Monday, October 28, 2019

"Zombieland" - This Was a Lot Funnier a Decade Ago.

*I write these articles with SPOILERS.

Combining my usual line up of Van Damme, western, and comedy with Halloween month meant finding a horror comedy this week. I decided to go with Zombieland because of the recent sequel and because I haven’t seen it in years. Overall, I still enjoyed the film, but I also think it is very much a movie of the time. I hate to always bring up The Walking Dead when writing about zombie movies, but this coming out before that show premiered made it more enjoyable than it is today for me. I’m kind of burnt out with all things zombie right now thanks to The Walking Dead (a show I only watch out of habit at this point). Rewatching this reminded me of a simpler time when zombies were only in movies. I like a lot of The Walking Dead, but I wish it never happened at this point. They flooded the zombie market and now good zombie movies are not as special because zombies are everywhere. A zombie movie used to be a relatively special thing, but now zombies are everywhere, and I just don’t care as much. Oh well, at least I’ll always have the Romero movies. Those classics can never be tainted by zombie popularity.

The Fact That I Don't Have Much to Say About This Movie Says It All.

I don’t have a lot to write about this movie, mainly because of what I mentioned above. When I first saw this movie, it felt like a fresh idea. Comedy (intentional and unintentional) has always been a part of zombie movies, but this is one of the only straight up comedies (Return of the Living Dead falls into this category, as well, and is much funnier). What makes Zombieland stand out a bit is that the zombies never seem to pose a real threat to the characters. Sure, they get in hairy situations, but at no point did I think any of the leads was going to die. That’s rare in a zombie movie.

The comedy aspect makes Zombieland interesting, but it also makes it forgettable. I like laughing at zombies, but I also want a bit of realism. It feels stupid to write this, but zombie movies are funnier when the zombies are treated seriously. Turning them into clowns (literally in this film) takes away from the humor. 

Because of this, Zombieland is a movie of the moment for me. By that, I mean that when it came out I loved it. I thought it was hilarious. But a decade later, the comedy just made me smirk here and there. Nothing really made me laugh. This is the case for most comedies, so I’m not saying Zombieland is especially dated or anything. But I do bring it up because of the sequel. If a Zombieland sequel had been released, say, seven years ago, I would have made a point to see it opening weekend. Ten years later, I really don’t care about the sequel, and I plan on only watching it once it’s on video, preferably on a service I already have so I don’t have to spend extra money to watch it. As a zombie fan, that saddens me, but that’s the zombie world we live in now.

Zombieland Works Because It's Like Someone Made a Movie Based Off a Dorky Conversation About Zombies.

Despite my less than enthusiastic feelings about the series now, Zombieland is still a decently enjoyable movie (put that on a poster!). I still like it because of the basic premise, which is, “What if we did as much funny shit to zombies as we can think of?” As a dork, I have had many conversations over the years about what I would do in a zombie apocalypse. The real answer is “die in the first wave,” but I liked to humor myself and think I would be one of the survivors. In that scenario I would start thinking of funny ways to kill zombies, looking for celebrity zombies, visiting places I once enjoyed now that they’re deserted, etc. Zombieland covers all that stuff, which is why I still like it. Add to that the rules of the film, and you have a zombie movie made for zombie movie dorks. 

It seems like there are still a lot of possibilities for humor in a zombie-filled world that are unexplored in Zombieland. Perhaps I should be excited for the sequel, but I get the feeling that Double Tap is just going to be more of the same with a few new characters added. But I’ll eventually give it a chance, and hopefully I’m wrong, and the film addresses some new avenues in zombie comedy.

Why Do I Own This?

This is one that I bought back in my "must buy a movie every week" phase. I'm glad I have it to revisit, especially since I forgot most of it, but if this came out today I would not feel the need to own it.

Random Thoughts

The double tap rule should apply to every movie. Just make sure the monster or killer or whatever is dead with a few extra shots.

"Can't a guy take a dumper in peace?" First off, I like that Mike White calls it a "dumper." Second, all that happened was someone else entered the public restroom. So one is allowed in if Mike White is taking a dumper? How would anyone know?

That credits sequence is still funny and awesome.

My favorite scene from the title sequence is the tuxedo dude shooting. What is the backstory there? Why is he wearing a Casablanca tux in an outdoor industrial setting?

"You almost knocked over your alcohol with your knife."

