Anybody in North Carolina?

tn_actionfestYou’ve probly all read about this already but I figure it’s my duty not to ignore the existence of ACTIONFEST, “the film festival with a body count,” which is probly the first film festival dedicated just to action movies. It’s taking place April 15-18 in Asheville, North Carolina.

The websight is a little weird because it has a huge collage of movie posters for classic action movies (SHAFT, ROBOCOP, ENTER THE DRAGON, MAD MAX, BULLITT, DIE HARD, DIRTY HARRY, HARD BOILED…), not a single one of which is playing at the festival or has in the past, since this is the first one. Also they use a shot of that awesome car jump in DEAD END DRIVE-IN, which isn’t playing either.

The other thing that’s weird about the festival is that they’re giving a lifetime achievement award to Chuck Norris. Now, all due respect to Chuck as a pop norris-wayofthedragonculture icon and man who got his chest-hair pulled out by the greatest screen martial artist of all time, but who would seriously choose Chuck Norris as the very first person to receive a recognition like that?

Oh, I know: his brother Aaron Norris, who organized the thing. Oh well. That’s cool.

Doesn’t matter, because the lineup is pretty promising. They got three world premieres, most significantly UNDISPUTED III: REDEMPTION. As most of you know Scott Adkins returns as Uri Boyka (switching from antagonist to protagonist undisputed3like Michael Jai White did in part 2). One of his co-stars will be the great Chilean martial artist Marko Zaror (MIRAGEMAN, KILTRO). It’s from DTV auteur Isaac Flornentine (UNDISPUTED II, US SEALS 2, NINJA, THE SHEPHERD: BORDER PATROL, etc.)

The other two world premieres are THE STRANGER starring “Stone Cold” Steve Austin – which doesn’t have anyone promising behind it, but I think that guy has the potential to be a good action star – and something called OPERATION: ENDGAME with Ving Rhames, Maggie Q, Zach Galifianakis, Rob Corddry, others. (A parody, I’m guessing.)

For North American premieres they have the Donnie Yen movie 14 BLADES, a capoeira thing called BESOURO, and RAGING PHOENIX which I’m dying to see because it’s Jeeja Yanin from CHOCOLATE doing Muay Thai mixed with breakdancing, or something like that.

Other new movies playing: POWER KIDS, VENGEANCE, DIRTY MIND, THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE WEIRD, HARRY BROWN (Michael Caine doing a new GET CARTER type revenge picture), MANDRILL (Marko Zaror’s latest, unless you count the other one I just mentioned), MERANTAU, VALHALLA RISING (a Norse thing from the director of BRONSON), a couple others.

For repertory type business they got my favorite Thai movie BORN TO FIGHT, something called GOLDEN BLADE III: RETURN OF THE MONKEY’S UNCLE (apparently shot in Asheville), an Australian one called WAKE IN FRIGHT and a “Chuck Norris Retrospective” of CODE OF SILENCE and BRADDOCK: MISSING IN ACTION III.

If you’re not familiar with CODE OF SILENCE, it’s the one Andrew Davis did before ABOVE THE LAW, with a very similar storyline, same city, same villain, some of the same supporting characters. In Seagalogy I explain how it proves that it takes Chuck Norris and a robot to equal one Seagal.

A press release for Actionfest said they were gonna open with the world premiere of “Neil Marshall’s CENTURION!!” (exclamation points in original), but that’s not listed in the schedule on their website and, let’s be honest, Neil Marshall is dead to us after his last movie that shall never be named or thought of again and that erased the existence of his previous movies and some of his ancestor’s achievements and good works.

Chuck Norris will be there, and so will his stunt double from WALKER: TEXAS RANGER. I’m not sure which movies will be in competition, but serving on the jury with Chuck will be Devin Feraci from Chud and Drew McWeeny from the unattributed quote on the cover of my new book. I have to admit I’m jealous that I didn’t get invited, but it might just be because Chuck Norris doesn’t want that shitty joke book about him to be compared to an actual book made up of sentences and paragraphs like Seagalogy. I wouldn’t be able to do it anyway because I’m a recluse, so good for Drew getting to go and represent action fans all around the world. I’m happy for him. Don’t blow it, Drew. Don’t fuck it up. We’re all counting on you. You can do it, in all likelihood. No pressure, bud.

