Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What's Rambo Doing on His Day Off? #21

A young boy is being threatened by an oddly proportioned bear. John Rambo springs into action, his only weapon a hot dog. Against the park's clearly posted regulations, he throws the frank, distracting the bear and saving the boy.

As seen in Rambo: The Force of Freedom episode 31: Terror Beneath the Sea.

Murder She Wrote Recaps: S3E1: Death Stalks the Big Top, Part 1

We start the episode by meeting yet another Fletcher niece: a pre-Friends Courteney Cox. When she anonymously receives a silver leprechaun in the mail, she takes it as incontrovertible proof that her grandfather Neil (Jessica's late husband's brother) must have actually faked his death in that boat explosion so many years ago.

Jessica tracks Neil to a traveling circus, but when she's stonewalled by the tight-knit carny community, she must resort to a classic Fletcher ruse. Disguised in a plaid muumuu and heart-shaped sunglasses, she befriends a baby elephant and baby chimpanzee and infiltrates the circus just in time to see Neil being carted away for allegedly murdering a stagehand that had unsuccessfully hit on all the women of the circus the previous night.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Let's Talk About Rambo: Episode 31: Terror Beneath the Sea

Colonel Trautman, on another cold-weather vacation, stops at an Eskimo village in the Arctic Circle, where he's told that a killer whale has been attacking to the settlement. He's skeptical—since when do killer whales a.) attack humans or b.) do anything outside of the water—but the chief's claims are proven true when a vicious orca starts breaking through the ice from below

The only thing he hates more than igloos? Army planes.
and destructively sliding through the village at an incredible rate of speed,

breaking igloos left and right

Has he no respect for these Eskimos' boot game?
and even taking out a dogsled. It's the most effective and tactically sound piece of villainy this show has ever seen.

After the orca rampage, SAVAGE shows up on snow windsurfers to capture everybody,

Judging by the lines, there were ice skates on those windsurfers too?
confirming Trautman's worst fear: that the orca is the newest member of the terrorist organization.

Rambo rounds up KAT and Turbo and goes to check things out. The orca, taking a page straight out of Jaws' playbook, destroys the back of their boat

and tries to get KAT to slide into his mouth.

KAT avoids being Quinted, however, by jumping onto a floating piece of ice, then Rambo rescues her by jumping onto the other edge of the ice piece, catapulting her back onto the boat. The orca—which we can now see has cybernetic implants!—begins chasing Rambo across the ice floe. Rambo's only recourse is to shoot a bunch of icicles, which fall onto the killer whale, causing it to sink into a deep depressive state.

I'm not joking.
There's no rest for the weary, though, as we soon learn that the cyborca's implants allow an evil scientist to give it stern vocal commands and chastisement, pushing it back into action. Luckily, though, Rambo stops the scientist, learns that the orca's name is Korak, and then decides to give Korak "a night to think things over."

The next morning, Rambo feeds Korak a couple of fish and instantly a strong bond with him.

The new besties immediately embark on an infiltration mission together down to SAVAGE's undersea base.

Rambo, holding onto Korak's dorsal fin, is disguised as a conspicuous mass of seaweed, and General Warhawk lets them in, thinking that Korak has a message for them. So presumably he has some way of conversing with Korak, but sadly, we never see it, because Rambo—in his only moment of weakness ever—is soon held at gunpoint. Luckily, Korak uses his tail to fling Sgt. Havoc into the fray, allowing Rambo to blow up the base and escape in a submersible.

Our two heroes share a tender look as they escape to freedom,

"Rambo love Korak."
and Korak immediately finds a mate to swim off with.


Friday, August 26, 2016

What's Rambo Doing on His Day Off? #20

Having conversations with whales while scuba diving!

BONUS!: What's Colonel Trautman Doing on His Day Off? #1

Listening to the radio while winter camping!

As seen in Rambo: The Force of Freedom episode 30: Snow Kill.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Working Out With Hulk Hogan

If you’re anything like me, there are two main obstacles to getting fit: lack of motivation and boredom with your workout routine. That’s why, in a recent bid to get my life together, I jumped into an eBay bidding war for the ultimate in exercise technology: a 1985 cassette titled “Hulkamania Workout Set 40 Minute Audio Program.”

