Friday, December 12, 2014

That's So Punisher #20

Steamrolling Wolverine!

What's Rambo Doing on His Day Off? #15

If John Rambo has a favorite animal, it's probably the noble American deer. This is the second time we've seen him assisting the animals––this time, he's using the attack chopper to drop bales of hay (do deer eat hay? Rambo clearly thinks so) to starving deer in the winter.

As seen in Rambo: The Force of Freedom episode 22: Rambo and the White Rhino.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Let's Talk About Rambo: Episode 21: Reign of the Boy King

This episode finds SAVAGE kidnapping the child ruler of Morovia, a medieval Eastern European country, and installing their own leader: "The Black Duke," the boy's evil uncle.

When Rambo finds out, he abandons his quest to befriend the squirrels living near his cabin and flies to Morovia. Upon landing, he gets into a dump truck vs. tank battle with Gripper and wins, somehow. Due to his failure to kill Rambo despite having the odds overwhelmingly stacked in his favor, Gripper is relegated to lookout duty for the rest of the week.

Rambo heads out to rescue the boy king, who is being held in a Swiss-style chateau in the mountains. 
During the rescue, Rambo tells the boy to be quiet no fewer than five times, even though the child has not said a word. What do you want from him, Rambo?!?

They get away by ripping a very heavy metal door off of the helicopter they just crashed and surfing it down the snowy mountain. Then Rambo secretly enters a jousting competition (wearing super fly all-white armor!) against the Black Duke to win control of the country back for the kid.

It's unclear if Rambo actually understands the rules of jousting, because he wins by waiting until both of them have broken their lances during a tilt, then riding up behind the Black Duke, grabbing him by the collar and pulling him off his horse.

However, maybe it's just me who doesn't understand the rules of jousting, because although Rambo's actions would seem to me to be a violation of the spirit of the competition, the Morovian spectators seem to accept it as a legitimate victory. Then everyone at the stadium hops on horses and rides over to SAVAGE's base to fight them!

After the victory, the boy king knights "Sir Rambo."


Friday, November 7, 2014

What's Rambo Doing on His Day Off? #14

John Rambo lies motionless on the ground outside his cabin, attempting to tame a nearby squirrel enough for it to eat out of his hand. At the approach of Trautman's chopper, he loses patience and dumps the entire bag of nuts out on the ground.

As seen in Rambo: The Force of Freedom episode 21: Reign of the Boy King.

Friday, October 31, 2014

What's Rambo Doing on His Day Off? #13

After another successful mission, John Rambo unwinds by inviting Col. Trautman to his cabin for a weenie roast.

As seen in Rambo: The Force of Freedom episode 20: Enter the Black Dragon.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Murder She Wrote Recaps: S2E5: Sing a Song of Murder

Angela Lansbury pulls double duty in this episode, playing not only Jessica Fletcher, but also her cousin Emma, a heavily made-up British singer whose dulcet tones are so splendid that even the Sid Vicious-style punkers that have just walked into the theater can’t help but sing along. Emma also shows a bit of that old Fletcher moxie by surviving a few murder attempts and by blasting a street tough over the head with a flower pot.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Let's Talk About Rambo: Episode 20: Enter the Black Dragon

In a storytelling flourish the likes of which are rarely seen from this era of animation, this episode starts in media res with Rambo foiling a SAVAGE plot and subsequently getting into a man vs. submarine battle. Warhawk is piloting a submarine in a river as Rambo stands on the banks.

They shoot a torpedo at Rambo. I'm not sure if they thought it was going to continue its path onto land or what, but it doesn't matter, because Rambo shoots it and blows it up, then he shoots the submarine until it explodes. Six or seven times is all that is needed.

Warhawk is driving the damaged sub towards the sea to escape, and Rambo decides to swim after them. Trautman goes "They're out of our territory!", as if to say that they can't be pursued across some kind of national border.

Rambo, like a little kid, goes: "But I'm a free citizen!" and keeps swimming. I'm not sure if either of them knows how international law works.

Warhawk and company do end up escaping in a smelly cattle car on a train.

