Daily Archives: January 8, 2017

Zom Fu – Chapter 29

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Advisor Zhen and Captain Yuen laughed…and laughed…and laughed. They were doubled over with tears in their eyes.

“Undead men,” the advisor said.

“Coming to eat the Emperor’s brain!” the captain added.

General Tsang stood silently, waiting for the guffaws to dissipate.

“Oh,” Advisor Zhen said as he wiped the tears away from his eyes. “I’m sorry, general. This sounds like a serious matter. Tell me who informed you of this impending attack again.”

“I have already told you,” the general said.

“No,” the advisor said as he put a hand up to his ear. “Please. I didn’t hear you the first time.”

The general sighed. “The ghost of the Nineteenth Infallible Master of the Clan of the Sacred Yet Inscrutable Tiger Claw.”

Advisor Zhen and Captain Yuen doubled over again. “The ghost…of the…BAH HA HA HA HA!”

General Tsang’s blood boiled. He lost his cool. “You know damn well this is all true. You have ignored my warnings about Dragonhand for twenty years and now your incompetence will cost this land greatly!”

The advisor’s mood changed for the worse. “Watch your tone, General.”

“Our previous Emperor was a good man,” the General said. “But he will was weak and he relied on you to take care of everything. For decades, I looked the other way as you plundered the countryside with your outrageous taxes, most of which go directly into your pocket. I have never interfered with your schemes, scams, and tricks and yet you have interfered with my position time and time again. This is all your fault, Zhen.”

“My fault?” Advisor Zhen said. “How exactly have you arrived at such an absurd conclusion?”

“Years ago, I proposed that the Imperial Army take Dragonhand on directly,” the general said. “You got in the way. You whispered in the previous Emperor’s ear and convinced him to order me to stand down.”

“That was the proper course of action then as it is now,” the advisor said.

“Bah,” the general said. “All that fat is choking your brain.”

The advisor slammed his fist down on the armrest of the Dragon Throne. “We do not get involved in matters of kung fu!”

“There are no matter of kung fu left to get involved in,” General Tsang said. “You sat back and did nothing. Now the last clan has been slaughtered.”

“And good riddance to it!” the advisor said. “The kung fu clans were old relics of a long forgotten era. Filthy drunkards and over zealous ne’er-do-wells who sat around all day practicing their fancy punches.”

“I never knew them to be anything but respectable,” the general said. “They came to the Imperial Army’s aid more times than I can remember.”

“If they actually cared about their country they would have abandoned their nonsensical ways and joined the Imperial Army,” Advisor Zhen said. “Back flips and high kicks are the past. Iron and steel are the future.”

“But…”

“General,” the advisor said. “If Dragonhand’s clan had some sort of falling out with the rest of the clans, what business is it of ours?”

“The Clan of the Terrifyingly Unnatural Brain Bite was never officially recognized as a reputable clan by the other kung fu clans,” the general said. “Dragonhand is a criminal and now that his kung fu opponents have been destroyed, he has set his sights on the Dragon Throne.”

“Then let him come for it,” the advisor said.  “This city has survived attacks before.”

“Never from an enemy like this,” General Tsang said. “Dragonhand has eaten the brains of every kung fu master in China and henow wields an unfathomable amount of fighting knowledge.”

“Will you listen to yourself?” Advisor Zhen asked. “‘Brain eating.’ Please. The man’s obviously just some kind of psychotic cannibal who spooked a bunch of backward thinking kung fu fighters and sadly, this hysteria has even invaded your mind, General.”

“I know how ridiculous this all sounds,” General Tsang said. “I wouldn’t have embarrassed myself so many times by imploring you to do something low these many years if I didn’t think the situation was critical.”

Advisor Zhen sighed. “Have you ever seen one of these brain eaters in person?”

“No,” General Tsang said.

“Of course you haven’t,” Advisor Zhen said.

“But I have seen heart eaters,” the general said.

Advisor Zhen raised an eyebrow. “I beg your pardon?”

“Vampires,” General Tsang said. “Japan is rife with them. They pose as ordinary humans, no different than you or I but in secret, they consume hearts and harbor an unquenchable thirst for blood. I encountered a group of them in my youth while conducting an espionage mission. I was captured by them. The things they did…the things I saw…I carry those horrific memories with me everywhere I go. I was lucky to escape with my life.”

Advisor Zhen shook his head. “These are the ravings of an opium fiend.”

“If the brain biters are even half as deadly as the heart eaters…”

The advisor cut the general off. “Captain Yuen.”

