The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.
That’s the opposite of what I’m about to do. Actually, I’m going to talk about all of my favorite films today. I’ve been sitting at home with an injury that’s keeping me immobile. Believe it or not, I couldn’t even type this article up. So instead of writing or marinating in my own self-pity, I watched movies that would cheer me up! WARNING: Do not re-watch Tremors. It will do whatever the opposite of bring you enjoyment is. Damn you, Kevin Bacon!
Most that are reading this article know me from the time I spend in a wrestling ring. If not, here’s a video!
Recently, I’ve taken to film to inspire my actions and style in the squared circle. A wise man once told me, “Talent borrows, and genius steals”. I agree with that on a level. I have paid homage and completely engulfed myself in references to the films I love most. Sure, I also draw inspiration from comic books, cartoons and other pop culture sources. It’s movies that hold the biggest influence though. As per the norm, I’m going to tell you why I love these films and at the same time, show you how they relate to “The Venomous and Vile Master of Snake Style” Ophidian The Cobra.
5. The Protector (2005)
FACT: Tony Jaa was the stunt double for Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. That movie is terrible.
But this one isn’t! When this film was released in the US, it lured me in with its “Quentin Tarantino Presents” marketing. Films similar to this inspired me to learn martial arts, but not this one. This film made me want to BE a martial artist. The fighting style on display in this film is Muay Thai. If Ong Bak: Thai Warrior (Jaa’s previous film) was made to show you the beauty and elegance of Muay Thai, then The Protector was made to show you how much ass it can kick. No wires. No CGI. No stunt doubles. No tricks. This man’s work is insanity.
Watch these clips from the warehouse fight:
A few versions of the film exist. The version of the film I’m recommending is the US release. 25 minutes are cut from the original Thai version, Tom Yum Goong, which includes pieces of fight scenes and plot elements. These cuts do make it easier to watch. The US release even went as far changing certain plot points to make it more approachable for American audiences. They also help. And they hired RZA to provide the score… FROM THE SLUMS OF SHAOLIN! Personally, I prefer the original Thai version. It’s the way the director intended the movie to be seen. From backbends to double knee attacks, the moves Tony Jaa uses in this film became the building blocks of my fighting style.
4. The Warriors (1979)
No film had a bigger impact on The Osirian Portal than The Warriors. Since the day in which he laid eyes upon it, Amasis has never stopped shouting “CAN YOU DIG IT?”.
FACT: When training Jonathan Gresham to become Hieracon in The Osirian Portal, we made him watch this film on repeat.
Walter Hill directed this cult classic. This is the same man that also directed my favorite Ralph Macchio film, Crossroads. James Remar steals the show in this film as Ajax. James Remar also stars in the film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation as Raiden. He does not steal the show in that film. That movie is terrible. There is a style and charisma this film has that goes unmatched by any other film from its time. The plot is truly my favorite aspect of the movie.
The gang known as The Warriors are blamed for the death of gang leader Cyrus. Cyrus was killed by gunshot during a conference he orchestrated that brought together representatives from all the gangs in New York City.
“You’re standing right now with nine delegates from 100 gangs. And there’s over a hundred more. That’s 20,000 hardcore members. Forty-thousand, counting affiliates, and twenty-thousand more, not organized, but ready to fight: 60,000 soldiers! Now, there ain’t but 20,000 police in the whole town. Can you dig it?” – Cyrus, leader of The Gramercy Riffs
Carrying the blame of Cyrus’ death, The Warriors must make their way back to Coney Island with every gang in New York City hunting them. And the police. Pretty much the entirety of NYC. Their journey home is a fun one. The music helps the pacing and tempo of the film. The world they must traverse is dark and gritty and absolutely unforgettable. This movie has everything going for it.
3. Mortal Kombat (1995)
For you to truly understand my love of this franchise, I am going to provide you with two sets of pictures…
Scorpion (Mortal Kombat 9) inspired gear:
Ermac (Mortal Kombat 9) inspired gear:
From the well choreographed fight scenes in Mortal Kombat: Konquest (live action TV series that aired after WCW Nitro) to the frustrating gameplay of Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero(PS 1), there isn’t a part of the franchise I haven’t invested myself into. I played the original games like everyone else who owned a Sega Genesis or Super NES. That wasn’t what hooked me. Seeing the characters brought to life in the theaters is what got me. This is one of the few video game movies that translated the source material to the big screen well.
Paul W.S. Anderson should’ve stopped making movies after this one. Thanks to him we have an unsaveable Resident Evil franchise and the lame AVP: Alien Versus Predator film.
