never had to, as Woo went on the make THE KILLER and HARD BOILED, which will forever make him the greatest Action Director of All Time.

Even after PAYCHECK.

[HOW BAD-ASS ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?]

Ti Lung is Sung Tse-Ho:

Ever the dependable bro, Ho makes it his life goal to protect his loved ones, at the expense of any personal life. Which he is terrible at. Everyone he cares about ends up completely fucked, dead or partially fucked and dying. But he gets an A for Affort. Now, I’m not sure how Hong Kong prisons are run, but Ho seems to have not only retained his firearm skills, but has somehow improved them. I guess those long hours in the penitentiary court yard target shooting, really paid off, as Ho is a god damned maniac with a .45.

Leslie Chung is Sung Tse-Kit:

Still a stubborn little bitch. But, thankfully, not really a whiny one anymore. Over the last couple years he seems to have completely forgiven his older brother for being so much more badass than him and the two genuinely care for and protect one-another. Kit even manages to bust up a money-deal gone bad, by taking after his older bro and busting a few caps in some criminal bitches.

Dean Shek is Lung Si:

Batshit, blubbering and insane, but god damn, can Grandpa ruin a mother fucker’s day.  Lung is Ho’s mentor and as such, is instantly a badass, but they make his character work to earn the audiences approval. Lung spends the first 2/3’s of the movie in a post-traumatic shock and has to be tended to like a fussy little kid. It takes up until the final shootout for him to unveil all his pent-up awesome, but it’s worth the wait. Mostly because he is hanging out with Chow Yun-Fat and tries to eat a raw slab of beef in that time.

Chow Yun-Fat is Ken Gor:

The reason the movie was made. Mark’s twin brother (whom we’ve never heard of before as he conveniently left Hong Kong after establishing himself a badass there to become a chef in New York and escape a life of continued badassness) fills in the void of greatness left by his passing at the end of part one. Ken’s hobbies include sucking on the flame of cigarette lighters, senselessly trashing his own apartment with food and shooting gangsters upwards of 40 times to the man. So—I like him. He spends 90% of his screen time screaming, disposing spent guns like they were soggy used toothpicks and he even dons Mark’s old jacket, using some of the 40+ bullet holes to clip grenades to. ‘Nuff said.

[THE BODY COUNT: ALMOST A COUPLE HUNDRED]

My eyes can’t move at a speed and concentration level necessary to properly tally this. Also, my computer’s dvd player doesn’t allow me to frame-by-frame (fucking windows). So, the total I got is probably off, but it’s the best I’m willing to do. I don’t get paid for this shit, I just like watching action movies.

Deaths are by guns, grenades, a bomb, a samurai sword and a shit load more guns. Chow’s total, counted by Kain is 76. I’m pretty sure that Kit got 5 and the badguys amassed around 30. As for Ho and Lung, I‘d estimate around 70 between them. Which would put the total for the film just shy of 200.

[MOST SATISFYING DEATH]

In all honesty, the last 20 minutes are nothing short of amazing. But, even though it is difficult to pick just one, I have to go with Ko’s Right-Hand Man. A enigmatic henchmen, all we really get to know about the character is that he kills for pleasure and not for profit. Cold blooded and ruthless though he is, he is also a man of honor when he meets a worthy advisory. Of which, he finds in Ken. Both men are shot up and bleeding to death, the only advantage between them, is that Ken has ran out of bullets. Some would see this as an disadvantage, but Ken just removes his shades, sticks a matchstick in his mouth and glares himself a fair duel. Right-Hand complies and slides Ken a gun. And the two have it out, gentlemen’s style.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

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Yeah, I had more—but, Yeah…

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

Yeah, she should. All decisions of  parental upbringing should be handled by a strong willed father. If left to weak, caring and supportive mothers the world wouldn’t have such luxuries as professional sports, AA or serial killers. Fathers—they’re FANtastic.

Then on top of Kit’s horribly neglected, pregnant and widowed [spoiler] wife (he leaves her during labor to continue working on his case, like a man), Lung’s daughter is shot and killed in an effort to make him angry. It works.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

Ken Talks About His Family

When we first meet Ken he is working hard at his restaurant, cooking up a storm and taking time out to chastise some local Asian kids for dressing like his dead gangster brother. The goofy bit of post-modernism dick-sucking is soon interrupted (thankfully) when some asshole wanna-be hardassess start chucking their dinner all over the place and proclaiming how it is unsatisfactory.

“This fuckin’ fried rice STINKS!”

Ever polite, Ken offers the gentlemen another plate of food on the house, but it is soon revealed that what the savvy business men really want, is an order of protection money to go. Ken offers them a quarter and the bearded man counter-offers with a plate of rice to Ken’s face.