I think this is a great idea. I’m glad to see the genre being shown some respect, and I hope this festival continues for many years and grows to something much bigger – or at least inspires a competing festival closer to me. Maybe they could come here to give Bruce Lee the Defeater of Chuck Norris award.


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74 Responses to “Anybody in North Carolina?”

  1. How far is it from Atlanta? Driveable? I might be able to make it.

  2. Google tells me it would be about a 3 1/2 hour drive. If you go you should report in as a correspondent.

  3. shucks, I’ve visited Asheville before, too bad I’m not there now

  4. Holy shit. I’d heard about Actionfest, but I just assumed it was like the action equivalent of the After Dark Horrorfest or something like that. I had no idea that it was based entirely around my personal concept of awesome.

    They even managed to make the most perfect possible selections for their Chuck Norris retrospective. I’m not going to be able to make it down there this year, but I hope this thing expands.

  5. That’s a pretty awesome idea, it seems odd that there are other ‘genre-fests’ but not one for action. And Devin and Drew are a decent level of internet fame, so the organisers are clearly taking this shit seriously. Although not sure either of them are that forgiving of DTV action, we’ll see.

    VALHALLA RISING is a funny one, as I’ve heard it’s more arthouse than action.

    HARRY BROWN was out in the UK last year, it’s pretty good, got a lot of comparisons to GRAN TORINO even though it’s not really like it and much more like DEATH WISH. It does suffer from typical vigilante film “simplistic view of a complex problem all solved with killing” but it’s competently directed, Caine is great and to an extent plays up the vulnerable aspect of his character, he seems in a lot more danger than Clint Eastwood would have been in the same situation. However please don’t believe this is in anyway a realistic depiction of the UK, the Daily Mail would have you believe this was a documentry heh. To be fair the depiction of the gang isn’t overly cartoonish, but it’s not as this ‘out of control, attacking the elderly for fun on a daily basis, riots in the streets’ level.

  6. Nope, sorry, Neil Marshall is still alive and kicking for me, because his first two movies were way too good to ignore him after one failure. But since I’m the guy who promised to never touch anything done by Zack Snyder again even if I like his DOTD, just because 300 is in my opinion one of the 3 worst movies of the 00’s, I won’t blame you for thinking so.

  7. This seems both feasible and a highly enjoyable prospect for me, Vern. I think I’ve been to the Belle Chere (or something) festival in Asheville, years ago, and it’s an agreeable little event that my mom liked in an agreeable little city. For ActionFest, I think, I’ll leave my mom at home.
    I leave Fort Bragg for another deployment shortly after the dates mentioned, but I’ll try to make this happen.
    Well, I just got done running 8 miles. I have to go eat & check my subordinates’ living quarters’ conditions before I release them for a long Easter weekend, so I’ll investigate the itinerary possibilities and check back later today.

    What do I get if I bring you back an ActionFest t-shirt?

  8. Grim Grinning Chris

    April 1st, 2010 at 5:22 am

    I’m with CJ Holden. I have not given up on Marshall in the slightest after one (albeit big) misstep. In fact, as a misstep (for me at least) it at least has the distinction of being very entertaining… A contrived, jumbled mess, yes. But still entertaining. And Dog Soldiers and Spelunking: The Movie are just too too good.

  9. I would agree with the Marshall bit….except I won’t. Fuck’all, I liked DOOMSDAY.

    I feel like Quentin Tarantino when he told everyone that he was a fan of ISHTAR.

  10. I will agree that (movie name deleted) is an abomination, but Centurion looks fucking awesome, and the reviews are all saying that Marshall stepped up as an action director and has a strong sense of geography and motion, something that he didn’t have on that other one. So I’m excited.

  11. Vern – They didn’t invite you because they feared you or Norris would bring up politics, and well you the Seattle hippie and him the NeoCon wanker would start a fight. Which you would probably lose, but take the wiffle ball bat from “Paul Revere,” you might have a shot of walking away on your feet.

    I mean you can’t exactly have a reasonable respectful exchange of political discussion when Norris thinks Obama would have personally aborted Jesus. But wouldn’t he need the consent of the father too?

  12. This fest sounds pretty great, I saw “Merantau” and “Mandrill” at Fantastic Fest (twice), shot the breeze with Marko Zaror and also occasionally exchange e-mails with the director of his films, Ernesto Diaz Espinosa. Just for clarification purposes, “Merantau” is not related to Zaror I just saw them at the same place.

