Monday, November 9, 2015
Rifftrax: Death Promise or The Guy With the Lousy Kung Fu
This may be a few days late, but I wanted to give my two cents on how the Rifftrax gang completed its martial arts trilogy (the others being Miami Connection and Fists of Fury) with what could be the worst kung fu movie ever made in America...or Earth for that matter,
It's about a Brooklyn guy named Charley who lives with his dad, an ex-boxer, at a run down apartment in Brooklyn. Every once in a while, the power and water get turned off, or someone sets fire to the building, by idiots who have no idea who sent them to do that.
Actually, it's thanks to a cabal of slum lords that include a judge, a Tony Soprano-wannabe, some guy with a beard and an African-American businessman . They're led by an evil guy named Alden who has a cane to show how evil he is. They want to tear down Charley's building so they can get rich building something else. They may be behind the sudden death of his dad.
This starts him on his "death promise", where he is trained by a martial arts teacher in Japan or just outside New York City. The lessons are odd, to say the least. Afterwards, he comes up with some pretty severe ways to knock off the slum lords that he probably didn't learn from the teacher.
The final confrontation would upset any kung fu fan. Not only do Alden's henchmen show their limited kung fu skills (mainly posing and screeching), but the real villain's reveal makes no damn sense--and the final battle is even worse.
But that's to be expected from a kung fu movie born to be Rifftrax fodder.
On to the riffs:
"Directed by Robert Warmflash"
Bill: C'mon, just make it "Bob Completely-Fake-Name"
The slum lords plan to bribe Roman into moving
Mike: So, step one, offer old boxer money, step two, profit?
Charlie screams "Oh my God" in the distance
Bill: He either discovered his dead dad, or got a Nintendo 64
The slum lords discuss what they'll do with the money they'll get by knocking down slums
Bill: Let's run over a hobo for fun.
Jake finds his boss Albano killed by being on the other side of an archery target--and Jake accidentally killed him
Mike: Shot through the heart, Jake, and you're to blame?
Jackson gets killed by a bag of rats that he usually uses to get the tenants out.
Kevin: Got this idea for a book I read sophomore year.
Charley and his friends fight Alden's henchmen, who know nothing about kung fu but sure can scream.
Kevin: He's fighting an Axl Rose vocal track
There's also riffs on Donald Trump, Bruce Lee, In Living Color, David Mamet, Abe Vigoda and Sugar Ray.
By the way, there was a topless scene, but it was cut out of this version, According to one website, it had featured some "very interesting"-looking breasts. Just as well, since the actress spends the rest of her role being pushed around by a jerk.
While we're on the horn, here's a clip from the really strange short that was part of October's Rifftrax Live show, "Measuring Man". It's about as weird as people say:
Of course, MM's costume is a little too similar to Superman, but back in the 70s you could get away with this. That doesn't mean you should, of course. It's available here at the Rifftrax website.