The power is still on in a lot of places in Zombieland. I've wondered about this for a while. Would the power grid just go out in the event of a zombie apocalypse? Or would it stay on until a storm took it out? Based on how often the power goes out without zombies around, I'd say it's much more likely that the power would be out once the undead did rise. I like that the lights still work in this movie, though. I don't like it when zombie movies/shows are overly dark.

The list of people that were offered cameos is awesome. Swayze, Van Damme, Pesci, Hamill, The Rock, Bacon, McConaughey. Why in God's name did Van Damme turn this down?!

Totally forgot about the gag of Eisenberg taking off on a motorcycle and immediately crashing. That was definitely a good call. I would never believe that he could ride a motorcycle. 

The power being on is essential to the ending of this movie since they end up at the theme park, but that also makes it insanely stupid. What did they expect was going to happen when they turned on an entire theme park?

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

"From Dusk Till Dawn" - "Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them."

*I write these articles with SPOILERS.

Once again trying to stick with my monthly routine of late of Van Damme, western, and comedy, I tried to find the closest thing to a horror western in my collection and came up with From Dusk Till Dawn. I would say western is the loosest fitting genre label for this wacky film, but the argument could be made that it’s a kind of neo-western or whatever cool-sounding thing we’re calling modern westerns these days. It’s mostly a campy vampire movie. And it definitely seems like the most fun Tarantino and Rodriguez ever had making a movie. Watching it again for the first time in years, I felt a little bummed out about where both the filmmakers are today compared to their early, more renegade days. It’s not that they’re not making good films (I loved Once Upon a Hollywood, and Alita: Battle Angel looks interesting and expensive [I haven’t seen it yet]) today, but they are certainly not making movies like this anymore. That’s probably a good thing, but I still enjoy this time in their careers quite a bit, even if the documentary accompanying this film sullied it all a bit for me.

I’m Glad They Don’t Put This Many Special Features on DVD/Blu-ray Anymore.

Due to a combination of boredom and morbid curiosity at the ridiculous amount of special features included on the DVD release of From Dusk Till Dawn that I own, I decided to watch every minute of it. All told I spent over six hours with this movie and its features. I watched the movie, then watched it with commentary from Tarantino and Rodriguez (who claimed it was for the “laserdisc” release), then I watched all the behind the scenes/deleted scenes/etc. Stuff, and I finished it off by watching Full Tilt Boogie, the feature length documentary made about the making of the film. 

The standard behind the scenes stuff is pretty good, but that’s always the case with a Rodriguez film. The dude is willing to include everything on his DVD releases, even getting to the point where he was including a cooking class video with every release for a while. Better yet, he knows how to provide good commentary. He gives actual details about the making of special effects and how he films things rather than just making bland comments or, worse yet, explaining the movie to you. Since From Dusk Till Dawn features so much practical creature and gore effects, it was great to see how it all came together, especially since a lot of it includes footage of Greg Nicotero (who has become a major part of The Walking Dead), Howard Berger, and Tom Savini, gods of zombie movie effects. As far as special edition DVDs go, this is a treasure trove of interesting features. If only I had stopped there. 

As a standalone documentary, Full Tilt Boogie is great at showing the lives and work of all the “little guys” in a film production. There are interviews with drivers, production assistants, grips, etc. You typically never see these people even in behind the scenes stuff, so the film does give an insight into that world of filmmaking. It also includes the requisite scenes of the stars goofing off and cutting loose (my favorite moment is of everyone hanging out in a bar in Barstow: you get to see an awkward encounter between a local and Clooney, Juliette Lewis singing karaoke, and Tarantino kind of dancing along like the dork he is). But the documentary also tackles a union issue that occurred during production. 

Before I go any further, I have to point out that I am a member of a union and wholeheartedly support unions in general. Because of this, I came away with a lesser opinion of Tarantino and Rodriguez after watching this film. I won’t pretend to know exactly what was going on with SAG-AFTRA in Hollywood at this time, but based on what was presented in the movie, the union was not happy that Rodriguez and Tarantino were using a non-union crew on such a large production. The documentary filmmakers obviously side with the production, and they eventually storm a union convention in an attempt to get the lead negotiator on camera (they eventually talk to him off-camera, but they still include him snarkily in the credits as a character in the film).