Ken [Laughing]: Whasamatter with you? You got a big problem, huh? You don’t like my rice? You don’t like my rice!? My rice is good, it tastes good. [Scoops the rice off the floor] What is wrong with the food? [Takes a bite] It is beautiful for me. You want to try some? No?—[Gets Chow Yun-Pissed] For you—rice nothing. But for us—[Channels Pacino] rice just like my mudda and fadduh. DON’T FUCK WITH MY FAMILY, huh—HUH!? IF YOU HAVE ANY DIGNITY, APOLOGIZE TO THE RICE RIGHT NOW!!!”

Just to clarify, my favorite line was the ‘Don’t fuck with my family’ one.

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

Don’t kill off Chow in your movie if there is even the slightest chance you’re going to make a sequel. ‘Cuz the kids just love ‘im!

[THE TAO OF CHOW: 5 outta 5]

[X] Anti-Hero
[X] Has Interest(s) In The Arts
[X] Oral Fixation
[X] Performs An Overkill
[X] Uses 2 Guns At Once

[THE CHECKLIST: 16 outta 25]

[  ] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[  ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[  ] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[X] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[  ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[  ] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[  ] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

I’ll be back. “To drink some soup.”

A Better Tomorrow II (1987) © Cinema City Film Productions, Film Workshop and Golden Princess Film Production Limited

Crank 2: Supercharged Bat-Shit Insanity

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Crank: High Voltage (2009): Breakdown by Kain424

Crank, but with electricity instead of adrenaline.  Now with more Asian whores, nudity and gore!

[THE EXECUTION]

Though many would have thought the idea of making an even crazier film than Crank the very definition of impossible, director duo Neveldine/Taylor were more than willing to do so.  And Holy Shit did they succeed.

The levels of violence, racism, nudity, insanity, and absurdity have all been doubled and quadrupled this time around, delivering a film that necessitates checking your cynicism, common sense and most of your dignity at the door.  Crank 2 has no morality and barely a shred of decency.  And somehow, the video game influences are even more apparent this time around.  Surprisingly, this is all part of the fun.

In the first few minutes, when a man shoves a shotgun halfway up another man’s ass, if you haven’t figured out what you’re in store for, then you’re gonna be really surprised by the time Statham’s hooking jumper cables to his nipples and tongue in order to recharge himself.  The one-note performances, hyperactive camera tricks (many shots of which are filmed with cheap hand-held cameras), public sex, and graphic violence all meld into one twisted mess, resembling something more akin to a surreal cartoon, sped up, coked-up, and bled upon for our deranged entertainment.

But if that’s not your thing, then I can understand.  The movie showcases a veritable freakshow of “what the fuck” moments, including a scene of a man cutting off his own nipples, the lead singer from TOOL shocking Jason Statham with a dog collar, Lauren Holly telling a guy to go out and “hit a titty bar”, and yet the movie still manages to throw in a Ralph Macchio reference.

This is a film where Corey Haim shows up as a mullet-wearing douchebag and Bai Ling runs about re-enacting that Vietnamese hooker’s bit from Full Metal Jacket.  There are no safe bets here, outside the single-minded nature of whatever it is Statham seems to be doing.  Namely, killing people.  So sit back, try not to get offended, and enjoy the hell out of what just might be the most insane Action movie ever made.

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

Jason Statham is Chev “Jesus H.” Chelios

“The sickest, most wickedest motherfucker that ever vaporized a motherfucker in cold blood.”

Statham goes on to show us that he may be the bravest Action actor currently working.  His character may be grossly one-dimensional, but Statham seems to understand just how wacky everything happening around him is and fully embraces it.  The result is an intense and vastly fun performance ranging from chaotic and violent to goofy but still exhilarating.

Chelios, in this installment, is the illogical continuation of the character from the last film.  He fell from a helicopter and somehow survived, with not a broken bone on him.  We do get to find out that he was a little hellion as a child, but it doesn’t go much further into his life motivations this time around.  With very little characterization, we are left with the man’s actions to explain him.  But since doing so would spoil the fun, I’m simply going to recommend you watch the damn thing.

[THE BODY COUNT: 41]

Along with the violence levels, the bodycount has also multiplied this time around.  The innocent and the guilty are equally slain in this one, with full on gun battles in strip clubs, limousines, and mansion compounds.  It’s an 80s Action film on angel dust.

Most of the deaths are baddies, with Statham killing 21 of them himself.

[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING & DEATH]

I included the ass-kicking to this one because my personal favorite was when a character with Full Body Tourettes beats the shit out of another guy with his spasms.  What other movie does that?

As for the most satisfying death, I’ll go with the final villain from the first film again.  When you get there, you’ll see what I mean.  And yes, it’s supposed to be the same guy.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

He’s back.