This is just the first five minutes of the episode. Since there's so much spare time left over, and Trautman is so pleased with the outcome of the mission, he suggests the Force of Freedom go on vacation! Rambo's like "Hey, I could use a vacation!"

Rambo takes Trautman back to his cabin and they have a campfire cookout. Then Rambo hikes further into the mountains the next day for his vacation. "Civilization is great," he says, "but without nature, what's it worth??"


Warhawk is tired of Rambo foiling his plans. Luckily, he has heard whispers of the existence of the world's greatest assassin....... BLACK DRAGON.

Not this guy, unfortunately.
This guy.
"Who's that?" the other members of SAVAGE ask.

"When he's on your case, you're as good as gone!" Warhawk explains.

Apparently they've all forgotten that they worked with Black Dragon just four episodes ago. When they tried to blow up the Hoover Dam. In fact, judging by the patch on the shoulder of his ninja suit, I think Black Dragon is already a full and qualified member of SAVAGE.

Anyway, they go to Japan to hire him to assassinate Rambo. After speaking with his ninja underlings, all of whom sound like 60-year-old Italian New Yorkers who have never heard a Japanese accent in their lives, Warhawk is finally able to meet with Black Dragon himself.

"You pay me what I ask, and I will do what you ask!" Black Dragon says.

"I accept your terms!" says Warhawk, as though they just had some sort of in-depth negotiation. But I mean, isn't that the most basic premise of why they were there? What terms are there to accept? They were already hoping to hire Black Dragon to do a job!

Cut to Rambo's cabin, where a dozen ninjas parachute from a plane!

So they're good at something, at least.
But Black Ninja is nowhere to be seen. SUDDENLY! There he is! Hang gliding onto the scene! I believe the implication was that he hang glided all the way from Japan.

They all go into Rambo's empty cabin and start hanging out. Remember, Rambo is on his hiking vacation still. Black Dragon picks up Rambo's bow and gets some sort of sense of him from it, sort of like how you give a hunting dog a piece of the person's clothing to track them. So Black Dragon now knows where Rambo is hiking, and sends his ninja team out to fight him.

Also, here's something you need to know about Black Dragon. Any time he wants to go somewhere that is more than 10 feet away, he covers the distance by doing either back or front handsprings. It's his preferred method of travel. He is the man!

So the ninjas find Rambo and attack him, but as Rambo tends to do, he disappears into the wilderness and creatively takes them out one-by-one. A few examples:

1. He tricks one of the ninjas into thinking that he is hiding underwater and breathing through a hollow reed. The ninja jumps into the water and slashes all the reeds and grass, looking like a fool.

So embarrassing
2. He turns a 30-foot tree into a catapult by tying the top end of it to the ground and luring a ninja into touching it.

3. He uses a forest rabbit as a distraction to get the drop on a ninja.

4. He creates a Rube Goldberg machine with at least four components (one of them being a life-like Rambo dummy) that ends with the ninjas being swept up into a net.

5. He hangs himself by his feet from a tree to make it look like he has been snared by a forest trap. When the ninjas get near, he makes them fall into a 20-foot pit that he somehow had time to dig out and disguise.

Meanwhile, KAT and Turbo have driven to Rambo's cabin to pay him a visit. They don't know if he'll be there, because he doesn't have a phone so they can't call ahead, which explains why Trautman has to fly a chopper to pick up Rambo at the start of most episodes. But it does not explain why, during the opening theme, Trautman picks up a phone and says "GET ME RAMBO!"

As you might imagine, KAT and Turbo are immediately captured by Black Dragon, which leads us to our final confrontation.

Rambo comes home and gets in an epic fight with Black Dragon. They are very evenly matched, even with all of the ninja equipment that Rambo has to contend with. For a while, they get into a cool sickle vs. makeshift whip (made out of a belt) battle. This is Rambo's all-time most challenging fight vs. a human, for sure! I believe one time he had a great deal of trouble fighting a panther. So animals are still his greatest nemeses.