The basic argument from the documentary and from Tarantino and Rodriguez is that they want to do things their way, and the union would keep that from happening. The argument is made that they just do too much, and the union doesn’t like that. The example being that Rodriguez operates the camera, edits, and directs, and the union would want to change that. But I think the issue is more about the smaller people on the set and making sure they are protected. Later in the film, we see that a number of people with lesser roles were given terrible or no food, forced to work 17-18 hours, and were even left behind on the set when the bus took off without them. If that’s not an example of why a union is necessary, I don’t know what is. But they still include an interview with an assistant director who claims unions may have been necessary for his father, who was a “little man,” but now unions only want to tell him what he can’t do, and how is that right?

This brings me to my own experience with a union. In a factory setting, unions are often criticized for allowing lazy workers to stay employed and to keep work from happening. The examples of this are when someone is not allowed to do someone else’s job. This is the case for me. I could be at a machine at work that is down and have very little to do; if I was asked to do a job I was not qualified to do or if I took it upon myself to do someone else’s work, it would be grounds for a grievance. But if I was just sitting around, why is it wrong to work? Because someone else is getting paid to do the other work. If I start doing their work along with mine, what’s to keep the company from deciding that one position should do the work of two, even if the opportunity to do both jobs only happens in rare occurrences? 

It’s about job protection, even if that means someone is sitting around doing nothing. It’s not about protecting someone’s right to sit on their ass; it’s about making an entire job is not done away with because of the circumstances of a single day. So yeah, dude from the documentary, the union will tell you what you can’t do so that the person who’s getting paid to do it keeps their job. 

The problem Tarantino and Rodriguez had at the time was that they were transitioning from independent filmmakers into studio filmmakers. Sure, when you’re working on a tight budget with a skeleton crew, a union will make the production impossible to continue. But Dawn had a budget of $15 million in the early ‘90s. That’s hardly an independent production by the standards of the time. 

Tarantino and Rodriguez argue in the documentary that they simply like doing things their way with their people, and the union was using their high profile at the time to make a stand. They argue that the union doesn’t actually care about anyone working on Dusk, they just want to go after the filmmakers. That may be true, but if they are going to make studio films, then they need to use union crews. They can still hire who they want, and they can still handle as many responsibilities as they want to handle, but some workers’ roles will be reduced to create a job for someone one else. I don’t see a problem with that, but I get that some people would argue that when you’re dealing with art, you can’t take an industrial, union mentality to it. 

But in a lot of ways, Tarantino and Rodriguez are CEOs, and they need to be held in check like any other job providers. They are making substantially more money than the workers on the film, and if left to do whatever they want, some workers may be forced to work in unfair conditions for too many hours, not to mention many jobs that could have been created are instead done by a single person. As much as Tarantino and Rodriguez want you to think that they’re just two dudes trying to make movies like they used to in their backyards, the fact of the matter is they are making millions of dollars and are in control of even more money in the budget. Sure, they may still have an independent spirit, but the budgets of their films are far beyond independent. Part of having a lot more money to work with means having to make sacrifices to make your bigger films. 

I can see both sides of this argument, and I clearly side with the union because of my own experience and beliefs about unions in this country. But I cannot abide the presentation of Tarantino and Rodriguez as victims of a strong-arm union. They just wanted to keep doing things exactly how they had been doing them, but just like how a business ran in a garage must adapt when it becomes a full-blown corporation, these filmmakers needed to adapt as well.

All the union stuff left a sour taste in my mouth after everything, but I do appreciate that this film and its special features could bring about this response in me. Despite all this, I do still find this film entertaining.

Grindhouse Before Grindhouse.

Tarantino and Rodriguez are obviously fans of B-movies, George Romero, and John Carpenter movies, which is why they made Grindhouse a few years after From Dusk Till Dawn, but this film is the beginning of it. John Carpenter’s influence is the most evident since the film becomes a bit like Assault on Precinct 13 in the second half, and one of the characters even wears a “Precinct 13” t-shirt. 

The gore effects are reminiscent of The Thing as they are mostly practical and very disgusting. There is even a deleted scene in which one vampire’s stomach opens and bites off the head of someone, much like the chest cavity that bites off arms in The Thing

Overall, the film simply has a Carpenter feel to it, though both filmmakers would eventually lean even more heavily into Carpenter territory in future films. I think Planet Terror is even more of an homage to Carpenter, and The Hateful Eight is a borderline remake of The Thing when you break it down to the essential plot of not knowing who is really who they say they are (not to mention it stars Kurt Russell).

