About a month and a half ago I announced the Seagalogy Youtube contest put together by Titan Books. To promote my skull-shattering new book SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASSKICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL they wanted people to submit short videos “based on the principles of Seagalogy, the study of the ass-kicking films of Steven Seagal.” I know there was alot of whining in the talkback that the contest should be done by somebody else, to promote some other thing, with a different thing that you do, and different prizes to win. Fortunately, there were more than enough standup individuals who did enter the actual existing contest and I was very impressed by the high quality of their work. I honestly wish I could give everybody a prize, but you know the rules. One first prize and five runners up. So here I will present the winners and I hope you’ll watch their videos. Let’s start with the runners up:
GLOBAL WARMING WILL KICK YOUR ASS by Patrick Newman/badmojo232 This one gets originality points for the environmental PSA format. My favorite joke is when he’s encouraging you to ride a bicycle instead of using a car and then it shows him catching a purse-snatcher while he bikes. Also that robe at the beginning is pretty Seagal. Seagalogy points: environment, guitar, robe, good black suit jacket/blue jeans combo at the end.
THE GRADUATING CLASS OF SEAGAL by StickofMight Okay, to be honest, I almost cut this one. I think it takes too long to get to Seagal (like Black Dawn and Mercenary For Justice), and it’s a little sarcastic. Most of what I like about it is just kind of random humor and doesn’t really have to do with Seagal (his Iron Man jet boots, fighting a dinosaur, the line “Liberty and justice… Seagal!”). And the one that originally got it cut was making fun of Seagal’s alleged jowls (not cool). But I don’t know, the guy is creative and I know he spent the entire month animating this thing, which I really respect. I think he deserves a free book for that. And he does have that cool animated version of an Out For Justice fight scene. So you just made it, bud. Seagalogy points for: Out For Justice animated fight scene, ponytail analysis, zen garden, Bobby Lupo line.
SUBURBAN JUSTICE by Andy Sexton/MediaKerProductions This is a pretty good parody and it gets points for referencing Urban Justice with its title. These guys seem to be pretty young and enthusiastic, they have some funny jokes and a good living room fight scene (the girl screaming and running right into his fist makes me laugh). The highlight to me is definitely this yuppie villain with his turtleneck and suit jacket – he’s the biggest sign that these guys know their ’80s and ’90s action movies. His “we could be partners” speech is arguably the best villain moment of the entries. Seagalogy points: Title reference to Urban Justice, “What the hell was that? Alex, go check it out!” (villains are always pulling that shit on their employees), “Don’t you get it though? We could be partners… I’m a business man… I’m a patriot…”,
SEAGALOGY Okay, this one is a little heavy on Chuck Norris references and Bruce Lee imitations. And it takes the title of my book and treats it like Dianetics. But it’s pretty funny and it has specific references to some of the more important Seagal movies (Urban Justice, On Deadly Ground) and to the somewhat neglected topic of the way Seagal turns unlikely inanimate objects into deadly weapons. What really won me over was the narrator using one of the biggest headscratcher lines from On Deadly Ground and causing the guy on screen to say “Huh?” Seagalogy points for: pool cue, nutbuster (Urban Justice), handslap game, improvised weapons (especially like choosing the carrot over the knife), R. Lee Ermey “fistful of pesos” line from On Deadly Ground, “that disturbs me” speech note: this one seems to be submitted just after the deadline – they were having trouble uploading but contacted Titan Books as specified in the rules. So everything is cool. It was hard to narrow this down to five runners up, but especially hard was deciding who got the top prize. I knew it was between this two-parter here:
IMPOSSIBLE TO KILL by Alrik Bursell and this one:
KILLING TIME by razmann410 (they didn’t get credits finished in time, so I’m not sure what the director’s actual name is)
I hate having to choose one because I love both of these, and they’re both way better and more elaborate than I expected from this contest. Impossible To Kill is a great Hard To Kill homage, with the best Seagal lookalike of all the entries. According to the credits this Seagal is also the director, Alrik Bursell – good to see he is dedicated to both filmmaking and imitating Seagal’s moves. This one impressed me so much with the fight scenes, squibs, the beautiful tribute to Hard To Kill’s rehabilitation/training montage (although I wish they included an eagle caw at the end), the villain closing his eyes in slow motion as he shoots, the flashback at the end. This also has the best soundtrack of any of the entries – guitar and keyboard very similar to what David Michael Frank did for Above the Law and Hard to Kill. Killing Time leans a little more in the cartoony/jokey direction, but with a good variety of action and more obscure references. I gotta say this is the second best Seagal imitator, resembling the lanky Seagal of Above the Law. He does a great job of the Seagal walk and posture and imitating the moves. In one scene he does a gratuitous somersault. I laughed but I thought well, that’s more of a generic action movie joke and not really Seagal, unless they are referring to that one part in Belly of the