“Yes?” the captain asked.

“Please bring an end to this tedious conversation,” the advisor said. “As commander of the Imperial Guard, you have the final say in all matters of the Emperor’s security. You’ve heard the general’s concerns about a supposed invasion by a rogue kung fu clan which may or may not, but most likely is not…

“…it is,” the general interrupted.

“It most likely is not comprised of so-called undead brain biters,” the advisor said. “Do you believe any additional precautions are required to ensure the Emperor’s safety?”

Captain Yuen was a rugged yet good looking man in his late thirties. He stroked his chin and thought about the question for a moment, then answered, “No.”

“Come now,” General Tsang said. “Let me dispatch a unit and we will take the Emperor to the mountains, far away from here.”

“General,” Captain Yuen said. “Though I find your stories of brain biters and heart eaters to be incredible, I have always found your reputation to be nothing but credible. I am certain you believe Dragonhand to be a formidable enemy. I am sure he is and any plans he has for insurrection are to be taken seriously. However, there is no place safer for the Emperor to be than the Forbidden City.  Our walls are high.  Your men are battle tested.  My men are rigorously trained.”

The general threw the captain a disgusted look, then gestured to the advisor. “So this pig has gotten to you too?”

Captain Yuen grew furious. “Your place is on the wall and everywhere beyond it. My place is anywhere within the Forbidden City. I will remain in my place, general. I suggest you return to yours.”

“Ungh,” the general grunted.

Advisor Zhen flicked his wrist towards the general, shooing him away. “You heard the man. Ta ta!”

General Tsang pointed a finger at the advisor. “Mark my words, Zhen. When that boy is old enough to understand all of the treacherous crimes you have committed, he will get an earful from me and I swear to you when that day comes, there will be a reckoning.”

Advisor Zhen smiled. “Yes, well…until that day…ta ta.”

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Zom Fu – Chapter 28

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General Tsang entered the Emperor’s throne room, a wondrous place where the walls were lined with gold and red columns stretched to the ceiling. He climbed a set of steps and took in the sight of the illustrious Dragon Throne, a magnificent seat adorned with carvings of the legendary fire breathing lizards.

The general waited patiently and did his best to choke down his bile as he observed Advisor Zhen’s rotund posterior parked in a place normally reserved for the country’s leader. To the left and right of the throne stood two stoic members of the Imperial Guard, each clad in traditional blue and white uniforms with red plumes coming out of the tops of their helmets.

Off to the far left stood Captain Yuen, Commander of the Imperial Guard. Tsang and Yuen traded respectful nods.

A boney old farmer in dirty rags groveled before the advisor. He looked as though he hadn’t eaten in weeks. Meanwhile, the advisor wore green robes sewn from the finest fabric. His neck and fingers were decorated in enough jewelry to feed the old man, his family, his village, and a hundred other villages into perpetuity.

“Please, noble advisor,” the old man said. “The taxes you have imposed…they are too great.”

Two beauties stood near the advisor. One waved a fan towards the fat man’s face while the other periodically plucked grapes and popped them into the chubby bureaucrat’s gob.

“You don’t wish to help your country?” the advisor asked.

“Oh no, sir,” the old man said. “It’s just that…the children. They are wasting away.”

A beauty popped a grape into the advisor’s mouth. It was quickly gobbled. “I see. Then you do not wish to help your Emperor?”

“No,” the farmer said. “It’s not that at all. Please, Advisor Zhen, you must understand the people of my village, they toil in the fields day and night, working themselves to the bone and yet they have nothing to show for it. Your tax collectors take it all and yet they continue to harass us, telling us we owe more.”

“Well then,” Advisor Zhen said between grape chomps. “I suggest that you do as they say and pay them more.”

The frustration on the old farmer’s face was palpable. “But we have no more!”

Advisor Zhen hoisted his heft upward and looked down on the peasant. “Why do you bore me with such lies?”

The farmer was bewildered by the accusation. “Sir?”

“If your life is as difficult as you say it is, then surely you would not have time to assail my ears with your tedious whining,” Advisor Zhen said. “You’d be out foraging for berries or eating dirt before you’d come to me with this nonsense.”

“But we have done that,” the old man said.

Advisor Zhen shooed the farmer away with a flick of his wrist. “Whatever your village’s taxes were before, considered them…doubled.”

The old man clutched his chest. “Sir?”

“Do you want them to be tripled?” Advisor Zhen asked.

The old man shook his head. “No! Please, sir, no.”

