Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Time For Some Crappy Blu Ray Covers!

Pictured: A lazy ass cover.

It’s funny, as mediocre as I felt Cowboys and Aliens was as a film, I’m honestly surprised to see it hit the DVD stands with such hideous cover art.

Seriously man, the cover above represents one of the more lazy efforts I can recall for a major DVD release.

It’s got the obligatory orange and blue color contrast thing goin’ on, which shows at least some degree of competence/lack of originality on the part of the designer, but when you look at the individual elements with even the slightest attention to detail, it looks just plain ratty.

For one, all the major figures in the image are lit inconsistently, but more importantly, they’re blended together with little to no finesse.

It’s like they took a bunch of stock images from the film, through color filters over them, and slapped them together with no regard for how they might interact with one another.

Actually, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what happened.

Anyway, let’s take a look at some other crappy DVD covers, shall we?

Pictured: The nasty-ass cover for the Rocky blu ray.

… Okay, now that’s just sad.

Not only do we have an inappropriately dark and brooding color palette and theme for THE GREATEST-FEEL GOOD SPORTS DRAMA OF ALL TIME, we also have a truly sad super imposed Stallone head atop a stock model body.

Honestly, I do crappy head swaps in Photoshop as a joke, so why the fuck did this guy get paid to do it, to ROCKY of all things?

Let’s move on to something worse before I throw a Rocky fanboy related fit, shall we?

Pictured: Crap in a shell case.

Ladies and gentleman, I believe we’ve found our cream of the crop.

Probably the funniest thing about this cover, besides it’s utter craptacularness I mean; is the fact that it represents a film that actually has quite a lot going for it in terms of visual aesthetics.

Seriously man, as “meh” as it might have been, Minority Report was one beautiful fucking movie.

From the excessive airbrushing of Action Cruise’s face, to the boring and plain-as-fuck layout, this is one hideous fucking cover.

Honestly, and I mean this in absolutely the most negative way possible; this cover looks like something from The Asylum films catalog.

It’s that fuckin’ bad.

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Filed under: Movies, , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Top 10 Hardest Boss Fights, #2


As you’ve likely noticed, the past couple of entries on our list of The Top 10 Hardest Boss Fights have both been final boss characters from fighting games.

While I personally feel that the fighting game genre is quite likely the most prominent contributor to the realm of tough-ass boss characters, there is another genre of game that has a similar penchant for ass-raping it’s players when it comes to boss fights.

That genre, is the shoot ’em up.

Yes, this is in fact playable. And yes, it is in fact EASIER than the game featured today.

While occasionally consisting of pure twitch reflex gameplay, the challenge in conquering most modern shoot ’em ups lies mainly in knowing one’s hit box and a healthy dose of pattern memorization/anticipation.

And no, I will not be using the term “shmup,” as it is silly, and the people who came up with it smell like poo.

*ANYWAY* Many scrolling shooters, especially shorter ones; present gameplay challenges of such difficulty so as to be considered downright unfair, if not for the fact that the expectation is that the player will fail numerous times in attempting to slowly “learn” the stages and be able to anticipate them accordingly.

Indeed, the art of the shoot ’em up is a relic of times past, a genre that holds little relevance amongst the 10-20 hour technical marvels that largely represent the current age of gaming.

I don’t remember where I read it, but the best description of shoot ’em ups and old-school action games I’ve ever heard went something like:

“It’s learning how to play a small game well, as opposed to merely experiencing a large game.”

Let’s just pretend I was responsible for the quote above, ‘k?

Like many nostalgic lifelong gamers that grew up in the 8 and 16-bit era, I enjoy playing modern narrative driven games; however I often catch myself longing to go back and play some of the simpler games of the past.

That being said, today’s entrant on our list of the Top 1o Hardest Boss Fights does indeed come courtesy of a shoot ’em up, however it by no means what I’d call a “simple” game.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that today’s boss comes from perhaps the most sophisticated (and difficult) shoot ’em up of all time.

#2 on our list of the Top 10 Hardest Boss Fights is:

#2. Tageri and Ubusunagami Okinokai – Ikaruga

Pictured: A brave pilot faces down the bullet spewing final bosses of Ikaruga.

Ikaruga is one of those games that I want so badly to love, but I suck so badly at it that I just can’t….  ‘Cause it’s stomped my ass into the ground more times than I’d care to admit.

I love shoot ’em ups.

If it scrolls and it involves planes/dragons/fairies with unlimited ammo, chances are I’ve played it, or failing that; want to play it at some point in my life.

Unfortunately, I’m quite far from skillful when it comes to, well, shooting things up.

I’m usually good enough to get 2-3 stages into a shoot ’em up before dying, but as we all know; that’s usually not nearly good enough to beat the game in the arcade without dumping $5 into the machine.