Highlander star Christopher Lambert spits cheesy one liners and witty wisdom as Raiden. Chris Casamassa is Scorpion. He also played Scorpion in Mortal Kombat: Konquest. You wouldn’t know him from anywhere unless you watched the TV show WMAC Masters. He was Red Dragon. I want to own that show on DVD. Even though they rarely use powers their powers, the fights are a pleasure to watch. You get a lot of them too: Goro vs Johnny Cage, Kano vs Sonya Blade, Lui Kang vs Reptile, Scorpion vs Johnny Cage, Liu Kang vs Sub Zero, and so many more!
FACT: This movie had a sequel entitled Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. It was terrible.
This is another film whose soundtrack I have on rotation within my iPod. The signature “MORTAL KOMBAT” scream from the title track gets stuck in my head for days whenever I hear it.
2. Fight Club (1999)
The first t-shirt designed for The Osirian Portal was modeled after the signature poster of this movie:
I’m Brad Pitt, and not just because we have the same beady snake eyes. I’m the voice of reason in the mouth of madness. I’m Tyler Durden. I’m the malevolence Amasis wanted to embody, but couldn’t. If you’ve followed the Osirian Portal since day one, my turning on Amasis should have been no surprise. I’ve made it obvious I was always in control. SPOILER ALERT!!! Even when The Narrator kills Tyler, Tyler never really dies. The Narrator becomes Tyler.
“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” – Tyler Durden
“I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.” – The Narrator
“First you have to give up, first you have to know, not fear, know that someday you’re gonna die.” – Tyler Durden
“Worker bees can leave. Even drones can fly away. The Queen is their slave.” – The Narrator
The words of this film have echoed through my mind since I’ve heard them. I’ve watched this film well over a dozen times. I’ve read the book more than a handful of times as well. I can quote both religiously. These are the words that carried me through 2012.
“Only after disaster can we be resurrected.” – Tyler Durden
That was the battle cry. I shouted that from the mountaintops after I eliminated Amasis. Of the 5 movies on today’s list, this is the one you’ve most likely already seen. It’s considered one of the greatest American films of all time. With over 720,000 users casting votes, Its currently #10 on IMDB’s list of greatest films of all time. It also holds a 95% viewer rating over at Rotten Tomatoes with over 960,000 users casting their opinion. This is my favorite film of all time. It’s just not as influential as the next film is on my career….
FACT: No one in this film was a part of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. That movie was terrible.
1. Five Deadly Venoms (1978)
Now, Number 2 practiced the Snake Style. He was known as the Snake Spirit. – Master of Poison Clan
Number 2 inspired mask:
The Shaw Brothers Studios and The Venom Mob aren’t just responsible for influencing my career. They’ve also done the same to the hip hop legends hailing from the slums of Shaolin, Wu-Tang. ODB kicked off the track “Snakes” with the quote I dropped earlier. Masta Killa sampled music from this film as well. Five Deadly Venoms is a classic every fan of martial arts films has seen. Bruce Lee brought martial arts movies to the mainstream in America. The Shaw Bros Studios held down the independent scene.
Five Deadly Venoms inspired Shaolin Beat, aka my theme song.
During the journey to reach my first transformation, I was attempting to merge with “The Snake Spirit,” fusion-dance style. That was in reference to Number 2. I also stole bits of his fighting style. One hand is the mouth: venomous and precise. The other, the tail: powerful and swift. Instead of fighting with a tail, both of my hands represent a cobra’s mouth. My logo is that of dueling snakes. So is my current mask:
My favorite aspect of this film is the different fighting styles and how well they blend together in fight. The Five Deadly Venoms are:
Number 1 – Centipede
Number 2 – Snake
Number 3 – Scorpion
Number 4 – Lizard
Number 5 – Toad
Toad and Lizard are the strange ones on this list. Toad’s unique fighting style allows him to be invincible. No weapon can penetrate his skin. This is demonstrated in a training montage where he lays on a bed of nails. He then proceeds to bend metal sheets with forearm strikes. Lizard can defy gravity and climb walls. At one point in the film, he battles multiple masters while standing on a wall. This film is classic Kung Fu at its finest. Search it out and enjoy!
Well that’s all. Feel free to drop a comment here, hit me up on twitter or Facebook, @OphidianCobra, and tell me what movies influence your life! Check out my merch and music over at http://www.luchacobra.com. Last, if you’d like to see some of this action live, go to http://www.chikarapro.com for tour dates and iPPV info. Until next time!
“Strike First. Strike Fast. Strike Hard.” – I’m quoting myself