    I watched “Harry Brown” a while back and despite the intensity of violence I was a little bored by it. “Good, The Bad and The Weird” is excellent if just enough old enough for anyone to have been able to see it anywhere by now. “Vengeance” is no “Exiled” but if you like the professional killers with no aim sub-genre that Johnny To tends to traffic in, pretty expertly I think, then it’s watchable.

  13. Jareth Cutestory

    April 1st, 2010 at 6:54 am

    RRA: One of the many urban legends that circulate about Vern is that he once flipped the bird to Dick Cheney. So you might be right about a Vern/Norris confrontation.

    GoodBadGroovy: Have you watched BULLIT recently? Compared to some of the more lunk-headed stuff that came out in the 1980s, BULLIT totally seems like an art film. When DIE HARD was released, critics called it crude and stupid, but these days it’s the very model of sleek, well-constructed and thoughtful. Funny how our perceptions of these films changes over time.

  14. i’ve been following this for a while and i would definitely drive the 12 hours from where i live to get there if my band didnt have a show on the 17th.

    and if valhalla rising is an action movie, so is tarkovsky’s STALKER. brilliant film, but not right for this fest. i predict a lot of walkouts at that screening.

  15. I suspect my political disposition is largely aligned with our favorite Outlaw, but I’m pretty good at subduing my vehement disagreement with right-winger imbeciles. I do it everyday.

  16. I will be at your funeral, vern.
    don’t fuck with Chuck.

    or OLEG.

  17. You’re talking about DoomsDay ? It’s not that bad. I can’t honestly compare it to Dog Soldiers ( one of the best werewolves movies ever made ) , but it’s not in the category of “movies-so-bad-that-they-never-existed”. Come on Vern , that’s the category of Blues Brothers 2 and Ghostbusters 2. DoomsDay , in my opinion , is not that great , but I think 50% of the hate comes from too high expectations.

  18. Also , that convention looks awesome. I’m looking forward to Undisputed 3 and The Good , The Bad and The Wierd. I wish I was able to go .

    Speaking of movie posters , and in detail , of ROBOCOP movie posters , a while ago there was a competition or something on AICN and they showed a new poster for ROBOCOP and it was awesome . I don’t remember if it was for the upcoming/obligatory remake or the original , but it was sort of metallic with red details , with a very unique style . Did you guys see that ?

  19. I never understood the hate for Ghostbusters 2 (apart from the fact that Vigo is just a lame villain and the movie is not nearly as scary as part 1 was [Come on, you can’t tell me that the scene where the arms come out of the chair or the overall design of the hellhounds didn’t scare you to death!])

  20. CJ – Here , let me help you remember: 1) Vigo is an incredibly lame villain , with a fucking annoying sidekick. 2) Rap version of the Ghostbusters theme. 3) Statue of Liberty used as a giant robot. 4) Fucking Dancing Toaster. 5) They fucking love that Dancing Toaster, and they dance and sing with it.

    Holy shitballs , I just can’t believe that all that shit is in a single movie.

  21. Jareth Cutestory

    April 1st, 2010 at 10:45 am

    CJ Holden: I haven’t seen GHOSTBUSTERS 2, but I can recite many of the complaints levelled against the movie that I’ve heard over the years:

    – it shoe-horned in characters that had served their purpose in part one and had no business still being around
    – it wasn’t especially funny
    – script meanders all over the place
    – walking Statue of Liberty is a lame re-hash of the Marshmallow Guy
    – Peter MacNicol is annoying
    – evil paintings aren’t scary
    – venkman lost his edge
    – no spark whatsoever between Murray and Weaver
    – too much baby stuff
    – Potts’ character dumped Egon for Moranis’ character
    – the movie is surprisingly sentimental
    – Bill Murray said it was bad

    Like I said, I’ve never seen the movie, but I’m a bit phobic of sequels to begin with.

  22. Ghostbusters II is totally redeemed by this Bill Murray speech, which I quote verbatim from off the top of my head:

    “Hey you. Yeah, you, the bimbo with the baby. I have met some DUMB blondes in my time, but you take the taco, pal. Only a Carpathian would come back to life NOW and choose New York. If you had brain one in that HUGE melon on top of your neck, you’d be living the sweet life in Southern California’s beautiful San Fernando Valley.”

