Sunday, July 19, 2015

I can picture it like it was yesterday. I’d gone round a friend’s house and they’d rented a video. It was an 18 certificate (R for you fucking Yanks - even NC-17 in some instances). I’d never seen an 18 before. I was worried that my parents would find out. I was worried that the film would traumatise me forever. If it’s an 18, it must be some heavy shit. I wasn’t quite sure I could handle it.

Ten minutes in and numerous people had been killed. But it wasn’t so bad. I hadn’t been scarred forever. I hadn’t spontaneously shit myself and my parents hadn’t disowned me. All was right in the world.

The film that day happened to be Commando. Looking back at the movie, I have to question the logic of those first few minutes. Firstly, the initial killing. So some guy is sleeping in bed and then hears the dustmen/garbage men approaching. He’s forgotten that it’s garbage day and staggers outside to take out the garbage in time. The dustmen then rip him open with Uzis. And then rather hilariously, while he’s dead on the floor, they shoot him some more. Really, is there any need for that? Look at him, he’s fucking dead! You’re just wasting ammo now.

But this has to be the most presumptuous assassination ever. Okay, so you’re tricking him into thinking it’s garbage day and you’re luring him out of his house. How do you know that the sound of the approaching truck is going to wake him? How do you know that he’ll fall for your deception and come out? It seems like a bit of a long shot to me. And what are you going to do if he doesn’t come out? Just drive on by? ‘Oh well, I guess he didn’t fall for it. Time for Plan B.’ Or would you just kick his door in and shoot him in his house? In which case, why do you need the fucking garbage truck?!?

Then in the next scene, Cooke, one of the guys who committed the garbage truck hit, walks into a car dealership. As we find out later, Cooke is working for a well funded South American military dictatorship, which makes his actions in this scene a little bizarre. He decides to steal a car and propel the salesman through the window to his possible death. Now I know that we all hate car salesmen, but isn’t this a little stupid? I’m sure the South Americans would buy you a car or at least allow you to expense one. They’re a corrupt military regime. I’m sure they’ll take care of you. But is Cooke a kleptomaniac or merely a psychopath who likes a good bargain? ‘You know what I like best?’ he asks, just before he drives the guy through the window. ‘The price.’

Cooke then goes on to blow up a boat with a remote control. I swear it has the longest antenna in the history of the world. The thing just keeps on coming. You’re the most conspicuous man performing an assassination I’ve ever seen. ‘Who blew up that boat?’ [Five seconds of searching] ‘That guy over there with the massive remote control and antenna! Get him!’

Can I reiterate that this is just the first couple of minutes!!

Just when you thought that things couldn’t get any better, we cut to Arnie. Now how does he make his appearance? By carrying a chainsaw and huge fucking log. Yes, you’re right, he does have a giant dick, thank you very much.

Accompanied by the most awesome steel drum instrumental in the history of the world (makes total sense for a film about a Commando who has to go to South America), we get to see John Matrix (best name for a hero...ever!) live his idyllic life with his daughter. They tickle, they chop wood, they rub ice cream in each others faces, they practice martial arts and they feed baby deer by hand. Yeah, that’s right, they feed baby deer by hand! Check your jealousy at the door you fucking pissant.

Geez, look at them. They’re just so perfect! Maybe a little bit too Aryan for my taste, but then again, I’m just a humble muggle, so I shouldn’t hate on them. However, there’s definitely something a little weird here. The way that they express their love for each other is way too intense. This kid is going to have some serious daddy issues in the future. But even though John does all this touchy-feely sensitive shit with his daughter, he quickly dispels any notions that he might be a fucking homo. As he reads a magazine with his daughter, he’s quick to pour scorn on Boy George. ‘Why don’t they just call him Girl George?’ Feel the fucking burn, George O’Dowd, you wee, poofy bastard. This is a real man here! A log-carrying, deer-feeding, badass motherfucker who reads Tiger Beat.

Now where is the mother you might be wondering? Yeah, she’s dead. How or why we don’t know. It’s not important. She was just a vessel anyway. Once she birthed the kid she was surplus to requirements. She probably had a fatal laundry accident or succumbed to the sheer power of John Matrix’s sex. And the daughter isn’t even important either. She’s just a damsel in distress - a conduit for Matrix’s pent up fury. Fucking women, man.

Or course, this idyllic life lasts for about ten seconds before the daughter is kidnapped. One guy tries to reason with Matrix, saying that now that they have his kid, he has to cooperate, right? ‘Wrong’ is Matrix’s response and he shoots the man in the head. Negotiations are for pussies, you foreign twat.

The child is kidnapped by a team of mercenaries, led by Bennett, a Freddie Mercury lookalike and a raging homosexualist. He says that Matrix ran him out of his unit. I think by unit, he means ass, but the message is plain as day regardless. With his Village People moustache and string vest, he’s clearly queer for Matrix and wants revenge.