The fight ends when Rambo elbows Black Dragon in the ribs, then picks him up over his head in a gorilla press position and tosses him out of the cabin. Black Dragon decides to come back and fight another day and disappears behind the pink cloud of smoke bomb.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Professor Robert Langdon Facts #4

Straight from the pages of Dan Brown's Inferno...

Image credit: AgentButt-Kick

Did you know?

Professor Robert Langdon is skeptical of those who call themselves authors thanks to e-publishing.

Professor Robert Langdon considers his photographic memory to be his most reliable intellectual asset.

Professor Robert Langdon prefers the elegant Porta-Potty graffiti of Italy to the vulgar Porta-Potty graffiti in America.

Professor Robert Langdon appreciates most of the historical artifacts on display in Florence, but he draws the line at historical bathtubs.

Despite its overabundance of phalluses, the Piazza della Signoria is one of Professor Robert Langdon's favorite plazas in all of Europe.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What's Rambo Doing on His Day Off? #12

It's the ceremonial launch of the world's most powerful and deadly nuclear submarine, but John Rambo has has seen plenty of doomsday vehicles come and go. He's more interested in wistfully scanning the crowd for hot chicks.

As seen in Rambo: The Force of Freedom episode 19: Fire in the Sky.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Let's Talk About Rambo: Episode 19: Fire in the Sky

We catch up with Rambo and the team as they're chilling out at Boston Harbor for the launching of the world's most advanced nuclear sub. They're all introduced to the sub's captain, who has the voice of Optimus Prime. But Rambo rudely doesn't hear the introduction because he is too busy scoping out chicks from the balcony.

Ina special treat for the sub launch, a skydiver drops down with the ceremonial bottle of champagne to be smashed. The captain ties a rope to it and swings it at the sub. But when it hits, the champagne bottle EXPLODES!

You see, the skydiver was Sgt. Havoc in disguise.

The explosion leaves a hole in the side of the sub, which is how SAVAGE hijacks it. They jump in the hole and then drive the sub away. Apparently the hole lets people inside, but does not affect the sub's underwater movement?

As a distraction while this is all happening, Gripper attacks the harbor with a super old ship (we're talking from 1700s here), the kind with giant sails and cannons.

Luckily, Rambo and team hop into Old Ironsides to do battle!
The captain gives Rambo a naval sword used by famous American captain John Paul Jones. Rambo swings on a rope over to the enemy ship and swashbucklingly fights SAVAGE, including doing that classic "slide down a sail using your knife" move.

But soon enough he's trapped belowdecks while SAVAGE scuttles the ship. However, escape is easy for Rambo: he just blows a hole in the side of the ship with a grenade and swims out through the in-rushing water.

A physical impossibility for anyone but him.

However, his team thinks he's dead. "I'm sorry about Rambo," the captain tells Trautman.

"Don't be!" Trautman says. "He knew the risks!" (Cold!)

So Rambo gets to shore and everybody's trying to hug him and stuff. But he's too busy scanning the crowd for SAVAGE agents. And what do you know: the very chick he was ogling at the start of the episode is actually evil!

She hops in her car and takes off. Rambo jumps into the Attack Jeep (which he has parked in the lot like it's a normal car!) and gives chase.

She gets into a large float plane to escape, but Rambo boards it too just before she takes off. The woman and her copilot, Nomad, quickly eject, leaving Rambo stuck on a crashing plane! He grabs the map to their base and then bails out himself, using an inflatable raft to cushion his landing into the ocean many thousand feet below as though he just watched Temple of Doom.

He gets picked up by the team, and is presented with Turbo's latest invention: a rocket-powered, one-man submersible! He takes it to SAVAGE's island base, where they have gathered all the evil leaders of the world to have a bidding war over the stolen sub.

After a quick martial arts battle with the evil woman, Rambo is thrown into the cove inside the island, where he is pursued by a school of great white sharks!