  23. Venkman calling the female attorney “kitten” during cross-examination also makes me smile every single time. And one man’s annoying Peter MacNicol performance is another’s treasure. “Everything you are doing is wrong, I vant you to know this.”

  24. I also like the character of Janush.

    “Janush, where are you from exactly?”

    “Zee Upper Vest Side?”

  25. Grim Grinning Chris

    April 1st, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Janush absolutely rules. As quotable as the original Ghostbusters is… I think I wind up quoting Janush even more. Hell, I cannot for the life of me EVER EVER EVER see Viggo Mortenson in anything without shouting “He ees VIIIGO!!!” And after sex… “Why am I drippings wis goo?”

  26. Yeah, seriously, how can anybody hate Peter MacNicol in Ghostbusters 2? Not to mention that I got seriously no idea why everybody hates the dancing toaster so much. The whole dance goes less than 30 seconds. I guess that complain must come from the same people who started the whole “nuke the fridge” thing.
    Seriously, both Ghostbusters movies belong to the rare kind of comedy that I can watch over and over without enjoying them less after the 10.000th time.
    “Am I right, Ziggy?” “Yo!”

  27. The Good, The Bad, The Weird hasn’t had a general US release yet? Holy shit. That’s a pretty long delay. I think it’s pretty good, barring a pointless subplot (the bit with the brothel) during the third act that just slows everything down for no reason.

  28. Jareth Cutestory

    April 1st, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Grim Grinning Chris: Similarly, I can’t watch anything with Bill Paxton without expecting him to say “game over, man” at some point. It helps get through the scenes in BIG LOVE that don’t feature Grace Zabriskie.

    Apparently some guy made a Bill Paxton pinball machine:


    CJ Holden: I’d probably go ahead and watch GHOSTBUSTERS 2 based on your recommendation, but I’m still feeling cheated by how awful BILL & TED’S BOGUS JOURNEY was, and that film has plenty of defenders too. Maybe if Mr. Subtlety can work his magic on a defence of GB2 I’ll reconsider. Mr. S. could sell Christmas cards in June.

  29. Oh come on, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey too? :'(
    (To be fair: The Bill & Ted movies belong to the rare kind of movies, which get ENHANCED by the German dubbing, so maybe it turns out to be lame if I watch it in its original language)

  30. Thanks for the heads up Vern, I’m seriously considering going to this. It’s a bit of a drive but just barely doable..

    Oh, and DOOMSDAY was actually pretty decent, bordering on fun a lot of the time. Derivative, sure, but not without merit. One of the few times I’ve majorly disagreed with ya.

    Also: GHOSTBUSTERS II is a worthy sequel IMHO. Not as good as the first, obviously, but some fun ideas and a generally likable ambiance. Anyone played the Ghostbusters game (written by Ramis/Akroyd and with the whole original cast except Moranis)? It’s kind of akwardly staged (as a video game) but it has some classic bits.

  31. Grim Grinning Chris

    April 1st, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Ha. I love Bogus Journey too… Granted Station is stupid as hell, but everything else in the movie is great and I love William Sadler in it (except maybe for his “rap”).

  32. Apologies, but in the spirit of ACTIONFEST (and shameless self-promotion) here’s a poster I drew for DEATH WISH 3:


    (it’s for sell too!). My next piece will likely be ROLLING THUNDER. If anyone wants posters drawn for ANYTHING, I work cheap.

  33. Yeah, I like Bogus Journey too. Sadler also has an out of costume cameo in the film as the father of the british family you see when they tv signal gets hijacked during the battle of the bands. I don’t get what the two did to deserve to go to Hell though.

  34. Jareth Cutestory

    April 1st, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    CJ Holden: BILL & TED’S BOGUS JOURNEY is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m not even going to mention how much I dislike the second TEXAS CHAINSAW movie.

    But hey, I’m a bit of a crank when it comes to sequels. I can certainly understand why people like many of them.

  35. Well, it’S been a while since I saw Texas Chainsaw MAssacre 2 and can’t remember if I liked it or not, so let’s just end the discussion with this. :)

    (But now that you brought it up, here is another chapter of the always popular [I guess] German censorship trivia: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 was banned in Germany while it was running in theatres. And with that I mean policemen walked into one or more theatres while the movie was shown and took the copies with them. It hasn’t been unbanned or officially released on home entertainment media yet.)

