The fight scene is the single most important and meaningful expression in cinema. Without it, the inspirational montage would not exist, “I know karate” would not be the playground’s Neutron Bomb, and Rocky would just be another mentally diminished meathead from Philadelphia (which is like being a teardrop in an ocean of sadness). But while nobody can dispute the value of the fight scene, the great tragedy is that the best are not always the brightest: Here are the most epic fight scenes in the history of film... that you've never seen:
#3. Hard Ticket to HawaiiThe Setup:
It is a beautiful, peaceful sunny day, and everything that’s wrong with the 90s jogs down the beach together. But their fun is quickly brought to a halt by one of the terrorists from Die Hard on his lunch break:
“Who’s this?” He demands of the woman.
“He’s just a thrower,” she responds, after struggling and ultimately failing to remember what a Frisbee is called.
“We’re just throwing,” the man reaffirms, in the same way you might reply "you too" to a waiter who asks you to enjoy your meal; he is immediately filled with shame, regret and confusion.
“Oh yeah?” the postal worker retorts, clearly disbelieving that a man so stupid is capable of moving his arms laterally, “let’s see you throw one.”
That’s right: This game of Frisbee is the fight scene. No punches are thrown, no kicks are unleashed, no heads are locked--these two dual like true gentlemen of the 90s: as gaily as humanly possible. The only way this could be more emblematic of the era is if they were both on rollerblades and one of them was Will Smith. But, unbeknownst to our hero, this particular elite guardsman has sunk all of his skill points into dual-wielding and Frisbee manipulation (you’re welcome, nerds), and the protagonist is in for the match of his life. He can't be blamed, though: How the hell was he supposed to know that he's up against Vincent Frisbee, long-lost heir to the Discus Fortunes?
Faced with the impending Frisbee apocalypse, the woman jogs away in mincing fear. Our protagonist, ever the gentleman, wishes her a good day by virtue of her ass.
What, did you think the game was a metaphor? No, this is how all true Frisbee games end: in death and embarrassment. Oh, but there is no regret for John Frisbee. No, he died as he lived: guarding an empty stretch of beach and recklessly entering discus throwing competitions during work hours. And to the victor, as always, go the spoils: The right to subtly fist-pump.
Now, that might not look like much initially, but have you ever truly had a well-deserved fist-pump? No! You’ve wasted it. You’ve taken fist-pumps for petty sporting victories--triumphs at air-hockey, well-placed volleyball serves, not falling asleep during softball--you’ve never taken a fist-pump how it was meant to be taken: at the expense of a man’s life. And that is truly the sweetest pump of all.
#2. KalkaThe Setup:
Half a dozen people are trapped in a labyrinth, engaged in a desperate, feverish gunfight against their imaginations. They are, clockwise from left: Pakistani Carmen San Diego, the bass player from Queen while filming the video for "Bohemian Rhapsody," Arabic Knight Rider and Iranian Chuck Norris.
Now, at no point is it even implied that these people are actually shooting at one another or indeed, at anything, but they take turn firing their pistols until the clips are empty all the same (actually, come to think of it, it appears to be the same gun--they might just be passing it around). When they all simultaneously come to the sudden realization that "sharing" is the third least effective fighting style--just behind the "fetal position," but ahead of "passive aggressiveness" on the martial arts scale of deadliness--they start the real action.
At this point you may have noticed something as retarded as it is awesome: Both the gun fight and the fist fight have exactly the same sound effects! This can only mean one of two things: Either the Pakistani punch out bullets (which would account for the solitary gun. It’s just superfluous; when your fists are firearms, pistols are little more than condoms for your deadly intentions) or else literally every sound in Pakistani--from the crying of a newborn babe to the sizzling of a hot pan on a quiet Sunday morn--is gunfire. The fight unfolds in disjointed, rapid-fire segments: Pakistani Bohemian Rhapsody jump-kicks Pakistani Michel Knight in the neck; Chuck Norris looks like he accidentally brought fat-guy-ballet to a punch-fight; and some random dude pummels Carmen San Diego in the ovaries so hard that I suspect he might technically be fighting her unborn child.The Aftermath:
After Chuck Norris and Pakistani Rhapsody produce switchblades from the sheer power of imagination and accidentally double-team Knight Rider, they abruptly stop to marvel at the sheer insanity of it all.
They stand shell-shocked, steeped in a panicked confusion. It is as though they’ve all abruptly emerged from a fugue of hallucinogenic fists with no memory of what has happened or why. Just when reason seems poised to take over, somebody screams in the distance. It is the sound of bullets. The fight starts again, because it can never end. For this? Friends, this is Hell.
#1. UndefeatableThe Setup:
A used car salesman and professor Adam Lambert square off in a meat/science plant. Professor Lambert sensually French kisses a knife and, overtaken with stab-lust, attacks!
Sadly, having recently failed Knife School, the good professor gently holds the blade at arm’s length until 2002’s #1 Hyundai Salesman for Eastern Kansas reluctantly takes hold of it.
Aha! It was a trap!
You’ve heard of the sharing stick, where only he who holds the stick may speak? Well, this is the punch knife: Where he who holds it gets punched gently in the face. Really, it's more of a cheek-push if we're to be technical about it. It is at this point that all participants sign a petition against shirts.
Now clad only in navel-high black slacks--like two old Gypsies at the beach--the fighters proceed, though it is apparent that both suffer from severe lower back pain, as every single movement is accompanied by painful screaming.
Adam Lambert, again forgetting that knives must be pointed into things, repeatedly tries to woo the world's most dedicated car salesman by presenting him with the gift of blades; he heartbreakingly refuses. Suddenly--sporting a denim camel-toe so prominent that, according to SAG contracts, it’s technically credited as a speaking part--a woman enters the fray! See?! This just proves that women are really strong, powerful warriors who are every bit as effective as a- wait, scratch that. She proceeds to hit professor Lambert with a towel; the only weapon actually designed for comforting.
But lo! Tragedy strikes!
Professor Lambert, moving so carefully and purposefully towards the coat-rack that it seems like he’s intentionally trying to hang his vision up to dry, stumbles over and gouges his own eye out on a coat-hook! Nobody seems quite sure how to react to this, which leads me to believe that this wasn't even in the script; it was just another case of "all fun and games" until the inevitable happened. Professor Idol strikes out in fear and anger and, ever the troopers, the other actors nervously play along. A lot of awkward groping and backpain later, and then lightning strikes twice: Professor Lambert spazzes into another eye gouge! Holy shit!
It’s the eyeball holocaust!
Like all great cinema, a fight scene should leave some things unsaid. When all is said and done, you should exit the experience with more questions than answers--mentally turning over the events in your head until you arrive at an interpretation that is wholly your own. In some small way, this knowledge changes a person, and that change is the soul of art. And if that is indeed the definition of art, then Undefeatable is truly a masterpiece: Because somewhere around the time a man is hauled away by his eye-holes to get his brain dry-cleaned, you realize that you will never be the same again. If nothing else, you'll always remember to wear appropriate eye-protection when visiting the Science Butcher.
You can pre-order Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead on Amazon, or find him on Twitter, Facebook and his own site, I Fight Robots because he’s rrrRAAAAAGHHH AUUUGHHH RAAARRR!!!