Money I likely would've preferred to have pumped into Aliens vs. Predator.

To date, I have yet to beat the console version of Ikaruga.

You see, unlike an arcade game, the console version of Ikaruga restricts the player to making use of 3 lives per stage; meaning there’s no continuing from the middle of a level.

Basically, if you can’t beat the last stage with 3 lives, then you’re sunk.

While it’s an almost obnoxiously beautiful game, both in terms of art and design; I can think of no other shoot ’em up that requires as much memorization and focus as Ikaruga.

There are in fact harder shoot ’em ups out there, mostly of the bullet hell sub-genre; but in my mind there are few that are better.

That however, does not change the fact that I’ve never beaten the final boss(es) of Ikaruga.

As you may have noticed up above, I actually named 2 bosses as entry #2 on our list of the Top 10 Hardest Boss Fights.

While some might call foul on that, in my mind both characters serve as the final boss of the game.

Tageri, a biomechanical monstrosity with a literal yin and yang core, serves as the penultimate challenge of the game, and boy is he a douche-rocket of an asshole:

Don’t let the INSANE skills the player in the clip above fool you, Tageri not one with whom to fuck.

You see, Ikaruga’s main gameplay innovation is the implementation of a black and white based polarity system for every attack and enemy in the game.

At the touch of a button, the player is able to change the color polarity of their ship back and forth from white to black, allowing them to harmlessly absorb enemy fire sharing their color profile and convert it to power a homing laser attack.

At the same time, enemies struck by fire of the opposite polarity take twice as much damage, making the bulk of the game an ongoing high-speed puzzle of matching polarities for survival, and opposing polarities for quick kills.

Like all of the bosses in the game, Tageri’s attack pattern involves both of the above tactics, however in a much more straightforward and confrontational fashion.

In essence, the fight with Tageri pushes your rhythm, memorization, and polarity matching skills to the limit; as his attacks never let up, and are almost impossible to avoid, forcing you to defend yourself almost exclusively absorb bullets as your only form of defense.

That’s the one element of Ikaruga that’s perhaps the most difficult to embrace, even as a veteran of shoot ’em ups:

In Ikaruga, you’re not only expected to run into enemy bullets; at many times it’s to your advantage.

In a genre where the one steadfast rule of the gameplay is to not touch the bad things, that’s not an easy pill to swallow.

That being said, the “dot eating” aspect of Tageri’s attack pattern is a nerve-wracking experience that as mentioned earlier, I’ve yet to conquer.

All of the bosses of Ikaruga are tough, but Tageri is one of the only ones that forces you to basically stand your ground and eat every bullet on the screen throughout the duration of the fight.

This involves keeping an eye on the half dozen or so sources of fire at all times, and accounting for which color bullets are going to hit when.

That's a direct quote by the way.

The fact that you only get 3 lives, many of which can easily be exhausted before you even enter his chamber, coupled with the information overload produced by Tageri’s maddeningly aggressive attack pattern, has resulted in me never quite getting to a point in which I’d say I were “comfortable” in fighting him.

Despite this, I have managed to beat him once or twice, though I did so with little tact, and at the cost of nearly all of my lives.

Which brings us to the “other” final boss of the game, the Ubusunagami Okinokai, or “The Power of God:”

Awr?...

Not actually an enemy to be fought, Ubusunagami is actually just a diamond shaped object that shows up after you’ve defeated Tageri, and then proceeds to fill the screen with bullets for 60 seconds.

Indeed, you read that right.

Immediately following one of the hardest bosses in gaming, with one of the most brutal and oppressive attack patterns imaginable, you then have to face down the diamond-shaped embodiment of “The Power of God” for an entire minute.

Before the dark times, before the Empire, THIS is what Ubusunagami looks like.

Remember when I said Ubusunagami wasn’t really something to be “fought?”

Well, what I meant by that wasn’t just the fact that you’ve gotta’ have Korean-level gaming skills and APM to win against him, but that you also can’t fight him period.

That’s right, after encouraging you throughout the entire game to eat like colored bullets to survive, the game basically forces you to put that newly developed gaming instinct to the test and survive, without the option to fight back; for one whole minute.

THIS. FOR AN ENTIRE MINUTE.

While that’s admittedly a very bold and, frankly, “cool” way to force players to truly excel at the game in order to be rewarded with an ending, it’s sadly a test I don’t know I’ll ever pass.

As mentioned earlier, much of Ikaruga is based around the concept of memorization.

It’s a well known fact that Ikaruga players are among the hardest of the hardcore.

The fact that the ultimate source of pride in playing the game is not simply beating it, as few mortals can ever hope to do; but to do so with a high-score should tip you off to how dedicated they can be.

Doing so that involves killing enemies of the same polarity sequentially to string combo multipliers, or in some cases, beating the game without firing a single shot.

