Posts Tagged ‘John Carpenter’

Recently we talked about the upcoming Bolo Yeung documentary but we’d be remiss if we didn’t touch on another legendary movie villain who’s documentary is just about to come out.

After an indiegogo campaign and  almost three years of production Henchmen: The Al Leong Story is finally done. It had it’s premiere mere days ago on June 7th on Days of the Dead convention in Las Vegas and it’s coming out on DVD on July 16th. Being a long time fan on the Fu Manchu-ed villain I’m pretty sure it was worth the wait.

Synopsis: This documentary explores the life of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable faces from 80’s action films. In addition to being the greatest cinematic henchman, Al Leong is also a martial arts champion, stuntman, biker, cancer survivor, and much more. From Die Hard and Lethal Weapon to Big Trouble in Little China and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, follow the career of Al Leong with vintage footage, film clips and candid interviews from the likes of John Carpenter, Jeff Imada, Craig Baxley and more.

And for those who missed it the first time around my favorite Al Leong fight scene with non other than Brandon Lee in his ’92’s film Rapid Fire:

 

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After the surprise success of John Carpenter’s Halloween ( made with a meager budget of $300,000) in 1978 many people tried to copy the same formula with the same desired effect. Some actually succeeded even spawning their own franchises (ala Friday The 13th ) but for every successful Slasher you’d have a dozen of stinkers. and Offerings (1989)– well, Offerings has the distinct pleasure of being the bottom of the barrel even among these. Yes, it’s just that bad.

Now, being honest the original concept showed some promise. Johnny is a kid that lives with his horrible and abusive mother (I’m guessing the dad ran away as fast and far as he could a long time ago).

streamtheofferings1Not only is she a horrible person, but her sense for interior decoration leaves a lot to be desired too.

 

He is shy and not really popular among the other kids (quite the contrary) but at least he gets to hang out with a cute blonde girl from his neighborhood called Gretchen. Unfortunately she couldn’t save him from the horrible prank that involved kids forcing him to walk down the age of the well- and ultimately falling down. Now, these kids are A- grade assholes and it’s a miracle he didn’t die right then and there. He only ended up brain damaged and  later comatosed for a prolonged period of time.

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The story picks up  full 10 years later and you’d guess it- Johhny is back from the coma (and a nervous breakdown we’re lead to believe) and he’s ready for revenge. A special kind of revenge that consists of killing teenagers that wronged him and then sending their body parts to the Grechen, the blond kid he had a crush on before the prank (or lets call it what it really is- the murder attempt). Now, that kind of animalistic behavior in leaving trophies like a cat does to his owner might have actually worked and made this movie into something special but the director decides to “play it safe” and just keep copying  Halloween to a T.

I just don’t think Gretchen appreciated all of his hard work…

 

As you guessed it, that doesn’t really work out for the best. The characters are either clunky or unintentionally hilarious (master of overacting, the Sheriff’s  deputy who deserved way more time) and kills lack both the atmosphere and the goriness, and if there’s one thing you don’t want from a Slasher film that’s for it to be tame. The only truly disgusting thing is the fact that Johnny managed to serve the gang (including his loved one Gretchen) a Pizza with let’s say a sausage of human origin!!!  Sheriff suspected something but even after confirming it with a DNA analysis he just didn’t mention it to anyone and we never got to see the reactions to the accidental cannibalism.

offerings-movie-image“Somebody’s here to kill us…”

The fat, incompetent Sheriff did manage to do one thing and that’s he eventually managed to find all the missing aka dead people crammed into the well but on the other hand- while he was exhuming the bodies Johnny was busy hunting the girls (yeah and killing the goofy deputy sheriff who’s the only cool character in the whole movie). After dispatching the annoying girlfriend he chases down Gretchen (I guess to present her some other body part) who menages to get ahold of the deputie’s gun and empties the whole clip on Johnny.

Now in true slasher style Johhny just gets up and starts walking slowly towards her but the fat Sheriff finally appears and defeats Johnny with- a BIGGER gun! Yes, they had absolutely zero ideas at this point. Johnny lifts up his head one more time, uttering the word “Loooove” and then finally drops dead. I’ve never seen a movie villain do something so pathetic in my whole life.

This is so stupid it almost makes it all worthwhile

Verdict: So, this movie is basically just like Halloween but without any of the creepy atmosphere, innovative kills and with it’s Michael Myers being replaced by a fat, retarded emo kid. I would say without the same legendary music but that wouldn’t necessarily be true because they changed one tone and used a freakin’ Halloween theme by Carpenter in the whole damn movie!

Goofs: There’s also a little thing of crazy inconsistency when we find out that Johnny wasn’t in the coma this whole time but after being brain damaged he crawled out of the well (The Ring’s Sadako style) and killed his mother even thou he is just a kid, and that’s when the white coats finally got him.

Now, the acting on the other hand is a sight to behold. Teenagers  sound like a bizarre mix of California Stoners, Valley Girls and Southern Hillbillies which I didn’t even think it was possible till’ I saw this movie. And truth be told Offerings ended up being so goddamn terrible movie that I find this ridiculous Eastern European dance video way superior Halloween rip- off than this movie!

 

Trivia: Tobby Sexton, who played Jake in the movie went on to play a teenage version of Freddy Krueger (you know the scene where Alice Cooper plays his father) in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare and unfortunately not much else.

By this point you probably realized we absolutely adore the work of the O.G.  henchman Al “Ka -Bong”Leong (Lethal Weapon, Punisher, Die Hard, Rapid Fire ). You can even take a look at our little tribute here. But now we are happy to report that that the long gestating documentary Henchman: The Al Leong Story ( featuring the late great Brandon Lee, John Carpenter & The Rock) is in the finishing stages of production.We even have the first trailer to show you!

 

Also, if you like Leong as much as we do- you can support the project by contributing to the Indigogo campaign and get some cool stuff in the process. You can find that here. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/henchman-the-al-leong-story#/

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Something we felt the urge to share with you good people! A brilliant tribute to Big Trouble in Little China, a gem of B- filmmaking by legendary horror/ SF/ action maestro John Carpenter. It’s crazy- ass fun ride in which ancient Chinese Kung Fu magic meets southern-American trucker badassness – with deadly consequences of course. Video is a fantastic mix of overly popular PSY’s Gangnam Style and some memorable scenes from this legendary flick! Surprisingly original Lo Pan, 80- something year old prolific cult- actor James Hong even makes an appearance, you can catch him in the elevator scene in 2:10!

For those who haven’t seen Big Trouble in Little China, bow your head in shame… and then watch this video.  That will be the start of your redemption.