Beast. And then sure enough they were, because the next scene has a gag about Seagal’s crazy floor-slide in that movie as well as the part where, while breaking into a house to steal something he stops to take bottled water from the fridge. (In this one he takes a beer.) Both of these entries are great and have some of the same strengths. They both pay tribute to Golden Era Seagal’s love of taking on multiple opponents and cracking their bones. In fact, both use a little-studied Seagal motif – mutilating an opponent’s body part in such a way that the opponent then yells out something about said body part. In Impossible To Kill they’ve got “My arm!” and “You fuckin’ broke my nose!” In Killing Time they have “Oh my God, my leg!” Killing Time Seagalogy points: Kicking baby (good “just how evil is he?” moment), good Seagal walk and posture, good Seagal-like moves against multiple opponents, ex-military/ex-CIA, somersault/slide/refrigerator homage to Belly of the Beast, “Oh my God, my leg!”, title cards in homage to Out For Justice Impossible to Kill Seagalogy points: best Seagal lookalike, authentic guitar/keyboard score, most Seagal-like moves, “my arm”/”you fuckin broke my nose”, awesome HARD TO KILL rehabilitation montage homage, knife fight, flashback at end God damn it’s hard to decide. I had to look at the judging criteria they included in the rules: “Humour in video-25%” Doesn’t help much. Killing Time is a little funnier, but both rate highly in that category. “Skill level of homage-25%” Both get the highest possible rating for skill level, they use better filmatism than a contest like this deserves. Impossible To Kill is a very heartfelt homage to one of Seagal’s best, Hard To Kill. Killing Time gets a slight edge for paying tribute to multiple movies and to a more obscure and underrated one (Belly of the Beast). “Overall entertainment in video-50%” So this is the deciding factor I guess.
Both are highly entertaining and arguably better moviemaking than Seagal’s Submerged or Ticker. I’m very proud of these guys. It was a toss-up, but I decided to go with Killing Time. There are so many funny little jokes but not at the expense of seeming almost like a real action movie. Lots of good guns, a mohawked sniper, and most of all a monster truck. Maybe they faked me out, but I get the impression these crazy fuckers actually crushed an old pickup truck for this contest. That is not somebody you want on the streets, that is somebody you want indoors playing Playstation 3. So with all due respect to the excellent Impossible To Kill, I gave first prize to Killing Time. So congratulations to the Killing Team team, and my apologies to the makers of Impossible To Kill for not having an adequate prize for you guys. I looked into cutting the Playstation in half but I was told this might damage it (I don’t know electronics too good). Somebody please give both of these guys a bunch of money to make low budget action movies. I’m positive they could make something more entertaining than most of the DTV shit I watch.
UPDATE: Killing Time’s director and star is named Jorg Dejorg. He says he really did crush a truck and that he broke his hand in the process. Apparently the hand is puffy in other parts of the video so I consider this an homage to Seagal’s leg injury in Exit Wounds.
My apologies to everybody else too. I really enjoyed watching all of them. Before I go I want to give special acknowledgment for two more that came very close to making it. This one:
WIND TUNNEL – A TRIBUTE TO STEVEN SEAGAL by Zeke Martinez I really tried to fit this one in there, sorry I couldn’t. Somebody wrote a comment saying it “Kind of seemed like it took itself too seriously,” but to be honest that’s what I liked about it. There are some jokes in there but I get the feeling Zeke is serious about this being “a tribute to Steven Seagal” and that’s in line with what I tried to do with the book. That opening scene is edited kind of slow but I love that it just seems like bad student film acting, and not “trying to be funny” acting. Even the ex-CIA line is delivered like she doesn’t think it’s supposed to be funny. And I appreciate that. Also, the villain’s speech is a close rival to the one in Suburban Justice. Seagalogy points: silencer made out of a bottle (reference to On Deadly Ground), “Just because you’re ex-CIA, ex-Navy Seals, ex-special ops doesn’t mean you have to go fight drug dealers.” Sharon Stone in Above the Law type wife, fingerwaving, one of the best villain speeches of the bunch (“You’re an idealist, Gino… the business of selling smack to school children is gonna carry on whether I’m a part of it or not…”)
SEAGAL: STRONG AND FORCEFUL by Dustin Puehler This was an early entry that I really thought was gonna win because it’s simple and sincere. It’s just this guy’s grandma talking about Seagal movies. She doesn’t give them the same obsessive analysis that I do but obviously gets alot of joy out of them and it looks like she owns about 15 of them. She has alot of the same favorites as me, picking Out For Justice as the one she’d recommend to people new to Seagal, and Seagal/DMX as a better pair than Seagal/Ja Rule. It’s painful not to give a prize to this one, but then it was probaly painful for those other guys to roll around in the grass and explode firecrackers on their chests, so it was a tough one. I followed the instructions laid out in the rules which had humor as 25% of the criteria, but this one was very sweet so I wanted to give an honorable mention. And besides, if you’ve seen Seagal’s movies you understand that honor is more important than any material object, so you are actually the true winner of this contest.
