Haikuesday

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Drip drop drip drap drop

Morning storms soothe wakening

Heaven’s piano

Western Watchins Week 23

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If you’re old enough to remember VHS tapes then you probably remember that they were, at least early on, prohibitively expensive to own. That’s why I rented Transformers: The Movie every week after church at Albertsons instead of just buying it. I could watch that one over and over again unlike anything that Michael Bay has, or will soon, put into theaters.

I don’t like those at all.

In fact I’d rather shit in my own face than have to see any of them ever again because 1) it would stink less and 2) seeing any of them is the emotional equivalent of shitting in one’s face so I’ll just save you the trouble and me the money Mr. Bay by doing it myself!!!

So, Dig Your Grave Friend, Sabata’s Coming is available now because VHS tapes have died off, DVD’s rose in their place (and will soon die off) and now Blu-rays rule the world. We lucked out because Echo Bridge Home Entertainment seems to have bought the rights to every spaghetti Western that no one cared about until they were available in 8 or 20 pack DVD-is-now-a-dead-format-and-therefore-super-cheap movie collections for mere pesos. Amazon, K-Mart, Wal-Mart…they all got ’em and from what I’ve seen so far they are well worth it. It’s like 63 cents per movie so “worth” is relative I suppose but wasn’t not too upset that I was digging my own grave due to the imminent arrival of aforesaid Sabata. Though it was a bit much to call me “friend” right out of the gate. Slow down there movie title jeez!

This particular movie spun off of the success of Lee Van Cleef’s/Yul Brynner’s official Sabata trilogy. Just like Django had hundreds of imitators so too did Sabata including Wanted Sabata, Arriva Sabata and Don’t look now…Sabata Will Shit in Your Face! Alright, I made that second one up but it is true that Sabata was a big Transformers fan. I haven’t seen the originals so I suppose I can’t compare them to this one but I’ll be they were better films all around.

“Better” doesn’t always mean “more enjoyable” though. My six gun rating system takes this into account. 1 or 2 and I just was not entertained. 3 and 4, though middle of the road, say at least there were moments of laughter and/or awesomeness. 5 and 6 means buy these movies and carry them with you at all times because they are that good and you never know when you might stumble across an electronics department with an easily accessible media player with which to introduce everyone in ear shot to High Plains Drifter.  

I don’t think I’d ever serenade Best Buy with Dig Your Grave Friend, Sabata’s Coming but who knows. Vodka is a right powerful spirit! And I think that’s what this one, and so many Spaghetti and B-Westerns, had that gets you past the rough edges. Spirit, get up and go put on some gun leather and sleep outside by a fire inducing spirit. Dig Your Grave’s ever changing film stock did nothing to diminish the lush Tex-mex-italian scenery. Plus the fact that the dubbing came and went (twice!) was interesting to say the least but I figured out what was goin’ on each time until the English returned and had a good chuckle while I was waiting. And sure ,there were completely cliche characters like our hero Steve played by expatriate Richard Harrison but I didn’t mind one bit.

That’s not what he looked like in the movie by the by but Sharpie a five-o-clock shadow and cowboy hat on your monitor and you’ll get the idea. And his buddy in the film is your standard bumblingly effective bandito as portrayed by Fernando Sancho. I don’t have a picture of him but just google “some Mexican guy”. I haven’t actually done this myself but I can tell you he’s not a cat or boobs so filter those inevitable results and that’s him I’ll bet.

If that’s already too much trouble then I know you’re not going to search for “sweaty cowboy hitman relaxing” so take heart because I did find you this image of Raf Basldassarre as the titular Sabata. He is always moist. Usually from sitting in a tub or bed presumably because he’s so damn sexy and sleeps with every lady around or maybe just rubs one out into his holster while he pretends it’s the rough hewn vagina of a well traveled woman. Look at him and tell me I’m wrong! 

Or you know what? You find the review pictures next time! It’s not as easy as you’d think with a nearly unheard of flick from 1971. Oh I tried, I tried. Vague or specific searching didn’t matter. In fact I ran “Sabata dolphin” to prove my point and what comes up?

This! 

Grizzly goddamn Adams! But where’s the dolphin? We may never know. But do know this: Dig Your Grave Friend, Sabata’s Coming delivers. You’ve got a revenge story. Then that ends about twelve minutes into the film but then another one starts right away! You’ve got a love story and a few almost sex scenes. A guy shooting backwards off of a balcony, two stagecoach drivers you’ll feel so sorry for and many, many glorious chickens! Yes, the bad guys don’t come off bad enough, the good guys aren’t really acting as much as posing and most if not all of the facial hair is fake but that was all good enough for me. Put in a blender it all came out delicioso. 3 rounds in the cylinder this week for Sabata and all his friends, they didn’t have much to work with but damned if they didn’t put on a good show.

Let that be a lesson to ya’ till next week when I watch and write and then you read and laugh.

Adios folks.

Haikuesday

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Anime teaches

Vash simply will not take life

I think I’m different

No one replaces toilets like Gaston!

