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Posts Tagged ‘David Carradine’

High Noon Part II: The Return of Will Kane

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

tn_highnoonpartiiThis is gonna sound crazy, but HIGH NOON PART II: THE RETURN OF WILL KANE, a 1980 TV movie with Lee Majors replacing Gary Cooper as the hero from the 1952 classic, is a damn good sequel in my opinion. It’s directed by Jerry Jameson, who IMDb says was an uncredited director on that Burt Reynolds movie I like, HEAT. I don’t know what the story is on that, but he definitely did AIRPORT ’77 and a bunch of TV shows ranging from The Mod Squad to Walker: Texas Ranger.

So it’s some TV guy directing. More significant in my opinion is that the teleplay was written by Elmore Leonard, and it shows. It has his knack for interesting language and casual conversation, humor in the face of danger, bonding between lawmen and outlaws, and a sort of rambling turn of events that reflects something about the ridiculousness of life. In the original HIGH NOON the freshly-retired marshal got into trouble because his arch-nemesis had been released and was coming into town for revenge. In this one the trouble starts because he and the Missus (Katherine Cannon, THE HIDDEN) are trying to buy some horses.

It’s a year after he shot Frank Miller and left, and he comes back to Hadleyville for this transaction. At the same time Ben Irons (David Carradine) and his men just got off a train, probly the same one the bad guys came in on last time. We know they’re trouble because a deputy recognized Irons’s face and went to check out the wanted posters. They show up wanting to buy the same horses that Kane just paid for, and they try to convince him to let them have them. It’s a tense conversation because Irons tries to act friendly, but Kane lets him know he remembers him from his days in law enforcement.

“Must’ve been during my wayward youth,” Irons says.

“It was a couple of years ago,” Kane says. (read the rest of this shit…)

Martial Law

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

tn_martiallawI gotta admit, I didn’t know what Chad McQueen looked like, or that he starred in this, so I thought “Who the fuck is this?” when he showed up undercover as a pizza delivery man to defuse a hostage situation at Crown Diamonds. Those dumb fucks shoulda known the cops wouldn’t allow a real Domino’s dude to walk in there. Even in Seattle, where we’ll have a $15 minimum wage in a couple years, it wouldn’t be worth it, and this is Los Angeles circa 1990. (The 25th anniversary is on the 16th of next month, so get the balloons ready.) Also, fuck these guys for not insisting on giving him a huge tip when they believed he was a legit employee. Not cool at all, gunmen.

Anyway, he’s really a cop, so he karates them. He’s playing Detective Sean Thompson, nicknamed Martial Law. It took me a while to catch on that it’s because he’s a lawman who does martial arts. We learn that after his dad died in 1983 he took off to Hong Kong for a few years “to prove how tough I was.” He regrets it because he left his younger brother Michael (Andy McCutcheon) behind and now the kid wears a leather jacket, has two DUIs, crashed their mom’s car and steals sports cars. (read the rest of this shit…)

Death Race 2000

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

tn_deathrace2000I’ve enjoyed DEATH RACE 2000 a few times over the years, but not since before I found myself actually liking P.W.S. Anderson’s remabootquel DEATH REACE and its two DTV prequels by Roel Reine, so this was strange to revisit it again. The new DEATH RACE is a fun macho b-movie, the original DEATH RACE 2000 is a different animal. It’s colorful, satirical, goofy and off-handedly brutal. It’s as cheap as other Roger Corman productions, but less serious. It seems like the template for the tone of all the best Troma films, and they even borrowed the rules of the Death Race for use as a fun game for teens in THE TOXIC AVENGER. (read the rest of this shit…)

Sonny Boy

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Sonny Boy (Michael Griffin) is a young man who lives in a metal shed, raised by a small town crime lord named Slue (Paul L. Smith, Bluto from POPEYE) and his lady Pearl (David Carradine – I think he’s playing a transvestite but maybe it’s gender-blind casting). Pearl has been protective of Sonny Boy ever since he was a baby. But obviously not protective enough, since they cut his tongue out (as a birthday present, they say), torture him with fire to give him tough skin, and train him to bite the necks of their enemies.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Lone Wolf McQuade

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

“Forget it, kid. I work alone.”

