No Retreat, No Surrender Part 2

Ok so the other week I filled you in on the back story to my first exposure of martial arts masterpiece No Retreat No Surrender. If you’ve just tipped up, get yourself informed here, then you can come back and get into the meat of it.

So after Jason gets beat up at Kelly’s birthday party he runs home and beats hell out of the stuff in his garage dojo. His dad can no longer teach Karate because JCVD snapped his leg so now he pulls pints down at some grotty local watering hole. I mean, it’s all starting to sound like one of them sad Bruce Springsteen songs isn’t it? Continue reading

Stand on your own- No Retreat, No Surrender PART 1


NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Kurt McKinney, 1986

Whilst somewhat overshadowed by actual wars in which real people died, make no mistake eighties popular culture was a bloody battlefield of bitter conflict. Coke vs Pepsi, NES vs Sega, Roxanne Shante vs The Real Roxanne. All gruelling wars of attrition in their own right but they all pale in significance next to the harsh reality of my own personal Hamburger Hill….Betamax vs VHS…..

See my family didn’t have a lot of disposable cash. And whilst there was always a modest meal on the table, luxuries like video recorders were pretty far down the list of things we could afford. If I wanted to watch a movie I had to wait for it to come onto terrestrial television or hope that an invite from the kid next door  to watch a tape round there might be forthcoming. One day I will tell you all the story of how I feigned illness whilst at a classmates birthday party and weaved an intricate deception just so I could be left alone in the house to use their video player to watch Empire Strikes Back. I was eight years old.

In 1988 my dad returned home from work with a pep in his step. For a man who dug holes in the road for forty years of his life this was an unusual sight. Normally he’d drag himself through the door at the end of the day, defeated. Eat his dinner in silence then slump in the armchair and fall asleep watching the news. But today was different. He entered our home with a look of triumph upon his brow. ‘Look what I’ve got’. Out of a black bin bag he produced a bulky video recorder. My eyes flickered with delight as my Dad’s craggy features split and he smiled down at me and together, father and son hastened to the front room to set up the video recorder and commence our journey into cinematic heaven.

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Marked For Justice: CYBORG retroview

cyborg_poster_01_van_damme_looking_for_high_desktop_1896x2950_hd-wallpaper-751245As part of an ongoing but irregular series of retro reviews that we have dubbed Marked For Justice, a group of us decided it might be fun to get together virtually and watch a movie simultaneously. Our selections have to be drawn from the genre’s of Fantasy, Sci-Fi (or Horror containing either of those two elements) ultimately something relatable to the direction of this here blog. I prepared a shortlist of the first films that popped into my head which happened to be Johnny Mnemonic, At The Mouth Of Madness, Lord Of Illusions and Cyborg which turned out to be the peoples choice. I  was surprised to learn that despite the demographic of the group (men in their 30’s) most of them had not seen Cyborg before.  Anyway thanks to Duggan, Pete, Clarke, Sketch, Dieter and Kev for agreeing to join me as I revisited this maligned genre treat and a shout out to Brinton for being the only other guy to pipe up in defence of Cyborg . What has all this got to do with Corehammer’s mission I hear you cry? Well, everything really…
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