  36. I think Bogus Journey is better than Excellent Adventure. They could have just done a redo and had Bill and Ted visit some more personages of historical significance, but instead they got sent on a tour of heaven, hell, and all points in between. It stops being a stoner comedy and becomes a weird metaphysical sci-fi fantasy that happens to be about two stoners (who never actually get stoned).

    In other news, I also really like Back to the Future II for similar reasons. See the third movie for an example of how the formula could have easily been repeated, but instead they dug deeper and deeper into their own mythos until the movie nearly ate itself. Plus, hoverboards. Done.

  37. Kermit, I believe that ROBOCOP poster was by Tyler Stout. Let me find it…

  38. Jareth: I swear that’s not an urban legend, I really did flip off Dick Cheney. I heard on the news he was in town for a fundraiser at the Westin hotel downtown. This was in the days when I was attending alot of anti war demonstrations so I went by there before work to see if there was a protest or anything. There wasn’t really, just a few people with signs waiting around on different corners.

    I waited around for a while and sure enough a line of cars comes in escorted by police. I happened to choose the right corner because his limo went by in clear view, I’m standing on the curb and he’s one lane in. Liz Cheney was on the other side and he was right there at the window.

    There were just a handful of people where I was, holding anti-war signs. Cheney saw them, smirked and waved sarcastically. That’s why I yelled “fuck you” and flipped the Vice President of the United States the double-bird. It was not my original plan.

    But honestly, it made me feel hugely proud of my country. I felt we were at a low point in our country’s history and that that man was the most responsible party, but we still were free enough that I could do that without even getting hassled at all. There are plenty of other countries where you’d have to fear for your life. Or even in Iraq that reporter got in so much trouble just for throwing a shoe at Bush, not even his own leader.

    (Then again, that night I got the first blinding migraine of my life, making me ponder various paranoid theories about what kind of technology they were using to protect him.)

    True story, though I got nobody to back me up on it. Maybe I could use the freedom of information act to see if it’s in my FBI file.

    As for Chuck Norris, it’s true, I got no love for his politics. But my bigger problem is I just don’t think he’s on par with the other ’80s American martial arts/action guys as a movie star. I plan to watch some more of his movies some day for further research, but so far I’ve failed to see The Great Chuck Norris Movie that justifies his icon status. Any tips would be appreciated.

    On the other hand part of the reason I hate that Chuck Norris Facts book so much is because I feel that by being so ironic about him they are insulting the genre as a whole. So in that sense I think we’re on the same team. I got some respect for him. He seems like a nice guy.

  39. Bugger – Can’t attend. Turns out I’ll be in Connecticut by then. An 11 hour drive may be more than I deserve.

    Are there Chilean action movies worth checking out? I haven’t come across any yet.

  40. Telf – Kiltro is ridiculous but I think you would enjoy it because of Marko Zaror. I will be reviewing Mirageman pretty soon too, it’s a mixed bag but pretty fun. And I seem to remember some kidnapping movie somebody recommended to me but I never saw it… I’m sure we got some Chileans to chime in here.

  41. telf: I enjoyed Kiltro and Miracleman. Particularly Kiltro. I love how it starts out with a emo-raver-goth dude wearing humongous baggy pants and a hoodie that looks like it’s melting as he punch-dances his broken heart away to David Bowie’s “Modern Love” and then Count Dracula and a dwarf show up and suddenly the dude is chopping heads off with a blade in his boot.

    Vern: I would recommend either Missing In Action 2 or Invasion USA as the twin pinnacles of Norristhetics. The latter in particular makes it clear that the only thing stopping a bunch of dudes in pickup trucks from taking over the entire state of Florida is Chuck’s two fistfuls of Uzi.

    Also, the bad guy shoots a dude in the cock like five or six times. Gotta be a record.

  42. Ah shit Jareth, now I feel like I didn’t work hard enough on that. But comedys are pretty hard to defend — either they work for you or they don’t. I find it surprising that anyone who really liked GHOSTBUSTERS would just hate the sequel, since they’re pretty similar in tone, but sometimes the funny bone is a funny thing. I like a lot of the ideas in GB II (for instance, the ooze being a physical manifestation of negativity) but of course its somewhat slighter in almost every way. It’s a little more substantial than MEN IN BLACK II, though, so at least there’s that.

