Now, I know it’s nerdy as all hell, but one of Michael’s favorite action stars in the whole wide world is Jean-Claude Van Damme. If you know my husband, you know the story about his favorite, worn-out VCR tape from childhood. It held six hours of video, and that meant that it perfectly fit four taped-from-HBO Van Damme movies.
And yes, he knows all of the words to the theme song from Bloodsport (admittedly, so do I).
I find this terribly endearing and horrifingly charming. I have yet to see Michael turn off a Van Damme movie when it has shown up on TBS or Versus, even regardless of inappropriate cuts and commercial breaks. And since we started dating, he has tried to get me to sit and watch with him.
We decided that this year, we would have a Van Damme movie marathon, where we would sit and watch four films in a row. As the plans for the night progressed, we started adding other events to the night, one of which being the idea to have Michael pose like the cover of the DVD for each movie we watched.
This got a lot more complicated than we originally thought it would, and although the four movies combined were only six hours and fifty minutes long, we were working on this movie marathon from 8pm until almost 5am… Oh yes. Read on for the photos and details!
Movie #1 was Bloodsport, which is an early Van Damme movie wherein he plays US special forces agent Frank Dux (like ‘put up your’) who goes to Hong Kong to fight in a secret kumite to honor his old Japanese teacher from his days as a boy. And there is one of those super badass training scenes, during which Van Damme does about a million splits, and also proves that he can serve tea and defend himself while blindfolded (spoiler alert! he needs that skill later in the movie!!). This is a fun, exciting movie with great martial arts. And Van Damme was young and cute, and his awkardness and accent are extremely charming. This was maybe our favorite, and of course, it has that really sweet 1980s theme song, “Fight to Survive.” We are still singing it days later!
I’d like to take this time to apologize to our neighbors who may have been hearing really loud martial arts movies and 1980s songs coming from our house all of Monday night.
Next was Hard Target, which is set in New Orleans, where Van Damme plays Chance Boudreaux, some kind of disgraced merchant marine who gets involved with helping this girl solve the mystery of her dead father. And of course, it’s some rich snotty guys running a people-hunting operation, like the original Hostel, but with less unnecessary gore, because it was the early 1990s, and not a lame horror film. However, Van Damme has one of the most astounding mullets in recorded history, as it defies gravity and moves not an inch as he is flipping about and hopping over flames and diving in to save the life of his crazy half-French drunken uncle Wilford Brimley. I swear, I am not making up any details of this plot. This movie is grittier than Bloodsport, but Van Damme would still make a pretty decent boyfriend.
Movie #3 was Twin Trouble, or as some like to call it, Double Impact. I do not really understand what this movie is about, although I’ve seen it about four times now. Here are the important facts about the movie: Van Damme plays twin brothers, Chad and Alex Wagner, who were separated at birth because their dad was involved in a tunnel from — from what I could gather from the scene — the UK to Hong Kong, and then killed, along with their mom, and basically everyone but their Uncle Frank, who really isn’t their uncle anyway. One of these twin brothers (Chad) winds up in LA, charming the ladies with his splits and tight pants, and the other (Alex) does some kind of vague illegal thing in Hong Kong, and has a cute girlfriend, who he spends a lot of time fantasizing about with his brother. To clarify that, he has an insanely jealous streak that leads him to drink and fantasize that his twin is doing his lady. This is a full scene in the movie. I am not making this up!
Mostly, it’s a very convoluted plot with a lot of Van Damme on Van Damme awkward sexual tension, and you wish he’d just make out with himself already. I think everyone lives happily ever after, although I can’t be sure, because I got so confused and overloaded with sugar after the chocolate mousse we ate during the movie that I missed a good bit of the end. My bad!
Finally, we ended the movie night with the Pittsburgh favorite, Sudden Death. Everyone who lives here LOVES this movie, because it takes place in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Pens and the Blackhawks. Mike Lange and Paul Steigerwald are in it, and the Civic Arena is featured in some really nice shots (until, of course, they crash a helicopter into it in the final moments of the movie).
Unfortunately, this movie is factually inaccurate in a lot of ways. The plot centers on some bad guys rigging the building with a bunch of bombs and orchestrating this incredibly complex taking-money-from-the-government plan during game 7. This means that they would have had maybe a day or two to come up with this whole scheme, unless they had a backup plan, should the series have ended in six games. I’m just saying.
However, what’s most factually inaccurate is the scene where love of my life, Luc Robitaille, skates down the ice on a gorgeous breakway and scores the game-tying goal with a second left on the clock, sending the teams into overtime. Anyone who *really* knows Luc knows that all of his 600+ goals were scored from the edge of the net. Really. (I forgive everyone involved, including the stunt double that must have skated for Luc in that scene, because it allowed my darling former Pen to be featured, to speak French with Van Damme, and also because they threw in some gratuitous Ulfie bum early in the film.)
Anyway, we love this movie. So much. And I will watch it over and over, even though it’s ridiculous. And Van Damme is still charming. I’m sold!
So, here are my reviews of the movies. Stay tuned for the update on all of the gluttonous food we ate to accompany each movie!!