However, Rambo quickly tames one of the sharks and makes it his mount, riding it throughout the base, jumping in and out of the water like a dolphin, while avoiding gunfire.
I think it's important to note that in this show's animators' eyes, great white sharks are entirely white(ish).
He gets into the sub somehow and scares Warhawk and company away by tricking them into thinking flares are dynamite. Rambo chases them to the deck, where they get into a chopper to escape, but not before leaving him with a present: a ticking, conventional warhead that's about to explode!

Gripper asks Warhawk why he didn't use a nuke. Warhawk has to explain that a nuke would also kill them, then calls Gripper an idiot.

Rambo, faced with certain death, picks up the missile, which is about 10 feet long and 5 feet in diameter and must weigh hundreds and hundreds of pounds, and throws it into the ocean.

For his bravery, the ship captain says Rambo should be rewarded and offers to let him keep that antique sword.
Badass name for a sword, you have to admit.
Rambo says, "It sure came in handy," (note: he never once used it ever) "but a good deed is its own reward!"


Remember that this episode, featuring nautical adventures, is called:

Fire in the Sky

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What's Rambo Doing on His Day Off? #11

A herd of elk is grazing peacefully in an idyllic field. Suddenly, in the distance! It's John Rambo in his attack jeep! Driving at them like a madman! The elk, panicked, run away while he chases them at high speed. After what appears to be several miles, they run straight into a tiny cage. The door is shut by a ranger from the forestry service. Rambo pulls up and they congratulate each other on getting the elk population under control.

As seen in Rambo: The Force of Freedom episode 17: The Doomsday Machine.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Murder She Wrote Recaps: S2E4: School for Scandal

What looks to be a simple painting accident at a small private college turns out to be something more heinous, despite the English department chair's protestations that murder "only happens at state universities." Jessica solves the crime in time to give a commencement speech, but not before being flashed at least twice by the prime suspect, an uninhibited romance novelist.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Let's Talk About Rambo: Episode 16: Exercise in Terror

Oh no! SAVAGE has taken a group of schoolchildren hostage inside the Statue of Liberty!

Rambo is working on the roof of his cabin when he gets called to action. The thing that's great about recent episodes of this show, however, is that we get to see not only what Rambo's doing on his days off, but also what Turbo and KAT are up to!

Turbo is driving a Formula 1 car in the desert. And KAT is winning prize after prize at the shooting gallery at the fair––just mowing down those scrolling ducks with an expressionless, dead-eyed look on her face. KAT's leisure activities always seem to involve highly violent activities. I think it's a psychological response to being sidelined all the time by Rambo during their missions.

So, after collecting his team, what does Rambo do? He makes them stand on a NYC pier and watch him while he stealthily scubas up to the Statue of Liberty and climbs up the outside of it with suction cups. He manages to climb all the way up to the head, where Gripper is holding the hostages, but Sgt. Havoc spots him from a helicopter and shoots at him, knocking him from his perch! Rambo falls all the way down to one of the statue's arms.

He is unhurt.

Then, in one of the most Rambo moves ever, he throws a rope around the helicopters blades and by sheer determination and strength, stops them from spinning. No leverage at all. Just standing on the arm of the Statue of Liberty. 

"Don't worry, kids, you were only being held hostage by Gripper."
The scheme is foiled. BUT! Days (or minutes?) later, SAVAGE announces they have a new group of hostages at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Seemed like a good scheme, why not try it again, just in a different country?

Also, we learn their motives: They're asking for a $50 million ransom with which they want to start up the International School for Terrorism. Which they presumably all want to attend themselves, since they're so terrible at it. Also, I'm sorry, SAVAGE, but $50 million might seem like a lot, but it's not going to get you very far. I don't think you could even build a contemporary school building for that in this day and age.

So Rambo rides up to the top of the tower by hanging from the bottom of the open-air elevator. When he gets to the top, in the most un-Rambo move ever, he gets knocked out immediately and tied up to the bottom of the elevator while the bad guys send it back to floor one! Gotta give them credit for the poetic nature of the death trap.

But it only takes like five floors before Rambo, with his bare hands, rips up the ropes that are holding him. He climbs back up and the bad guys parachute away after activating the time bomb, which Rambo stops by shooting an arrow into the timer, preventing it from ticking up to its last second. Apparently the bomb was running off of some kind of egg timer. This is the kind of thing they teach you not to do in Terrorism School, I'm guessing.

