Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fighting Stars, Summer 1977 / Bullshit, Mr. Han Man

Get the full high res scan here: Fighting Stars v04n03 (1977-Summer.Rainbow)(Dojo-Moto).cbr

As promised, Kung-Fu, the Bruce Lee memorial issue of Fighting Stars. And on the cover, a still from what will always be the greatest of all martial arts films to me, Enter the Dragon. My stepdad used to take me up to the midnight movies at the K.U. Student Union even when I was very young. They would play cartoons before the movies and played all manner of cult hits and classic films to a rowdy audience, a fantastic place to be introduced to some of the more interesting cinema from the 3 Stooges to the Marx Brothers to Cheech and Chong to Disney.

Enter the Dragon blew my little mind, this was the epitome of cool. Bruce Lee's Howling Monkey style full of grace, overwhelming speed, and flash had me gobsmacked. Throw in the cool ladies man Mr. Roper, jive-talking badass Jim Kelly as Williams, Bolo Yeung as as the archetypical sadist beefcake, and top it off with a villain mastermind with a detachable hand - WOW. To this day, I still think there are a few moments of profound philosophy in the film. It's a damn shame Bruce Lee died so young, and even though many great actors have come since, he'll never be replaced as the greatest ever. He could have made some great films.

The whole martial arts industry boomed up around him, too, and you can see in this magazine all the ads and trappings of 70s karate culture. This magazine is more focused on the films, but you could still order up your deadly weapons, heh heh. The editors lead off with the confession that all of their best selling issues have had Lee on the cover and the industry was only starting to recover from the vacancy his death left.


I'll go with the whole article the magazine leads with, a remembrance of Lee with his mother:


I like this breakdown of the Enter the Dragon weapons fight scene, an unforgettable fight

Kung-Fu Weatherman!

Breaker!Breaker! Chuck Norris' breakout film? I guess this would go with White Line Fever, Smokey and the Bandit, Convoy!, and BJ and the Bear and so forth. It's weird how topics of interest come in waves. Hmm, I'm a glutton for punishment, so I'll stream this from Netflix later and kick myself in the morning. I've gotten in the habit of watching a movie in bed at night, usually of rather low calibre. I'll post the whole article so as my fine readers might share a little of my pain...

I bet this Ali flick will be better, though. After reading about his influence on the script and learning the film was written by Ring Lardner's son (who I didn't realize did some nice movies), I'm very curious to see it. It's amazing how many movies I've never heard of pop up while reading old magazines. A fun way to discover "new" old movies.

I leave you with a tune from the Soundtrack by George Benson (a fantastic musician even if some of trends of the 70s and 80s haven't aged very well but there's some killer funk in there too, his early guitar work shreds).  


You may hate me for this earworm.  Turned into a massive hit later by Whitney, though I bet you've figured that out by now.

Thanks to McCoy for another great edit. He captured the pulpy production values very nicely, strong scan-fu.

So, I'm not sure what I'm gonna do next time. I've got a long series of posts coming up on the birth of the girlie pulp but think I'll do a few random posts I've been meaning to get to in the meantime. It was fun to look at some modern mags and walk down memory lane, but it's time to get back Jojo. We'll be visiting a couple of slicks from the 20s and 30s before getting back into the pulp...

1 comment:

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