Yes, it’s possible, though not for this poor shmuck:

I’ve beaten games like Demon’s Souls, which involved a great deal of trial and error and persistence, but the level of memorization and timing required to beat Ikaruga straight through, are such that I’d probably have to sacrifice my ability to recognize simple shapes to free up space in my brain.

Who am I kidding, if I sat down and forced myself to be an expert Ikaruga player, I’d probably end up an autistic and incontinent husk, capable of nothing but playing shoot ’em ups and counting cards.

Huh, if I could get Tom Cruise to take me to Vegas, that probably wouldn’t be too bad a deal…

*Sigh* If only...

Filed under: Games, Movies, The Top 10 Hardest Boss Fights, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Motion Capture Is Cool…

I was watching my newly purchased Blu-Ray of Avatar tonight, when it suddenly hit me that I forgot to write my blog.

Nah, just kidding, I never forget…

While I’m on the subject of movies though, I figure now would be a good time for me to talk about my feelings on motion capture technology; something that Avatar couldn’t have been made without.

I’ve always been fascinated by the artistry of the human body in motion.

I’m a firm believer in the concept that much of how we communicate our image and demeanor to the the people around us, stems from our body language.

That being said, whether it be in stage acting, professional wrestling, dance, mime, sports, or fighting; a person’s character, both fictionalized or genuine; shines through in the manner in which the move their body.

For me, a person that doesn’t converse with new people often, or well for that matter; being able to understand gesticulations and body language goes a long way towards getting to know people.

Though I can’t pin down the first time I saw it in action, motion capture technology is an amazing tool that I’ve grown to love very much.

The basic concept of it alone is utterly intriguing to the point in which I found myself wanting to be involved with it at some point.

Seriously, if you know anyone with an “in” to the motion capture industry, let me know!

For those who are unaware, motion capture is a technology that uses a specialized camera and computerized tracking system to map out and record the movements of a subject’s form.

Using the data recorded through this process, said movements can then be transposed onto the anatomy of a digital character.

In the context of movie or videogame production, doing so allows CGI animators to save (some) time by using actual human actors to map out a performance for digital characters, which can then be finessed or tweaked further by the animators.

In many ways, it’s the heir apparent to the classic animation technique of rotoscoping.

In many ways, the largest benefit of motion capture technology, is that it grants directors and animators an incredible degree of control over their projects.

If George Lucas is any indication, control is something that is very important to filmmakers.

They say some of the best moments in film history have been the results of happy coincidences, or even mistakes.

While that may be true, CGI stands as a counter to that, as a tool that allows filmmakers a degree of control that makes the word “mistake” seem almost obsolete.

CGI allows directors to create and animate just about any imagery that pops into their head, but motion capture technology allows them the ability to continue to work with actors, while taking advantage of the technology to precisely extract the desired performance from said actors.

While I don’t see live-action movies going away at any point in human existence, the inherent possibilities of producing digital motion captured films are downright incredible.

Think of it this way:

When producing CGI films with motion captured performances, one gains the freedom to set their film anywhere they want, populated by whatever they want.

They also retain the ability to cast big-name actors that put asses in the seats, not to mention gain the capacity to modify the actor’s appearance to their liking.

Not only that, motion capture also allows for stunt actors to be inserted into scenes without having to be shot at distance or from behind, as the whole process would be seamless.

Come to think of it, the whole concept of “stunts” as a whole could potentially be removed when making a motion captured film.

After all, the whole thing is performed in a sound stage, not to mention the actor can be “removed” from scenes whenever necessary, thereby allowing the animators to take over for the dangerous or “un-performable” sequences.

Still, the idea of being able to slip Donnie Yen’s motion capture performance into Tom Cruise’s digitally de-aged body is something that I’m sure a lot of people would pay to see.

To me though, the most interesting aspect of motion capture in film, is it’s effect on the acting process.

Acting in a green room, surrounded by artifice, actors have to dig deep and use their imagination to summon strong performances.

In short, more stress is put on the actor to use their body to convincingly occupy the digital landscape their character inhabits.

From the audience’s perspective, I find it changes how we view these performances as well.

While I myself am normally attuned to the physical aspects of an actors performance, when I watch motion captured performances, I find myself drawn to dig a little deeper.

I can’t tell you how much fun it is to see a digital character walk around in a movie, only to find the tiniest little inkling of evidence of the fact that you are in fact seeing a familiar actor, give a performance in an unfamiliar shell.

In many ways it reminds me of my lifelong love of Godzilla, or any sort of “suit acting” for that matter.

When Haruo Nakajima stomped around in a Godzilla suit, you could instantly tell it was him by the “largeness” and sheer character of his movements.

When Kane Hodder killed bitches as Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th movies, we could always tell it was him by how savagely he went about killin’ bitches.

