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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ultimate Geek Fu

"Great Moments in WTF?"

So we're watching a movie the other night. No, I won't tell you the name—partly out of simple embarrassment, but mostly out of my rarely seen and deeply latent sense of public service. Every single minute of life is precious, and I'd hate for my words to be the reason why anyone else wastes a single minute of theirs watching this unrelenting bucket of sludge.

It has often been said that Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space is the single worst movie ever made. People who say that really need to get out more and take in a larger view of the world's cinematic offerings. For example, there are things excreted from the low-budget film factories of Hong Kong that make Ed Wood look like Cecil B DeMille, Ridley Scott, and Stanley Kubrick all stitched and grafted together into one huge, hideous, and Frankensteinian monstrosity—

Which description begins to approach capturing the spirit of this...movie...we were watching the other night.

I won't try to explain the plot to you. Even the parts of it that almost made sense didn't make much. Nor will I excuse the so-called acting. Some things are simply inexcusable. But the reason why I bring this movie up today is because, in the first scene where he makes his appearance, the vampire—

Karen nudged me. "Did he just hop?"

Yes. Unmistakably. And then he hopped again. And again. In fact, it seems that in China, vampires only get around by hopping. (Or sometimes turning into a cloud of mist.) Of course, with all that hopping, they also develop kick-ass martial arts skills. But...

They hop.

This so baffled me that I had to go look it up later, and eventually came to realize, that's right. In China, vampires hop.

Strictly speaking, they are not vampires in the nosferatu sense. They're properly termed jiang shi, and better described as revenants that hunger for and feed upon the chi of the living. Still, the term "vampire" adequately describes them.

And because they are buried standing up, usually with their feet bound together, they hop.

How about you? Fellini aside, what's the weirdest thing that you have ever seen in a foreign film that, on further examination, was absolutely correct for the culture in which the film was made?

Let the arguments begin.

ULTIMAGE GEEK FU runs every Wednesday. Have a question that's just bugging the heck out of you about Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, Star This, Star That, Star Whatever, The Starlost, Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, Firefly, Fringe, Heroes, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Smallville, True Blood, The X-Files, The X-Men, The Man From Atlantis, or pretty much any other SF- or fantasy-flavored media property? Send it to slushpile@thefridaychallenge.com with the subject line, "Geek Fu," and we'll stuff it in the queue.
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