They track down SAVAGE to their newest base, in the Middle Eastern city of "Baghdiniad." There they destroy the base, with Rambo and Turbo showing affinity for low-tech weapons, using a bow and arrow and a boomerang, respectively.

KAT, though? She dual wields SMGs and just peppers the entire base with bullets.

I'm starting to worry about KAT.
Mission complete.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What's Rambo Doing on His Day Off? #10

John Rambo is perched atop his log cabin in the mountains, making repairs to its roof. Never one to take the easy way out, he holds the primitive stone hammer just below its head, presumably to make the task more challenging.

As seen in Rambo: The Force of Freedom episode 15: Exercise in Terror.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What's Rambo Doing on His Day Off? #9

John Rambo has a bunch of kids up on a sheer cliff face. His goal: To teach them how to rappel down the side of the mountain without any safety gear.

As seen in Rambo: The Force of Freedom episode 14: Guns Over the Suez.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Are You Band Enough? Music Reviews: Stan Bush's The Ultimate: Track 4: "Love Again"

Never has he seemed more human.

After 17 studio albums and more than three decades of rocking all around the world, it's comforting to know that Stan Bush doesn't yet have everything in life figured out yet. The lyrics of "Love Again" reveal that the ennobling musician is still surprising himself after all these years. "Never thought I could love again/Never knew that my heart would mend" he croons in one of this album's rare down-tempo, catch-your-breath moments.

His journey of self discovery mirrors ours as we continue to (slowly) make our way through his latest masterpiece, savoring each song and giving it time to properly sink into our subconsciouses before spilling our hearts onto this blog, much as Stan himself spills his own heart to the new love of his life in this song.

Let's Talk About Rambo: Episode 14: Lost City of Acra

After a one-episode break, SAVAGE has moved their schemes back to India. This time, after a very brief search, they've found and conquered the Lost City of Acra and enslaved its people to dig for buried treasure.

It really didn't take them long to find the Lost City. It doesn't appear to be hidden in any way. It's clearly visible from the air. Plus a ton of people live there, and they have modern things like eyeglasses, etc. So I'm not sure how "lost" it really is.

"Get me Rambo!"
So Trautman picks up Rambo during Rambo's day off, then Rambo picks up his team during their days off. No more days off, team! Turbo is flying a plane in a stunt show at what looks to be a state fair. Rambo goes up into the tower and makes him stop the show right in the middle of his act. So many disappointed children.

Then they go pick up KAT, who is spending her leisure time blowing up buildings using a crossbow with explosive arrows.

They all get dropped off in India at a different village, which is weird, because, as I mentioned, everybody seems to already know where the Lost City is.

Rambo is sleeping on a cot in his tent that night when a young Indian man comes in and throws a monkey on Rambo's back! Rambo is quite surprised, but spends about 10 precious seconds lighting his kerosene lamp rather than trying to defend himself. Turns out the kid offers him no ill will. In fact, he wants Rambo's help! He is the son of the chief of the Lost City and his name really sounds like "Chad."

Rambo promises to help, and the next day, he joins a ranging expedition headed for the Lost City. For unknown reasons, he makes Turbo and KAT stay at the camp. But! The soldiers Rambo is with are actually agents of SAVAGE!

They try to get rid of him by attempting to lure him into natural disasters. Because for some reason they feel the need to make it look like an accident?

First they try to make a tree fall on him. Rambo easily escapes. Next they try to lure him to a jungle stream by saying "water would feel very good on the face!" Then, when he goes to put water on his face, they start a rock slide! He escapes by jumping into the pool of water.

Finally, out on the savannah, they start an elephant stampede (because every episode of a cartoon that takes place in India must somehow involve elephants)! But Rambo simply jumps on top of the elephants and rides them to safety.