When Peter Weller was switched out in favor of Robert John Burke (the fattie from Thinner) in Robocop 3, we were all up in arms; not just because that movie sucked, but because Burke’s physical performance simply wasn’t Robocop.

While motion captured performances will never beat good ‘ole “man-in-suit” acting, the concept is similar enough that is brings me great joy to watch.

I look forward to seeing the day when Donnie Yen steps into the motion capture studio and shows us what motion capture pictures have been missing out on.

Seriously, why the fuck hasn’t anyone made a martial arts movie in mo-cap yet, huh?

That’s right Robert Zemeckis and James Cameron, I’m lookin’ at you two…

Filed under: Boxing, Kung Fu, Movies, Tokusatsu, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Azn Badger’s Top 5 Songs That Keep Him From Stabbing People (Chinese Edition)

Yep, that’s right, we’re doin’ this again.

Give me a break will yah’, work was particularly brutal today…

Anyway, today we’re gonna’ be taking a look at the Top 5 Chinese Songs That Keep The Azn Badger From Stabbing People.

Unlike the previous 2 iterations of this list, this time around there’s an extra rule involved in my selection process.

Said rule would be:

No Jackie Chan.

Being as I have a fairly extensive collection of Jackie Chan songs, I think it would be best to save them for a list of their own at a future date.

Remind me to get back to this at a future date, as I genuinely like a lot of Jackie’s songs, and would love an opportunity to talk them up at some point.

Anyway, that being said; let’s get to the list:

5. Babylon In The Orient – Shanghai Restoration Project

You know this is gonna’ be a fucked up list when I start things off with a joke entry.

Babylon In The Orient, while sung in English (barely…) by a Chinese person; is the quintessential Azn song.

Mind you, that’s “Azn” not “Asian.”

The difference being defined by the amount of hair gel and “street” sensibilities present in the Asian person in question.

Consisting of little more than the words “holler” and a few extra tidbits here and there, the song captures the sound and feel of the Azn archetype so perfectly, that it’s tune springs to mind every time I see (or hear) a rice rocket or Asian guy dressed like a 300 lbs. Black guy.

Needless to say, Babylon In The Orient is a song that makes me laugh on account of how insanely Azn it is.

While it’s indeed a shitty song, the point of this list is that it consists of songs that keep me from stabbing people I.E. make me happy.

Babylon In The Orient makes me happy, though in a “so bad it’s good” sort of way.

In my book that counts for a lot.

4. Into The Future – Andy Lau

Ah, the “Great Un-Aging One,”  Andy Lau.

Andy Lau is like the Tom Cruise of China.

He’s been consistently playing handsome, energetic and suave young men throughout his entire career despite being about 10 years too old to do so for, well, over 10 years now.

Truth be told, I haven’t really seen many Andy Lau movies, but the man has one helluva’ a reputation; as is evident by my knowledge of him despite having little to no interest in his career.

That being said, I think it’s funny that #4 on this list comes from the soundtrack of a movie I haven’t seen, and is sung by an aging pop-star I barely know of.

That’s right folks, the kung fu movie obsessed blogger that is the Azn Badger has not seen Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer.

Know what else is fucked up?

I haven’t seen Kung Fu Hustle either!

Despite this, I stumbled across the theme song for Shaolin Soccer at some point, and while it doesn’t make me want to see the movie any more than before, it’s an energetic and fun song that always puts a smile on my face.

Someday I’ll see Stephen Chow’s movies, but until then; I’ll settle for listening to the soundtracks.

3. Shan Shan Re Ren Ai – Elva Hsiao

Elva Hsiao is yet another artist I ran across while perusing the now defunct Azn music forum I used to frequent.

Near as I can tell, she’s basically the Taiwanese equivalent to Madonna, only prettier and without the nasty gap in her teeth.

Oh yeah, and I’m guessing she doesn’t live out her days pretending she’s English like Madonna either.

Anyway, I only really ever heard 1 single of Elva Hsiao’s, called Diamond Candy.

Being as it was a single, there really wasn’t a whole lot to listen to, but the songs “More More More” and Shan Shan Re Ren Ai (whatever the fuck that means in Mandarin…) struck me as surprisingly catchy dance songs.

While “More More More” got brownie points from me on account of featuring Wu Jing in the music video, ultimately I felt Shan Shan Re Ren Ai was the better song.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up listening to more of Ms. Hsiao’s work in the future.

2. Huo Yuan Jia – Jay Chou

In case you haven’t noticed already, many of the songs on this Top 5 come from the soundtracks of Chinese movies.

Huo Yuan Jia just happens to be the theme song for the movie of the same name, otherwise known in the U.S. as Jet Li’s “Fearless.”

It also happens to be a song by the juggernaut of Taiwanese pop music, Jay Chou.

Unlike most Asian pop-idols, I happen to like Jay Chou.