Okay, so it’s the brother of the character from the last film.  Still, he steals most of the gay for the movie.  Again.  Not that the constant barrage of shirtless thugs and the scenes featuring Jason Statham rubbing skin on skin with the lead singer for Linkin Park aren’t gay, but this guy takes the cake.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

None.

Just kidding!  Crank 2 takes off even farther from its not-so-humble roots and pushes the envelope into the darkest depths the genre will allow.  From strippers and scantly clad women to actual pornstars and even more public sex, this flick seems to have been encouraged by the excess of its predecessor.

With the sole exception of a lone female cop, the women of Crank 2 are once again used primarily as objects of entertainment.  The abuse of said women goes further than one would think these film makers would dare.  We get Asian skanks run over in the street, fake breasts shot up and deflated, and old women being molested.

Amy Smart gamely returns as Statham’s stripper girlfriend.  She enjoys yet another round of public sex before being hosed away like a humping dog.  Yeah, she gets to beat the hell out of Corey Haim (something I’ve wanted to do for twenty years), but I’m not sure if it’s really a trade off.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

This is one of those films with too many great moments to choose just one.  I mean, there’s a friggin’ Godzilla fight in the middle of the movie!  But seeing as this is the format we chose, I’m going to say that ONE of my favorite moments was seeing David Carradine show up in the movie as an ancient Chinese man.  Totally out there.

Chelios gets in a couple of quick hits on some cops that have surrounded him and his girlfriend before his power runs low and he drops to his knees.  The cops move in for their own beatdown, with an unnamed pig growling this winner:

“Oh, it’s on now!”

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

If you get a second chance, kill even more people.

[THE CHECKLIST: 19 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[X] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[  ] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[  ] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[X] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[  ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[  ] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

Crank High Voltage (2009) © Lionsgate and Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Red Mullet

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Red Sonja (1985): Breakdown by Rantbo

Brigitte Nielsen sword fights Sandahl Bergman to prove to herself (and the audience), that there’s a difference between being a dyke and just looking like one. Though which side she’s championing is still up for debate.

[THE EXECUTION]

The evil man-hating Queen Gedren (Bergman) has recently gotten her hands on a magical orb of man-hating ultimate doom and the only person qualified to stop her is the fiery-haired man-hating vixen, Red Sonja (Nielsen). Arnold, that kid from TMNT2 and some fat guy with a giant bone for a weapon help out (do most of the hard work). Unlike most “chosen” heroes, Sonja isn’t trepidacious, as she also has some vengeance to wrought on the Queen for killing her entire family and then forcing (I’m assuming) her male soldiers to rape the shit out Red and leave her for dead. Good olde fashioned, family entertainment.

Arnold and Brigitte Take A Break After Trying To Act

I knew about this movie years and years ago, but never watched it do to all the negative and vicious feedback surrounding it.  I eventually came around after repeatedly staring at it’s amazing poster and I’m glad to say I did, as I truly enjoy this film. Seriously, like 7 outta 10 enjoyed it. Solidifying that I should always judge a movie by it’s cover and not what other people think about it.

SONJA contains within a plethora of cheesy 80s fantasy elements that when added together make for a hilarious and groan inducing good time:

-A glowing orb that kills carriers of the Y chromosome and causes earthquakes.
-A pit of unseen and unspeakable torture.
-A fairy godmother that talks through a sword.
-A giant spider.
-A boiling moat of liquid shit, ala THE BEASTMASTER.
-A steam powered television that plays softcore porn.
-An armor-plated mechanical water dragon.
Arnold Schwarzenegger.
-Also: crossbows, throwing stars, horses, headbands, mini-skirts and a pre-pubescent Ernie Reyes Jr.

However, the set-design, matte-paintings, costume design and original score by Morricone are gorgeous.

Honesty, if this had been a silent movie, it could have won an Oscar. Really top-notch stuff that sadly gets buried by the poor acting and horrific dialogue. It’s a shame that there isn’t a ‘score-only’ audio track on the DVD, as I think this film could reach a whole new level (or A level, depending on how you look at it) of audience appreciation . On the other hand, fuck the snobs, this film will only ever be appreciated by the genre fans and this is as it should be. Check this out if you dug the CONANs, THE BEASTMASTER and other super-gay 80s sword and Sandahl flicks.

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

Brigitte Nielsen is Red Sonja

“You are the master, of the master. Never have I seen your equal.”
“I don’t need any MANS help.”

As for the second quote, turns out she doesn’t. She needs three. But, this doesn’t really hinder her badass actions.  Despite her natural lack of anything resembling talent as an actress, Brigitte serves the role of the super blade-swinging she-woman man-hater to a T.