Unfortunately, despite this photo's promise, he does not suplex them.
Meanwhile, in the Lost City, Gripper is serving as the slave driver. There is a subplot involving the chief becoming ill that consists entirely of Gripper saying "The chief is ill!" to Warhawk as he walks by. It is never mentioned again.

Rambo, back at camp, receives a message from Chad, who has tied a note to his monkey! The message reveals that the guys who were trying to kill Rambo are evil. Rambo is like, "no doy."

Then they all go to the Lost City early one morning, have the monkey wake up all the bad guys by making a huge racket, and quite easily defeat the forces of SAVAGE by throwing them all into a river.

Gripper tried to bake Rambo from point blank range. He failed.
Rambo surveys the city. "If there was no greed, there'd be no fighting and no war," he says, "and wouldn't that be great?" Mission complete.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Murder She Wrote Recaps: S2E3: Murder in the Afternoon

By this time, we’ve learned that to be a relative of Jessica Fletcher’s is to be a suspect-in-waiting for a future murder case. In this case, the lines between fiction and reality are blurred when Jessica’s niece, a soap opera actress who plays a serial killer, is accused of the real-life murder of the drama’s showrunner. Jess withstands the withering glares of guest star Jessica Walter while clearing her niece’s name.

Friday, July 25, 2014

What's Rambo Doing on His Day Off? #8

John Rambo engages in a light workout outside of his mountain cabin. Once suitably warmed up, he engages in a powerlifting routine, using questionable technique.

As seen in Rambo: The Force of Freedom episode 13: Raid on Las Vegas.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The WCCW Report: Episode 57: Enter the Yatsu

January 1983: We kick things off this week with the debut of another mysterious and deadly competitor from the Orient: The Great Yatsu, who’s decked out in a gi (of course) and brandishes a wooden samurai practice sword. Ever notice how there are never any modern Japanese men in the world of classic pro wrestling? They’re always historical martial arts enthusiasts. Thank god they can find work somewhere, even if it’s not their home country. No wonder they’re in such a bad mood all the time, though. I would be too, if my choice of lifestyle made it impossible for me to get a job in my own home country. Kind of makes you wonder if Japanese pro wrestling leagues are full of Americans who are into flagpole sitting and swing dancing.

And what better way to welcome Yatsu to America than by putting him up against the Samoan (from Samoa!), the least dangerous opponent he could possibly fight! Announcer Bill Mercer (and Yatsu’s manager, who claims he had to spend a lot of silver bars to even get the man into the country. Visa issues, we assume) keep referring to “the dreaded” Yatsu as “The Oriental Assassin” and talking up his nefarious deeds. But judging by Yatsu’s facial expressions, body language and general temperament, he’s clearly a good natured youth who’s having the time of his life in America. You should see the joy on his face after he gently puts the Samoan away with the Million Dollar Dream (or “sleep hold,” as the always loquacious Mercer describes it). Sure, he beats the crap out of the Samoan after the match, but only after the Samoan sneakily enters his blind spot. And Yatsu clearly apologizes afterwards.

Yatsu in his later, more stoic years
Next up is an interview with David von Erich, who has apparently been out of state for the last few weeks. I didn’t notice, because the lack of his gaping void of charisma created a double negative.

Our first competitive match of the night sees Freebird Michael Hayes--the crowd is really on board with hating him by now--vs. “brass knuckles champion” Jose Lothario (which sounds impressive until you realize that you’ve never seen a brass knuckles match ever), who Mercer calls a “young man.” I know this is before the HD era, but come on, Bill! You can see the wrinkles on his face! And his male pattern baldness! The match ends when the other Freebirds come to the ring and attack Lothario to the tune of a thunderous “Go Home Freebirds!” chant from the crowd. That’s a new one.

Next: Another interview with King Kong Bundy, this one appearing to take place in a classicly styled wooden sauna. He’s got more boring stuff to say about Devastation Inc., and it’s still unclear if he and “the man” are the same person, if “the man” and “the boss” are the same person, and what the hell the point of any of this is. Interestingly, Bundy gets the manboss on the phone and introduces himself as “Kong,” so apparently that’s what he thinks his own first name is. Kong also reveals that the boss is heavy into the oil and gas industry (so...maybe it’s Ross Perot?), and may be giving Kong his own refinery by this time next year. Wonder how that worked out.