He started out his career as a writer, and as a legitimately accomplished musician behind the scenes, he’s definitely earned his stripes.

Despite all that, the point is:

I like his sound, and he’s made more than a few songs I happen to like, so he’s cool in my book.

I can’t say I’m terribly excited about his recent forays into action cinema, most notably in the upcoming Green Hornet movie; however despite that, he’s still cool in my book…

… Provided he doesn’t make a fool of himself in that movie.

Anyway, Fearless was a pretty spankin’ movie, but the one memory I’m able to carry with me wherever I go, is the tune of this song.

Man, I wish American movies would have badass theme songs like this one…

1. A Man Ought To Be Strong – CHINESE PEOPLE

Really, how could a kung fu movie obsessed person like myself make a Chinese music list without throwing A Man Ought To Be Strong into the top spot?

As a Chinese folk song, as well as the theme of the seemingly endless Once Upon A Time In China film series, A Man Ought To Be Strong is, from my perspective, the spirit of China in song form.

While there are scores of versions of this song, (including 1 by Jackie Chan) this version, sung by a choir as opposed to a single vocalist, is easily my favorite.

As I said, this song basically symbolizes China in my eyes, making it all too appropriate that the best version of it be sung by a bunch of anonymous Chinese as opposed to some pop-star.

Anyway, this song is awesome.

Everyone should hear it at some point in their life, so if this was your first time, I’ll just say, “You’re welcome.”

Filed under: Kung Fu, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Story Idea

BEST. COVER. EVER.

Well, it’s been about 2 years overdue, but I think I finally came up with a new story idea to keep me occupied for the forseeable future.

Bear in mind, when I say “story idea,” I’m referring to something along the lines of a concept for a comic book, short story, or *GASP!*maybe even a novel!

Pictured: "Novelists."

Don’t worry, I promise I won’t go all counter-culture hipster on you guys.

Anyway, at this point in time, with my idea less than 6 hours old, the whole thing is more of a concept than anything else, but even so I think it has a lot going for it.

In interest of saving some time, namely my own, here’s a basic rundown of what I’m shooting for:

Basically, you take the setting of that movie The Village, (I haven’t seen it, but I’ve had the ending spoiled for me)

... Yeah, chances are I'll never sit down to watch this one.

marry it with the aesthetic and monster populated world of Capcom’s Monster Hunter game series,

Haven't played any of these, not sure if I could put up with the grind-fest gameplay. Even so, the art and music alone have got me tempted to pick one up sometime...

and then give it the Dances With Wolves/The Last Samurai/Avatar treatment.

This may as well be the title of said movies.

Actually, now that I think of it, that doesn’t reflect what I’m shooting for at all…

Here’s my idea, in my own words:

Our hero is a young man that comes from a small village of pre-Dark Ages technological status.

The village is surrounded by wilderness on all sides, and aside from a small water source and a single mountain peak visible from over the treeline, completely isolated.

Basically, the villagers live on the assumption that they are the only humans in their realm; that there is nothing for them beyond the forest.

The reason for this isolationist line of thinking is due to the presence of some truly ghastly and vicious man-eating beasts that live in the forest, thereby making travel through the wild all but impossible.

There is a very distinct border between the territory of the villagers and these creatures, crossing it by even the slightest amount agitates the monsters, yet they never cross this border.

These creatures, the wild landscape they inhabit, should be viewed as representing nature, or rather “the wild unknown.”

The real meat of the story, at least at this point, comes from the fact that sometime in the past, maybe a century or 2 ago, someone from the village in question looked upon his surroundings and found them inadequate.

He was disgusted by the sad state of his village and the fact that it’s inhabitants had begun to turn to inbreeding as a means to preserve their dwindling numbers.

He looked at the mountain in the distance and said to himself:

“I want to see the other side of that mountain.”

He was the first man in the history of the village to adopt this progressive line of thinking.

Think of him as sort of the Prometheus of this particular account of human history.

After rallying others to his cause for a time, this man eventually ended up leading a small but determined expedition into the wild.

Most were eaten by the monsters, several became lost in the woods never to be seen again, and that one man, the one that was responsible for it all, found a new life in a clearing at the opposite end of the wild.

He would be the first human to do so in the history of the realm.

This man would be the founder of a new, expansionist and progressive-minded civilization composed people who, like himself, migrated from their respective “island” villages.

Of course, this particular civilization exists without our hero’s knowledge.

The aforementioned people that became lost in the wild would become consumed by the very landscape around them, transformed into horrific and violent man-beasts.

The “wild” in this story is special in the sense that, to most of the characters in the story; it’s still unknown, it’s still dangerous.

In that sense, the wilderness in this story should be regarded as a truly hostile environment, one that not only presents danger to the humans that venture within, but does so willfully.

In this story, the natural world truly hates humanity, such that it produces horrible creatures specifically for the purpose of keeping man outside of it’s borders.