That’s right, Hulk Hogan, known worldwide for his 24-inch pythons and also for his large biceps, shared all his most effective workout secrets with the world over 30 years ago. Honestly, knowing this, it’s kind of surprising there’s even an obesity epidemic in America anymore.

$15 later, it was mine. I set it up in my living room, put some athletic gear on… and hit play.

Things begin with the ring of a bell and an announcement that Hulk Hogan is still the champion of the world to the sound of his original theme song, which—true fact!—was later repurposed into “Ravishing”, the second-best Bonnie Tyler song of all time. Give it a listen and just try not to slam that big nasty giant Big John Studd afterwards:

After a few bars of the tune, Hulk himself finally speaks: “Whoa whoa whoa whoa!” Apparently Hulk is recording this on a whim after a match, an impressive feat of multitasking.

The Hulkster launches immediately into a five-minute motivational speech about the benefits of exercising (including saying that he needs “good, strong tag team partners!” which seems like a bit of false advertising). We’re dealing with a very early Hogan here, one who hasn’t quite got a handle yet on all his trademark catchphrases. For example, instead of throwing out a classic “brother” at the end of all his sentences, he’s saying “Daddy” instead. Pretty off-putting. Also, he is repeatedly calling working out “hangin’ and bangin’”, which is so weird that I love it.

Ten minutes in and there’s still no sign of a workout. Instead, Hulk is going through a five-point list of workout—excuse me: hangin’ and bangin’—tips.
1. “Take it easy when you first start.” Done and done, Hulkster.
2. “Dress properly. Wear something loose and always wear sneakers.” Because I was doing this in my dining room, I was going socks only. Nobody tell Hulk, please.
3. “Make sure you have plenty of room. Don’t work out in a place where you could trip over rugs or anybody’s old sneakers!” This tip is so specific that I have to imagine Hulk once hurt himself by trying to hang and bang in a shoe closet.
4. “Pick a time to workout that is convenient for you.” AKA “I needed to come up with an extra tip to get to a nice round five in total.”
4.5 “Always wait an hour or so after a meal before you exercise.” I think that’s a swimming rule, Hulk.
5. “Workout with the help of an adult.” I had this one covered! After I bought the tape, I’d convinced my tag team partner in life for the past nine years to join me for this momentous event. However, when it was time to finally start with the hangin’ and the bangin’, she backed out, claiming she’d already been to the gym that day. Betrayal! Now I know how the Hulkster felt when Miss Elizabeth chose stay in a neutral corner during the main event of Wrestlemania V.
Finally, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. First: the warm-up, in which Hulk instructs me to run in place, do some jumping jacks (“Get those arms way out there!”), and then jump rope for a few minutes each. At this point, I realized that the tape was originally sold with actual hangin’ and bangin’ equipment. I would have to make do with common household objects. In this case, my common household imaginary jump rope.

Next up: stretching! The Hogan Method of Stretching involves doing three different stretches for a total of five minutes. “Do the other three tomorrow!” says Hulk, seemingly implying that there are only six total stretches in all of existence. I think stretching theory has advanced greatly over the last 30 years.

Finally, without any more pretense or instruction (which would have been helpful, as there has been not one hint of a discussion on technique on this tape so far), the Hulkster says it’s time to start hangin’ and bangin’. From this point on, the rest of the tape is mostly a musical accompaniment to your workout. Luckily, the music is great—lyric-less ‘80s rock with plenty of synths and sax solos.

And in case you’re slowing down? Every 20 or 30 seconds, the Hulkster pops in with encouraging comments! Some of my favorites: “Keep a pushin’ and a pumpin’!” “Don’t you dare give it up, man!” “Push! Push, little dude!” In a low voice: “Don’t slow dowwwwwn… the Hulkster’s watchin’ you!”

This continues until the tape just stops out of nowhere.

More of the same here, except that as the tape rolls on, Hulk’s comments get noticeably further and further apart. Either the Hulkster was running out of things to say, or, more likely, whoever edited the tape didn’t do their math correctly.

Then, before you can even lift an ice cream maker over your head for the 50th time, Hulk yells “BODY COOLDOWN! We’re not done until the cooldown is completed! You gotta be too cool to fool!” And there it is. The first tangible workout tip of the entire tape: If you don’t cool down after hangin’ and bangin’, you’re vulnerable to being fooled. And the best part is this: since he said it before I cooled down, I believe it, brother!