Something hidden -- go and find it;
Go and look beyond the Ranges
Something lost behind the ranges:
Lost and waiting for you. Go!

-- from Guy Maddin's CAREFUL

Being a periodic meditation on some of the more obscure outlying regions of cinema;
regarding movies that are inadequately publicized and hence, easily overlooked --
and by cinema, it is meant in the larger sense of films/tv/DVD/internet --
that might be worthy of your interest, but perhaps has escaped your notice.


Friday, July 13, 2007


       I’m only five posts into this thing, and I can already guess what regular readers of this blog must be thinking: Grigorss is into some prett-y head-y stuff these days...
       -- what with the Guy Maddin...
       -- and the La Jetée...
       -- and the little independent films from out of nowhere...
What happened to the Grigorss of old, who watched films just because they had Giant Robots or psychotic, bisexual Go-Go girls in ‘em -- or even sex-obsessed Mad Scientists, for that matter? -- who watched movies just because they were fun, dammit!?! Well, let me tell you, folks -- I'm back! And ready to lay a rolling double-knee drop kick on ya’ -- from above! -- or rather, the Dynamite Warrior is!

       The film opens with Jone Bang Fai -- our titular, explosively-enabled, bamboo-rocket riding hero -- handily dispatching a band of Buffalo rustlers, only to find himself squaring off against Lord Waeng -- instantly recognizable as the bad guy of the film because he has a hare-lip, pointy shoes and a combination top-knot/pompadour (only a true villain could sport a hairstyle so... evil) and this happens because...        because...
       -- well, it has something to do with Tractor imports, an acromegalic cannibal, two henchmen possessed by dog and cat spirits (respectively), an Evil Wizard who can only be dispatched by a virgin’s menstrual blood, some magic amulets, a fake daughter -- oh! and somebody murdered Bang Fai’s parents, to boot, -- but that goes without saying in these types of films. There's a dozen or so additional story elements that I’ve forgotten, because my brain can only juggle a maximum of fifty plot-points and/or knee-jabs in any given two minute period -- and this film consistently exceeded that limit from the git-go.

       Produced by the same production company that brought us Ong-Bak and Tom Yum Goong -- the latter cinematic masterpiece being notable as the first film to feature a human being drop-kicking an elephant through a high-rise window -- Dynamite Warrior is essentially a homage to the old-style Hong Kong chop-socky movie; not the elaborately staged period melodramas of the Wuxia genre (that inspired later films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers), but those badly dubbed flicks that would air at 4:30 in the ay-em on UHF channel 84. Usually they featured a guy in a long white beard, excessive drinking on the part of the protagonists, and martial arts that seemed as much inspired by the Three Stooges as by the graceful movements of a crane. Since this is a Thai film, most of the action seems to be of the Muay boxing variety -- a fighting style that really looks like it does as much damage to the person delivering the blow as to the recipient; but mind you, it gets the job done, all the same! Dynamite Warrior shares the goofy humor of those early Kung Fu films, but is more zipp-ily edited and has a visual style that seems very much inspired by the westerns of Sergio Leone. It’s an enjoyable time at the movies and well worth seeing -- assuming you like this kind of thing at all. I don’t know what else to say in the films' defense...

... ahh, yes -- life’s simple pleasures...

       Dynamite Warrior is already open in theaters here in L.A. and NYC; it starts kicking ass and taking names in limited theatrical release across the rest of the nation this weekend, and becomes available on DVD this Tuesday. Watch out for it (I mean it! Those bamboo rockets will poke your eye out!)!

Some links:

Dynamite Warrior - wiki.

Magnolia Pictures (the U.S. distributer of the film) website.

Next post -- 07/20/07


Anonymous said...

a bamboo rocket. Hmmm, Paging Dr. Freud

Rich said...

Wowsers! This sounds like MY KIND OF MOVIE!!! If it just had a flash-back to a '64 Go-Go Beach Party dance number, some giant killer robots and a voyage to a planet entirely inhabited by nubile "Hollywood Cover Girls", it would have EVERYTHING!

I applaud Grigorss for giving himself to cinematic jolliness

Kalibhakta said...

this is clearly the Citizen Kane of bamboo rocket films... right now I'm listening to my favorite radio show ) and thus cannot think in any linear fashion...

Rock and Roll Kalibhakta