Think of it as a sort of Gaia-like Earth-spirit that exists to keep man in his place, to keep man from discovering the true depths of his insatiable lust to consume and destroy.

Huh, now that I think of it, it’s kind of like Adam and Eve and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

With monsters, lots and lots of monster…

Anyway, that’s where our Prometheus throws a monkey wrench into the mix by surviving what was supposed to be an impossible endeavor.

In a symbolic sense, I guess Prometheus’ victory is supposed to signify the power and mystery of nature beginning to wilt under the tenacity, determination, and ingenuity of man.

The man-beast population don’t exactly represent both parties, humanity and nature, as one would expect.

Rather, they are a doomed element in the story, a group of survivors that have grown powerful and ugly due to the harshness of their environment.

No longer fully human, they are nevertheless still regarded by the wild as intruders, thusly making them targets for the monsters, as well as complete outcasts to whatever human elements they may encounter.

They are physically powerful, but inbred and prone to illness and early death.

At some point in the story, they will probably engage in violence with the Promethean settlement, as that is simply the only way the 2 civilizations can encounter one another.

I think the angle I’m trying to play with the man-beasts, is to posit to the reader/audience the possibility that perhaps the various creatures inhabiting the realm this particular story takes place in are all actually cut from the same fiber.

That is to say, perhaps the vicious man-eating creatures of the wild are in fact mutated humans that were trapped in the forest for too long, or perhaps man is result of some of the monsters stepping out of said enviroment.

The world of this story is meant to have some subtle magical elements, (no spells though, I fuckin’ hate that shit…) so such transformations could easily happen over a reasonable period of time as opposed to through genetic/evolutionary means.

I’m rambling, I’m sorry.

Anyway, the story is basically about a young man, a hunter raised in a small tradition-oriented society, discovering the true breadth of the world around him.

At this point in time, the only background I have established for him, is that he is hunter who lost a friend to one of the monsters in the woods, thusly resulting in him seeking revenge on said monster years later.

Near as I can tell, it’s his quest to slay this beast that takes him into the wilderness and beyond.

What happens from there, and why, I have no fucking clue.

Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got for now.

Don’t steal my ideas.

Filed under: Comics, Movies, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Top 10 Best Overkills in Movies, #4: The Last House on the Left (2009)

#4 on our list of the Top 10 Best Overkills in Movies comes from the 2009 remake of the 1972 Wes Craven horror film, The Last House on the Left.

While both films are remembered in the annals of horror film history mostly for their graphic rape sequences, (and little else) the remake has the distinction of having some truly brutal kills to go along with them.

The basic concept of both films is based around the rather unique idea of incorporating a role-reversal in a horror film, involving a couple of (initially) totally innocent parents, turning heel and going balls-out psychopath on a group of rapists/murderers that sexually assaulted their daughter.

That being said, the overkill in question involves the parent’s revenge on a member of the trio of rapists/murderers, Francis, played by Aaron Paul, who looks a whole helluva’ lot like an uglier version of Justin Chatwin AKA Goku from the live-action Dragonball: Evolution.

Goddamn! Both of these guys could give Jennifer Garner a run for her money in the "high-forehead" category!

For the purposes of this article, Francis shall henceforth be referred to as “Goku.”

Anyway, enough talk, let’s get to the overkill:

At this point in the film, the daughter has just dragged herself across a lake, through the woods, and back into her parent’s house, thusly revealing to them the devilish nature of the group of strangers presently taking up residence in their home.

Our overkill begins immediately after an uncomfortable sequence wherein the mom, played by Monica Potter, pretends to come on to Goku with the promise of wine and sex so as to divert his attention away from some family photos on the fridge.

For reasons I honestly don’t remember, Goku walks into the living room, and happens upon the shivering and terrified form of the young girl he helped rape just a few hours ago.

Taking advantage of Goku’s epiphanic moment of incredulity, Mrs. Potter sneaks up behind his Saiyan-ass and bashes him in the back of the skull with a wine bottle.

There's the wine, but where's the sex?

Being as he was caught off guard, and was  thusly unable to summon his ki to put up a protective barrier, Goku is pretty well rattled by the blow to the head.

Even so, he manages to keep his wits about him and chase Mrs. Cameron Poe into the kitchen.

Unfortunately, the wife of Poe grabs hold of a kitchen knife, and though she doesn’t have enough time to lash out and strike with it; Goku proves to be shit-headed enough to walk right into the business end of it anyway.

Undoubtedly in a great deal of pain as a result of the recent addition of a new hole in his torso, Goku does one of those goofy back and forth glances where his face is all like:

With Mrs. Poe still coming to grips with the idea that she is in fact, trying to kill Goku, she is momentarily taken aback following the accidental stabbing.