The advisor leaned back on the throne and focused on his next grape. “Away with you, wretch. Do not return with such contrived tales of woe again.”

“Yes sir,” the old man said. He bowed, then turned and hurried out of the throne room.

“Now then,” the advisor said as he slapped his hands together and rubbed them, then looked to his beauties. “Who wants to play a game of slap and tickle?”

The beauties giggled. General Tsang cleared his throat to grab the pig’s attention.

“Oh,” Advisor Zhen said. “Someone left a pile of shit in a suit of armor on my doorstep. What is it, Tsang?”

Tsang stepped forward. “If you can take a break from testing the bolts in the Emperor’s throne with your corpulent ass, I need a word.”

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Movie Review – Way of the Dragon (1972)

I love it when I can watch movies related to a project I’m working on and call it research.

Bruce Lee’s signature film, a super hairy Chuck Norris and a whole helluva lot of kung fu.

BQB here with a review of Way of the Dragon.

I have to be honest.  This film is considered to be the quintessential martial arts film but when I look through it via a modern frame of mind then…well, yeah, it kind of stinks.

It’s basically one step above being a high school AV club project.  The plot is goofy.  In Rome, a  mafia don wants a restaurant owned by Uncle Wang and, I guess his relative of some sort, maybe his daughter or some shit I don’t know because it’s hard to understand, so what the hell, we’ll just call her his daughter, Chen Ching Hua (Nora Miao).

Chen’s other uncle from Hong Kong sends a friend, Tang Lung (Bruce Lee), to Rome to help protect the restaurant and beat up some motherfuckers with his kung fu skills.

Throughout the film, there are cheesy jokes aplenty.  For example, Tang Lung arrives at the airport and an old lady stares at him, unsure what to make of him.  He then orders soup at an airport restaurant but his elderly waitress is confused as to what he wants.  He points to soup on the menu a bunch of times, so she brings him like twenty bowls of soup.

Being a gentlemen, Tang Lung eats it all and then throughout the first part of the film it becomes a running joke that he needs to keep asking for a bathroom because he has the soupy shits.

Meanwhile, the don’s top henchman is a flamboyantly gay, scarf clad stereotype, so outlandish in fact that I’d love to get Ken Jeong on the phone just to ask if he based Mr. Chow in The Hangover films on this character.

Blah, blah, blah, there are a lot of jokes, a lot of fights, a lot of squabbling over what is going to happen to the restaurant and then, wham!  There’s the big finish in which the don hires American martial artist Colt (aka Chuck Fucking Norris) to take down Tang Lung, because apparently, he really wants that fucking restaurant.

Add to the list of the movie’s plot holes a lack of an explanation as to why this restaurant is so important.  The don goes through like nine-hundred henchmen just to get his hands on this joint.  Is gold buried under the floor boards?  Is it prime real estate that can be sold at a high markup?  What the hell is going on here?  Oh well.  Nobody knows.

And I also digress.  This film was Chuck Norris’ big screen debut and holy shit, was he a sight to behold in his youthful, pre-mustache glory.  The man had a bear-like mange of chest hair, so luxurious that Bruce tears a hunk out of it during the final fight scene.

The man’s back was even hairy.  That shit just wouldn’t fly today.  If you want to be on screen then you have to be waxed, but they didn’t care about that shit in the 1970s.  Hell, hairiness was a sign of virility.  The hairier you were, the more poon you got and let me tell you, by the look of his back, young Chuck Norris was swimming in strange.

Can you believe I once had a girlfriend who complained about my hairy back?  Shit.  I bet young Chuck Norris didn’t have to put up with uppity broads trying to rub Nair all over his shoulder blades.

I have digressed again.  Look, the film is on Netflix so you should check it out.  Don’t shit on the film as I have but rather, keep in mind that it was a 1970s flick, made at a time when martial arts films were just getting started.  Ignore the cheesiness, the silly jokes, and the terrible English voiceover dubbing.

The final fight scene is intense.  Bruce and Chuck never speak to each other but it is clear they are both professionals.  They silently taunt one another but they also fight with honor and respect.

Come for the movie.  Stay until the end for the epic final showdown between Bruce and Chuck, two titans in all of their glory.  Sadly, the world lost Bruce way, way too young, but at least Chuck stuck around long enough to grow a sweet mustache, appear in a shit ton of B movies and become an Internet meme.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Invent a time machine and bring me back to the 1970s, a time when men were men and the only limit to the amount of chicks they could bag was measured by the amount of bear-like fur on their manly chests and backs.

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