  43. Vern, may I recommend INVASION USA? Lots of action, a great villain, and Chuck Norris appearing everywhere without warning (like the school bus scene). And just when things really start heating up…Chuck resigns to his hotel room to watch some 50s alien invasion flick while smiling like the country hasn’t just been attacked by the commies!

    Also, I have a soft spot for SILENT RAGE. It’s way too slow and there’s a million different genres competing against each other in the film, but that opening unbroken shot is a small masterpiece.

    That’s what’s weird, the directors of both films actually seem talented, and they seem to sneak in displays of real artistry, but then it feels like they get lazy and just settle on making a generic Chuck Norris movie.

  44. Vern: If you’re talking about CHINANGO or ENTRE LLAMAS, I would recommend skipping them both. Really forgettable, with hardly any action. I went on a Chilean kick a few years back and was really disappointed by those two.

    Also, it turns out ENTRE LLAMAS does not mean ENTER THE LLAMA. Which is a bummer in my opinion.

  45. Mr. Majestyk beat me to it. Lets not forget the villain’s crotch shooting and slamming a cocaine straw up a hooker’s nose.

  46. Jareth — btw, to check out my opus on sequels, see the ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS forum, at the end. Yes, its mostly about David Cronenberg. What about that seems surprising?

  47. Speaking of GHOSTBUSTERS 2, whether we’re simply grading it as a sequel (unsatisfying) instead of a movie on itself (watchable but disposable)…

    I dunno, but anybody remember REAL GHOSTBUSTERS? I remembered really enjoying it as a kid, but after seeing a batch of episodes on YouTube…for a saturday morning cartoon with the expected genre conventions (pointlessly colorful art scheme, kid-friendly retarded cartoonish sidekick), they’re surprisingly well-written and take damn good advantage of the concept for the most part. More satisfying as a GB “sequel” than GB2.

    I suppose this was because J. Michael Straczynski (BABYLON 5) was the script editor.

    Not quite BATMAN: TAS, but definately in the Top 10 of that sorta thing.

  48. Jareth Cutestory

    April 1st, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Vern: As someone who was taken out of commission by teargas and water cannons at the G7 summit in Quebec, I feel very vindicated and grateful that a righteous individual like yourself was able to express our collective discontent to the man who was the cause of so much of it. Mission accomplished, motherfuckers.

    Bonus points for getting off a double bird: the Legend failed to mention that detail.

    Mr. Majestyk: I appreciate where the BILL & TED sequel went, and I know how rare it is for a sequel to not be a re-hash, but I found that everything that was effortless in the first film – the mannerisms, the friendship, the response to the supernatural – just seemed so forced and contrived in the second. But there was good stuff too. Death was funny.

  49. I agree about The Real Ghostbusters. The show even had an episode about Cthulu! And I just love the episode with the war between Werewolves and Vampires. Especially the ending!

  50. Jareth Cutestory

    April 1st, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Mr. Subtlety: You’ve demonstrated enough critical acument in other threads that I think we’ve reached a point where you can pretty much give a film a thumbs up like Nero in the colliseum and I’ll take a second look.

    I think I just have a bug up my ass about sequels in general. I can only think of a few that I like. Where most people rightly understand that a sequel is something they may have to lower their expectations for, I tend to get hyper-critical. It’s an illness, I know.

  51. David : Yeah , that’s the poster I was talking about . I think it’s fantastic . Tyler Stout , you say ? I’m going to look for a bigger version of that poster to print , and to look for other posters from that guy . Thank you very much , and your artwork too is very good !

    Ghostbusters 2 : Wow , are we talking about the same movie here ? I don’t know , maybe the American version is less annoying than the Italian , or the jokes are better , I don’t know I just hate that fucking thing . Especially the rap version of the theme song , in my opinion , is exactly the same as the “holla” thing Vern was talking about in the chipmunks piece : in 1989 Ghostbusters trying to “be down” with hip hop culture , paving the way for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II in 1991 and that ninja rap bullshit . I want to punch the TV every time I hear it . And , yes , I hate that toaster , but I have nothing to do with the “nuke the fridge” movement . I like the fridge .