Goku takes this opportunity to stumble around the kitchen with the knife still lodged in his chest, only to forcefully extricate it a few seconds later.

Not like he was in any sort of hurry or anything,

It's like Christmas except... No, actually it's nothing like Christmas.

Now armed with the very knife he was just shanked with, Goku takes it upon himself to rush Mrs. Poe and shove her ass onto the dining room table for a savage beatdown.

Well, that’s probably what he was hoping to do.

Unfortunate for him, he really only gets to call her a “bitch,” and smack her in the face maybe once before Mrs. Poe kicks him in the Jimmy and crawls back into the kitchen.

Well, at least I think that's a kick to the Jimmy. Kind of hard to see...

Despite the kick to the Jimmy, being as he is still armed with the kitchen knife, Goku is still very much the aggressor in this particular conflict.

Thankfully though, Mrs. Poe is greeted by the sight of her husband, (sadly, not Nicholas Cage…) who calmly extends to her a hand in a Terminator-esque gesture of aid.

"Come with me if you want to live."

I suppose it also helps that her husband is played by that no eye-browed tool from The Last Samurai (Tony Goldwyn).

Watching this man get a sword thrown through his torso was fuckin' awesome.

Anyway, Goku comes charging into the kitchen with knife at ready only to be smacked across the face with a hammer.

Goddamn shaky-cam bullshit. Can't even tell what just hit him...

At least I think that’s what happened.

The very Bourne-esque cinematography makes it kind of hard to tell what actually happened.

Regardless, Goku; in a desperate bid for survival, gets up and chucks what looks like a fancy toaster into the face of the Man with No-Eyebrows.
Once again capitalizing on the shock and confusion generated by his actions, Goku runs out of the kitchen and into the dining room again, this time in an attempt to call for help to his compatriots in the guest house next door.

Unfortunately, the crazy fucking storm going on at the time prevents anyone from hearing his pleas for help, ultimately resulting in Captain No-Brows catching up to him and grabbing hold of the poor guy’s previously broken nose.

Out of context, it almost looks like someone's trying to help him with a bloody nose...

It should be noted that ‘ole Brow-less is in fact a doctor in this movie, one who was actually responsible for treating said nose injury.

IRONY.

With that, Dr. No-Brows puts Goku in a choke-hold and drags his ass, kicking and screaming, back into the kitchen.

Man, whoever did the blocking for this movie needs a dick slap from Michael Clarke Duncan or some shit.

Clearly, Mr. Duncan here approves of said punishment...

Once again back in the kitchen, the good doctor is suddenly struck with a jolt of inspiration taken straight from the Seagal-ian school of revenge.

Needless to say, Dr. No-Brows takes Goku and chucks his ass into a fuckin’ chair:

Man, I'm gettin' flashbacks from #5...

Dragging himself across the kitchen floor and over to the sink, Goku almost manages to get to his feet before Mrs. Poe jumps his ass and starts, well, pulling his hair or some shit.

Either he's about to get a shampoo at the hairdresser's, or he's about to get OVERKILLED.

Seriously man, I know she was supposed to be trying to dunk his head into the sink, but really it just kind of seems like she’s outright blanking on what she should be trying to do.

Anyway, Mrs. Poe proceeds to do what she can to try and drown Goku, however, as tends to be the case whenever Goku is involved, he proves to be too strong to succumb to such an attack.

Thankfully, No-Brows shows up and lends a hand, resulting in the 2 parents exchanging a MEANINGFUL glance between one another:

"Hey, you wanna' watch Bloodsport after this?"

"Take me NOW, you sexy brow-less hunk of man-meat..."

Despite Goku’s head now being very much underwater, Doc Brow-Less once again takes it upon himself to access his more creative instincts as he reaches across the counter and flicks on the sink’s garbage disposal.

Either their sink was clogged with beets and tomatoes, or that man's hand is in the drain...

Now, despite the fact that the 2 parents clearly had Goku’s head fully submerged with little fuss, for whatever reason it seems like they ease up on him just for the sake of watching him scream like a… Well, like a dude with his hand caught in a garbage disposal.

Behold: Goku's "I got my hand caught in the drain" face.

Anyway, like pretty much any man on the planet, Goku starts tweakin’ like the mother of all mother fuckers.

Seriously man, he goes into convulsions, he screams, I’m guessing he shits himself, and all because he thought it would be a good idea to shove his hand down the drain while people were trying to kill him.

I don’t know, maybe he saw a shrimp down there or something…

Anyway, amid all the chaos, we are treated to a truly horrendous shot of Goku’s skinny jeans:

Gives the chills every time I see ’em…

Now, a good thing to keep in mind when watching this sequence, is the fact that we spend a whole helluva long time watching this guy freak out at the sink.

Seriously, this whole overkill is about 3 minutes long, and a little more than 30 seconds of it are solely devoted to Goku losing his shit and most of his hand.

