Nazis, Nice Booty, Cossacks, Cowboys, Aliens and The Secret Service
By Beau Smith
God Bless The Sci-Fi Channel
Last Friday sucked like a cheap whore with a lisp. It started with the relentless rain. It seemed to come down harder every time I stepped outside. It was one of those days where you swear somebody has painted an invisible target on you and everybody is taking a free shot.
It was one of those days where you just wanna shove it behind you and move on. As I lay in bed that night I promised myself that the weekend would be better. I would take time to make sure I relaxed and didn’t have anymore toe-to-toe battles with unmanly stress.
Saturday worked out really nice. Sunny, warm and nothing on my “must do” list other than mowing the grass. It’s an annual thing with me and the lawn mower that hates my guts. Every year that metal, gas driven, son of a bitch on wheels tries to act like one of the motorized monsters in the Emilio Estevez movie MAXIMUM DRIVE.
Even though I baby that machine it never wants to start on opening day of grass cutting. If it does start it usually chokes out on me a few times during critical maneuvers around the pine tree or fence. Not this year.
It started like dream and didn’t stop until the job was done. I even doubled checked the thing to make sure it was the same machine. I hate mowing the grass, but this time it was almost a pleasure.
The rest of the day went pretty good too. I found the low-budget DVDs of DEEP EVIL and DARK BREED for $3.00 each at Blockbuster. Both are superb Sci-Fi action movies. They are two fine examples of how a B-Movie can be better than an A-List piece of crap like Tom Cruise in WAR OF THE WORLDS any day of the week.
Ona Grauer in Deep Evil, Shooting Aliens
DEEP EVIL is a really action packed, smart Sci-Fi movie that makes the most of their budget. It is like a good episode of X-Files with the suspense of ALIENS and the physical combat of PREDATOR. There is a really good twist and it stars a Beau Babe favorite — Ona Grauer. Lorenzo Lamas is in it BUT… has a more secondary role and does a good job. Best part is that he doesn’t act arrogant or cheesy in this. I highly recommend it.
DARK BREED stars great B-Movie actor Jack Scalia. In DARK BREED he really shows you that a guy over 50 can pull off the action scenes and tough guy stuff without worrying if they are shooting him from his good side or not. Unlike Tom Cruise, he doesn’t have to stand on a box to see eye to eye with the rest of the actors. DARK BREED is basically about creepy aliens that come to Earth as parasites within some astronauts. Once here they get really nasty and the gunfire, explosions and fist fights start. Most of the film’s budget was used on the stunts and action. It pays off too. There is one scene that takes place on the freeway that is worthy of any A-List action film. The great character actor Jonathan Banks is in this and turns on a wonderful job as always. Some of the other acting is just okay, but then again, this is a B-Movie.
That evening I decided that I was just gonna kick back and watch TV. I checked the listings and saw that the Sci-Fi channel was gonna debut the original movie SS DOOMTROOPER. It’s an end of WWII movie where a crazed Nazi scientist creates a “super soldier” to defeat the American soldiers and their allies.
I figured this was gonna be so bad it would be good. I was kinda right. The star was Corin Nemic from the 1990 sitcom PARKER LEWIS CAN’T LOSE… Geez…. has it been THAT long? Anyway, he is all grown up now and kinda looks and acts like Matthew Fox’s not as studly brother. I was worried that he couldn’t pull off the role of the tough leader of the soldiers, but he did better than fine.
SS DOOMTROOPER was like THE DIRTY DOZEN meets THE INCREDIBLE HULK. He takes a hand picked group of soldiers from the brig, each being real characters and experts in certain fields, to destroy a castle that the Nazis have been using to create a secret weapon. All the standard clichés are here and you expect them. So there is no reason to whine about em’. After all, this is a Sci-Fi channel original and that’s the way they want em’ to be. They save their big budget for their highly touted mini-series.
The war scenes and equipment are very good. The acting by 3/4 of the actors is really bad. There is even one member of the “Dirty Half Dozen” that is named “Parker Lewis”. If they would have made this as soldiers vs. Nazis it might have ended up being really good, but the monster/super soldier is the worst use of CGI in a movie since the Bigfoot monsters in SASQUATCH HUNTERS. So bad you can’t help laughing. Most video games effects are better than this.
If the monster would have been left out or if they would have just taken a WWE wrestler and did a little BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER make up on him, it would have as the young kids used to say “Rocked”.
But they didn’t, so SS DOOMTROOPER ends up being so bad it’s good in a “laugh at and make fun of” kinda way.