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Had to do just that this week and it just happened to be one of the upstairs bathrooms that needed it. So do the math and then the lifting: a new crapper had to go up and the old one had to come down.

I’m a big fan of functional muscle.

What’s functional muscle? It’s not pretty mirror muscle I’ll tell you that though training consistently and intensely with caridio-tastic compound exercise routines will leave you looking awesome simply as a by-product. But doing 20 sets for your biceps or 500 crunches a day just so you look good will leave you short when it comes to actual performance.

I always explain it like this: Sure, you can sit at the leg press machine and move several hundred pounds for rep upon rep, and your quads as soooo huge and cut but could you run half a mile, scale a ten foot wall and then balance across a beam all the while carrying a sack stuffed with a hundred pounds of steel? Basically is all you do flex and look showy or could you run into a burning building to rescue someone, or get out of a similar situation yourself, under your own power?

Spraying on your abs is a cute trick for a con appearance but it means nothing in a life and death situation. I look good in costume because I train to be prepared for what ever might be headed my way for sport or survival.

It was a nice reminder this week then when I hoisted that big dual flush delicately up the stairs and then the old john nimbly down those same twists and turns without spilling a wayward drop. The Boulder Boogie training sucks and hurts but I’ll tell you it pays off in some cool ways. I get older everyday, but I get stronger and faster too. That growth’ll probably slow down someday but maybe it won’t. Maybe I won’t let it. 

No one ages like Gaston beeyotch!

Western Watchins Week 22

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Can I hear it for the 80s? Oooooooooo! Wait…this is from 1990. But it all started in ’85 and sequel-ed in ’89 and then only a few months later sequel-ed again! Sure, all you damn kids today have already seen Avengers 2 because of the internet but back in my day when Back to the Future Part II ended and a trailer for Back to the Future Part III was shown immediately afterwards (announcing the fact you could pretty much just stay in your seat because it was coming out that soon!) we all collectively shit out parachute pants with glee.

Well I didn’t. I was a fat kid who never owned any parachute pants despite the Goonies best effort to goad me into doing so. I always wanted to be Mouth but damned if I didn’t look like Chunk during all those kids are super kind to one another years growing up but that’s why movies were so great back then: I could escape being tubby for a few hours. But as soon as the movies ended…oh light of day you were a cruel mistress! So imagine my joy at getting to watch Back to the Future Part III again recently and realizing I was skinny before, during and after it as well. Great Scott it was amazing! And the movie wasn’t too bad either.

This third and final installment of one of nerd-dom’s most beloved trilogies took us where we had yet to go in the series which was way, way back into the rowdy history of our American Wild West.

Here’s when Dr. Emmett Brown invented Steampunk. And it would be more than a hundred years before tons of people who were “really into” Steampunk would ruin Steampunk for the rest of us. Kind of reminds of how Dr. Who got spoiled for me because it’s so fucking retarded!

Did I just say that? So not PC to make fun of retardation and Dr. Who but I did and Doc looks surprised. Though c’mon, if there’s anyone in Hollywood who can do a better wide eyed “holy shit WTF” kind of stare than Christopher Lloyd I’ve never seen them. And don’t say “Marty Feldman” or “Jack Elam” because that’s not acting, that’s just the way they look! What are you some big time judgmental S.O.B.? Awesome. Keep reading my blog, you’ll love it!

And I loved all the B.T.T.F. movies back in the day but I have to say upon this most recent viewing of Part III it hasn’t handled the test of time that well. Better than Michael J. Fox has mind you but still rather slow paced for what felt like the entire movie. It’s weird that a movie about beating the clock as it were should feel that sluggish. And besides pacing it failed in the same way Three Amigos failed for me on the slapstick side of things. Some goofy corporeal comedy shit from my childhood I still love, some however doesn’t hold up well for a reason I haven’t really figured out yet. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable, just wasn’t the ride I remembered from 23 years ago.

Now where it did shine, in ways I would not have appreciated in my youth, was in many memorable and now (at least for me) instantly recognizable homages to great Westerns of yesteryear. From shooting a big action sequence in Monument Valley right down to the smallest details like Marty’s poncho and poncho induced gunfight survival (see pic above for a Clint hint) Back to the Future Part III kept me smiling with little in jokes and references galore in a way the dated physical bumbling and wacky caricatures couldn’t. Plus it tips its hat to only the greatest Western of all timeand that enamored this noticeably tired time traveling trilogy’s tail end to me a great deal despite any other shortcomings. 

So you know what? This movie was fun and maybe it was just the bittersweet aftertaste of a time long gone (I’m talking about a damn near perfect 1980’s childhood here filled with some of the best movies, toys and healthy Michael J. Foxes around!) that left me shy of loving this. We can’t hold on to the past forever and sometimes when we do look back it’s not as damn near perfect as we remember. That’s a tough lesson to learn at any age but despite this unexpected epiphany I’ll still give Back to the Future Part III four big rounds. Might not have the legs anymore but it’s still got a fair heaping of heart.

Till next week then, ride on amigos.

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