Posts Tagged ‘chuck norris facts’

Despite the fact that he doesn’t age like other human beings Chuck Norris just turned 82 (yeah, can’t believe it myself) and we felt the need to commemorate the occasion with an appropriate top list!

And as you can expect from the WM Crew we will concentrate on one for the most neglected, forgotten and outright ignored part of his illustrious career. That’s, you guessed it- Chuck Norris‘s very own animated cartoon series- Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos (1986)!

Produced during the height of Saturday morning cartoons and with Norris hitting his Cannon stride (with Invasion U.S.A. & The Delta Force) it was seemingly a perfect match. 5 episode mini-season was animated by the veterans Ruby- Spears ( Scooby-Do, Thundarr The Barbarian and my favorite Rambo: The Freedom Force ).

It stars Chuck Norris as (of course) Chuck Norris, a government agent who works with a team of operatives which consist of Pepper (tech support), Reed (her brother), Kimo ( a samurai), Tabe ( sumo wrestler) and (a tagalong kid) Too Much. Spoiler, he really is too much.

As you can see at least two members of the team are entirely disposable .

They fight the evil forces of VULTURE led by the genuinely cool bad guy- The Claw and his henchman , ruthless Super Ninja.

Now that you’re up to speed , without further ado we present you this ultimate list in the descending order:

05. TERROR TRAIN

Chuck and the Kommandos are tasked with protecting a robot laser while its being transported and naturally the Claw wants a peace of that. Super Ninja ends up planting an explosive device on the train and Chuck must act quickly to save both the laser and the unsuspecting civilians. Unfortunately the train proves surprisingly easy to get on and off from and the episode ends up loosing all the momentum because of it. It ends up being like a cartoon version of the Steven Seagal’s Under Seige 2: Dark Country just much, much worse. If you want to start watching Karate Kommandos don’t start with this one.

04. ISLAND OF THE WALKING DEAD

The Claw is (again) attempting to to gain control of the whole country by bringing down the US satelite (with the plan to reprogram it and use it to control military bases). Unexpectedly satellite ends up in a Voodoo Island (of all places) and Chuck and co. must faces and evil Witchdoctor and his army of the Walking Dead to get to it. Now the premise is kinda fun but of course the team gets easily captured and Chuck basically must do everything himself. The only thing stopping him is a Chuck Norris voodoo doll the Witchdoctor produces (they should have sold that as a toy too) but not even magic can defeat Karate and Chuck Norris manages to save the day, and blow up a volcano destroying all the evil creatures on the island. They were all dead anyway, at least most of them.

03. DEADLY DOLPHINS

Chuck Norris and his comrades are helping a scientist named Dr. Sanford test experimental equipment that would enable people to breathe underwater by (somehow) converting water into oxygen. The Claw sends Super-Ninja and also a female VULTURE operative named Angelfish (great design with a classic Femme Fatale hair across the eye) to kidnap Dr. Sanford and break into Sealab. It’s up to Norris’ team to defend them both.

02. TARGET: CHUCK NORRIS

Second best and coincidentally also the second episode in the order of release. Target: Chuck Norris has our favorite recurring villain- the Imposter! As the name states he is master of disguise yet he’s always recognizable by his thick New York accent! As you might imagine, that can pose a bit of a problem.

Hired by CLAW after unsuccessful bid to steal a computer chip that would gain him control over NATO’s defenses. Impostor sets up a couple of traps first, a ludicrous ambush on a gas station and then on a fancy dinner (I especially like his bartender disguise).

Greatest spin- kick of all time!

Things don’t quite work out and Chuck Norris survives but Super-Ninja gets away with Chuck’s irritating kid sidekick Too-Much. The only logical follow up is Chuck leading the pursuit in a plane that he just randomly took from some man (only thing he had to do was say- “I am Chuck Norris” and there was no resistance).

Of course the plan devolves into Super- Ninja kidnapping Too Much and Chuck Norris Of course it all ends with an Impostor almost getting away dressed as a Grandma. No, I’m not making
this up!

01. MENACE FROM SPACE

The ultimate episode because Chuck not only fights alligators (and defeats one of them by simply stashing him up in a closet) but he ends up fighting Super-Ninja on a Space Station in almost 0 gravity.