Thanks again everybody, I hope you had fun making them. For those of you who did not win a copy of my book please consider picking it up. Variety says I “plunge into the Seagal mythology much like Joseph Campbell dives into the work of James Joyce,” which is arguably a compliment. If not, fuck those guys. All the other reviews are actually very positive, but I will not quote them here because I’m shy.
View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback
July 7, 2008, 1:02 p.m. CST
First!!! To Say . . .
Seagal rocks. Now I’ll read the article.
July 7, 2008, 1:04 p.m. CST
At Least Seagal Got Half of What He Wanted
“I am hoping that I can be known as a great writer and actor some day, rather than a sex symbol.”
July 7, 2008, 1:13 p.m. CST
I got my copy of Seagalogy last week.
I keep recommanding it to everybody and even began to rewatch Steven’s movies on DVD. Yes, it’s that good.
July 7, 2008, 1:13 p.m. CST
Not the first time I’ve called you this…
And I’m sure it won’t be the last, but kevinwillis.net, you’re an annoying little cunt! In addition, I’ve never understood the appeal of Steven Seagal. I know he’s one of those ‘He’s so crap he’s cool’ people, but I reckon he’s just crap. Still, these YouTube efforts show he’s got a solid fanbase, and more power to them say I.
July 7, 2008, 1:26 p.m. CST
Lord Porkington . . .
Thanks to your sound rebuke, I have decided to reform myself via a lengthy montage of weight lifting, running, target pratice, akido and yoga. And perhaps I should drink a quart of raw eggs in a homage to Sly Stallone. Then I will return to my old stomping grounds, and demand . . . justice!
July 7, 2008, 1:30 p.m. CST
Very good movies
I concur with what you said Vern, some of these films are better than the shitty DTV flicks coming out these days. You should work on some “Project Greenlight” or “On the lot” reality show and give those guys a chance. And hire Ratner as a judge, so he can learn a thing or two.
July 7, 2008, 1:42 p.m. CST
Impossible to Kill
by Nico Toscani
was my favorite.
July 7, 2008, 1:58 p.m. CST
Sill think Segal would have been cool as Bill
In Kill Bill. Think about it, under the direction of QT it would have worked.
July 7, 2008, 2 p.m. CST
Sorry I fucked up some coding there. WIND TUNNEL is stuck in the middle there and GRADUATING CLASS OF SEAGAL is on there twice. I emailed Harry and the boys about my error so hopefully they will clean it up for me.
July 7, 2008, 2:05 p.m. CST
Don’t worry, Vern
Seagal can’t code for shit either. But then again, he’s been too busy taking out the trash to go to computer class.
July 7, 2008, 2:10 p.m. CST
Vern’s Too Busy Bringing Justice to the Streets
To worry about embedding some YouTube videos.
July 7, 2008, 2:20 p.m. CST
You gotta email him?
I thought you AICN people lived in the same house and played starcraft over a LAN network all day.
July 7, 2008, 2:23 p.m. CST
Watching these videos has changed my life
by Darth Busey
Would have liked to have seen an homage to Busey spitting in Seagal’s bouillabaise in “Under Siege”, though.
July 7, 2008, 2:29 p.m. CST
The idea of the AICN blackboxers living together
like the BANANA SPLITS is a terrifying one. Fleagle = Harry. Bingo = Moriarty. Drooper = Quint. Snorky? Merrick. You know it.
