August 28, 2009

The Essential David Carradine

Posted in Entertainment, Fan Reviews, Movies, Music tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:16 pm by amoreena2

As Kwia Chang Caine in "Kung Fu"

As Kwai Chang Caine in "Kung Fu"

I have to admit that, before his death, there were only a few things that I had ever seen David Carradine in: Kung Fu, of course, The Long Riders and Kill Bill and a couple of things on TV like the Yellow Book ad, the cameo on Lizzie McGuire and that awful episode of Charmed. However, at the time of his death I was in the middle of re-watching Kung Fu on DVD. I was using it as escapism after learning that I was loosing my job. It was actually helping me cope and inspiring me to take Tai Chi classes.

After Carradine died I started researching  him a lot-to the point of obsession, really. Since he died I have read the Kill Bill Diary, Endless Highway, The Spirit of Shoalin, all by David Carradine and The Kung Fu Book of Caine, by Herbie Plato. I finished the Kung Fu series and proceeded to watch every David Carradine movie I could get a hold of. A friend of mine has suggested that I have either gone off the deep end, or I have way too much time on my hands.  I think it is a combination of both.

Dacid Carradine and Barbara Hershey in "Boxcar Bertha", Martin Scorsese's underestimated forst major project.

David Carradine and his real life lover, Barbara Hershey, in "Boxcar Bertha", Martin Scorsese's underestimated first major project. The couple also posed nude in Playboy together in scenes from the movie. It was speculated that they conceived their son on the set, but Carradine denied that.

Among my favorite David Carradine movies are: Boxcar Bertha (best movie sex in the history of movies), His portrayal of Woody Guthrie in Bound for Glory (on which he sang and sang and sang), The Serpent’s Egg (which I liked better than the reviews said I would) The Long Riders (villainous) Death Race 2000 (extremely funny), Americana (his directorial “labor of love“), Grey Lady Down, Six Against the Rock (he was the best thing in those two), The Circle of Iron, AKA The Silent Flute (Carradine playing four roles at once), Kill Bill I and II and the latest DVD release, The Golden Boys (going out on a high note). I am slated to tape Sonny Boy (David in drag) off TCM early in the AM on 9/12/09. I haven’t seen it yet, but there are so many clips of it available on the TCM site that I feel as if I had and I think it has to be the most cultish cult film in history.  Lastly, and to some degree most importantly,  the original Kung Fu pilot makes the cut for what I call The Essential David Carradine.

Most of these movies should have won him awards, IMHO, Especially the latter.  Why he did not win an Emmy for that picture is beyond me.  I have even read somewhere that it is considered the best made for TV movie ever made.  If that is the case, why was he never recognized for it????

As the blind Master in "The Circle of Iron", AKA "The Silent FLute"

As the blind master in "The Circle of Iron", AKA "The Silent FLute". "Kung Fu" guest star, Michael Greene, taught David how to make his own bamboo flutes. He often made them from bamboo he had planted, grown and cultivated himself, as is the case here. He later used one of the four that he had made for "The Silent Flute" in the "Kill Bill" movies.

During this exploration I have developed an appreciation for Carradine’s multiple musical talents, especially his piano playing. I really love the theme song that he wrote and sang on “Americana” and I loved the way his daughter,Calista, sang it too. His band, The Cosmic Rescue Team, aka Soul Dogs, sounds awesome (better if you actually like Country). Here is a link .  You might recognize his brother, Robert, among the members.

Anyway, I am starting a new job. Hopefully I will regain my life soon. But this, to me, has been the summer of David Carradine and, for me, the time was well spent (except, do not bother watching The Donor with his ex-wife Marina. It is truly the worst movie I have ever tried to watch and the casting was really, really bad. Marina Anderson is the worse actress to ever be filmed).

Here are some links to other info about DC:

Behind the scenes of “Death Race 2000”

Americana”: One From The Heart

You and Me” and “Americana”

Recent screening of “Bound For Glory”