Because I knew that’s what this was and what it was going to be, I watched the whole thing and didn’t feel like I had wasted my time. It’s like eating a Whopper at Burger King. You know it’ not good for you, but you just don’t care.
I suggest you watch it or skim through it next time it’s on. Better yet, have some like-minded friends over and enjoy it with some beer and some Whoppers.
If you’re too high-brow then forget it. Go re-rent INDEPENDENCE DAY and try and tell yourself it’s a good Sci-Fi movie. (I ain’t gonna tell ya!)
Cowboy And The Cossack-A Must On Your Manly Book List
Cowboy And The Cossack, by Clair Huffaker is to books what THE WILD BUNCH is to films. Simply one of the most manly books ever written.
For those of you that don’t know of Clair Huffaker, let me educate you a bit. Huffaker is not only a great novelist, but also a wonderful screenwriter. Huffaker wrote a few movies that starred the ultimate real man actor-John Wayne. Films such as THE CAMMANCHEROS, THE WAR WAGON and HELLFIGHTERS. Huffaker also wrote the screenplay for an incredible tough guy western called RIO CONCHOS with Richard Boone and Jim Brown.
COWBOY AND THE COSSACK is a western, but like LONESOME DOVE, THE SERACHERS, and UNFORGIVEN, it is more, much more. First thing is it doesn’t take place in the west. It takes place in Siberia. You have an outfit of cowboys from Montana that have agreed to ship and herd a large amount of longhorn cattle to Russia for some folks in dire need of the cattle. The outfit is full of wonderful, interesting characters that are not stereotypes of cowboys that you seen and read a million times. Once in Russia they are to be escorted by an equally interesting and wonderful group of Cossacks that will guide them across Siberia to their destination.
The story is told from the point of view of Levi, one of the Montana cowboys. The Montana outfit is lead by a cowboy named Shad. The Cossacks are lead by Captain Rostov. Both men are the most manly heroes I have ever come across in any fiction. This is one of the great stories of camaraderie ever told in fiction. You are pulled in with every page and you feel for each character. The dialogue is amazing and very true to the time period. Other than non-fiction, this is one of the best examples of western lingo used correctly that I have seen.
The story has the feel of BRAVEHEART, LORD OF THE RINGS, and ZULU when it comes to the huge battle at the climax of the book. You feel every second of the battle and I defy any reader to not get a chill down their spine when Levi describes what he sees when the Tarters come to attack. It is horrific and amazing at the same time.
This story captures male camaraderie perfectly. Every woman should read this book so that they can know what a man feels like. This will help them understand the emotions and mind of a man better than any episode of Dr. Phil or Oprah ever will.
I first read COWBOY AND THE COSSACK back when it came out in 1973. I was a senior in high school. I know I have read it at least once a year since then. I have bought copies for friends as gifts. Whenever I come across a copy in a used book store I always buy it. I know I will pass it on to someone else. It’s my missionary work of manliness. A few years ago I bought a beautiful hardbound copy of it for $30.00. It was worth every cent. It was also filled with great illustrations by Brad Holland. Here is the info on the who published that one.
P.O. Box 168
Cutchogue, NY 11935
I don’t know if they are still in business or if Amazon even still carries this version. I’ve seen the hardcover, the large print version as well as the paperback on Ebay a few times. Most libraries carry it. This hardcover was reprinted with the help of Simon & Schuster. I cannot stress enough that you should seek this book out and read it. I would be amazed if you didn’t come back and tell me that it was one of the greatest books you have ever read. You don’t have to be a fan of westerns to enjoy this. COWBOY AND THE COSSACK goes way above any genre.
Why this hasn’t been made into a movie I’ll never know. There was rumor at one time James Caan had bought the option for it, but that’s been many years ago. You’d think with Huffaker doing so many screenplays that it would have been done, but it hasn’t. I’m sad to say that Huffaker is no longer with us. Huffaker died in 1990.
So get out there and find a copy and do it now. If you’ve already read it I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. If any of you out there in Hollywood with any power are reading this, then make this movie. I don’t beg except to really pretty women, but I am beggin’ now. MAKE THIS MOVIE!
Here is a quote on Cowboy and the Cossack from Chuck Dixon:
“This is one of those very rare books that, while reading it, you hope will never end. It creates a real, compelling and enthralling world of adventure populated with characters you grow to care about. As in all great action fiction, the stakes are high and the heroes are bold. The "East meest West" set-up is played for all it's worth and the whole venture is just burly, manly fun. What else could you expect from a guy who penned so many books that would become John Wayne movies?”
- Chuck Dixon, writer of manly comics.