Once again, it’s just a fun movie because these guys are making their version of the films they love. I prefer Tarantino’s latest films (I think I like ‘90s Rodriguez more, that current Rodriguez, though), but I will always have a soft spot for this moment in his career. A moment when he could make a vampire movie and just have fun and not have every single frame and plot point analyzed.

Why Do I Own This?

I own everything Tarantino has been a part of, so that’s the main reason for this. But I do really enjoy the one-two punch of Desperado and From Dusk Till Dawn. Rodriguez was just firing on all cylinders at this time.

Random Thoughts

Why the fuck is the documentary "Disc One" and the actual movie is "Disc Two"?

Holy shit, John Hawkes! It's been so long since I've seen this that this is the first time I realized he is the clerk at the beginning.

The IMDb trivia is vast, but the most interesting thing I came across is that Joe Pilato was going to play Seth. Man, I want to see that version of this movie.

In fact, in many ways this movie is connected to Day of the Dead: the almost casting of Pilato, Tom Savini is in it, and Howard Berger (Bub, the zombie) has a cameo, as well.

My God, what a great picture they created for John Hawkes on the newscast.

I don't think Tarantino is doing much "acting" when he's staring creepily at Juliette Lewis's feet.

I think every viewer wanted to knock Tarantino out when Clooney did in the RV.

Cheech's pussy soliloquy is one for the ages.

The bloodbath is pretty damn great: it's gory and goofy.

That corpse guitar is gross...and no way that thing is functional.

I always appreciate a vampire movie that treats them as monsters and not tragic heroes.

Some of George Clooney's line delivery comes off a bit flat (for instance, any of the Tarantino-isms like "Okay, ramblers, let's get ramblin'"), but he is perfect for lines like: "Peachy, Kate. The world's my oyster, except for the fact that I just rammed a wooden stake in my brother's heart because he turned into a vampire, even though I don't believe in vampires. Aside from that unfortunate business, everything's hunky-dory."

Any monster movie that acknowledges movie versions of the monsters is good in my book. The conversation Clooney has about accepting that they are dealing with vampires followed by everyone mentioning what they know about vampires from movies is great. It's always annoying when characters don't know what famous monsters are. Like on The Walking Dead, it seems as if zombies didn't exist in pop culture in that world. Why? Why would it be bad for the characters to say, "Holy shit! Zombies! Head shots only, people! And if you get bit you're as good as dead!"? 

I love that half of Fred Williamson's Vietnam speech is muted as Savini turns. The physical comedy of him slashing around is great, and it upends the audience expectation of a Quint-like Jaws speech. Easily the funniest moment in the film for me.

“Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them. I don’t give a fuck how crazy they are!”


Thursday, October 10, 2019

"Replicant" - You Will Believe Van Damme Is Both a Serial Killer and an Adult Toddler.

*This article contains SPOILERS.

Last October, I wrote solely about horror films. Jean-Claude Van Damme has not really done a horror film in his career, but he’s done horror-adjacent movies. Death Warrant comes to mind, but I’ve already written about that one. Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning has some horror elements, in my opinion, but I don’t own that one (yet), so I’ll have to cover that one next year. So that leaves me Replicant, which is admittedly more of a sci-fi film than a horror movie. But it does feature Van Damme as a serial killer, and some of the stuff he does in this movie (burning a woman’s corpse as her toddler child watches, for instance) is the closest thing to horror he’s ever done. In a broader sense, though, Replicant is one of my favorite Van Damme movies. It was one of his first direct to video movies, and it gave me hope that they could all be this entertaining. Replicant is compelling, funny, and, most importantly, it showcases two very different, effective performances from Van Damme. Replicant shows his range as an actor.

Technically, This Is Not a Twin Movie.

The big joke when first approaching this movie is, “Van Damme is playing twins again?!” Well, technically, he has only played twins twice: Double Impact and Maximum Risk. And in Maximum Risk he does not share the screen with himself. He does share the screen with himself in Timecop, so that one sometimes get lumped in as a twin movie. And then there’s Replicant, which is a little closer to a twin movie in that it’s a clone movie. 

I get why people would latch onto these four films and joke about how often there are multiple Van Dammes in Van Damme movies. Four times is a lot of times in a movie career to portray multiple versions of yourself. But each film is actually very different in its approach to the extra Van Damme. 