  52. “And I just love the episode with the war between Werewolves and Vampires. Especially the ending!”

    Yeah and without the vampires sparkling or the gay vamp and gay werewolf pretending to fight over the affections of a girl they don’t have the boners for.

    The best one I’ve seen so far (and there’s a boatload at YouTube) is the one with them stuck in a Walt Disney-esque cartoon where the creator’s been trapped for decades, his toons repeatedly smashing him with anvils in revenge for what he did to them.

    I wonder if that’s Chuck Jones’ pennance is down in hell.

    Mr. S – glad to know I have a (sorta I supppose) DOOMSDAY defender.

  53. I fucking love DOOMSDAY and I don’t care who knows it. It’s derivative as hell and sloppily edited, but goddammit if it isn’t a lot of fun.

  54. oh no, I’m definitely squarely in the DOOMSDAY defender catagory. In fact, I don’t think it really needs defending, I think it speaks for itself. I get that it combined everything that bugs Vern into one movie, though. I can understand disliking it much more than I can understand not falling in love with HOT FUZZ and SHAUN OF THE DEAD (when are we gonna get that “Vern’s Appeals Process” you keep threatening us with? Clubside, get on that one!)

    RRA- when it comes to Vampires v Werewolves, you forgot the one cardinal rule: drench everything in dark blue. Only dark blue can make this concept interesting. But once you do it, it’s interesting enough and you don’t need any additional content.

    Jareth — Before you run off excitedly to watch GB II you should know (if you don’t already) that Im pretty forgiving of sequels in that I philosophically try to watch every film based on its own individual merits. But I also have a hard time LOVING sequels — there’s hardly any as close to my heart as the originals. I wrote a depressingly long post about it in ALVIN.

  55. Mr. Majestyk: what I like about BTTF2 is that they rather seamlessly set up a lot of things for Back to the Future 3 and then when they payoff, they keep it subtle. Like when Marty comes up with the “bulletproof vest”, he doesn’t need to mention that he got the idea from Alternate 1985 Biff watching Fistfull of Dollars. Mad Dog Tannen appears in the Biff’s museum in 2 as well. Marty’s problem with being called chicken starts in 2 and gets resolved in 3 etc. I think it’s also cool that for a time travel story, it’s all kept in the one location and doesn’t revolve around any actual historical figures or events, just the history and future of this small town and is pretty self contained(though what happened to the Libyans from part 1 is a mystery, since they just crashed their van. It didn’t explode or anything, so presumably some of them should still be alive at least).

  56. I also enjoyed DOOMSDAY when I saw it in theaters and have always been a little perplexed, not by the fact that Vern didn’t like it, but by the extreme degree of his hatred for it. It just doesn’t seem deserving of that level of ire.

    On the other hand, although I definitely enjoyed watching it, I have had zero desire to rewatch it, unlike with Marshall’s DESCENT which has been a movie worth returning to. I guess my sense is that all of DOOMSDAY’s pleasures are purely surface and I got everything I needed from it on one viewing.

  57. Vern if you’re looking for some Norris movies to turn you into a fan I recommend you either go with Invasion USA or Lone Wolf McQuade. Saw them both recently for the first time and they blew me away. I’m betting you’ve seen this already but if you haven’t seen this clip before then you’re welcome.


  58. To be clear, I have zero problem with the derivativeness of DOOMSDAY. I went in expecting an ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK riff, and I smiled when they ripped off the map from that at the beginning. The reason I hate it so much is its extreme disregard for spatial relations. I don’t think there was any action in that movie that I could follow, and it’s a movie that consciously has absolutely nothing else going for it if you take out that there’s a bunch of people chasing and fighting. So for me it was as long and torturous of a movie-going experience as DOMINO. But more boring.

    But if they were gonna have competent action scenes I also think they could’ve had more fun with the premise. One example of the mindboggling wastes of potential is the section of the movie taking place in the castle, where everybody pretends to be living in the medieval days. Why did he think it would be more interesting to have a renaissance fair than to have a castle rigged up with scavenged technology from other time periods, and why didn’t everybody else tell him he was wrong?

    Sorry, I didn’t mean for my hyperbole to speak for everybody. I know there are several people here who like it, plus I think Harry and the Chud guys loved it. But for me, as much as I loved THE DESCENT, I can never be optimistic about a Neil Marshall movie again. He pulled a Tony Scott.