Busted Knuckles Babe of The Week
What a view to have walk away from ya…
Every once in a while you come across a babe that is right under your nose. Jacqueline Obradors is one of those babes. I hadn’t ever heard of her or seen her until I was on one of my cheap DVD B-Movies searches and came across the movie UNSTOPPABLE with Wesley Snipes. I bought it for $3.00 and figured I had nothing but time to lose.
Ends up the movie was a lot better than I thought. The action was A-List with great hand to hand fight scenes. The plot was better than I thought. The supporting cast was a nice surprise, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko on LOST) Mark Sheppard (24), Kim Coates (Open Range), and Kim Thomson, the British babe actress, are all in it.
Getting back to Obradors, she plays a cop in this that is Snipes love interest. This is a movie with a lot of action and jaw breaking. Ends up she does more than her share of jaw breaking and gun play. She is a beautiful, tough, foul-mouthed, no-nonsense cop who should have gotten her own action series after this movie. I think that if you see it you will agree.
Ends up she was a regular on a show I never watched NYPD BLUE and some new comedy called FREDDIE. She was also in some Vin Diesel movie I didn’t see called A MAN APART. If you haven’t seen her you should. She has one of the best “walk offs” you’ll ever witness. One of the photos I’ve posted here should show you why.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week
Al Kennedy Of The Secret Service: Cloak And Dagger Issue #1
In tribute to my upcoming series Cobb: Off The Leash from IDW Publishing (May 2006) I thought I would use this week’s Manly Cover to show the Secret Service hero that kinda started it all, Al Kennedy.
He was a good looking, crew-cut wearin’, two fisted, tie wearin’, .45 shootin’, good guy that stopped international terrorists before everyone else. In this first issue alone he took on the assassin of the burning sands in Kismet as well as The Krosno Butcher. As you can see from the great Norm Saunders painted cover, Al was always there to save the damsel-in-distress from being a human pin cushion. Check out his true blue aim as he shoots the deadly dagger from reaching the shapely babe.
Where have these kinda heroes gone?
Make sure you check out my buddy Chuck Dixon’s weak attempt to out man my cover over at his message board site http://www.dixonverse.net.
Media Reviews Wanted
Speaking of the Secret Service… I just got the lettered, uncorrected pages of COBB: OFF THE LEASH #1 in. In continuing to get the word out on this series I will send an advance Xerox copy of the first issue to any media reviewer that is willing to read it, post it, print or broadcast a review on COBB:OFF THE LEASH #1.
This ain’t a Marvel or DC super hero book, this isn’t a Star Wars comic from Dark Horse, and it ain’t a zombie/monster comic done by a million other publishers. This is an action/thriller. Like I said before, this is “Sam Peckinpah directing 24.”
It’s different. That’s why I need the help in getting the word out there. If the word doesn’t get out there then the book could die a slow, unseen death that it does not deserve.
So if you are a media reviewer and want to cover something different from the usual stuff, then email me here at the ranch with your shipping information and who you review for.
Let’s see if for once we can really help out the underdog and make a difference.
You have my appreciation.
Podcast Turns Into “Beaucast”
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend some time with me and listen to my soothing voice for a real long time?
No? Well….too bad!
I recently talked to the crew at GeekSpeak.com about my new series Cobb: Off The Leash, my career and my misspent youth of trading Playboys Magazines for comics. I had a really good time with the guys and we talked about all sorts of stuff and they drug everything out of me short of my jail record.
If you get the chance check it out. Download it and listen to it when you should be working. Play it in your ipod when your wife or girlfriend is giving you the business. I promise it’ll make your ears bleed.
Here are the links. The first one takes you to the GeekSpeak.com site and the second one takes you right to my conversation.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
And here's a link to the episode itself:
The Last Beer Is Mine
Here’s to hoping that this week will be better than last. I’ve got my fingers crossed that you will enjoy something special this week. It’s always nice to be surprised by something good. Maybe this will be the week you’ll roll into your local comic shop and find something that will inspire you and entertain you like never before. Maybe this’ll be the week you stroll into Blockbuster and find your own copy of DEEP EVIL, DARK BREED, or UNSTOPPABLE.
Like I said… the last beer is mine!
Perhaps your local library will have a copy of COWBOY AND THE COSSACK and you will be able to enjoy one of the best books ever written.
This might be the week you run across a copy of AL KENNEDY OF THE SECRET SERVICE in your attic. I hope so. I may not have ever met you in person or helped you smash beer bottles over some moron’s head in a bar, but I sure hope you have a manly week.
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507
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