Double Impact was the first time this happened, and it is a fairly standard take on twins in films: they look alike, but they’re actually very different. Then came Timecop, which really shouldn’t count at all. It’s just Van Damme coming across a different version of himself in a different time. Maximum Risk is kind of pointless with the twin thing because one of them dies at the beginning, and that brings the other Van Damme into the story. 

Replicant is unique in that Van Damme is playing a serial killer and his clone. Some might suggest that I’m splitting hairs and that all these movies are using the gimmick of having more than one Van Damme. I agree that with Double Impact that is indeed the case, and the movie is a lot of fun because of it. But with Replicant, the serial killer and clone aspect add an important story element.

With most of Van Damme’s double movies, the two Van Dammes are usually very similar, even when they are presented as different. Even in Double Impact, they come together in the end and seem to be very similar character-wise. You would think that with Replicant, the clone would be identical to the serial killer, but that’s not the case. The clone is essentially a full grown toddler who seems to only have a psychic connection to the killer.

The clone being like an innocent child makes the film more compelling for multiple reasons. The first of which is whether or not he will become like the serial killer. While the film doesn’t directly address this, it must be on any viewer’s mind because Michael Rooker’s character treats the clone as if he is the serial killer, constantly beating him and yelling at him. By the end of the film, it’s clear that the evilness of the serial killer is a product of his childhood, and while the clone has the memories of the serial killer, he lacks the experience and can therefore live a good life...possibly. Who truly knows how long his relationship with the prostitute will last before she tires of his childishness? And how will he react to rejection? I sincerely think that would make a good sequel to this film.

Another reason why the clone being like a toddler is compelling is that it allows Van Damme to create the most sympathetic character he’s ever played. I truly felt bad for him during those early scenes with Rooker, and it’s not just because Rooker can be such a legitimately scary guy. Van Damme’s frightened performance works. You can see true child-like fear and wonder in his eyes, and when he yells out for “Jake!” like a hurt two-year-old, you want to go through the screen and help the poor guy. 

Van Damme’s clone performance comes across as even more impressive when compared to his scenes as the serial killer. While it’s not the deepest or most thought-out serial killer in film history, he’s certainly a horrible person. And Van Damme conveys the serial killer’s disdain for the “bad mothers” he kills effectively. He’s not as good at the taunting aspect of the character, but you can see the hate in his eyes during his more intense scenes. Van Damme has always made a better villain than a hero, and it’s a shame he hasn’t embraced that more often in his career.

It’s a shame that Replicant gets lumped in as one of the “twin movies” when Van Damme’s dual performance makes it one of his best films. If only this had been the first time he played a double...

I Could Watch Van Damme Act Like a Toddler for an Entire Movie.

The most surprising aspect of Replicant is how funny it is. Nearly all of the humor comes from the clone being basically a Van Damme toddler. Watching Van Damme play with toilet paper, eat mashed potatoes with his hands, eat dog food, jizz in his sweat pants while dry-humping a prostitute, and practice gymnastics at an expert level is pretty funny. Okay, those last two are a little weird, but for the most part the toddler stuff is comedy gold.

My favorite moment is when Van Damme greets the realtor by saying, “Calm the fuck down.” The simplicity of his delivery gets me every time. There’s a great deleted scene (yes, I watched the deleted scenes for Replicant...I’m fine, you’re the one with too much time on your hands) in which Van Damme takes a banana from a fruit stand and starts eating it, peel and all. The angry vendor approaches him and Van Damme hits him with the “Calm the fuck down” line and knocks his stand over as he runs away. I’m sure they deleted it because of the second use of the line, but I think they should have kept it in. It’s okay to go back to the well a second time with a line delivery that funny.

I'm Not One to Trash the Entire Premise of a Movie, But…

The premise of the movie is that the government has developed cloning technology, which they plan on using to fight terrorism. They want to clone Van Damme first as kind of a domestic test run before they use it abroad. But how exactly would this technology help fight terrorism? If they can find the DNA of a terrorist, then wouldn't they also find the terrorist?

You could argue that they could capture and clone some terrorists and train them to infiltrate some terrorist cells and expose the locations of terrorist leaders. But that doesn’t seem to be the plan. And who knows if you can truly trust the clone? They use Van Damme in the hopes that he will have the shared memories of the serial killer and his psychic connection will lead them to the real killer. But why do they assume that psychic connections are possible when they know for sure that they can at least use a clone for appearances?

If used properly, a clone program could help fight terrorism, I suppose, but it seems like an overly complex and expensive way to fight them. Not to mention all the ethical implications of cloning humans. 