But even though Bennett is one of the most hilarious villains in movie history, he’s still not as good as Sully. Played by David Patrick Kelly (‘Warriors, come out to plaayayy!’), he’s possibly the sleaziest man in movie history...and definitely the most awesome. Sully, along with some other heavies, is trying to deliver John Matrix to a dethroned South American dictator (played by Dan Hedaya, who seems to be brown facing in his attempt to look Latin). But Sully is more interested in perving out on random women than the task in hand. There’s one hilarious moment where the heroine of the film is talking on a public phone and Sully is just standing there, cigarette in mouth, grinning like a lunatic as she’s having a personal conversation. It’s incredibly inappropriate but Sully just doesn’t give a shit. He’s the Michael Jordan, Roger Federer and Luis Suarez of sleazeballs.

Sully then follows the woman to a car park. Part of Sully’s charm is that he doesn’t do this in a secretive fashion. He’s quite brazen about his stalking. He swaggers like Vincent Kennedy McMahon. And his attire is beyond reproach. He’s got a black suit with what looks like chalk marks all over it, a grey-blue shirt with horizontal stripes and a skinny grey tie with widely spaced thin black stripes. In short, he looks like a million bucks. Any woman would be lucky to hop on his eager little penis.

Unfortunately, the object of his affection, Cindy (played by Rae Dawn Chong), has no fucking taste and rebuffs him. To be fair, though, his chat up technique is a little...blunt. As she’s trying to unlock her car, he walks up to her and says, ‘You know, there’s something I’d really like to give you.’ Oooh! Oooh! Let me guess! It’s your knob you’re talking about, right? I think he’s talking about his knob. Am I right, you’re talking about your knob?

Cindy then calls him a nightmare, to which Sully has the ultimate retort. And this is possibly the best line in the history of cinema. ‘You fucking whore.’ Whoah, that’s a bit harsh, Sully! But still, total genius. What better way to piss on someone’s day than just to call them a fucking whore? It’s going to make anyone feel like crap for ages. And here I was thinking that Sully was just going to rape her. I didn’t know he could be this brutal. But I beg you to try this in your everyday lives. If someone gives you bad service or does something that isn’t to your liking, just call them a fucking whore. You’ll make them feel like crap for days while you strut off like a champion. (The man-logic of this scene is actually scarily perceptive. How many times do pestering men get rebuffed by women and then dismiss them as whores or sluts because they wouldn’t fuck them?)

While all of this is going on, Matrix is breaking out of a passenger plane. He’s being shipped to the awesomely named Val Verde (a country which, hilariously enough, seems to have stolen its national flag from Portugal) while accompanied by a random heavy. But before the plane even leaves the tarmac, he breaks the guy’s neck and gets hit on by a flight attendant. Matrrix doesn’t reciprocate because he doesn’t have any interest in women. But that doesn’t make him gay. Okay?

No, he needs to get to his Jenny. So after he breaks the guy’s neck (‘Don’t disturb my friend, he’s dead tired’), he manages to get to the undercarriage of the plane and jump down into a bunch of reeds. Yep, the plane is taking off and John Matrix manages to perfectly measure his jump so that the reeds absorb his impact. He then wades through some water and begins his pursuit of Sully.

I neglected to mention one of the things that makes Sully’s stalking of Cindy even funnier. The fact that as Sully is stalking Cindy, Matrix is stalking Sully - it’s a three way. But for some reason only know to Matrix, rather than just creep up on the sharp-suited nincompoop and extract whatever information he needs, he goes through a whole charade of tracking him from a distance, which results in a completely unnecessary action scene where Arnie swings on giant balloons like a juiced up Tarzan. There’s also a scene where ten different mall cops try and restrain Matrix at the same time. Somehow Matrix has the power to repel all of them. They jump on him and then they all go flying.

Sadly, shortly after this, Matrix kills Sully by grabbing him by one leg and dropping him off a cliff (‘Remember when I said I’d kill you last? I lied’). The casualness of the murder is amazing. There are no second thoughts, no hesitation. He just drops him off the side of a mountain and then makes a Roger Moore-style quip - ‘I had to let him go’. This is the 1980s, Reagan model of a man. A pumped-up American Superman who eats foreign scum for breakfast and then shits them out with a catchy one-liner. There’s no hand-wringing here. John Matrix can coldly throw someone off a mountain and then pet a deer with his daughter like nothing happened.

Matrix also has no problem whoring women out. First of all, he watches from a distance as Sully tells Cindy that he has something he really wants to give her and then later, in a motel room, he’s okay with whoring out Cindy for Cooke. Oh yeah, something amazing happens in this scene. So Matrix and Cooke get into a fight. A very loud fight that involves gunshots. But despite this, as they throw themselves through a motel wall, they disturb a couple having sex. First of all you think to yourself, how did they not notice all the noise? And then you notice the fact that the woman is behind the man with him bent over. This film is more liberal than I give it credit for!

Two other things to note from this scene. The man has a terrible haircut that makes him look like a woman. Could they not find find two actresses willing to play lesbians and then decided to dress a man up as a girl? Secondly, the woman has massive breasts. Like basketballs.