July 7, 2008, 2:35 p.m. CST
I liked Impossible to Kill better, but I guess you can’t argue with a monster truck. I’m also a bit shamed that the Under Seige 2 shot swiping in the final fight wasn’t noticed. Guess I’m not ready for Project Greenlight: Segal Edition just yet.
July 7, 2008, 2:58 p.m. CST
They can pawn the Playstation…
…and put the money towards fixing their truck.
July 7, 2008, 3:04 p.m. CST
When’s the next book Vern?
and who’s it on? Can we have a new edition of Seagalogy in 5 years when Seagal has made 14 more DTV’s?
These videos all look great. Thanks!
July 7, 2008, 3:06 p.m. CST
Killing Time deserved it.
I loved that one the most. Wasn’t a huge fan of Impossible to Kill.
I’m glad I was able to score a copy of the book (for Suburban Justice), although I was a bit let down that GilbertSmith didn’t get a book, if only for dedication to the contest.
Anyway, it was fun. Thanks, Vern.
July 7, 2008, 3:11 p.m. CST
AICN = the Banana Splits playing X-Box together
aka “the greatest concept to ever grace the talkbacks”.
Sounds like Michael Jackson’s Neverland in the 90’s: fun, but twice as creepy.
July 7, 2008, 4:14 p.m. CST
it would be nice if we could actually see them, the winner gets removed from youtube? wehy?
July 7, 2008, 4:14 p.m. CST
The last one with the Grandma would have won IF…
A Steven Segal look alike broke her neck at the end. LOL.
Actually…I did like the Grandma one the best oddly enough.
But between the two runner ups VERN picked the wrong one. Why? Because he crushed a truck?
Impossible to Kill had much better production values and was funnier.
The only part that made me laugh in the other one was when the dog ran off with the baby.
July 7, 2008, 4:15 p.m. CST
Let me just be the first to say that I have absolutely no issue with The Graduating Class of Seagal being posted twice in this article.
Congrats are in order to the folks behind Killing Time. It sure was monster truck. You guys get points from me for the baby scene.
Huge props to the crews behind Impossible to Kill and Seagalogy. Great, great entries, guys.
Great showings all around in this contest, really.
July 7, 2008, 4:48 p.m. CST
Impossible to Kill
Starring Ryan Reynolds’ older brother.
Well done, Vern. That was way cooler than I expected.
July 7, 2008, 6:12 p.m. CST
I liked the winner
especially the bit where he shoots the gun out of the bad guys hand, then shoots the trigger on the gun in mid air so that it then shoots the guy. I mean, I don’t know if that has been stolen from another movie, but if not that is seriously inventive and is funnier than most shit you see in Hollywood action films.
July 7, 2008, 6:14 p.m. CST
Oh man, Out For A Film was robbed, just like my main man Kevin Bacon at the Oscars.
July 7, 2008, 6:49 p.m. CST
Man, they were fantastic!
Really impressed. I think best performance goes to Narrator/Punisher Guy from Seagalogy. And the Suburban Justice kid nailed Seagal’s laid back delivery.
My only critique is that no one did his big girlie run…
July 7, 2008, 6:54 p.m. CST
I am on page 10
And I have laughed out loud 7 times, not to mention the general smiling/chuckling throughout. Well done so far sir. I particularly enjoy how you single out the bartender in Above the Law, that guy always fascinated me.
July 7, 2008, 7:42 p.m. CST
Just to soothe my ego I must point out that the Punisher guy did not play the narrator. The I/the nerd was the narrator. Glad you liked it, though. And I agree that the Suburban Justice guy kicked ass.
July 7, 2008, 7:45 p.m. CST
And I should type more slowly…
to avoid saying stupid things like “The I/Nerd” and misspelling Seagal’s name like I did in previous posts.
July 7, 2008, 11:09 p.m. CST
Aw, come on, Vern.
Seagal was practically God in my entry, and yet you hold the jowls joke against me? C’mon!
July 8, 2008, 12:14 a.m. CST
the great yoda…
Holy shit! Thats even better that you both nailed that bad ass delivery. I think that is one of the best “BALLS” utterences I have ever heard.
Whenever anyone references the “War on Balls/Testicles/Groins from now on – yours is the voice I will hear!
Ku fucking dos friendo.