Unfortunately devious Ninja finds a way to escape but still, you’ll never find those elements together again (unless someone decides to make Alligators in Space film). I can watch this one over and over again.

Honorable mention: Chuck Norris’s sage (live-action) life advice. Often it has nothing to do with just happened in the episode, even though he does give it his all.

I mean you can’t help but be motivated.

Verdict: If you like 80s craziness (and I would say a lot of people do these days) than this is a show for you. It’s so ridiculous and over the top that Adult Swim would wish they thought of it first (and they did run reruns of it). Voice acting is perfect and the fact that Chuck Norris isn’t really capable of showing emotions is perfectly balanced with Keone Young as Super Ninja who’s at times so over the top he would make Nicolas Cage jealous.

The only things that’s a bit baffling to me is the fact that for a show that puts action first- Martial Art scenes are pretty clunky. And that could have been easily solved- if you look at even older productions like He-Man , they used rotoscoping for a few key action scenes and they would just re- use it over and over again. If you watched any of Chuck Norris’s films he basically uses couple of combination over and over again (like 1-2- backfist or 1-2 and a spin- kick) and that would be so easy to animate.

On the other hand the real selling point of any cartoon is Action Figures! And boy- we got some awesome ones:

Tell me you didn’t want these as kid, I dare you!

Trivia: Besides these super- awesome toys (any funds donated to the WM page may be appropriated to buy some off eBay) we also got Karate Kommandos in comics. Marvel’s kid label Star Comics produced a short 4 issue run of Karate Kommandos and shockingly they didn’t get some random no- name artist to do the job- nope, they got freaking co- creator of Spider-Man and Dr. StrangeSteve Ditko himself! How that happened I’ll never understand.

Then why did we never get more than 5? Here’s what Chuck had to say: “We only did 5 then the woman in CBS said these are too violent. I said what do you mean they are too violent, do you see what’s on TV now? This is good guys versus bad guys. She said yeah, but you’re a real person, so it’s too violent”.

I can’t believe we missed out on more Karate Kommandos just because Chuck Norris is a real person. This never happened to Santa!

Now with HBO Max in full swing and WB producing a lot more animation, maybe we could finally get that second season? We only waited 35 years for it.

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As conventional wisdom tells us a Chuck Norris film will always be unwatchable mess and must be avoided at all costs. On the other hand there are couple exceptions to that rule, obvious ones being The Way of the Dragon (that has one of the best one on one fight sequences in the history of cinema, legendary Chuck Norris vs Bruce Lee duel in Colosseum) and Expendables 2 (which uses Norris cameo to the fullest extend even poking fun at “Chuck Norris Facts” phenomena). Then there is the other kind of movies- the hilariously bad ones, and as you can guess we will concentrate on the later- one of those being  the “Slaughter in San Francisco” aka Yellow Faced Tiger aka Karate Cop aka Karate Cop vs Chuck Norris (no,  we haven’t made up any of those!).

The fact is, Lo Wei, a famed Chinese director (Big Boss, Fist of Fury) wanted to film this movie with Bruce Lee  who kept refusing until he unfortunately died. So instead of a real thing they picked up a kinda look- alike and labeled him  a “Next Action Sensation”. To the best of my knowledge Don Wong (aka Wong Tao) didn’t make another movie in his life.

*all scenes featuring Chuck Norris are covered it this trailer

Young police officer Wong and his black partner John arrest to men for attempt of rape of a young girl, of course using their martial arts expertise (who needs guns anyway). Little while later in the police station young girl, named Sylvia denies all charges and explains “it was all fun”. Confusing start and it just gets weirder. One of the would be rapists kidnaps John in broad daylight just to take him to the beach where he is confronted with numerous adversaries. Let the Kung Fu begin! Johns wife calls Wong and our hippie Bruce Lee- wannabe is momentarily on the way. He makes it in time but unfortunately kills one of the assailants and is almost immediately kicked off the force by his Captain Newman and even incarcerated for a year (?) , obviously if you’re Chinese self- defense doesn’t exist as an excuse.

