Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Double Doody! Ha ha ha, I said doody.

So we were watching 'Resident Evil' the other day, which, as video game movies go, is not bad (aside from some laughably dated effects, which are only laughable because we're so fucking arrogantly advanced that we forget that 10 years ago, mid-budget effects were...10 years younger than they are now). It reminded me that 99% of video game movies are reeeeeeeal shitbombs, as Austin would say.

Falling squarely in this category is 'Double Dragon,' a movie which also fits the 'Seriously? This movie was made in XXXX?' category (much like our previous outing, 'Timeline.'). This movie came out in 1994. You might be deluded into thinking it came out in 19SEVENTY4, due to the overall shittiness of its execution, but that would be offensive to movies made in 1974.

I never played this game, although I remember it from going to the arcade/mini golf place we would go to on the weekends. This shit is OLD SKOOL, friends. And yet it took almost 10 years from the inception of the game to make this movie. What happened in the interim, you ask? Well, certainly not story or visual development, that's for sure! What's this movie about, you ask? It's about a video game, people! Whaddaya want, Schopenhauer?

In the beginning a bunch of monks are getting beaten up by a gang led by a shadowy figure wearing a rad ninja outfit covered in Chiclets. Turns out the shadowy figure is a blonde girl BENT ON EVIL!?!1!?! Then we go to super-futuristic LA 2007, where everything is falling apart because of the giant earthquakes we used to be afraid of in the 80s but now don't really care about anymore because hurricanes are way scarier, and we discover that the dude who played the T-1000 is actually the mastermind BENT ON EVIL. Wearing a dashing ensemble reminiscent of Hollywood's outfits in 'Mannequin,' the T-1000 twirls his mustache and tells us he's looking for the other half of a bargain-basement plastic gold Double Dragon medallion that will allow him to control the universe, or whatever.

Uh-huh. Hang on a sec, let's look at the badass T-1000, just so you get a picture in your mind of what Robert Patrick was doing three years BEFORE this movie.

Riiiiight, OK.

We find out the owner of the missing plastic necklace is a lady at a guerrilla kickboxing tournament, where the bad guy from 'Karate Kid' (I WISH) beats the 2 Double Dragon brothers from the video game (thanks, Wikipedia). One brother is clearly a professional martial artist; the other brother is Scott Wolf from 'Party of Five.' THIS SHIT IS WATCHABLE!

You're thanking me already, aren't you. Hang on, it gets better. A wacky newscast run by Vanna White, George Hamilton and Andy Dick (THE FUTURE IS AMAZING) informs us that future LA is basically just as dangerous and crappy as current LA, the only difference being that Jerry Brown is the Vice President OH WAIT HA HA ha. The brothers and the lady (their mom, or aunt, or something) drive around giving zero fucks about how dangerous and crappy it is, because they are driving a goddamn woody station wagon outfitted to look like a petroleum refinery. I mean, it shoots flame and everything.

After a super intense chase scene where thugs use 1994's version of Googlemaps to chase the station wagon, our heroes are saved by the awesomest thing ever: a ragtag spray-painted gang of clowns called 'The Power Corps,' led by:

EXQUISITE! (BTW, I am making fun here out of sheer jealousy. Milano is my age but looks a good 15 years younger. Whatever Faustian deal she made, it's working for her. Slow claps for Alyssa Milano!)

Back at the ranch, the Dragon Twins are attacked by the T-1000, 'coz he really wants that medallion. While the legit martial artist does legit martial arts, Scott Wolf says witty quips and does a shit job of trying to do martial arts. They should have just cut away from him, man. We don't wanna see that. What we DO wanna see is the cool olde-tymey animation that happens when the T-1000 uses the plastic medallion to turn into one of those terrifying demon things from 'Ghost.' The Dragon Twins run away before their place blows up with their aunt (or whoever she was) still inside. Holy shitsnacks - you in danger, girl!

On to what's important, i.e. Alyssa Milano's costume. She spends the bulk of the movie wearing this:

...which is not her fault, because she probably thought it was dope at the time (as is evidenced from this proudly posed promotional pic). Unfortunately for her, this has become legend. And, because the demographic for this movie was ignorant fifth graders, the poor woman also had to do this:

I'm going to cut her slack on this one, since the misogyny is so fucking overt I can't even. Anyhow, all the guys wear baggy sweatshirts with fake logos on them tucked into pleated pants, so, glass houses.

After a bunch of who-cares-wasn't-paying-attention the Dragon Twins seek out help from the Clown Factory, or whatever it's called. Their hideaway is made of win: mini golf, giant spinning fans, graffiti and Crystal Waters blasting. Fuck, YES! They bust into the T-1000's Hitler-esque aerie where they have to fight a bunch of zombies, including a basketball player zombie who asks them if they missed him. From when? When he played with the Lakers? When he was away at zombie school? I don't understand. All I know is the zombies might be the exact same characters from 'Weird Science,' when Lisa summons a biker gang from hell to help Anthony Michael Hall and the other guy who's now an English teacher get girlfriends. Come to think of it, there are a lot of parallels to 'Weird Science' with this movie. There's even a mutated dude who reminds me of Chet.

The biker zombies, in retaliation, bust into the clown college, and there's a big fight with a lot of quips, which I assume is how the video game goes? Lots of quips? Yes? No? Speaking of 'Weird Science,' I'm also reminded a bit of the scene in 'Some Kind of Wonderful' where the same bikers bust into the rich boy's party to teach everyone a lesson. Only these guys are WAY scarier because their leader is Elias Koteas, and that guy doesn't have to be a zombie to muthafucking bring it.

Yikes! During all of this the T-1000 turns into the legit martial artist brother and fights Scott Wolf for the medallion thing. I mean...he could just put him in a hold and take the medallion off his neck. Or he could just reach over and grab it. It's just hanging there. But I keep forgetting this is a video game from the 80s, and therefore the normal conventions of anything remotely resembling a sensible plot have been chucked out with the bathwater!

There's more fighting - again, I keep forgetting this is a game, so no matter how bunk the fighting is, it has to be in there - and the T-1000 gets the opportunity to do this again:

...followed by this:

...and this:

...which pretty much sums up what the end of this movie is like, until we get to the closing credits. Then, the name Neal Shusterman punches me in the face. Shusterman, author of awesome children's books, responsible for this?! Well...I guess everybody's gotta make a dollar and a cent in this business.

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