Transplanted Life
Thursday, August 07, 2003
I think I've created a monster.

It was my week to choose what Kate, Jen and I did for movie night, and after being stuck in chick flick hell last week, I decided to overcompensate in the other direction, introducing Kate and Jen to the excitement of "Wednesday Night Ass-Kickings" at Allston Cinema Underground. The ACU is basically a loose program of movies a little too out-there to play the local art house. It has included kung fu, obscure rock-n-roll documentaries, Japanese Weird Shit (how else do you categorize Takashi Miike?), and has turn-of-the-(twentieth)-century French porn coming up. Playing last night was Royal Warriors, a 1986 movie starring Michelle Yeoh, who the ladies remembered from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and that James Bond movie she did.

It is, to not mince words, pretty bad. The writing was awful stuff straight out of the cliche machine, the acting wasn't much better. The music - oh, good lord, the music was maybe one step above that which is usually associated with porno. We take it for granted that even direct-to-video stuff in the US will have a decent orchestration; this was one guy with a synthesizer, I'm sure of it (a ca. 1985 synth, at that). The action was pretty good, but it was pretty clear that it wasn't Kate's thing at all, and Jen seemed to be pretty much in the take-it-or-leave-it category.

That is, until the last act, which was insane. They kill off one of the main characters and the villain, replacing him with a cackling, over-the-top, loon. Didn't expect that. And then the final action scene involves a tank that came out of nowhere, a crane, and the bad guy doing kung fu with a chainsaw in his hands. Jen had been starting to get the same look on her face as Kate, until the chainsaw. Then it was as if a lightbulb flashed over her head. "I get it... Anything goes!" After that, she was laughing as hard as any of the other three people in the theater, not including our group (and the guy running the program is talking about what he's planning for November! It must be a labor of love).

So, anyway, she was doing all the kung fu moves and stuff as I hung around, waiting for the train with them, since Michelle's studio isn't far from the theater. She took a sheet with the upcoming shows with her, and Kate was begging her not to choose Life Of A Ninja as next week's movie. Jen didn't promise anything, but I think that's because she was entranced by the poster for what's on the other screen at this theater...

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