Then Bundy heads to the ring for the main event: A tag team match with he and the Great Kabuki (almost every Japanese wrestler is great!) taking on Al Madril and Bugsy McGraw. Bugsy looks like every “fun,” creepy uncle everybody ever had. I’m hoping he’ll sustain a career-ending injury soon. Or give him a refinery, too, I don’t care! Just get him off my TV!

The match happens, I guess, but I’m more impressed with the dude in the crowd wearing a Cosby sweater and a trucker cap that says “Red Neck MOTHER.” Fan of the year, for sure. And when Bundy splashes Bugsy into oblivion, that puts the cherry on top, making this one of the best episodes of WCCW yet.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Murder She Wrote Recaps: S2E2: Joshua Peabody Died Here… Possibly

As is usually the case when a construction project is underway in Cabot Cove, a dead body is found on the site. This time it’s a fully intact skeleton, which makes identification difficult, although Sheriff Amos somehow thinks it belongs to an 18th century historical figure. Luckily, when another, more flesh-covered body is later found in the same spot, Jessica doesn’t have to resort to phrenology to solve the case.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Let's Talk About Rambo: Episode 13: Raid on Las Vegas

General Warhawk has had enough of other people's plans. This time, he's scheming up a Warhawk original: He's going to blow up Hoover Dam, then, when all the cops of Las Vegas rush to help the victims, he and the rest of SAVAGE will steal all the money in Las Vegas!

Meanwhile, KAT is disguised as a Vegas showgirl and infiltrates the dressing room of Pandora, a woman who does a Vegas show consisting of panther stunts. Inside the room, she does that classic "shading the blank sheet of notepad paper with a pencil to reveal the indentations" trick and hits paydirt: "general Warhawk eight o' clock penthouse" is revealed!

Consider this: At this point, all General Warhawk has done is ride in a chopper with Sergeant Havoc and reveal his plan. There is absolutely no way that the Force of Freedom could have any idea what his scheme is, or even that he's anywhere near Las Vegas. Therefore, the only reasonable conclusion to draw is that KAT spends all her time in disguise, infiltrating people's private property and going through all their stuff in the vain hope that they have some kind of terrorist connection. KAT is basically the primitive form of the NSA.

Pandora arrives upon the scene and sics her panther on KAT, but KAT hits the cat in the face with a book and runs away, trying to hide in plain sight in the middle of a high-kicking chorus line. But she didn't count on the panther's finely tuned senses--he sniffs her out and Pandora ties her up with her whip.

Weird screengrab, I know.
Smash cut to Rambo and Turbo flying in a plane. "SOMETHING'S HAPPENED TO KAT!" Rambo yells, apparently having developed psychic powers. Turbo tries to calm his nerves: "Maybe she got tied up, couldn't make it to the phone." Rambo sends him a "that's not funny" look, and once again I remind you that there's absolutely no way they can know anything that has happened.

When they get to Vegas, Rambo makes Turbo stay to do maintenance on the plane (naturally) and goes to visit Pandora's penthouse suite, using his classic grappling hook/free climbing technique instead of, you know, taking the stairs or something.

Even blurry vision won't stop Rambo from finding KAT.
Inside the room, General Warhawk is interrogating KAT: "Tell me Rambo's plans." YOU'RE the one with plans, Warhawk. YOU! Remember? The dam? The explosion? Those plans are yours. Not Rambo's. Rambo never has any plans! He'd be more than happy to hang out with animals in the forest all day if you weren't doing anything.

Rambo attempts a daring rooftop rescue, but Pandora's panther pushes him off and he has to grapple onto a balcony to save himself. (By the way, that evens the score between Rambo and black panthers, if you're keeping track at home.)

The bad guys escape and tie up KAT in a shack in the desert, where she is freed from her ropes by a friendly rat, then eavesdrops on a meeting between Warhawk and a new member of SAVAGE: Black Dragon!