July 8, 2008, 12:16 a.m. CST
But, seriously you guys…
Have you never seen Seagal run? He’s like Harrison Ford after some HRT…
July 8, 2008, 1:51 a.m. CST
Well I suspected the worshipful tone was at least partly sarcastic. But I liked what you did and appreciate all the hard work that obviously went into it. Good job bud.
July 8, 2008, 6:57 a.m. CST
Vern, Is Seagalogy Going to be on Audible?
I read most of the books I read with my ears. If you do an audiobook, I’d prefer it either be read by you, or read by Stephen Seagal.
July 8, 2008, 6:18 p.m. CST
This is Dustin, I’m glad you liked my Doc style piece. I knew I risked not getting the proper criteria, but I wanted to produce something original and I’m just glad you enjoyed it. I bought her your book and I thought you’d like to know how much she enjoys it.
July 8, 2008, 8:05 p.m. CST
The AudioBook read by Seagal! Kevinwillis Rules.
Kevin, you’ve just gone up a notch in my book. I’d buy the AudioBook read by Seagal as soon as it existed.
July 8, 2008, 8:17 p.m. CST
Impossible to kill was easily the best… killing time would be like 3rd.
July 9, 2008, 9:30 a.m. CST
No Response from Vern on Seagal Reading . . .
. . . the audio book of Seagalogy. I can only assume, therefore, that that project is in the works right now. NDAs and whatnot. Can’t wait.
July 10, 2008, 3:25 a.m. CST
Seagal is a Walking Murder Machine
Hello, I directed Killing Time. Vern, your review is fricken awesome. I do think, though that my favorite of the bunch is Suburban Justice for the dialog and the villain. The villain is perfect. We don’t have a villain. All we have is Steven Seagal wandering around in what is basically a Troma movie. And that’s why suburban justice kicks our ass. My favorite line is at the end when the Seagal throws the bad guy out the window. “You’re crazy, you’ve gone over the edge!” ; “No, I think you’ve gone over the edge…” Toss. I also really liked ‘Out For a Film’ even though it was making fun of Seagal. I just like when he snaps that guys neck in the photo booth, and then at the end when that guy talks about how he’d never been beat up with such grace before. I have a little more to say, but I’ll do it in another post because I have no idea how to do a carraige return.
July 10, 2008, 4:14 a.m. CST
Here’s some stuff about our filming, if anybody’s interested. We had a great time making the movie. It was about four days of shooting (The actual hours are somewhere around 30 though, because two of the days were just evenings). And then there was about four days of sound, because we didn’t use a stitch of the original audio – with the exception of my brother’s (green mohawk guy) dialog; and the monster truck scene. As Vern said, I broke my hand when the stearing wheel whacked it in the monster truck. Which is sort of funny because the guy we bought it from had said, “When you drive over something let go of the steering wheel because it’ll break your hand.” I didn’t remember this until after I got out of truck holding my hand in agony. But at the same time I felt pretty awesome for imparting such carnage on that little blue pickup. If there’s anybody else who made one of the movies, I’d like to hear about how your filming went. I enjoyed pretty much every film that was posted and I am honestly suprised we won.
July 10, 2008, 4:26 a.m. CST
Oh, One Last Thing
The blue pickup didn’t run, we had to pull and push it through every scene. Anyway I gotta go, my shirt’s on fire. Oh wait, no that’s my cat… OH MY GOD, MY CAT!
July 10, 2008, 5:31 p.m. CST
Our movie comments (Suburban Justice).
Well, our movie wasn’t as long as yours (by a long shot), but it was pretty fun putting it together. I read the contest and wrote the script in about a half an hour. I actually had the most fun writing for the villain than Seagal. I’ve always wanted an excuse to have a tacky villain, and I think that the contest was the best opportunity. When the contest went up, I was in Macon, GA at the time taking summer classes, with my friends up in Atlanta, so we had to plan on a day to do it. We actually ended up having 2 people bail at the last minute, so Jordan (the villain) played the main villain and the passenger of the car, I played Seagal and the guy who gets the knife thrown at, and my sister played the classy hooker and Alex. We didn’t really have any troubles with the shooting. The body thrown out of the window was just a pair of jeans filled with all of our costumes. All the of the villain’s names were from 2D beat um and shoot em ups, like Double Dragon, Metal Slug, and River City Ransom. And the For Sale sign we used was stolen. But yeah, no other real tidbits. I’m glad that Killing Time won (I wrote some comments on your video). Anyway you’ll have to add me on PSN when your PS3 comes. Later.
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.