Tag Archives: john milius


It’s a good time to be a David Lynch fan, but even if recent works have been a little too calculatedly oddball, who’s testing ‘Blue Velvet’? The film stays unsurpassed and Lynch’s declaration earlier in the year that some footage had been unearthed for the Blu-ray was no lie — there’s 51:42 of extra material plus a new documentary too. Most deleted scenes should stay buried, but in Lynch’s world and with the predictable struggles with a major studio, it’s clear that footage will be worthy. We’re not talking piss-poor CGI Jabba the Hutt’s here — we’re talking more Pabst Blue Ribbon loving psychopath Frank “You receive a love letter from me and you’re fucked forever” Booth, including a scene where he gets crazy with a pair of flaming tits in the background. As the best advert for a remastered release ever, that scene hit the internet on Friday ahead of next week’s release for the 25th anniversary edition. The option to have the scenes randomly branched into the original film to make it triply unsettling is sadly absent, so they’re only available as a supplement. Still, that Christmas present list is really starting to come together.

I’m continually jocking Criterion for their pick of releases and artwork, the impending release of the jazzy, bone crunching , smartly suited and downright odd ‘Tokyo Drifter’ captures those curiously coloured muzzle flashes and rhythmic feel perfectly. The move from black and white to colour in ‘Tokyo Drifter’ wasn’t for the budgetary reasons that Lindsay Anderson’s ‘If’ switched between the two — apparently it was to capture Tokyo’s feel before and after the 1964 Olympics. On that note, was there ever a more cocaine-friendly, goon motivation Olympic theme tune than Paul Engemann and Giorgio Moroder’s Los Angeles 1984 theme tune, ‘Reach Out’? It sounds like the sequel to the duo’s ‘Push It To The Limit’ (the 12” extended version with the extra guitar is amazing) and was big in Germany. Now he fronts a brand that makes healthy chocolate. Sadly, he hasn’t re-recorded a version of ‘Push It To The Limit’ about cocoa solids rather than coca leaf extracts.

Speaking of coke and movie myths, it’s well worth spending some time on this UK-based temple of all things Cannon. As a child, Golan-Globus productions both delighted and disappointed me, but the lack of Dolby in favour of Ultra-Stereo was a frequent annoyance. This site even manages to play on that budget saving point of difference, but it’s the trivia here with regards to films never made (this other Cannon site mentions an unfilmed ‘Breakin 3’) like a crappy ‘Spider Man’ film from 1986, but also the mysterious ‘Investigation’ — a Paul Schrader script from 1987 that was set to be directed by Andrei Konchalovsky who directed a rare Cannon exercise in quality with the classic ‘Runaway Train’ and starring Al Pacino before a switch to Christopher Walken. Variety magazine even ran an ad with a mooted Cannes 1988 premiere. Thanks to HunterTarantino on the CHUD forums for uploading the ad. He also upped the Variety ad for the John Travolta and Rebecca De Mornay cop flick ‘Crack’ that never got made — another Golan-Globus production. ‘Crack’ was set to be directed by Stan Dragoti who nearly ended up in a German jail on a cocaine possession charge in 1979, with Travolta as a by the books cop and De Mornay as a “street savvy detective” going undercover to smash a cocaine racket. Dragotti promised, “more verisimilitude than ‘Lethal Weapon’…” but no film ever appeared. That film reeks of 1987 Hollywood thriller. HunterTarantino also upped the Variety promo for a never produced John Milius film called ‘Horseman of the Khyber’ for Carolco. I’ve seen that the poster art sold recently on eBay, but I’m struggling to find any other information about that project.

So when you’ve got that coke money, what do you spend it on? Vehicles and lavish fittings. The recent VH1’Planet Rock’ documentary on crack and the hip-hop generation was an interesting watch for that archive footage. A little Q&A with the directors recently appeared on YouTube, but it was the few minutes on the spending habits of New York hustlers at Harlem’s Dapper Dan’s (Azie would’ve almost certainly shopped there) and Alpo’s custom Gucci tire cover. There’s shots there of a jeep that’s MCM’d out inside and outside, but I only recently discovered, via MCM’s own blog, that there were official MCM motor vehicles, including a jeep with an interior festooned with the expensive leather. They also upped some old lookbook shots, including a couple living the good life, with the male partner rocking a duck booted look that’s part country gentleman and part baller. I believe this fellow got out at the right time and never got high on his own supply. There’s merit in both tricked-out vehicles.

I’m feeling Y’OH’s new site a great deal. Like those Dapper Dan days, at its best, streetwear should be about aspiration and nods to unattainable luxury — think Stussy with the linked ‘C’s or Duffer channeling Gucci and Hermes. There’s no point trying to be Supreme, because it’s already here and firing on all cylinders, while the Oxford shirt is better bought from those who specialise in that garment. I’d like to support more British brands on here, but for the most part, our homegrown streetwear simply seems too safe to the point where it’s regressive.

Shouts to Palace, Origin London, British Remains, Trapstar (their marketing savvy is no joke — those snapbacks travel far) and Y’OH. Y’OH is by far the most ambitious of the bunch by offering product that doesn’t seek marl grey anonymity, with African prints on the Kanja and Jumoke shirts that offer either a boxy fit or extra length, bold bomber jackets and even manage to make the parka look interesting despite the onset of 40/60 fatigue. Even the t-shirt (Y-Shirt) offerings are deeply unorthodox, making other cut and sew merchants look beige by comparison. Eighty percent of what Y’OH create commands attention and challenges the wearer, but since streetwear became pallid, passive and weedy, something needed to give. Branding can make or break a garment and Y’OH’s patch logo is very strong indeed, with a touch of tribalism, mountaineering and the self-assured ®.