A role of this type and magnitude generally consists of three necessary attributes: #1. The ability to pull a hideous battle face. #2. The ability to convincingly look like you know what you’re doing with a sword. And #3. A mullet of greater than 2 feet. Brigitte Nielsen pulls off all three. And then some…

This Is To Scale. DON’T DISPUTE ME.

The party-end of her femullet is almost 3 feet long! It’s gnarly on a level that I can’t even describe. I think even the Boz would be impressed with this beastly doo.

Anyways, Sonja definitely earns her right to be the title character. She goes one-on-one with Arnold in a sword fight (I feel the need to clarify, it’s an ACTUAL sword fight), she kills a handful of evildoers, she rides a horse, she almost speaks English, and she fights and kills the Amazonian Goddess herself, Sandahl Bergman.

[THE BODY COUNT: AROUND 65]

That’s almost a kill a minute. A damn fine average if you ask me. Sonja only kills 7, but I give her a break as Nielsen was playing the role of a woman. Arnold’s Kalidor makes up for lost numbers though with a healthy and satisfying 25 kills by way of the blade. He even gets one by beheading and another by chopping off a dude’s arm.

Not to be outdone, the Queen and her automatons wipeout around 20 by attacking a sect of hot sword-wielding bitches and Sonja’s family. And 10 or so of the Queen’s men are taken out in kind. This film puts the Red in Blood Red.

[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING & DEATH]

Gedren Gets Penetrated By Another Woman—Just Not In The Way She’s Used To.

Spoiler Alert! Gedren gets stabbed in the chest by Sonja and falls into a giant lava filled chasm that opened up inside her candle room for some reason. I believe it had something to do with the man-hating green-orb of doom, but I can’t be sure. At any rate, this was a good death.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

A sword and sorcery film co-staring Arnold Schwarzenegger and he keeps his pants on the entire movie. No wonder this movie was a flop and regarded with shame by all those involved. Worse still, he spends the all his free time chasing after Sonja in an effort to gorilla fuck her. Now I could make the case (as I have before) that Nielsen is not a woman, just a slightly feminine and well shaved Norse man. But, it still wouldn’t beleaguer the fact that she has long smooth legs and a nice firm ass,  which in a land seemingly populated with nothing but ugly men, children and dead-lesbians, is the best and most hetero choice.

There is, however, a ton of lesbo crap in the film. A ton. But, who gives a shit? If I wanted to watch hot women lezzing-out, all I need is Google Search. Keep that filth out of my gay 80s action movies please.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

“I will tell the future in your entrails, RED WOMAN!”
The film’s opening action sequence features an entire sect of virginy female cult members being slaughtered by the blades of chauvinistic male soldiers. Not sure if it makes this situation more or less misogynistic as the soldiers are ordered to do so by a power hungry lesbian.

Also, this film features a THIS ISLAND EARTH style interocitor that seems to only get two stations, one has RED SONJA playing 24/7 and the other is the Harem-Girl channel.

Then, of course, there is the obligatory 80s fantasy rape sequence, that occurs in flashback during the first minute of the movie. Apparently one experience of being violated repeatedly by a legion of soldiers, after they killed her family is enough to condemn the entire male species in Sonja’s eyes, thus giving her the whole ‘I don’t trust men’ sexist way of thinking.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

Arnold Crashes The Party

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Copyright: Famous Films B.V.

He goes on to scream a bunch of stuff in Schwarzeneggerese and kill a dozen or so men, but this was to be expected. That entrance however, is the stuff of legend.

Arnie also ends up bagging my favorite bit of dialogue…

Kalidor: “If you yield only to a conqueror, than prepare to be conquered.”

It’s THE perfect come-on line to use on disgruntled Femme-Nazis in need of some serious deep-dicking. Just don’t be surprised if after using it a court case follows and you too end up getting some serious deep-dicking of your own.

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Lundgren, Flav—Brigitte Nielsen is the cumdumpster of I Love The 80s.

[THE SIGNS OF SCHWARZENEGGER: 4 outta 5]

[X] Performs A Ridiculous Feat(s) of Strength
[  ] Says, “I’ll be back.”
[X] Shows Off Buffness
[X] Unnecessarily Violent Opponent Dispatch
[X] Wields A Big Sword With One Arm

[THE CHECKLIST: 16 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[  ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse [Better, A Castle]
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[  ] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[  ] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[  ] Unnecessary Sequel
[  ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

Fun Game: Pick Which Side Is The Real Arnold And Which Is The Mirror Image.

Answer: The one on the right. I’m pretty sure.

Villa Rides killcount

Villa Rides (1968)

Starring Yul Brynner

and Robert Mitchum

and Charles Bronson

Watch video:

Bronson kills 44

Discuss

Villa Rides rights held by Paramount Pictures.