DIE, TIME, DIE! Adventures in Topical Procrastination: Top 5 Fight Scenes

Having some time to (literally) kill this weekend, I chose to fall into the mindless abyss that is the Youtube archives. I don’t know what’s worse, getting absorbed into the youtubian voyeuristic labyrinth or watching the 2nd, 3rd hour of sportcenter.


Well on this particular day, I found a some personally uplifting, societally beneficial material on youtube centered around the topic of “Worst Fight Scenes in Movies and TV,” a topic rarely covered on the blogosphere. Here are some of my top five, with some comments:

5. Kirk v. Gorn

An epic battle between Lizardman from the Gorn Hegemony. Marvel at the Gorn’s, skill with the branch, its agile quickness and brute strength as he tosses Kirk to the ground. Then the Gorn attempts to hug Kirk into oblivion, that is until Kirk resourcefully places both hands on its head, a secret weakness of the Gorn race.

Then the battle turns ugly as they start throwing rocks. But after a while, Kirk gets tired and just runs away, something he should have done 2 minutes prior, at the very beginning. PRICELINE NEGOTIATOR!

4. Its only a flesh wound…. REALLY IT IS… DIE!

A pretty normal fight scene with comical german overdub until–HOLY CRAP– look at that dude with no legs systematically beat the crap out of three guys. That could easily become a staple iconic genre element in any blockbuster action film, alongside the slow motion action montage, the doves flying, the sidekick jumping in front of the bullet, the high pitched string long tone to connote intensity: The person with no arms and/or legs and/or other significant human faculty beating hte crap out of ruffians.

Some ideas:

  • The man with no hands who has to play the piano to distract the villainous millionaire while the superhero rescues the hostages
  • The young woman with no opposable thumbs has to tie the shoelaces on the hero’s magic super power sneakers in order to unleash their power
  • The seriously lactose intolerant little boy retrieves the ticking bomb by swimming through a large vat of milk in an abandoned dairy factory.  
  • The rhythmically-challenged old white man who has to clap on 2 and 4 in order to diffuse the nuclear weapon.

Michael Bay, where are you? Are you reading this?

3. The Peak of American Martial Arts Glory

– distinctly 80s music
– use of action-genre iconic images: slow-motion montage of punches to the face
– a martial arts move designed to claw off part of someone’s jacket. How effective!
– random repeated grunting and screaming and non-stop, wide-eyes, rabid glares
– getting slammed in the wall could somehow puncture ones left eye
– the totally unexpected and utterly absurd eye hook death 
– two unnecessary post-death witticisms, progressively worse
And number two, keeping on the eye theme

2. He’s Got a Lot of Guts, Oscar

Beautifully painful. Asian films are great at being totally serious about anatomical absurdities. Maybe that’s why so many asians are doctors. The unflinchingly serious death scene here feels like home. And I love that scene where the birds eat the dude’s eyeballs.

I wish I could ahve been there to hear the director give stage directions for that:

“I like that his eye falls out, but its just not…. stupid enough. What if we had the eye spontaneously explode? No, that would work. What about if we had the eye ball look around and glare at its former owner? No, metaphysical. I know! What if we had birds randomly fly down and eat it! And… ACTION! 

Which leads us tooo….

1. Slumdog DIE-ionaire.

Proving that East Asia and the West do not have a monopoly on bad fight scenes, this scene from the Tamil movie (not to be confused with Bollywood, I learned), “Athisaya Piravi,” sent me on a Wikipedia safari that yielded some interesting triva about the Indian movie industry, and helped me better understand this young, diverse superpower.

But more importantly, how about this crazy fight sequence? Did you see how he magically kicked those burlap bags onto that man? How about the acrobatic moves? How about the magical jump onto the roof top? Some of those guys really know how to get their butts beaten down? And what about the parallels to this classic youtube clip? <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew1q-qSMZ5A&gt;

And how about that music? Its kind of like if Tom Jones just got drunk at the local indian buffet and composed a soundtrack on his MIDI player.




Anyways, bad fighting scenes, hurray!!!! Finally another way to bring the nations– indians, americans, germans, chinese, Gornians– together! So I guess that brings the grand total of culturally unifying items to:

– Old Country Buffet

– The DMV

– Jesus (supposedly)

– Bad fighting scenes

– Free stuff

– Michael Jackson

I’m sure there are more but I think this is a pretty good list.


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