Now you’re at the limit, what do you do? If you’re Waka Flocka Flame, you break out the ramen and put on the kettle, living up to that ‘One Squad’ line, “I’ma forever stay hood millionaire eating ramen noodles…” Where some rappers are keen to talk it up in the spirit of those late ‘80s high rollers, this Monopoly kingpin doesn’t do the Rick Ross lobster bisque for breakfast diet. Salutes to Waka for upping this tattooed fistful of Maruchan chicken ramen onto Lockerz. Ramen is a very hip-hop foodstuff with a disposable, anti-vitamin feel to match the download and delete wave of average mixtapes that dropped last week.


The right has given us some of the best action films ever. Left-wing action cinema rarely hits the high notes that ‘Three Kings’ did back in 1999  —  ‘Green Zone’ anyone? That was an ordeal. Raised on ‘Death Wish 3’ and ‘Conan The Barbarian,’ reactionary, ultra macho revenge missions that spit on PC output like Steve Jobs’ empire are the only fix. This is something that’s been prevalent as long as I’ve had access to VHS – bad Russians or street punks getting a cinematic buckshot shampoo was perfect entertainment. It’s certainly doesn’t reflect my political views in the real world, but I like my action movies sprinkled with a right-wing agenda. It’s the necessary component for a mindless 2 hours. John Milius however, is a very clever man.  With nimble typewriter digits to match his itchy trigger-finger, he’s the man behind ‘Dillinger’, ‘Apocalypse Now’, ‘Big Wednesday’, the aforementioned barbarian adaptation, Robert Shaw’s USS Indianapolis speech in ‘Jaws’ that kills seafaring merriment stone-dead, ‘Extreme Prejudice’ and ‘Dirty Harry’. Unfuckwithable cinema.

Then there’s ‘Red Dawn’. Arguably the dumbest of the mentioned movies, it’s endlessly re-watchable, and astonishingly violent for a teen flick of the time. Curiously, one ‘Red Dawn’ screenwriter, Kevin Reynolds, went on to direct 1988’s ‘The Beast’ (aka. ‘The Beast of War’) — a far more liberal treatment of invasion that everyone should watch at least once in their life. I’ll make no secret that Conan’s mantra of “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women...” beat most life coaching in the quest for happiness, but ‘Red Dawn’ has a huge influence on me growing up. It didn’t educate me in the slightest on matters of race-relations, and whatever message other than shoot-the-bad-guys went over my pre-pubescent head. I was too short to catch anything other than explosions and good outfits emanating from the idiot box.

The best teen films of the ’80s were aspirational — combating vampires, werewolves and Black Lagoon creatures, hunting pirate treasure…’Red Dawn’ created a pinnacle. A parent-free, survivalist situation where people didn’t just get up with superficial wounding. That was it. Brat packing with the bonus of a body count. The current craze for covering a slow blog week by claiming that anyone wearing a nice coat pre-1980 is some kind of style role model is played, but it was ‘Red Dawn’ that instigated a personal preoccupation with military looks and outdoors gear. The Wolverines are dressed like standard 1984 teen douches at the opening of the film, but on running to the mountains, the goose-down, hood-up, brat pack backpack look begins — they evidently raided a North Face retailer before hitting the hills for some man-hugs and thankfully Robert’s father owned a wilderness store. It’s good gear for navigating Arapaho National Forest. The bags are scattered throughout the film, but during the first quarter, a grey down-filled coat is visible on 2 male leads. Beyond that, the whole damned film could be a great video lookbook for whatever brand has decided to “go outdoorsy” now. When W(Taps dropped their ‘Red Dawn’ collection in 2008, that fusion of militaristic collegiate was no coincidence.

1991’s ‘Toy Soldiers’ couldn’t reach the same heights, and Australian film ‘Tomorrow When The War Began’ can’t compete either. Alas, a real ‘Red Dawn’ remake is coming, with the Chinese, rather than a Russian, Nicaraguan and Cuban army as the bad guys. While I’m opposed to it for its lack-of-ideas, much like John Milius, who railed against the script a couple of months back and bemoaned Hollywood’s current idea vacuum, anti-reddawn2010.com is a Chinese site created by those furious that they’re about to be demonised. One thing’s for certain — those surviving kids won’t be as well-dressed as they were in 1984. As camo creeps back into your wardrobe in appropriately stealthy style over the coming months, pay homage to the Wolverines  — Capone-N-Noreaga’s impending ‘Camouflage Season’ mixtape says it all. It’s baaaaaaaaaack. Flicking through the Fall Nike Sportswear Japan lookbook, we’re about to be invaded stylistically too. That’s an invasion I’m anticipating…

I’d recommend this photo album to any fellow ‘Red Dawn’ fans – titled ‘Williams Photo Album’ it’s an album of on-set shots from the 1983 shoot in Las Vegas. Presumably a local and extra in the film took the pictures. There’s some great closeups of the movie’s propaganda designs in there…