You guys know I’m not really big on Chuck Norris. I know, Chuck Norris is so powerful that blah blah blah, something something beard something fist. Good job, internet. Hilarious. He’s famous enough to be considered one of the iconic action stars, but in my opinion he is not on the same level as other Expendables such as Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Willis, Van Damme or non-Expendable Seagal. He doesn’t have as much charisma or as many watchable movies. But I did really dig INVASION U.S.A. and I always heard LONE WOLF MCQUADE was his best or one of his best, so I thought I should watch it in the lead up to his appearance in EXPENDABLES 2: ALSO VAN DAMME.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Q (aka Q – The Winged Serpent)

Monday, October 31st, 2011

tn_qBruceQ (aka Q – THE WINGED SERPENT) is writer/director Larry Cohen’s version of a giant monster movie, about a small time New York City getaway driver played by Cohen’s DeNiro, Michael Moriarty. He’s recently out of the joint, failing to get a job as a bar pianist, and gets screwed over by some mobsters during a failed diamond heist. He runs straight from the scene of the crime to a (closed, it turns out) law office high up in the Chrysler building, where he ends up having to hide from a security guard in a not-open-to-the-public area beneath the needle. There he finds a dead body and a nest with a giant egg. Huh.
(read the rest of this shit…)

True Legend

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

tn_truelegendThis year’s TRUE LEGEND is Yuen Woo-Ping’s first directational work since IRON MONKEY 2 in 1996. During that break he’s done some classic fight choreography, including some of the best ever in American movies (the MATRIXes, the KILL BILLs), but just hasn’t put himself in charge of a whole movie. So this is fun because it’s great wushu mythmaking and the master’s trademark fights working with a new pack of stylistic and technological weapons that didn’t exist 14 years ago. (read the rest of this shit…)

Trick or Treats

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

tn_trickortreatsWell, it was a pretty successful October of horror movie watching. I didn’t really get a chance to get into a serious marathon until the last couple days, and I still have a stack of leftovers rented. But I saw mostly enjoyable movies and a couple great ones that you guys were nice enough to recommend, like LONG WEEKEND and VISITING HOURS.

For actual October 31st viewing though I took a risk on one I never heard of before, just because it was an obscure one that took place on Halloween, TRICK OR TREATS from 1982. In my opinion in was not a good choice. But I did watch it, so it is my duty to document it.
(read the rest of this shit…)

David Carradine

Friday, June 5th, 2009

deathrace2000Nothing too fancy, but just wanted to take a minute to pay some respects to poor David Carradine. Like many people I was saddened by his passing, and by the knowledge that for now on whenever you mention the poor guy some god damn prick will get to make a smarmy quip about the apparent circumstances of his death. Can’t defeat his kung fu but you can defeat him with your powers of ironic distance and obvious jokes. Congratulations, dick.

To tell you the truth I used to kind of resent Carradine as the white guy who got to star in two Bruce Lee creations, the show KUNG FU and the movie CIRCLE OF IRON. Well, the truth is it wasn’t really his fault, I don’t really blame him for taking the job on KUNG FU and CIRCLE OF IRON was after Bruce’s death anyway. Plus, he did a better job replacing Bruce Lee than the other guy did replacing James Coburn. He’s really good in both roles, actually. (for a white guy.)

Come to think of it it’s kind of weird, Carradine is so associated with martial arts, but he didn’t practice them until he did that show, so he could also be in all those westerns and shit without somebody making him do karate. He was foremost an actor but also could teach a tai chi workout if he wanted to. My favorite Carradine movie was always DEATH RACE 2000 (pictured above), where he played the famous death race driver Frankenstein. It’s the satire and the crazy cars and everything that I like in that movie, but it’s hard to imagine Frankenstein without that voice and that lanky frame. He was a super hero. (read the rest of this shit…)

Ringers: Lord of the Fans

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

This review is for anybody out there who is a poor sucker, like me. If you are a poor sucker you might foolishly assume that this documentary about LORD OF THE RINGS fans is called RINGERS because it is like the movie TREKKIES. A horrifying look into the abyss. You stare at that fucker and it stares right back at you, or whatever. A freak show. A good time at the movies. A cultural document that gives you the fuckin creeps even thinking about it years later.

But you remember how TREKKIES seemed like it was trying to be respectful and non-exploitative of the fans, but the people they found were just so fuckin over the top that it didn’t work? You know, like halfway through the interview with the guy dressed as a woman that he says is the never shown on screen wife of a minor astrounaut character for one episode, they figured “Ah, fuck it, we can’t make a respectful documentary about these lunatics. Let the freak show begin.” Well this is not like that. This is more like a rejected VH-1 special. (read the rest of this shit…)