  59. Yeah, I do recall DOOMSDAY having some spacial relativity issues sabotaging most of the major action scenes. It’s weird how sloppy it looked at times considering how well crafted DESCENT is. I would not hold it in high regards in terms of its action filmmaking. Especially the editing. But I do think you could praise the film’s lighting, costume and set design and music for strongly evoking a certain atmosphere. And I’d say that those elements somewhat slightly redeem the problems Vern mentioned.

    Still, not a great movie in my esteem, and I think most of its pleasure comes from the way it tries to cram the plots for 10 B-movies into one film. Meaning the credit goes more to Neil Marshall the writer than Neil Marshall the director.

  60. I loved the REAL GHOSTBUSTERS, thanks.

    There was somewhere online where you could watch all of them, but I forgot where it was. If I find it RR, I’ll let you know.

    I didn’t see THE DESCENT or DOOMSDAY; for me, all Neil Marshall has is DOG SOLDIERS. Which was fun, though I thought there was too much shoe-horning around bad jokes and silly payoffs. I like the look of CENTURION, though. Some good actors (just like DOG SOLDIERS’ McKidd, Cunningham) and hopefully less room for terrible puns.

  61. THE DESCENT is a really great horror movie. It’s scary as hell before the monsters even show up. At this point, it’s definitely an anomaly in Marshall’s career because it’s the only film he’s made that seems to be taking itself the least bit seriously.

  62. Majestyk,

    Even more, I think the movie is scarier BEFORE the monsters show off. The monster stuff is good, too, but I always felt like the last act starts to drag and repeat itself in places. I’d have been satisfied if the monsters never showed up and the movie was just about women lost in a cave. It’s some suspenseful shit.

  63. So back to REAL GHOSTBUSTERS, I typed up the JMS-penned “Knock, Knock” episode on Youtube.

    Wow. Amazing how with less than 30 minutes he’s able to make a more epic scenario and execution than GB2, and you believe the doomsday stakes of fuck it or go home with the “doomsday” door opened. It could have been a multi-part episode or even a movie, but all there and pretty satisfying.

    Plus I loved the unmentioned suggestion that people trapped on a train possessed by the ghosts/demons were killed and thus became spirits themselves. That’s fucked up, especially for a “family friendly” program.

  64. REAL GHOSTBUSTERS is probably responsible for Bill Murray’s involvement in Garfield though, as the cartoon Venkman and Garfield had the same voice actor, which probably gave the filmmakers the idea.

  65. Vern, did you check out Missing In Action? There’s a lot of great stuff in there that turns Norris into a respectable action hero on par with his peers.

  66. Doomsday is way better than Dog Soldiers…

  67. This thread inspired me to watch SILENT RAGE on YouTube. What a bizarre film. I’m on part 7 of 8 and the psycho is STILL lying on a table, yet to be revived. (Talk about sleeping through a role.) The love story subplot is so awkward it’s surreal, and Flounder from ANIMAL HOUSE as an incompetent deputy belongs in a different film — preferably one that was never made. His overacting mixed with Norris’s non-acting makes for the worst comedy duo in movie history.

    Took me a while to realize that the head mad scientist is Jackie Brown. No, not Pam Grier — I think I would have recognized her — but the gun dealer from FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE. Poor bastard. Every so often I’ll spot a familiar a character actor in a movie, look him up and see that he’s been in nearly every TV show for decades. (Like Geoffrey Lewis or William Schallert — Google Image ’em and you’ll recognize them). This guy, Steven Keats, was one of ’em. He was also in DEATH WISH. How do talented actors get exiled to TV hell like this? He was so good in COYLE.

    Okay, gonna go back and stick it out. I’ve somehow managed to avoid ever having seen a Norris film start-to-finish, and I think I may have had the right idea. This crazy dead dude better get up and start a’ killin’ soon, or I want my electricity back.

  68. P.S.

    You’re right, David. That opening shot is the best thing so far.

  69. FIREWALKER is amazing in parts.
    LONE WOLF MCQUADE has the turbo jeep.
    MISSING IN ACTION 2 is good fun with some succesfull acting tries by the Norris.
    give ’em a whirl.

  70. I’ma keep pushing this invitation since I’m so very, very lonely. {single teardrop wells, falls, smears makeup}

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