Anyway, after standing around like an idiot for the past half minute or so, Doc Brow-Less FINALLY wakes the fuck up and grabs hold of the hammer he dropped previously.

You can thank the toaster to the face for making him drop it earlier.

Summoning the last of the savage man-strength imparted to him via the astral form of Steven Seagal, Doc Brow-Less heaves the hammer up over his head, and drives the claw end of the hammer into the back of Goku’s skull and into his brain.

So, after a good 3 and a half minutes of overkill-ery, we finally reach the end via a claw hammer shot to the brain.

This was just #4 folks.

Lots more brutality and awesomeness and/or brutal-awesomeness to come!

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“The One Where Goose Dies…”

Ever notice how sometimes we think we know something when all we’re really working from is just one fraction of the whole picture?

Though I think it’s kind of funny now, I realize that most of my knowledge of movies as a kid was derived from this kind of thinking.

In my youth, I didn’t actually watch all that many movies.

Yesterday I posted a list of my 5 favorite film villains from my childhood, and I couldn’t help but notice that nearly every movie on that list (except The Blob. FUCK The Blob…) was a movie I watched “almost every day.”

 

EVERY FUCKING DAY.

You see, I watched movies all the time, however the variety of films I would watch was extremely limited.

My parents and my brother however, watched all sorts of stuff, mostly R and PG-13 movies that I would have to leave the room for.

 

That didn't stop me from walking in on this one at Auntie's house though...

Despite my not having actually seen any of these movies in my youth, I would often overhear, or be told factoids about them by my parents or my older brother.

This lead to me developing a habit of becoming content with what little I knew, and often writing off the film as unnecessary viewing because of it.

It’s a strange way of thinking that seems to fall in line with that whole “astronauts and astronomers” speech that Sam Neill gave in Jurassic Park III.

In case you forgot, (don’t be ashamed, Jurassic Park III sucked balls) basically it goes like this:

Whatever man, you know you'd go gay for him.

 

“I believe that in this world there are 2 kinds of boys: ones that want to be astronauts, and ones that want to be astronomers.” ~ Dr. Alan Grant

The analogy is that some people thrive on hands-on experience in their passions, while others tend to explore them at arms reach.

In case you are already lost, what I’m trying to say is that; as a child, I feel I developed some tendencies akin to that of an “astronomer.”

In many ways I feel I am still marching down that path.

Anyway, that’s enough of that sappy introspective bullshit, the real reason I’m typing this article is because I found myself laughing over some of the ways I would pretend to “know” movies as a kid.

In general, the way I would “know” movies as a kid was by discovering one key moment in the drama of the film.

This lead to me knowing Top Gun for years exclusively by it’s soundtrack, (which my mother listened to, WAY too often) and that it was “the one where Goose dies.”

 

"So, I forget, what the fuck am I supposed to do now that I'm inside him?"

I didn’t know who Goose was.

I didn’t even know how or why he died.

Hell, at some point I even recall pondering whether he was even human, what with his name being Goose an’ all.

GOOSE.

Other examples of my “extensive film knowledge” as a kid included Rocky IV, which was “the one where Apollo dies,” either that, or “the one with the big Russian guy.”

Apologies for whatever spoilers I may have divulged just now, but come on man, if you don’t know Rocky IV and Top Gun, you sir, deserve to be hit with a tack hammer.

In the brain.

Not in the face, the brain.

In the case of Rocky IV, I had actually seen the first 2 films in the series, and had somewhat of a connection to the character.

Know what’s hella’ funny though?

You know what my brother told me when I asked how Apollo died?

He told me: “What do you think?  Some guy walked up to him and punched him in the head.”

Samuel Peter doing his best Rocky IV Apollo Creed impression.

While that’s actually completely true, Apollo did get punched to death, I just love how straight and to the point my brother was with me.

Bear in mind, we were both very young at the time.

Now that I think about it, that’s actually the exact same description he gave me as to how Superman died when Doomsday killed him the comics.

And wouldn’t you know it, my brother wasn’t lying.

Pictured: The Punch.

The list of movies I used to “know without knowing” (kind of like “fighting without fighting,” but, y’know, lame) goes on and on.

I know some of them are exceedingly vague, but see if you can recognize any of them:

1.  “The one where the bunny throws up and the hippo shoots everyone.”

2.  “The one where the alien jumps out of the guy’s chest.”

3.  “The one where the alien’s chest opens up and he pulls out a ray gun and kills everyone.”

4.  “The one where Godzilla bleeds (for the first time).”

5.  “The one where the guy gets his head stepped on.”

6.  “The one where Batman says, “Eat floor.””

7.  “The one with the black rock.”

And the trick question for the evening:

8.  “The one with the train that goes too fast.”

I’ll post the answers for those care to read them sometime tomorrow.

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