Monday, June 29, 2009


Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) - What the hell? Where's Charlton Heston? After the first five minutes he disappears until the end of the movie! Dammit, I need Hesty swagger. Hesty 'tude. I feel like I just bit into a ham sandwich with no hammy overacting in the middle.

Damn you all to hell!

The Plot: This simian sequel focuses on a second astronaut who arrives in the future and must find Taylor (Heston) to solve the mystery of the Forbidden Zone where a race of radioactive mutants worship a giant, golden phallus, um, I mean nuclear missile.

Favorite Parts: Monkeys on horses!

The true stars are the apes. Lots and lots of apes. For the apes, I give Beneath the Planet of the Apes three bananas.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Colorado Book Awards

Congratulations to Carol Berg for taking the genre fiction prize! Sorry as I am to report I didn't win, at least it went to a gracious and deserving writer.

And hey, my wife and I got to spend a weekend in Aspen!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kung Fu Movies

Drunken Master (1978) - Not to be confused with 1994's The Legend of Drunken Master. This low-budget (okay zero-budget) classic has some of the most annoying dubbing I've ever heard, but even that can't keep Jackie Chan's charm down.

The plot: A very young and very mischievous Jackie Chan gets in trouble and is sent away by his father to learn from his drunkard uncle.

Favorite parts: Um, the fights. Duh. Jackie Chan is a rare athlete. All I can do is watch and be awed by his amazing skills. Plus the film has a timeless message - all your problems can be solved with jugfuls of booze.

Okay so let me ask you a question. Is it just me, or do all of you experience Jackie Chan movies the same way I do?

  • Stage 1 (the "groaner" stage) - This is when the slapstick humor and ridiculously stilted dialogue makes you shake your head and groan.
  • Stage 2 (the "give in to the sweetness" stage) - This is when, despite your better judgement, Jackie begins to win you over, the same way an overly sentimental Hallmark brings tears to your eyes after half a bottle of wine.
  • Stage 3 (the "kick his ass, Jackie!" stage) - I'm Jackie's now.
Drunken Master earns five jugs of whatever wine he's drinking.

Colorado Book Awards

My wife and I will be heading to Aspen this weekend for the Colorado Book Awards. We'll see if Ex-KOP manages to land the prize. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Kung Fu Movies

Five Deadly Venoms (1978) - Bad dubbing. Weak acting. Campy action. I loved it!

The plot: Five students learn five distinct styles: the centipede (fast), the snake (agile), the scorpion (expert with darts), the lizard (can walk up walls) and the toad (strength). Some use their Kung Fu for good. Some for bad. The teacher sends out his latest pupil who is schooled in all five styles to stop those of his former students who use their skills to do evil.

Favorite parts: The sound effects. All fight movements are accompanied by one of three sound effects. The thup for misses. The clack for blows that make contact. And my favorite, the rattle-hiss for snake style attacks. Also check out how the dubbers pay attention to detail when one of the characters wears a mask to hide his identity. Because of the mask, the dubber makes sure to muffle his voice. Who cares that I couldn't hear him?

Five Deadly Venoms scores five chinese stars!