Of all the ridiculous things to happen in Commando, and there are many, one of the things that I can’t quite get my head around is when Cindy decides to use a rocket launcher to free Matrix from an armoured police van. First of all, the fact that she can use it at all is crazy, seeing as she’s just a civilian. But then she manages to use it in such a way that it merely knocks the van over. I mean, really, what are you thinking? The rocket launcher should destroy the van and kill everyone inside, including the cops. Is this what Cindy is really thinking? After all, Matrix has done nothing but put her life in jeopardy. I have no difficulty believing that she’d want him dead. But no, she’s genuinely trying to free him and this is her way of doing it. Somehow, of all the crazy things in this movie, this is the one that stands out most.

Once Matrix and Cindy get to Val Verde, we’re treated to the site of Matrix wading around in an inflatable boat in his obscenely tiny speedos. This is just in case any males in the audience have somehow lost their erection.

And then we’re treated to close-ups of bulging muscles as Matrix suits up. He even puts camouflage on his face, even though he’s going to be killing people in a palace rather than a jungle. Seems a bit unnecessary to me. Also, as he’s posing with his weaponry, some smoke appears out of nowhere just to make him look even more badass. Were the smoke machines on the rubber dinghy along with the crazy amount of weaponry he was carrying? Seriously, how did that dinghy not sink? Along with the weapons and the weight of Matrix’s rippling muscles (and penis), it surely should have sunk to the bottom of the sea.

Matrix is on Val Verde for about ten seconds before he begins slaughtering moustachioed soldiers. And because they’re not really white, what with their big moustaches and slightly brown skin, they can’t shoot straight. It’s really quite amazing how many people Matrix gets through. He kills a small country. He throws knives in people, he chops limbs off, he blows people up and he shoots seemingly thousands. It’s a genocide on the par of Death Wish 3. And the fetishism is amazing. The close-ups of Arnie’s rippling muscles are arousing beyond measure.

But the most amazing moment is when Matrix gets trapped in a garden shed. Seeing as his bullet proof vest is smoking, he has to strip down so that once again we can look at pecs and biceps. Meanwhile about ten guys line up outside and riddle the shed with bullets. However, Matrix survives and then kills soldiers with saw blades, a pitchfork and even chops a man’s arm off with a machete. I’m surprised that Arnie doesn’t make some quip about ‘disarming’ the man. But yeah, an unarmed Matrix manages to improvise death on ten guys. A totally believable turn of events.

As all of this is going on, Bennett gets orders to kill Jenny. However, she escapes her cell before he can get to her which leads to the brilliant image of a fat Bennett diving through a boarded up window. It’s so undignified it’s amazing.

Once Matrix has killed the entire army of Val Verde, it’s down to him and Bennett. I swear, every single line that comes out of Bennett’s mouth is pure gold. ‘No, not daddy,’ he hisses as he stalks Jenny. And then once he’s face to face with Matrix he seemingly ejaculates in his pants at the idea of gutting Matrix with a knife. ‘Don’t deny yourself some pleasure’, says Arnie and Bennett splooges everywhere.

But Bennett will probably be best remembered for shouting that he ‘doesn’t need the girl’. You’re not kidding Bennett. I know you don’t need the girl. The girl gives you no pleasure at all. Matrix on the other hand though...

The knife fight that ensues between Bennett and Matrix is horribly choreographed, but there’s one bit I love. Matrix propels Bennett into some power cables and Bennett gets electrocuted. You’d think that this would kill Bennett or at least disable him, but instead it energises him. What the fuck, is this a wrestling match? Is he Hulking up? Immediately after getting electrocuted he says that he feels better. It’s like a Looney Tunes cartoon made flesh.

Pretty soon after he says he feels better, Matrix hurls a pipe through Bennett’s chest. For all the subtlety of the symbolism, Arnie might as well of have fucked him to death. The pipe is Matrix’s massive dick and the steam that’s pouring from Bennett’s chest is his death orgasm.

But really, how hard do you have to throw a pipe in order to have it penetrate someone’s chest? Wouldn’t it just bounce off? I’d like a scientist to calculate how fast it would have to be thrown. Surely there should be an alternate cut where the pipe bounce’s off Bennett and he does indeed shoot Matrix between the balls.

Now seeing as Matrix has killed hundreds of people and his old buddy, you’d think that John and Jenny would be traumatised by their ordeal. Not a bit of it, you limp-wristed liberal pussy. Accompanied by rock music they walk off into the sunset. ‘What did you leave behind?’ ‘Just bodies.’ Yeah, and lots of fatherless families and widows. But I forgot, these are non-white families, so who really gives a fuck?

Weirdest thing at the end though is that Cindy is waiting for John and Jenny. Jenny then, without a word from John, runs into her arms. She has no fucking clue who this person is! But apparently she’s already decided that Cindy is her new mummy. John, you marvelous bastard. You killed a thousand people, you murdered Sully, you fucked Bennett to death and you found Jenny a new mother. You’re the manliest poofter in the history of cinema.

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