Must still be working on his black belt.
Turns out that Dragon and his crew of ninjas are going to be responsible for taking out Hoover Dam. They climb up the side (that's a huge ascent!) and take out the guards. Warhawk shows up and it's the first time I've ever seen him happy about anything! "You can always count on Black Dragon," he smiles. You hear that, Gripper? You're about to be put on a performance improvement plan.

By the way, how many evil black ninjas does it take to set up a bomb in Hoover Dam? Four. Four evil black ninjas. But it only takes one John Rambo to lug it back up to the top of the dam in less than a minute and throw it into the lake just feet away from the dam, where it explodes harmlessly.

His intricate plan foiled, Warhawk just plain decides to attack Vegas with one tank and a bunch of jeeps. He goes after "the biggest casino first": a carnival-themed joint where the ninjas take pleasure in distracting the trapeze artists so that they fall during their routine.

Note the giant icy gorilla.
Unfortunately, that just frees up the trapeze ropes to be used by Rambo in a surprise attack. He then blocks a bunch of thrown ninja stars with a roulette wheel and gets his win back over the black panther by strangling it into submission underwater(!) while KAT throws Pandora into a pool. Mission complete.

Monday, July 7, 2014

What's Rambo Doing on His Day Off? #7

A baby condor, too eager to learn how to fly, has fallen from its nest. John Rambo places it in his backpack and climbs a mountain using only a rope and grappling hook. His quest: to return the baby condor to its worried siblings.

As seen in Rambo: The Force of Freedom episode 12: Cult of the Cobra.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Let's Talk About Rambo: Episode 12: Cult of the Cobra

SAVAGE sure has been outsourcing a lot of their evil schemes lately. Just two episodes ago, they played second fiddle to the great grandson of Dracula, and in this episode, they're following the lead of Rama, the leader of the of India's Cult of the Cobra.

Not this one.
Or this one. :(
Rama's plan:

1.) Hijack a train carrying foodstuffs to one of India's provinces. This is accomplished by having three or four cultists jump onto the train and release single cobras from their bags. The train's conductor and guards, despite being armed, are so terrified that they jump off, leaving it completely undefended.

It's possible that the hijacked train was the Darjeeling Ltd.
2.) Apparently just starving people isn't enough. The SAVAGE thugs and cultists (including one guy riding a really mean elephant!) start harassing the hungry people of a local village. At this point Rambo shows up, runs off all the bad guys, and tames the elephant, which becomes his vehicle of choice for the rest of the episode.

3.) Rama and General Warhawk believe the only remaining obstacle to becoming king of India (or something? Their motivations are frustratingly vague) is an underground Indian military base. Thankfully, they've devised a totally-not-completely-bonkers plan to get rid of it: They make a cobra swallow a live bomb and then release it into the base's ventilation system.

That's when Rambo appears on the scene, riding the elephant with a little girl who claimed to be able to shave hours off their pachyderm travel time.

I believe this special ability is commonly known as "owning a map."
Rambo dives into the ventilation shaft, grabs the snake, forces the bomb out like he's getting the last bit of toothpaste out of a tube, and throws it from below the surface of the earth high enough into the sky that nothing takes any damage from its explosion.

Finally, it's time to take the battle to the Cult of the Cobra's home turf! The little Indian girl suspects that a mountain temple topped by a giant stone cobra that she recently stumbled across just might have some connection to the cult. Rambo and crew travel there––John is so enamored with his elephant transport (it can run as fast as a car!) that he even lets Turbo drive the attack jeep. Bad move, Rambo––when faced with a rock slide, Turbo says something about taking "an alternate route," but what he really means is "I'm going to drive the attack jeep of the side of a cliff and land it on a tree, leaving Rambo to assault the base on his own."

Not that that's a problem. Rambo drives his elephant right to the front door of the temple, then somehow wins a 1-on-4 assault rifle fight in which no one takes a bullet and drives SAVAGE out of India forever. High on victory, he foolishly tells his comrades that it'd be easy to solve the problem of world hunger if only people cared to make the effort.