Monday, April 20, 2009

Yank On This Crank!

I guess enough folks sucked the dick of the first Crank to warrant a sequel. Can't say I did.

I like Jason Statham a lot, though, but he couldn't pump it up much for me.

This second entry -- Crank 2 - High Voltage -- is pretty much fuckin nuts.

It's the first American studio flick I've seen that legitimately plays like a Takashi Miike film.

Neveldine and Taylor, who forged their rep making ads, are clearly big porno, Kaijan, and Asian exploitation lovers. They've blended all their fetishes into this gruesome, bubblegum flavored melange of deviance.

The premise is an excuse for non-stop, totally surreal nonsense, some of which hits the insane heights of the most extreme Japanese and Hong Kong cult flicks. A crazy Hispanic gangster known as "The Ferret" has stolen the heart of Chev Chelios (Statham) so it can be implanted in David Carradine's chest. Carradine plays a perverted, elderly version of his Cain character from Kung Fu.

Statham breaks out of hospital after he overhears doctors plotting to cut off his dick. He guts them and kills them (in that order) and takes off in search of his ticker.

He gets into a bunch of perverted, bloody altercations on the way.

Male nipples get cut cut off, Statham fucks his girlfriend at a race track (Hollywood Park) in front of thousands, porn actors Ed Powers, Lexington Steele ("I'm gonna drop loads on your prisoner!"), Ron Jeremy Hyatt, Jenna Haze ("No Dough, No Blow") and Kate Mulligan stage a protest, and Statham and Art Hsu face off in a Godzilla-style free-for-all in which they become giants and battle it out amongst electricity towers.

It's a priceless, spot-on parody.

I found the original Crank kinda boring. Too much shooting. Not enough of anything else. This flick dispenses with logic, just like its predecessor, but it pulls out all creative stops and references a bunch of great and not so great cult movies. Ichii The Killer is stolen from wholesale, as is Visitor Q, The Story of Rikki, a plethora of mad scientist flicks featuring brains in jars, Tetsuo The Iron Man, Tokyo Fist, and Suze Randall's pastel porn oeuvre.

Neveldine and Taylor shoot the flesh with a pornmeister's eye for the gloriously lurid, and, thank Christ, don't bother justifying or backpedaling on any of it.

An extra treat is a hilarious flashback to Statham's character's childhood in which the young Chev Chelios appears on a talk show hosted by a self-righteous, English twit.

Even Bai Ling pops in gets to do a sleazy cliche of an Asian whore.

Is this art? Fuck, yeah!


The film did not open brilliantly. It made a few bucks, but it got eaten by the shit-for-brains 17 Again, Hannah Montana (in its second week), State of Play, Monsters and Aliens, and Fast and Furious 4 (which I saw and tolerated).

Is Crank 2 being marketed correctly? Hard to say. Is it being marketed honestly? Hell, no! As noted above, it's an insane, anarchic, totally non-PC Fuck you! to common notions of decency done with its slimy tongue firmly embedded in its rounded ass cheek.

I've fuckin had it with shit like "nipple slips" (get over it!), referring to the word fuck as an "F-Bomb" (Jesus, fuckin grow up, you cunts!), and the media sending a message to the world that saying "Fuck", flashing your tits, and loving to ogle naked women is more reprehensible than the truly reprehensible pricks in Washington and on Wall Street who have royally screwed this country and its childrens' future. What about "the kids" now, you bastards?

Well, because of the kid gloving of America, the Crank 2 trailer goes vanilla and undersells itself like the first Crank. It hides the film's madness, and gives us generic slogans and voice-overs. It has some humor, but the actual audience for it (guys who love Miike and extreme trash films) won't be rushing to see it based on the trailer.

The reality is there is probably not a big enough audience for what Crank 2 actually is. There IS a bigger audience for generic action shit. So Lionsgate has aimed its marketing at the generic action shit audience. It makes financial sense. Still, the film performed below expectations.

Would millions rush to Ichii The Killer if they knew exactly what it was?

I rest my case.

Sad, isn't it?

7 comments:

  1. A Miike-like sequel? OMG, can't wait to see it!

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  2. How right you are. I enjoy some generic action shit for what it is--timewasting trash. If I hadn't just read your review I'd be in no rush to see Crank 2. I wasn't impressed by the spastic vomit-inducing editing and slick violence of the first one and the trailer for this new entry as you say is no hint to how crazed the thing is. If we're to trust the trailer it looks like just another absurd shoot 'em up that begs the question "how does this guy keep getting in these situations??" Fucking hell, is that all people really want?

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  3. Your review is pretty dead on. Never thought I'd see slow-motion horsce cock in a Hollywood film.

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  4. Wow. I would never have gone to see that. Not if a free DVD showed up in the mail. Not if JS showed up with it in person. (well, maybe then). I will definitely see it now. Danke!

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  5. Great Review Phantom! [I too loved this one, for exactly the reasons that you stated!]

    So, what do you think was in the cooler? ;-)

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  6. I just wanted to say thanks for the review, as it was one of the deciding factors in my seeing this transgressive enterprise in theatres.

    Oh, and I hate the expression "F-Bomb."

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  7. d -- the slow motion horse dick (with complimentary blue vein) was as unexpected as Bodil in a Lifetime movie.

    ***

    DW -- I hope you enjoy the flick. I'm here to take a lashing of condemnation if I led you down the garden path.

    ***

    BB -- Glad you enjoyed the film. The cooler? Hmmm. Something wet that belonged elsewhere once, perhaps?

    ***

    Yum-Yum -- Yes, a "transgressive enterprise" sums it up well.

    The fuckin use of fuckin "F-bomb" really fuckin sucks big elephant dicks (to paraphrase Joe Pesci in RAGING BULL).

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