By the way, why is everyone so calm and accepting of the cloning technology? Sure, there was Dolly the sheep a few years before, but everyone should still be losing their fucking minds when they find out we can clone Van Dammes

It's a Damme Good Month...for USA.

Before this movie came out, the USA Network used to show a lot of Van Damme movies, and they even had a Van Damme month which featured promos starring Van Damme telling the viewer, “It’s a Damme good month...for USA.” My friends and I thought it was pretty funny, and we still quote the promos to this day (yeah, we’re fuckin’ weird, okay?). The strange thing I noticed was that Van Damme did the promos with uncharacteristic longer hair and weird sunglasses. 

When Replicant came out, the mystery was solved. Van Damme filmed the promos while making Replicant, and they filmed on the serial killer days. It kind of ruined the promos for me, though, because until Replicant came out I had no idea what the story was behind the outfit. It was possible that this was the look Van Damme was going with at this point in his life. I just want to live in a world where it’s possible that the real Van Damme would choose to look like the serial killer character from Replicant.

Why Do I Own This?

It’s a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie.

Random Thoughts 

Why light the fire at the beginning with a dollar (especially a magic dollar that starts off as a twenty and then becomes a dollar)?

Why is the crib in the same room as a pool table? She really was a "bad mother."

Rooker totally considered shooting at Van Damme while holding a baby.

"Just a routine check"? Of a city bus?

The CG of Rooker getting hit by the car, and his shoe getting knocked by the car, is pretty terrible. Plus, he should be dead after that first hit.

I like Van Damme's little wave he gives as he drives off.

Rooker is clearly drinking from an empty cup when he's talking to the feds.

Rooker is very calm about the fact that cloning humans is possible.

Of course a Van Damme clone would be doing the splits almost immediately (although how much time has elapsed at that point is unclear).

Speaking of which, why do they think he should know gymnastics? It's like how Stallone knows how to knit when he wakes up in the future in Demolition Man

The IMDb trivia is pretty much nothing but jokes about the movie, but there is one good point: why does the helicopter land in the bushes when they leave the facility?

Seriously, why did they teach him gymnastics?

"Calm the fuck down." This should be an acceptable greeting.

Rooker's mom is way too accepting of having a half naked man chained up in her basement. Or is this Rooker’s house? Does he live with his mom?

Van Damme's rampage that starts when he stops the bad mom at her car is one minute of pure awesomeness:
A guy pulls up next to them to see if the woman needs help and gets kicked in the face through his open car window;
An entire kitchen gets their asses beat, including a dude who went after Van Damme with a spoon and another guy who told him to "Take it easy." Yeah, now that you've kicked everyone's ass, take it easy.

According to the killer's bio, he's a "computer game analyst." I like that small element to explain why he's proficient enough with a computer to set up that self-destruct trap at his apartment.

I can't think of another movie in which a shop vac is used as a weapon.

A lot of innocent bystanders get fucked up in this movie.

The bar janitor is like a little kid: "There's two guys. And they were fighting. And they shot my boss. And then they just took off."

"What the fuck's going on here, Jake?" This could be the title of the movie.

Of course the prostitute wants Van Damme to "look her up" later. Even when he's an obvious man-child, the ladies love JCVD. Even if he dry humps them and stares at them with rape in his eyes.

I don't know why, but I like how evil Van Damme says, "Ya bitch."

So the killer's real identity is a guy who enlisted in the Marines and was presumed dead in 1991, but the body was never found? How did he manage that and end up back in the states?

Did Jake really need to throw his gun into a tub of medical waste? And then the gun gets used later? How does it still work? How awful does it smell?

Evil Van Damme is basically a real life Grand Theft Auto character. He does everything with reckless abandon and is nearly impossible to stop.

I need the sequel with Van Damme learning about the world with the prostitute he dry humped.

In a deleted scene, the kid of Rooker's girlfriend(?) shows him a picture he drew: it's a drawing of Rooker kicking the shit out of Van Damme.

There's another great deleted scene of Van Damme eating a banana without peeling it, and then he tells the angry vendor to "calm the fuck down."

The commentary with Rooker and Van Damme is one of those weird separate ones. Rooker is okay, but Van Damme keeps popping in like he's dropping by to hang out for a minute. He says, "Hi" when he comes back, and says, "Talk to you soon" when his segment is done. It's a fascinating way to watch the movie.