Next thing we know Wong is now a free man and works as a waiter in a Chinese Restaurant. Unexpectedly a Big Bad Boss of Crime (during the whole movie it is never revealed what kind of crime… it’s just crime)  Chuck Norris aka Chuck Slaughter as he’s known here drops by with his goons obviously hungry for some Chinese…  Then after some usual “lets torture the waiter” routine he blatantly offers a job in his empire of crime to Wong. Wong is dumbfounded and he naturally refuses, and of course something like that can only end in tears. Soon enough Chuck threatens to kill Wong, obviously not able to cope with rejection too good.

 

After being obliterated by alcohol with Wong one evening his now ex-partner John head home in predictably slow pace and somewhere in the way witnesses some men running away from a bank robbery. He pursues the robbers and soon confronts them. They seem confused, and seem content to fight with him bare- handed until one of them suddenly remembers he’s got a gun. What proceeds is the worst scene of shooting in a cinematic history.There is no recoil, gun is obviously a toy and a black dude’s reaction is telling me that a mosquito accidentally bit him at the same moment we hear the gunshot. Chinese man doesn’t shoot again, he decides to forget their original plan (escape as far as you can) and decides to pursue John. They eventually catch him in some random backyard and beat him till death (with bare hand of course).

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Next morning the body is found and Newman being a racist that he is throws Mr. Chu and his wive to jail, their only crime being that 01. The murder took place on their property 02. they are Chinese. Wongs swears a vengeance and then randomly beats a lot of people until he finally finds out the horrible truth- Captain Newman is working for Chuck Slaughter!!!! (Que in the dramatic music) Wong kills Newman in the ferocious and somewhat ridiculous fight and then tries to warn Chu’s lawyer but alas it is already too late.

 

In all that confusion Chu’s only daughter Sylvia (probably the same girl that was not- raped in the beginning- never explained) menages to run of with Slaughter Jr. aka Chuck Norris’s not so evil brother. Well, Chuck “plays the parts he plays- for real” as the trailer said and tries to force his brothers girl to have sex with him. She narrowly escapes, menages to contacts Wong and he bravely marches into Slaughter residence and confronts Big Bad Boss of Crime himself. Why did he have to wait so much to do that -beats me!

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Chow demonstrates his strength and determination by offing some goons and then breaking a shovel- part by part and then Chuck and Chow fight in a obviously non- choreographed or rushedly choreographed scene (typical for Hong Kong movies at the time) and in the middle of  usual punching/kicking combinations they succeed to end up in the fountain, completely wet and already funny fight becomes completely hilarious! Finally Chow beats Chuck and tries to finish him but fashionably late police force stops him (he probably still has them on the payroll) and the movie abruptly ends.

Can new action sensation Don Wong beat the Big Bad Boss of  Crime, Chuck Norris?

Also, there is an important part of this movie that deserves the whole section just for itself  and that’s the incredible and tragic destiny of Mr. Chu.

You see,  Mr. Chu is very old man whose suffering starts right after Chuck Norris’s thugs tossed away a dead body into his backyard. Mr. Chu found a body and called a police. Corrupted cop came in and started interrogation. It looked like the old Mr. Chu was gonna get away (he didn’t do anything anyway, for that matter) but suddenly, without any solid explanation, he went to the backroom with his wife. Following her advice (this was the biggest mistake; never follow woman’s advice) he tried to bribe a cop (?!) with 1000 dollars despite the fact that he is completely innocent. That’s when real hell broke lose. Cop became suspicious and gave him several slaps. After full contact argue with his host, cop placed him under arrest. After coming to jail Mr. Chu had been constantly beaten, insulted, beaten, tortured, beaten, brutally interrogated, discriminated, beaten, deprived of any human rights and beaten some more. One of more ridiculous (and hilarious) moments in the film is scene where Mr. Chu is taken to his cell. When he asked for a phone call cop yelled to him “You are making trouble here!” following with many many many brutal hits into the old man’s belly. With expression of complete confusion on his face Mr Chu threatened with court. With pure hatred  in his eyes cop replied with a stone called face “You won’t live enough to see a court”. We failed to see exact reason for such hate towards poor old man who even tried to bribe a cop despite a fact that he didn’t have to. Movie ends before revealing the final destiny of Mr. Chu so we  can only presume that he is still in jail cell being tortured over and over again…

       Various examples of suffering of poor Mr. Chu

Verdict: this movie is extremely hard to find but it’s absolutely worth the effort! Chuck Norris should have been a deranged villain in every movie he ever made!